When you think of California, especially the Central Valley where Andi lives, a lot of people think "drought" and "dry." That's true today. People and crops just suck up all that water. But in the 1800s, the Central Valley was quite wet in many places. The largest fresh-water lake west of the Great Lakes was Lake Tulare--not too far from Fresno, south and west. Lots of rivers and creeks ran down from the mountains, turning part of the valley into swampland. One of those places has been preserved to this day so people can see what the dry Valley was really like so long ago: The Kaweah Oaks Preserve.
|The strip of forest we have to go around . . . or through.|
There's plenty of water for the cattle . . . and did I mention mosquitoes? Oak trees covered with wild grape, willows, sycamores, blackberry, chokecherry, and more trees hide the wildlife: coyotes, bob cat, racoons, lizards, vultures, herons, and other birds, plus insects galore (plus mosquitoes).
|One of the many rivers and creeks that dump into the area|
|Can't you just SEE mosquitoes breeding here? :-(|
|A nice flat, clear area to set up camp. The cattle are on the other side.|
|Oak trees hanging over a creek|
|Here I'm looking straight up. The oak trees form a canopy.|