Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bad Day At Buck Rock

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

(No, this is not a review of the movie Bad Day At Black Rock starring Spencer Tracy)

Buck Rock Lookout is about 2 hours from Fresno. Take highway 180 eastbound to the Sequoia/Kings Canyon entrance. Continue on highway 180 until the highway forks. Head south on the General’s Highway, turn left at the sign for Big Meadow. After about 2.5 miles, turn left at Big Meadows at the sign toward Buck Rock and Buck Rock Campground. At this point the road becomes a bumpy dirt road and is NOT recommended for low clearance vehicles. After 2.5 miles of climbing, you arrive at a parking area with a sign showing the way to Buck Rock. It is a fairly short walk and a long climb up to the lookout tower. Along the way you will notice trail markers in the trees and this is a great winter ski. There is a parking area just off The General's Highway and that is the winter trailhead. the main trail heads toward Big Meadow but their are spur trails also. My Airedale Susie often went with me on these skis. The lookout is closed in winter.

It was a bad day because there was really not much of a view. The weather closed in. It was a cool 54 degrees when I parked my truck. There were folks from Montecito Sequoia Resort being trained on ropes on a lower portion of Buck Rock. It is also a popular climbing destination. There is some additional information here:

Kathy was on duty and multitasking as she talked to the forest service helicopter on the radio and ushered me in out of the wind and cold. I signed the guest log and began sorting lenses in hopes that the clouds would part and I could get a clear view. As it turned out, the longer I was there the more the view deteriorated. She couldn't see well enough help the forest service fighting a small fire with a water bucket hanging down on a cable.

I took shots with my three lenses. I used the Sony 70-200mm f4 G lens, 55mm f1.8 and my adapted Canon 17-40mm f4. None of my vista shots were satisfactory but closer shots of the climbers were OK. Kristi was the climber looking into the camera with her permission to publish.

Drought Results Elevation 4,000'

For better photographs on a better day see the next article.

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