Thursday, May 31, 2012


I drove southwest for twenty miles down country back roads lined with almond orchards from McConnell SRA to George Hatfield State Recreation Area. Hatfield is the last of the four San Joa-quin valley state recreation areas on the closure list, and like McConnell, will be remaining open.

Like McConnell, Hatfield SRA is on the Merced River and provides picnicking, fishing and swimming. It does not have camping facilities, but appears to more readily able to accommodate large picnic groups.

A Raven greeted me at the park entrance. The twenty mile change in geography had brought me to a slightly marshier environment, although the water fowl were completely absent on this early April afternoon.

From a financial, "save the parks" standpoint, Hatfield and McConnell recreation areas have essentially been handled as a single entity. Last week it was announced that enough money from a variety of sources was raised to temporarily keep both parks open.

In February Deidre Kelsey, District 4 Supervisor for Merced County, gave $2,500 of her special district funds as seed money for the Save Our River Parks group. Additional funds include $5,000 from the city of Newman, a $10,000 special district fund loan from Merced County and $20,000 from the State Parks Founda-tion. Several small donations from $20 to $100 also helped the group reach its goal.

But, this is just for the next twelve months. There is still uncertainty as to the fate of Hatfield a year from now. Merced County has kept open two favorite family recreation areas for another year, so get out there and enjoy them.

I hope to see you at the State Parks.


This blog is dedicated to the memory of my Father, who loved reading maps, exploring alternate routes, and taking the road less traveled.

Alvin David Dick
April 28, 1926 - May 20, 2012


  1. Lucy, first let me offer condolences on your loss. My name is Eliya, and my girlfriend Laura and I have been on a similar journey, which you can follow at We're up to 52 now. Not sure if we'll make it to 70, but it's been pretty incredible to try. It's great to look at your work to see the same places through different eyes. You capture those small details that I overlooked with my own lens, and you tell a wonderful coherent story of each place. Best of luck on your journey. As far as I know, there are only about half a dozen people doing this, and it's a lot of fun to see what we've come away with.

    1. Great going. Hope you make it. I LOVED the shot of the bird with the bug! Birds are a big part of these trips. What part of the state are you from?

    2. There is so much here in California to see. One of my favorite parks, because of my GGG grandparents is Columbia. Some of the ones you have been too, I haven't heard of and am eager to set forth and discover them. Great blog!

  2. Lucy, my condolences on your loss. From your brief description of your dad, it sounds like the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. Happier journeys.

  3. My condolences for your loss. From your brief description it sounds like the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Happier trails!


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