Moving on – to Porterville, CA

10/20/15  (Tuesday) in Porterville, CA (Tule Recreation Area – COE)

As you may have gathered, it’s been a really quiet week. We largely spent it reading, watching TV and some watercolor painting. John played golf once (not happy with his score, but he did have fun). We experienced heavy rain one night, some more during a couple of days. That was nice, they need it so badly. We got into cooking on those rainy days; corn muffins and meatloaf with gravy. The campground beckoned us for walks some of those days. I did get ambitious enough to clean all our windows and screens as well as lube the entry steps.

Today we’ re traveling to a campground that will give us access to a couple more national parks: King’s Canyon and Sequoia. All of the route is on state highways going south: 41, 99, 190. We didn’t get to see the big Sequoia trees in Yosemite because they’d closed the Mariposa Grove and the other trees were a long drive beyond the Valley, followed by a long steep hike. Since we knew we’d be coming to these parks, we nixed the smaller Sequoias we could have seen in Yosemite.

Hwy 41 seemed primarily to be in “Gold Country”, hilly, where the grasses are brown, with trees and cattle strewn about. Near Fresno there were other kinds of ranches: orchards and vineyards. Then SR 41 became a freeway through Fresno, where we turned off onto SR 99, also a freeway at this point. Decent roads too, until we were further south on SR 99 (patched, bumpy). After Selma, they were good and smooth.

This COE campground is large – 104 sites, with water/power (30/50) for most sites. Maybe because Success Lake is so low, or because we’re out of the way, there are only a few campers here besides ours. No one was at the registration office, you just complete the fee envelope, put your money in, then drop it into an iron box. We found a great spot, pull through, under the shade of several trees yet facing the TV satellites, with 50 amps. Great, efficient, neat bathrooms and showers. The bad news: NO cell phone service. We ARE out in the boonies. No WiFi available either. So it means a three mile trip to a gas station to manage any communications. Maybe that’s why it’s so empty. Also, Visalia is a closer access to the National Parks.

The view from our coach to our neighbor’s.

camp 1

Just steps away from Miss Journey is a view of our surroundings.

camp 2 copy


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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