Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day Trip From Fresno CA To The McKinley Grove Of Giant Sequoias And Wishon Reservoir

Dale Matson

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The Drive From Fresno to Wishon Reservoir takes about 2 hours. You take Highway 168 to Shaver Lake, Then Dinkey Creek Road to McKinley Grove Road. After a considerable drive you pass the road to Courtright Reservoir with the main road ending at Wishon Reservoir. The McKinley Grove is about midway between Dinkey Creek and the Wishon Reservoir.
The McKinley Grove was the turnaround point the only time the “Dinkey Double Century” bicycle ride was held. I suffered enough doing the 155-mile Climb To Kaiser ride with most of the other cyclists that year. Only seven riders finished the Dinkey Double. My friend Dave Youngs was one of the seven select finishers (survivors). Dave and I arrived at Shaver Lake about the same time with him having already done the additional 45 mile round trip leg to the McKinley Grove and back.
The McKinley Grove is lesser known than other Sequoia Groves and the 2nd of the Fresno County Sequoia Groves with the Grant Grove being the other one. I like it because it is less fenced in and you feel much more a part of the primitive primeval experience. McKinley Grove is about 6,500’ in elevation, which is about the elevation of the Giant Sequoia Grove because the necessary rainfall/snowfall is abundant at that elevation.
Not long after leaving the Dinkey Creek area, headed toward the grove, Ben and I encountered a swollen and unsigned raging creek that crossed under the road. We had to stop and take photos of this impressive and noisy stream cascading toward the road. There was another spot about 7 miles past Dinkey Creek that had been repaired where a section of the road had entirely washed away during a winter storm on January 17.  This year has finally seen an abundance of rain and snow.

The Dogwoods are currently in full bloom and their white blossoms stand out along the road. When you finally arrive at the Wishon Reservoir, a good location to head is not the boat ramp but the dam where you can get a fine view and park near the reservoir. We went down by the water to get out of the wind and enjoyed lunch there. The north fork of the Kings River primarily feeds the Wishon Reservoir. After leaving the reservoir the Kings River flows into Black Rock Reservoir and then joins the south fork (flowing out of Kings Canyon Park) before flowing into Pine Flat Lake.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Swimming At Millerton Lake II 2017

Dale Matson

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This is my second report on swimming at Millerton Lake. For more particulars on the Lake see the 2013 story here:
This was the first swim of the year and it was a bit later in spring than usual. The water temperature was already 72 degrees and the lake was about 80 percent full. It was not quite warm enough to swim without wet suits.
We had a bigger group than usual with Mike, Marie, Sharon, Tasha and Millie. I was sidelined because of recent eye surgery. There was another larger group of swimmers that started from the Millerton Courthouse area. We prefer the nearby boat ramp nearby. As usual, there is an assortment of water birds around us too.

Even with an early start the Memorial Day boaters were already out racing around the lake. Usually the swimmers have the lake to themselves in the early morning hours.
The first photographs are with the Sony A6000 with a 16-70mm lens. The other photographs were taken with a Canon 400mm f4 lens on a Sony A7R2.

 The Other Swimmers Seemed Be Using Floats Also

Young Geese with Adults