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Delta drive among blooming pears.

The Sacramento River Delta seems to float on a cloud around mid-March, as thousands of pear trees burst forth with millions of white blossoms. The evanescent show lasts only for a week or so; it peaked on the weekend of March 23 and 24 last season.

We've devised a 20-mile drive from Interstate 5 that loops through the heart of Delta pear country, traversing nearly 10 miles of orchards and passing through sleepy river towns. It can make a plesant outing from Sacramento or a scenic detour from 1-5.

Southbound on 1-5 exit west on Hood-Franklin Road and go 2-1/2 miles to the tiny pear-packing town of Hood. Turn left (south) on State 160, River Road. As you head downriver on the elevated levee road, orchards appear below you on the left, and the Sacrmaento on the right. You'll pass Courtland, the Delta's pear capital, which heralds the fruit with a festival at harvest time in late July (roadside stands sell pears then). What kind of pears are they? About 95 percent are 'Bartlett'.

Stay on the river's left bank. About 11 miles from Hood, you'll come to Locke, a clapboard community built by Chinese in the early 1900s. A half-mile beyond is Walnut Grove (if you want to explore, drive down from the levee into town). Turn left (east) on Walnut Grove-Thornton Road. It's 6 miles back to I-5.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sacramento River Delta Road pear tree blooming
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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