InterroLoop: Day 22 – King’s Canyon and Crotch Damage

There was a bit more snow in the camping area than I anticipated, but I’m glad I had the requisite gear anyway.  This is what the parking spot for the adjoining slip was like.


... which is sufficient for RVs.

I wasn’t sure that there was anything to photograph in King’s Canyon after watching more tourists miss the stupidly wide General Grant tree but I was very much happy to find that I was wrong.  The King river has carved an amazing canyon and the Depart of the Interior has done a wonderful job slapping a road into it.


Roadside View

I stopped three or four times for these photo ops and started to notice that after I’d pull into a turn-out other cars would start to do the same.  I wonder if anyone can start these touriswarms or if the dusty Matrix plus guy with a long lens on a tripod has some sort of secondary ability to attract people.  The mountain views were wonderful but nature kept intruding by growing over in areas that’d probably been cleared a decade ago to create nice views.  Now many of these photo spots had second generation growth that were taking full advantage of the clear growing spot and access to mountain runoff to greet the sun.

After finding the showers closed for cleaning after driving 40 minutes to get to them, I stopped for lunch at a waterfall surrounded by adventurous teens and people shielding their cameras from the wash of water.  My tactic was to hold the camera like a football until I found one of the nodal points where no water hit and then tried to take a burst of shots before the variance in the supplying water or the wind decided to drench me.  I think the method worked as the camera still functions and I got this.


This shot is a composite at 17mm, I was less than 10 feet from the main fall and well within the spray region.

I dawdled my way back to Visitor’s Center to see if they had a shower facility and spied a sign for “Panoramic Point”.  This kind of indication is a bit like crack to me and I took the sign “Caution: Road Icy” as a personal challenge.  I drove to the top and started walking up the snow-covered concrete trail towards the point but was confused by a fence that has foot prints on both sides of it.  I took the downhill route and was soon greeted with the crevasses generated by the heat of trees and noted the broken spots where it looked like people had slipped.  I cleared these by a solid foot but I suppose due to my size this was insufficient clearance as the ground gave way as I tried to move around a tree and I quickly found myself doing a split with my right leg dangled into a snow pit and my left looking like it was ready to do a high kick, also my pants were blown out such that it look like an M-80 exploded around my taint.  Stand would be out of the question so I decided to slide to more a stable area, meaning I’d have to avoid trees down hill as well as guard my camera and now blooded arm.   I shifted my weight and slid my right left over the edge of the hole creating new rents in my pants which were poorly designed to accommodate a large man doing a full split and began sliding down the hill.  I picked up more speed than I wanted so I reached out to gab a tree branch which broke off and took off a piece of my middle finger with it.  Stopping consisted of digging in my heels as I rounded another tree and using my left arm as a bumper.  I stood up, gauged the sartorial destruction, saw that despite being bloodied, nothing really hurt, and made my way to the top.  Not quite worth it when one considers the haze and junk damage.



I wandered down the hill and felt a throbbing in my arm and fingers.  The wet snow had quickly numbed my appendages when I fell and I was now experiencing the pain of my stumble.  The park first aid areas were closed and none of the public places had public running water to even wash myself.  I placed a call to a friend in San Francisco and he offered to take me in the for the evening and at 10 PM or so I arrived in San Francisco after trying to avoid flashing anyone at my fuel and food stops.  I now had 7 of every other article of clothing and only 6 pairs of shorts.  Hm…