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

Recently I ran across some entries in my journal regarding earlier Frog Camp outings (the first one I wrote about formally was 2007). Although not in the style I would use for public consumption, I decided to post this report on my early trips with Mikie to what became Frog Camp. Later outings are linked on the Travel Report menu below.

- Dick Estel, March 2010 

         

2003     2004     2005

    

April 6-9, 2003 : Mikie and I went camping on April 6 through 9. Teri (his mother) came up on Tuesday and stayed for the night. We went to Kirch Flat on the Kings River just above Pine Flat Lake. Although it was cloudy Sunday night, after that the weather was perfect, and everything was green, with lots of flowers.

As soon as we got there Mikie wanted to ride his bike, so I got them out and rode with him to show him where he could go. Coming back, we came down a steep driveway, and he crashed, getting some scratches and knocking the handle bars off kilter (easily fixed with a wrench). He recovered and had a great time riding around the camp (avoiding the steep hill). He learned better how to use his brakes on some gentler slopes.

We drove up to Goofy Smith Flat along Mill Flat Creek on the south side of the river Sunday; and up to the top of Secata Ridge on Monday, where we walked and gathered wood. Then we went up the north side of the river a few miles, to a place we have camped in the past. Coming back we saw a gopher snake in the road, and got out and had a good look at it.

When Teri came up, we went up to Black Rock Reservoir, hiking down to the river, and then down the stairs to the dam.

Down the bank below camp ran a tiny section of the river. Someone had built a rock dam across it, creating a perfect frog pond, and as soon as it got dark Sunday, they started in. We had no luck trying to see them that night, but the next night we were able to shine the flashlight and watch them. They were so loud you could hear them up by the trailer with the generator running, but they were barely an inch long. They were the kind that puff their throats way out when they croak. We also saw a larger frog that came swimming across the pond both nights (Monday and Tuesday). Tuesday afternoon before singing time Mikie was able to catch and release six of the little ones.

We also saw ladybugs, beetles, a salamander (in Salamander Creek below Trimmer Springs), big yellow butterflies, lots of ground squirrels, and an animal that looked like a fox, but did not have a long tail, on the Black Rock road above Balch Camp. It could have been a dog, but acted wild.

There were some people rafting who got out at the camp Sunday, and a couple of parties who stopped for lunch; otherwise there was no one there. However, the raft companies were setting up their camps across the river and upstream a little ways.

          

April 12 - 14, 2004: Mikie and I went camping April 12 14 at Kirch Flat, where we went last year around this same time. We got the same spot, which is a quick and easy walk down the bank to the frog pond. The first night we caught a frog, but did not see any more, although we heard them and knew they were close to us, hiding in the weeds at the edge of the water. Teri & Mikie set up a nice aquarium for Hopper after we got back home.

We took a drive up above Balch Camp to where Patterson Creek crosses the road. Stopped a couple of places to take pictures, and Mikie captured some bugs.

On the way back we saw a rattlesnake in the road. He started to crawl away so we got out of the truck to take a look, although Mikie was very careful not to get very close.

The next day we went up the north side of the river to the Bear Wallow trail. I have hiked in there a few times, so I went up the trail about a quarter mile to see what it was like and to see how my leg held up. We had a snack in a picnic area there, then drove back down past the camp toward Fresno and up to the top of the ridge, where we could use the cell phone.

That evening there was a family camped near us who had a six year old boy, so he and Mikie played together a little.

We had very warm weather the first day, but the second day cooled off a lot, and it was 38 degrees Wednesday morning.

        

March 31 - April 2, 2005: Mikie and I went on our annual camping trip to the frog pond (Kirch Flat Campground above Pine Flat), March 31 April 2. We had great weather, and there are many wildflowers, thanks to the heavy rains this year. Mikie caught and released a frog, and we saw a dead snake. We drove up past Balch Camp to a vista point where you can see a sliding waterfall on the north fork of the Kings River. There is lots of water; Dinky Creek was especially big (bigger than the North Fork).

We got back home around 1:30 Saturday, and Tim and Teri came by to get Mikie. We had pizza. After I arrived I discovered that a bolt holding the trailer suspension on one side had come loose, allowing the tires to rub against each other. I need to get it fixed at least in time for the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival in May.

    

2006: Guess I didn't write about this one, or maybe we didn't go.

  

Photos
(Pictures open in a new window)

The road from Balch Camp to Black Rock Patterson Bluffs & Falls Patterson Creek
The road from Balch Camp to Black Rock Patterson Bluffs & Falls Patterson Creek
        
Spring waterfall on Black Rock Road Wren Peak in Kings Canyon National Park from the road to Kirch Flat Mariposa Lily
Spring waterfall on Black Rock Road Wren Peak in Kings Canyon National Park from the road to Kirch Flat Mariposa Lily
               
Mikie at the frog pond 2003 Sitting on the penstock near Kings River Power House Ready to climb the tower?
Mikie at the frog pond 2003 Sitting on the penstock near Kings River Power House Ready to climb the tower?
     
Frog Camp 2003 "Camp hockey," 2004      
Frog Camp 2003 "Camp hockey," 2004     
     

Related Links

Pine Flat Reservoir Kirch Flat Campground Foothill Wild Flowers
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2002
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2003
Arizona & Bluegrass on the River 2003 Grand Canyon & Logandale Bluegrass 2003
Parkfield & Huck Finn 2003 Early Frog Camps (2003-2005)
   
2004
Paso Robles & Parkfield 2004 Road Trip 2004 (Ohio & Back)
Bullhead City Bluegrass, Mesa, Superstition Bluegrass 2004 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2004
   
2005
Arizona-Southern California 2005 Huck Finn Bluegrass 2005
Morro Bay 2005 Stargazer Rock Camp 2005
Parkfield Bluegrass 2005    
   
2006
Huck Finn Bluegrass 2006 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2006
Rock Creek Non-Camp Stargazer Rock Camp 2006
Parkfield Bluegrass 2006 Oregon 2006
Bluegrass in the Foothills 2006    
   
2007
Bullhead City, Bakersfield, Joshua Tree 2007 Frog Camp 2007
Eastern Sierra Journey 2007 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2007
Stargazer Rock Camp 2007 Roundup #1
(Mother Lode; Kings Canyon, Yosemite)
Bluegrass in the Foothills 2007    
   
2008
Nevada-Arizona Hockey & Bluegrass 2008 Parkfield Bluegrass 2008
Frog Camp 2008 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2008
Stargazer Rock Camp 2008 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2008
Hobbs Grove Festival 2008     
   
2009
Roundup 2009
Las Vegas, Mariposa, Table Mountain, Orange County
Frog Camp 2009 Southern Journey 2009
Parkfield Bluegrass 2009 Stargazer Rock Camp 2009
Bluegrass Tour 2009
Brown Barn, Plymouth, Hobbs Grove
Hensley Lake Camp
   
2010
Mojave National Preserve & Havasu Bluegrass Roundup 2010
Hensley Reservoir, Mojave Preserve 2 & 3
Parkfield Bluegrass 2010 Lake Almanor & Mt. Lassen 2010
Las Vegas Expo Summergrass
    Brown Barn, Watsonville & Hobbs Grove
   
2011
Roundup 2011
Mariposa, Hensley, Table Mountain
Frog Camp 2011
Parkfield Bluegrass 2011 Frank, Pat, Dick & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Northern Coast Journey 2011 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2011
Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Chilkoot & Stargazer Rock Camp
Kings River & Brown Barn Bluegrass Festivals Hensley Camp 2011
    
2012 
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Stargazer Rock Camp 2012 Bluegrass in the Foothills 2012
A 3-Event Weekend
Farmer's Market, Kings River Bluegrass, Antique Fair
2012 Las Vegas CAN AM Hockey Challenge
Fall Hikes
Finegold Trail; Bower Cave
Into Los Gatos Canyon
  
2013
Silver Stick Tournament - Canada Sierra Foothills - Winter 2013
Finegold Trailhead, Hensley Lake, San Joaquin Gorge
Death Valley - Alabama Hills - Whitney Portal Sierra Foothills - Spring 2013
San Joaquin Gorge Hike, Big Creek Drive
Parkfield Bluegrass 2013 Shaver Crossing Station & Big Creek
Lake Almanor & Caribou Crossroads Mono Hot Springs
Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival A Wedding in Duluth
Sequoia Park Hiking Roundup 2013
Kings River Bluegrass, Buena Vista Peak Hike, Hensley Lake Camp, North Fork Mono Museum, White Rock Road, Hockey in Denver
     
2014
2014 Winter Hikes
Millerton South Bay Trail, Clovis Trail, Hite's Cove Trail
San Joaquin Gorge Campout
Colorado Springs Hockey Tournament Lake Havasu Bluegrass
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Stockton Creek Preserve, San Joaquin River Trail, San Joaquin Gorge, Millerton Lake, Sycamore Creek, Buena Vista Peak Again
NORCAL Hockey Playoffs and Santa Cruz Visit
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San Joaquin River Trail South & North, Red Rock Canyon Nevada, San Joaquin South Again
California Flat Campout
Snow Day with the  Upshaw's   
 
2015
Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 2
Adventures of 2015 - February to May
(Goofy Smith Flat, Coast Redwoods & Big Sur, Pine Flat, Finegold Trail, Edison Point Trail, Nelder Grove)
Adventures of 2015 - June to December
(Lewis Creek Trail, Kaiser Pass, Kaiser Pass Again, Taft Point, Kings River Bluegrass, Shaver Logging Road, San Joaquin River Trail, Lewis S Eaton Trail, San Joaquin River Gorge, Thanksgiving at the Gorge)
Lake Tahoe & Virginia City Parkfield Bluegrass 2015
Colorado Springs Cousin Convention 2015 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2015
Stargazer Rock Camp 2015 Grand Canyon & Arches National Parks
  
2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 1
Adventures of 2016 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 2
Adventures of 2016 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 3
Adventures of 2016 Part 4 A Pennsylvania Adventure
Adventures of 2016 Part 5 Parkfield Bluegrass 2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 6 Las Vegas Commodore Expo 2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 7 Stargazer Rock Camp 2016
     
2017
Adventures of 2017 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 1
Adventures of 2017 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 2
Adventures of 2017 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 3
Adventures of 2017 Part 4 Hiking and Hockey
Adventures of 2017 Part 5 Lake Almanor
Adventures of 2017 Part 6 Northern California Redwood Hike
Parkfield Bluegrass 2017 Stargazer Rock Camp 2017
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Updated October 4, 2016