The John Shinnick 58 California Counties 58 County Pledge
Right next to Fresno is Kings County. Kings Canyon National Park is not here. In fact, not much is here at all. There used to be a settlement here called "Kingston". It had nothing to do with the Kingston Trio, but rather was the point of a prosperous ferry that folks used to cross the Kings River until a bridge was built. Sort of the slide rule of its day. It was tough to find this plaque between 12-3/4 and 13-1/4 streets. I wouldn't lie about those street names. Worth it? Nah. Can you find something better in Kings? I saw this on 11-16-10.
With a name like "Shin Zen Garden", this was a must see, and on 11-16-10 I kinda sorta did. I used to think ill of Fresno until I found that several friends who either had lived there or currently did, thought it was great. As it turns out, they have a really big park, called "Woodward Park" which has within it a Japanese garden which I found on the internet. Sadly, after checking out the website, I failed to note that Shin Zen is seasonal, so I took a couple of shots through the locked gate and spent another couple of hours kicking around Woodward. It was still good fun, and I'm going to return to see Shin Zen this coming summer!
Tulare is where Kings Canyon National Park is, which is great! If there was justice, it would give Kings Canyon to Kings County because it would still have Sequoia National Park. This is me in said park, showing just how BIG General Sherman, the world's biggest tree, is. Both of these national parks are way worth seeing which I did on 11-17-10. "Biggest" here is defined by the estimated volume of the trunk. Sounds good to me. Kings, by the way, has #2, General Grant.
I'd been up and down highway 395 a few times but never realized that from it you get the best view of Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 at 14,505 feet. I took this shot from the front of the Comfort Inn in Lone Pine, Inyo County on the morning of 11-18-10. 395 is a great stretch of road, also running next to Mono Lake, also well worth seeing. Although the morning was as beautiful as this picture would indicate, I chose to save actually CLIMBING Mt. Whitney for another day. By the way, though the highest point in this picture, Whitney actually looks to be shorter than some surrounding peaks, but only because it's further away. Thanks to the folks at the Lone Pine Comfort Inn for pointing out which peak was Whitney.
I lived in Monterey County (Salinas) for over a year when I first moved from Michigan. There are GREAT places to visit like Point Reyes, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Nepenthe's Restaurant, but I'd visited them all several times before. For this pledge, I had to do something new. Clint Eastwood was for many years a business owner in Carmel, and thus became mayor. By all accounts, even the incumbent he beat, he did a great job as mayor. Anyway, although he sold the Hog's Breath Inn restaurant 3 years before my visit (11-9-16). I still had to stop by the day after we elected Donald Trump. Carmel is good for the soul.
44) SAN BENITO
Like Monterey County, I'd done much there was to do in San Benito County when I lived nearby - Pinnacles National Monument and the Mission San Juan Bautista are way cool. But Hollister is considered the earthquake capital of the world. And within Hollister? Dunne Park! Here you see the result of the Calaveras Fault. It's not all that dramatic and the park is small. I strolled around for, like, maybe 15 or 20 minutes and felt not one tremor. It is what it is. Or at least it was on 11-9-16.