California's only river boat mail carrier

California has one river boat mail man and six days a week he delivers packages to island dwellers on the San Joaquin Delta. (Mar. 15, 2017)

Neither snow nor rain or even drift wood will stop one mail carrier from completing his rounds.

California has one river boat mail man. Six days a week he delivers packages to island dwellers on the San Joaquin Delta.

"There is spots out here that you wouldn’t think people live." said River Boat Mail Carrier Rick Stelzreide.

Stelzreide said river boat deliveries date back as far as the gold rush era. Today farmers and boat marinas are his main customers.

"I have delivered geese. I mean swans, pheasants... I have delivered trees." he said.

The people on river route are in some of the most remote places in the valley. Stelzreide delivers to about 23 islands on the Delta and the route is about 60 miles. In one area, a man must lower down a bucket from a bridge so Stelzreide can get him his mail.

“It’s crazy I don’t know how long he has been doing this.” he said said.

The mail carrier is a popular person on the delta in many cases island dwellers would have no other way to send or receive packages. The river boat mail carrier before him retired in 2012. Rick is 63-years-old and in a few years, he plans on passing the torch.

“I haven’t found anyone yet but I am willing to take anyone out with me to learn the route,” said Stelzreide. "Learning the route is one thing but you must be an experienced boat driver to navigate through weeds and debris in the water."

Copyright 2017 KXTV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment