Monday, October 23, 2017

10/23 Hensley Lake Campground

I've been really lazy lately, staying here at one of my favorite campgrounds.  So what makes this one of my favorite places?  

First, it is a pretty place.  From my campsite, I can see the lake and dam, as well as look out on rolling hills.  Most campgrounds are laid out in rows on flat ground and are very boring. This one has some character. 

Also, you may have noticed the lack of campers.  That is the second reason why I like this place.  Today, there are four out of fifty campsites occupied.  That is actually fairly crowded compared to the times when I have been the only camper here. 

The reason?  Mostly, the lake level  has been very low for the past five years, so there is no boating.  The level went up in January and February 2016 after the heavy rains California had, but it is low again because a lot of water has gone to farmers.  It will fill up a bit in the winter and spring. 

There are three boat ramps on this side of the lake.  The one closest to us is unusable right now, but the car is parked on the ramp that is slightly lower.  I am told there is an even lower ramp.

These campsites are behind mine and below it.  No one here today, however.  But up on the hill and to the right of this site, there is someone camped.  Just cannot see them from my site, however. 

Another reason I like this place is that this is a Corps of Engineering campground, and as a senior with a federal pass, I am charged half-price, or only $15 per night for a site with an electric hookup. And the one I am on right now, also has a water spigot.  Corps campgrounds are not only cheap, they are also well-maintained and clean.  No trash on the ground and no crumbling asphalt roads.

These campers in the popup are the only human beings I can see from my campsite. It is so quiet here, I can occasionally hear them talking and hear a cow mooing in the distance.  I used my telephoto lens with this photo, so they are actually farther away than they look. 
Here is a neat trick the maintenance people use at this campground.  Notice that this trash can has a couple of small rocks on it?  Each campsite has a trash can, and last weekend there were seven sites occupied.  If you were collecting trash, you might not know which trash cans had trash in them.  To save time, the maintenance people put a small rock on the lid so that when someone puts trash in, the rock falls off.  So, when they drive around to collect trash every few days, they stop only at trash cans without rocks on them! 

There are a lot of cattle ranches in this hilly area on the east side of the Central Valley in this area northeast of Fresno.  Most have big, fancy entrance gates and huge homes.  Obviously, someone is making a lot of money on steaks!  Farmers in the more level areas just west of here also grow a lot of almonds, pistachios, grapes, and fruit such as peaches. 

I went out grocery shopping today and noticed this house with the grass burned around it.  This is a poor photo, but this is really a huge two-story house.  I suppose putting up with a burned yard is better than worrying about your home being burned down in a grass fire in these dangerous California days.  It will turn green again when it starts raining again in a few weeks. 

Here is another photo of the same house.  I can see it on the other side of the lake and you can see the size better.

PS, I drove past this house again as I left the campground today, and I looked at it more carefully.  It is apparently under construction.  I wonder if they burned the grass because they wanted to get rid of the old grasses prior to putting in a lawn??  I also considered that this was just plowed ground or something that was covering the future lawn, but it was not plowed.  For one thing, it was much blacker than the dirt is around here.  And it was clearly burned.  Maybe they did this because no one is living in it yet and no sprinkler system is installed in the yard???  Very strange, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write and take photos.