Heading up the road

The Kings River

 

Frog Camp 2011

 

Links to Photos, related links, and More Travel Reports at bottom

 

April 19-20, 2011: After missing last year, we were able get back on track for the eighth annual Frog Camp at Kirch Flat campground, above Pine Flat Reservoir. My grandson Mikie, now 13, and I started going there in 2003. In 2009 we were joined by Pablo and Librado, age 14 and 12, who live next door to my old house in Fresno, and they were with us once again this year.

We got started around 10 a.m., arriving at camp before noon. Along the Trimmer Springs Road, which runs along the north side of Pine Flat, we stopped and walked in to what we started calling Little Salamander Creek, but which was No Salamander Creek this year. This trail is really just a cow path, and seems to be more overgrown every year, with a lot of poison oak right by the trail, so that will probably be our list visit there.

This was the first time I had taken the motor home to this camp. In the past we have taken drives in the pickup up the road above camp, and on the dirt roads that go upstream on both sides of the river. That's not an option with the motor home, so I was a little concerned about keeping the boys entertained, although my philosophy is that it's their job, not mine, to have things to do, and it worked out pretty well.

They waded in the frog pond (this year the frogless pond), but soon had baseballs and bats out, and got a game going across the road from our camp. The tall grass in the campground has been mowed, but most of their hits went past the cleared area into the unmowed area. They had one T-ball and several green tennis balls, and if you want a challenge, try to find a green tennis ball in three-foot high wild grass.

By the mid-morning the second day, all the balls were lost, at least one if them in a tree. However, while they lasted, they had some good games. Four boys from a nearby campsite came over the first day, so they had actual team play for a couple of hours, playing until they could no longer see the ball.

We had stopped on the way to gather some dead manzanita for firewood, so we had a camp fire with toasted marshmallows the first night. Actually I had toasted marshmallows, and the boys, like most kids, had charcoal lumps with a bit of marshmallow in the middle.

As indicated above, the usual loud chorus of frogs was absent this year. I think there are two reasons: This has been a near record rain and snow season, and the river is running very high. The pond is actually just a little section of the river that bypasses the main stream, forming a section of still water about 50 feet long. This year, for the first time, I could see water movement in the pond, and I think the frogs like still water. It has also been quite cold late into the season, so that may also have affected the frog population. We did see one frog on land at least a hundred feet from the water.

On the second day we took a walk up the road to the bridge that crosses the Kings River from the north to the south side. A ways past this there is a dirt road down to the river, where there is a long, narrow flat space that would be suitable for camping in case the campground is full. There are at least two other roads leading into this area, and I determined that I could take the motor home down there if necessary.

Both evenings we watched TV after it got dark, and throughout both days I watched food disappear at an alarming rate, with three boys who seem to get hungrier with every bite. I was prepared for this because we've been observing this with Mikie for the last year or so.

On the third day we got things loaded up and headed home shortly after breakfast.

 

Photos (Click to enlarge; pictures open in new window) 

 

Mikie, Pablo & Librado brave the melted snow that is the Kings River

Heading up the road At the river
Mikie, Pablo & Librado brave the melted snow that is the Kings River Heading up the road At the river
 
Pablo knows how to relax The Kings River Sycamore tree near river
Pablo knows how to relax The Kings River Sycamore tree near river
 
Related Links
 
Pine Flat Reservoir Kirch Flat Campground Teenage Boys Eating Habits
Early Frog Camps (2003-2005) Frog Camp 2007 Frog Camp 2008
  Frog Camp 2009  
 
Sycamore tree near river

At the river

 
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Updated September 11, 2015