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Campsite Photo Trip - Summer 2012

Folsom Prison Blues

Greg visits Humboldt Redwoods State Park to gaze upon the majestic redwoods, and then gets a glimpse of the devastation in Northern California on his way down to Folsom Lake State Recreation Area:

I only stayed for three nights in Humboldt Redwoods State Park as I needed to charge up all my batteries and process a bunch of photos. I had heard that was power here in the bathrooms but there was not.

I cruised down the Avenue of the Giants approaching the campground.

Redwoods-4 Redwoods-2

They are so majestic and otherworldly. Almost mystical.

I was the first to arrive at 9:30am and set up camp in a nice sunny spot.


We had a potluck dinner on Saturday night and I headed out early the next morning.


Northern California is basically on fire right now and my planned route along CA 20 heading east had just reopened. This fire is in the vicinity of Clear Lake, CA. The hills were still smoking a bit but the crews were keeping a close eye on things. Below are some photos from the highway.

Clear-Lake-Fire-3 Clear-Lake-Fire-1

I was heading to a Thousand Trails campground at Lake Minden which is 20 miles south of Yuba City. I passed by Sutter National Wildlife Refuge and the Feather River.

Sutter-Sign Feather-River

I was the only one in the tent area of the campground and since it was a bit warm they put the sprinklers on for me.

Minden-Campsite-3 Minden-Campsite-1

On Tuesday I went and visited Beals Point Campground in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Nearby is Folsom Prison where Johnny Cash played two shows on January 13, 1968. His song Folsom Prison Blues contains these memorable words:

"When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don't ever play with guns,"
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die."

Folsom-Prison-Sign Beals-Point-Sign

Folsom Lake is considered Sacramento’s backyard. It’s a very popular place year round with good fishing in the spring and fall and water sports all summer long. The campground has a tent loop and an RV loop. Since I was there midweek in mid-August with the mercury hitting 105 degrees it was not that crowded.


There are a variety of campsite layouts here ranging from pull throughs to spurs to walk-ins.


In fact, campsites 35, 36, 37, and 38 are on their own small loop and would make a great place for a family reunion or group outing.

The day use area has beaches and a snack bar. The water was low so the beach was huge.

Beals-Point-Beach Folsom-Lake

Last night nature put on a little show for me. At dusk small flies and some mosquitos showed up. Then a huge herd of dragonflies arrived and began feasting on them. That was soon followed by birds (looked like swallows to me, maybe swifts) chomping on the dragonflies. At one point I swear I saw a dragonfly munch a small fly and immediately be eaten by a bird. Much better than television.

Regards, Park Ranger


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