Kurt Doelling Memorial Ride: Birding Around the Sacramento Delta

Saturday, November 11, 2017

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“The light that keeps you going, the star that makes you remember or the sunbeam that brings back a memory. A friend lives on through light.” *

In loving memory of Kurt N. Doelling  August 13, 1956-September 17, 2017

This ride honors the life of Kurt with a scenic flat ride around the gorgeous Sacramento Delta. May he always be in our hearts and minds as we continue to merrily cycle along through life’s ups and downs.

Autumn Leaves

Golden, crisp leaves falling softly from almost bare trees,
Lifting and falling in a hushed gentle breeze,
Slowly dropping to the soft cushioned ground,
Whispering and rustling a soothing sound.

Coppers, golds, and rusted tones,
Mother Nature’s way of letting go.
They fall and gather one by one,
Autumn is here, summer has gone.

Crunching as I walk through their warm fiery glow,
Nature’s carpet rich and pure that again shall grow,
To protect and shield its majestic tree,
Standing tall and strong for the world to see.

They rise and fall in the cool, crisp air.
It’s a time of change in this world we share,
Nature’s importance reflecting our own lives,
Letting go of our fears and again, too, we shall thrive. *

This flat route takes you along the winding levee roads above the fallow autumn fields around the Sacramento River and sloughs. Slow down and watch for Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, on flooded farm fields, wetlands and marshy habitats on Staten Island and the Cosumnes River Preserve.

Meet up in the town of Isleton.

Head east through the Historic Chinatown along Main St to H St.

Continue east on Hwy 160/River Rd.

Cut across Andrus Island through a residential neighborhood on W Tyler Island Bridge Rd to the bridge crossing over Georgiana Slough.

Head NE on Tyler Island Rd-the winding levee road travels along Georgiana Slough on the west edge of Tyler Island.

Tyler Island Rd curves right towards Race Track Rd.

Head north on Race Track Rd through the vineyards, farmlands, and ranches.

Cut across Tyler Island through the industrial area out to the strawberry fields and vineyards at the south edge of Walnut Grove on Walnut Grove-Thornton Rd.

Ride across the Walnut Grove truss bridge over Mokelumne River towards Staten Island.

Right turn onto Staten Island Rd, it’s a great viewing area for Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds.

View the magnificent Sandhill Cranes!

Continue on Staten Island Rd.

Turn around where the pavement ends. retrace steps back out onto Walnut Grove Rd.

More Sandhill Cranes!

Retrace steps back out onto Walnut Grove Rd.

Turn right on Walnut Grove Rd and continue east through the farmlands and vineyards to the town of Thornton.

Head north on Thornton Rd past the country homes, ranches, vineyards, and orchards.

The road name changes to Franklin Blvd at the Sacramento County line on the bridge over Mokelumne River.

Wonderful lunch stop at Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center.


Continue north on Franklin Blvd for a stop at the bird viewing site at Lost Slough wetlands.

Enjoy the beautiful colorful waterfowls!

Stay on Franklin Blvd and cross the RR tracks on Desmond Rd to the north end of Cosumnes River Preserve. View the wildlife refuge area for migratory birds.

Continue out & back on Bruceville Rd for more wildlife viewing opportunities.

Migratory birds!

Return on Desmond Rd back to Franklin Blvd and continue north to Twin Cities Rd.

Head west on Twin Cities Rd through the pastoral ranch lands to the I-5 on-ramp.

Stay on Twin Cities Rd through vineyards and farmlands and cross the truss bridge over Snodgrass Slough.

Twin Cities Rd comes to T junction with River Rd/E13.

Head south along the Sacramento River on River Rd/E13 through the town of Locke.

River Rd/E13 continues through Walnut Grove towards the south end of town.

Continue SW on Race Track Rd and retrace steps back through the open agricultural fields towards Tyler Island Rd.

Return on Tyler Island Rd through the farmlands along Georgiana Slough.

Cross Georgiana Slough back to Tyler Island Bridge Rd.

Return on Hwy 160/River Rd to Isleton.

This is a wonderful variation of a classic ride around the islands and sloughs through the rich agricultural farmlands around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Slow down and enjoy the wildlife viewing pleasures from Staten Island out to Cosumnes River Preserve.

Many “THANKS” to Kurt’s family & friends for the gracious luncheon served at Cosumnes River Preserve.

*Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/autumn-leaves-5 Friend is a Angel Poem

Garmin Stats:
43.8 Miles with 295′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 108′
Max grade: 5%
Terrain: Flat

Weather: Morning fog with afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s with NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride: