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Day Trip From Woodlake to Three Rivers, CA In Search of Snow

Winding Through the Backroads Out of Woodlake, CA

We got up Sunday morning to absolutely sparkly blue skies, and cool temperatures.  It was a perfect day for a trip to the mountains.  I wanted to see snow up close and personal.  In the summer here the weather changes very little, but in the winter it can change from minute to minute.  Before it changed too much V, Kalev and I hopped into the car and headed for the hills.  My goal was to get to Sequoia National Park, and play in the snow.

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake014The trip up to the park was distracting.  “Pull over right here, V.  I want to snap a picture of rock outcroppings.”

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“Stop, stop, stop. right here V.  There’s a great picture of a horse for Auty.”

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“Look at that view, V.  Don’t you think I should take that?  SToooooop!!!”

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“Thanks V.  I’m ready now.”  Both V and Kalev were VERY patient

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Kaweah Lake near Three Rivers, CA

I do want to stop at Kaweah Lake and take a few pictures.  OK?

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Now that’s what I’m talking about.  I can’t believe that I thought this was ugly when I first moved here.  Right now it is at its lowest levels.  You can see the high-level water mark on the side of the hill.  When the rains come, and the snows melt, the lake behind Terminus Dam builds up.  If the Corps of Engineers doesn’t keep it empty now, it could conceivably break the dam built in 1955.  Before that time our valley was subject to extreme droughts most years, then huge floods every 7-10 years that bathed all the valley towns in several feet of fast-flowing, tree and rock-laden river waters.

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We pulled into the Tulare County Boat Safety Patrol Lake Kaweah Office parking lot, saw a friend of V’s, and took some pictures.  The flag was flying at half-mast in honor of victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

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Terminus Dam

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“No, no Puppy Girl. Mommy doesn’t want to climb back UP those stairs.” – ML

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I’ll bring you back here this spring, and you’ll wonder how those cars could have ever been driving down there. ML

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake052 TC Drive to Kaweah Lake055 TC Drive to Kaweah Lake076Then we headed up the road in search of snow.  Almost immediately we came to Horse Creek Bridge.  When I was teaching, just before summer vacation one year, a young woman came to speak to our 4th graders about swimming safety.

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Like many other youngsters, when summer came, she went with her friends and took turns jumping off Horse Creek Bridge into the water below.  Of course, there’s a lot more water in the summer.

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Nonetheless, the rocks are still there, buried, and impossible to judge.  She hit her head and broke her neck.

TC Drive to Kaweah Lake082 The jump paralyzed her for life at age 19.

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We drove up to Slick Rock, a popular place to swim in the summer.

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Kalev was thankful for a chance to explore.

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Mom and Dad weren’t paying much attention to her.  Good thing she had on her leash!

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Plenty of green grass. Don’t look Dad! About time we get to explore something besides pavement!  This is MORE like it. OK, I’m done now, Dad. DAD! I said I’m DONE. LET”S MOVE IT!   COME ON! – K

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Finally, there’s a lot to sniff here . – K

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I could make it down this little slope, but Dad said no. If he’d just LOSE this leash! – K

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I could climb those. He’s not being reasonable with this leash thing. MMMM, What’s this smell? -K

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Dad seems preoccupied with this view. I don’t know what the big deal is. I could just run around if he’d just unsnap my leash. – K

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Mom doesn’t even care. Do you think SHE is going to climb those rocks. hahaha Last time she tried something like that she smashed her camera lens when she tripped. LOL  BUT I COULD BE CLIMBING THOSE ROCKS!  DAD, LET ME GO!  -K

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I wonder how I could get his attention? – K

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There, these did the trick! Now he’s looking.  He’s bending down.  He’ll unsnap my leash now.  Ouch DAD! You’re pulling my hair!  I don’t have much, hair, and … What are you doing?  Leave those burs in my back alone. They aren’t bothering anyone! – K

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Great, now he’s called Mom over. She never gives up on these things. OUUUUUCH! MOM! Why don’t they just go back to their sightseeing? – K


V came unglued.  I struggled with my bandaged thumb to pull out burs for about the next 15 minutes.  Finally we were down to the last three, but they weren’t budging.  Then one more to go.  It was almost in her mouth, and needed to be cut out.  About that time, the park ranger drove up.  I got out of the car and asked if he had any scissors.  He did!  We cut the last bur out, bit by bit.  Kalev was such a good girl.  She did jerk her head a bit, but never a yelp or a snap. In the end, it took both V and me to hold her head still while Ranger Bill snipped out the bur.  Here’s a FAQ for you about burs.  “The bur of burdock was the inspiration for Velcro.”  Wikipedia

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That wasn’t so bad. Maybe Ranger Bill will let me down to run around. – K

Kalev was very grateful to Ranger Bill.

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Our next stop was Horse Creek Campground.

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You can see how exposed the tree roots are because of the higher level of the water in the spring and early summer.  That means the campground is under water, and we wouldn’t be driving on this road.

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Dad, put me down. Mom’s leaving us.  MOM, you forgot me!  Do you see that grass? What’s a Pac-Man? – K

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Across the road, I spotted Pac-Man hanging out at Horse Creek Campground.

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Can you tell how old this tree is?  Me either, the rings are too small for me to count, but it’s dead now.  After one last shot for Toemail, we were ready to leave. The blue skies suddenly turned gray, we were tired, and we never drove high enough to reach snow.  We decided to go back home and wait for the snow to come down to us.  It was a relatively quick trip, and we thought of many other reasons to come back.  It was a great date.  People come from all over the world to visit the Sequoia National Park, home of the biggest trees in the world.  We didn’t make it up that far today.

So if you come visit us, we’ll make the entire trip to the Sequoias without all the distractions because you will have seen them already.  Or maybe you’d like the distractions, too.

What do you think?  With or without distractions?


96 replies »

  1. Haha Marsha I just read the conversation going on with you and Ralph…… I don’t think he would be happy in my suitcase in between my jumpers …oh no it’s California, so in between my bikini and bras…… 🙂 He would look silly with it….


    • Hahaha! Ute, that’s even sillier than I would have imagined!! I’m afraid you are going to need jumpers, though. It’s not summer here, and our coast is not the Atlantic. You need a wet suit, not a bikini! You can wear your bikini under your wetsuit!!! hahha Well, some people DO wear bikinis – some people that shouldn’t that;s a fact. We were swimming in line to get on the snorkeling boat behind a fairly heavy mom in a bikini as she was going up the steps into the boat. Ugh!!! Not good. 😦 Marsha


      • I actuallly don’t wear bikinis any more….. but tankinis, as I love swimming. but I would go with the wet suit anyway….. and I shall bring my jumper 🙂


        • Much more comfortable, Ute. 🙂 I have a funny bikini story. I was about 21, living in Portland, OR. I was walking down a beach on the Columbia River with my boyfriend, Ron, a little embarrassed wearing my new blue velvet-like bikini. In the distance we could see some sunbathers, and they looked like men to my near-sighted eyes. I kind of hid behind Ron as we walked by them so they wouldn’t see me. After we got by them Ron LAUGHED at me! “Why are you laughing?” I asked. “You were so concerned that they would see you in a bikini. They weren’t wearing ANYTHING!” hahaha (And I missed it) He hadn’t told me we were going to a NUDE beach!!! Moral: Be comfortable in you suit – even if it’s your birthday suit. 🙂


  2. Oh my goodness…Sir and I are not so batty afterall, or are you one of us? Our cats and rabbits also yammer on and on. LOVED Kalev’s dialogue. I was also acutely entertained by the conversation of Ralph and lush, I mean, you, Marsha…really you are very bubbly without it, what drove you to it?! GROOVY post. I was teary at some points, especially at the photo of the half-raised flag, I knew instantly what it was for…And those glorious outcroppings reminded me of Scotland, and then the darling horsie, with that rugged, bare tree…what a photo. I was deslighted. These photos were so beautiful, your commentary charming, bubbly, sad and brilliant. The courage of the young woman, sharing her painfully-learned wisdome with the fourth-graders deeply touched me, and am sure may have saved lives. It also reminded me of a sad story about a 19-year-old named Nancy my mum knew. They went to swim at a place called Turtle creek. It was a boisterous gathering of about four girls, my mum included. Nancy clambered up the rocks and stood in the waterfall and leaped. This was a common thing to do there, though dangerous. She did not return to the surface…she had broken her neck and the powerful current kept her body at the bottom- my mum became frantic, they tried to find her to no avail…eventually she was hauled out by a hook. Terrible story…so I am so glad that in your story, though so sad, the young woman survived and was able to teach others about the importance of safe swimming. And I’ve gone on and on too long. I will tell you I adored this post. Sad, tragic (in reference to CT shooting…), triumphant, and terribly funny. P.S. I would dig the distractions. Reminds me so much of jaunts with Sir and I am always bawling, “OOOO look at that MUST stop Sir!” For me, Kalev was the snow in this post. And can relate to the burrs! The cats have had trouble with them. They can be nasty here, the burrs. Now, what a helpful ranger. I just LOVED this post, WELL done!!!! And awesome feature, have to check that out!!

    Autty Jade


    • Autty, thank you, thank you! Hahaha You know when I’m reading these comments I can’t see all the comments. So I forget what has been said when and where. You and Ralph are in competition with each other for writing the most comments on my posts, and I’m sure I’m the winner on both of your blogs. I live to write to make you two laugh, and then to laugh myself! V thinks I should do an Ask Marsha blog. I think we should all do a collaborative blog – Ask Toadie or something? What do you think? Sir can help write, too.


        • OK, Autty, it’s on. Ralph just passed you today with 55 comments, and you have 50, and Eternal Traveler has 45. So The three of you are head to head. We’ll see how it goes until the end of the year, then prizes will be awarded. And we’ll break out the champaign so Ralph can enjoy popping the cork. And we’ll pour all the champagne into Kalev’s bowl, and see what happens. hahaha 🙂


          • Ralph will have competition on who gets to pop the cork, as I am also exceedingly fond of that activity…A nice game of rugger would settle that. I’m very fond of rugby. I am told it is legal thuggery. Just my thing.

            Really, what fine commenters, there is no competition- I always throughly enjoy reading our Ralph’s and Eternal’s comments.


            autty j


          • So do I. My post tomorrow will alert them. Oh oh, Ralph was just here! Think I should tell him??? He will find out at midnight unless I change my mind, and upload my post sooner. I can’t wait!!!! It’s calling me, “Press PUBLISH!!!” What do you think? Should I do it?


  3. What wonderful pictures and trip you have made. It is great to see another country where others go for trips. Can I ask you , this girl who broke her neck jumping in the water, was that Joni Ereackson by any chance?
    And Congratulations to your next star!
    I loved your trip and the captions on the pohotos.


    • Hi Ute,
      No, Joni is much older than this woman, and I’m not sure where Joni lives. Joni actually came to the church I attended in Portland, Oregon about 37-38 years ago. What an impressive woman she is. Thanks for the nice compliments Marsha 🙂


      • I agree Joni is amazing I read all her books. She is an inspiration to us all. Over the holidays I will try and learn more about blogging so I can do more with photos etc, there is so much I don’t know. 🙂


      • That is a biggy Marsha. In some ways I wish I could, but we live in two different worlds, she is loving hers and I am loving mine. Two extremes of geography and life styles. But am I a one woman man, that is the question that I must face as I could fall in love with so many women …….. I must ponder this awhile ….


        • Right now, you are NOT a one woman man! You are the best man I know to play the field!!! You are a 100 women man. You are going to need to do a bit of pondering.


          • Yes, it’s a biggy, Ralph. A biggy! But unless the decision issue is eminent, then I say….Enjoy. You are the envy of every man who visits you!!! You are the king of Flirtville. The master of the trade, the harem chief. And think of the rest of US. Think of how you will be cheating us out of all our flirting pleasure if you suddenly become a ONE woman man. This is not going to be an easy pill to swallow!


      • I have thought long and hard about this decision that I must make about whether one woman is right for me to have beside me OR stay single and be alone with my advisor Star who is on my lap asleep after spending many hours advising my of my options, the pros and cons, the ups and downs and the answer I came to is tha………………………


        • ops. I see what you mean. That one did sort of fall off the radar screen at the wrong time. As you were saying, Ralph, “tha….
          Keep going! I won’t tell the rest of your lady friends!!! 🙂 Really, Ralph, I won’t! 🙂 Honest!!! 🙂 😉 Love you, Ralph, Marsha Lee


      • …….t if the time ever came that one woman out of 3.5 billion took the slightest bit of interest in me then I would walk with that woman and that woman alone but until then I just have to be myself alone with my two cats having fun with my local friends and my blogging friends


        • Oh Ralph, you have hundreds of women that express interest EVERY DAY! Whatever are you doing to fend them all off? You just have to sort through them, and Voila, there’s your woman. You are so lovable, I think you are just protecting yourself from the onslaught! Lots of love and hugs, Marsha Lee 🙂


  4. What a humorous post! I esp. love the inside voices in the caption. Ahihihihi …. Glad everything turned out fine. Love reading the adventure. And whoa!!!!! to the images by the way. I love the clear images. But I fancy that blurry image of the horse and the tree. Sequoia National Park is very high on my list.
    Ow, did you count my star that I gave you? I gave it out on my #192 post.
    And that darn spell checker blows big time!


    • Rommel, I did count your star, my dear friend!!! You were my first star!!!! Was my picture blurry? My eyes are so blurry about now that I can’t tell what’s blurry and what isn’t. And that’s with lasik surgery AND glasses!!! YIKES! Next time you drive up this way, stop by, and we’ll take you up there. It’s a great excuse to go take pictures. You’re one of the few that actually lives close enough to make it a possibility. Marsha 🙂


      • I’ll take the offer, Marsha. I’ll take what I can get as I hate planning my trip. If I go with you, then that means I don’t have to worry about where to go and other things. 😀 Thanks. Yes, I think I was the first to give you it, and you don’t even know it, huh!? How dare you!? 😀


        • Rommellllllllll I DID know it!!!!!! You’re right on my front page on the right hand side where all my awards are hanging. See your name? Also, you’re in the first paragraph of my first acceptance speech! I could never forget your star!!! You’re just reading so many blogs, you missed all my thankfulness! Speed reading, Rommel. SLOW DOWN!!!! You’re glossing over the good stuff!!! 🙂


      • Ahihihihi!!!! 😀 😀 😀 I’m the one who needs glasses! Eeeeek! And ow, that picture wasn’t blurry. I just needed to wait for it to completely load. Aaaah! Still looks darn great. 😀 Good thing you stop for it.


    • No kidding. I thought that V was going to have a heart attack over it. He was ready to head home immediately. I almost thought he’d rush her to the hospital!!! Whew! 🙂


  5. Love the photos! Congrats! I have also nominated you for he 2012 blog of the year award! So now you will have all six stars! I have also nominated you for the sisterly love award and reality blog awards!! Lol I havent gotten around to notifying everyone yet because there are so many nominees and I have been busy!


    • It does keep you busy when you get awards!!!!!! You are such a sweetie. I’ll just put my hook out, and whenever you get a bunch of awards, and you’re in a hurry, you can just hang them on my blog!!! I’ll spread them around when I can!!!! Hahaha. What big plans do you have for your birthday- other than coming to see me, that is????


      • Aaaw thanks Marsha!!! Haha hmmm… At the moment I’m trying to persuade mum and dad to go on a little trip! We are going to our neighbours place too to celebrate Christmas with a couple of their friends and I might see if we can go to our friends place and ride around on the quad bikes all day!!! 😀 and of course the online Christmas party! 🙂


  6. Lovely country Marsha. A great day out with your talking dog Kalev wanting to get off his lead, looking for snow while the Ranger was in shirt sleeves, ten ton pac man, a normal day in California then ? 😉 Ralph x


    • Pretty much! BTW Kalevala is ALL PRINCESS! She can’t believe that YOU of all people couldn’t tell that she’s a she, and that she THINKS that SHE rules the WORLD!!!!


      • Okay you win.
        Kalevala.??? Your Mum all through this post called you Kalev. Do you believe it ………. a boy’s name !!! You go ahead and rule the world, girl, as you will make a better job of it than all those human muffins in governments.


        • Ralph, can’t we both win???? Not that I mind winning, but you sound so disappointed, so I feel badly about arguing with you. Ok that was a lie. I love to argue with you. Kalev is the Hebrew word for dog, or my approximation of it. My friend who survived the Holocaust as a young child named her. Long story…


      • Yes,we both win 😀 No, just the opposite, I am happy to let a lady win !! She is a lovely dog, full of beans and happy. Your photos were great. Showed us around where you live. Nice.


      • As usual I have no idea what game we were playing, even a game at all, but who cares, you won anyway 😀 Drunk ALL the champagne !!! Oh come on, you must have a bottle hidden away somewhere ?? I only like popping the cork, you can drink the bubbly part


        • Well, Ralph, I don’t usually drink it either, since I’m pretty bubbly without it!!! Did I actually SAY I drank all the champagne? (ops, you weren’t supposed to read that!!!) I was saving it for your birthday. I don’t know what happened to it. I think Kalev got into it! She’s awfully sleepy today. hahaha Marsha 🙂


    • I must say, since meddling I could not restrain myself from doing, that, as a self-appointed magistrate residing over this champagne-sluiced, hallucination-swathed (talking dogs??), dispute, that I have come to the conclusion that a certain Marsha Lee has, indeed, won. That is, truly. Well, almost. Well certainly nearly perfectly, in a way. (Why am I always the one delegated as the one-man clean-up crew?? Corks everywhere…) P.S. really…Kalev, it is so obvious, is a lassie dog, clearly, but still, it can be corn-fused with Caleb…(this wax is a devil to get out of the carpet by the way…) Kalevala, that’s beautiful, and I’d love to hear more about that long story. Cheers,

      A. Jade


  7. Okay, is it just me, or did I miss the snow pics somewhere? I love all the images and account of your day trip (especially from K), but was curious if you ever found the snow????
    BTW, I would love the trip WITH distractions! Congrats on the star.


    • You didn’t miss the pictures of snow. It was probably up at 6,00-8,000 feet and we only made it to 825 feet. We decided to go back later in the winter.

      So come on over. We’ll do a little of both – distractions and Sequoia National Park!!


  8. I think it would be very interesting to stop and see all those places along the way. I was interested to hear how the water is being managed in that dam. When we had massive rainfall totals for the last few months of 2010 and then even more in the first two weeks of 2011, the company that manages the dam that services Brisbane let it fill to 200% capacity…how that can happen is beyond me, but it did. And of course they had to release it to prevent the dam wall from bursting and then the Brisbane River flooded terribly and it was a disaster. There has since been an inquiry and things should be different if we ever get that much rain again.


    • Wow! I’m sure that could happen here as well, but most years we don’t get nearly enough rain. It’s semi-desert here. Your story would make a great post!!! Sad, but great!


      • Loved your trip thanks for sharing sorry about your dog and the BURDOCK 😦 every now and then JT ends up with a few I work them out much to her dismay


        • Hi Treasure, As you can see, Kalev came out unscathed in the end. I think V was more upset than she was, truthfully! He is the one who amazes me because he didn’t like dogs, and when I brought her home, you would have thought WWIII was going to erupt over here in CA. Now – he is TOTALLY under HER power, and spoils her, tells me what I can and can’t do for HER good, sneaks her food under the table. You know what guys in love with their dogs do!!! That’s V X 100!! Thanks for reading and being a friend this year!! :Marsha)


          • Thanks Eunice!! Sorry I couldn’t remember your first name! I need to go read your blog. I’m at the end of my gigabyte month. They turn me off at 15 gigs per month, so I have to surf during free time between 12:00-5:00 a.m. I have trouble staying awake!!! Marsha 🙂


    • I feel your pain with questions on Dam Safety and WHO IS IN CHARGE we deal with the same plight each year in the name of fishing and boating 😦





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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