National Geographic : 1966 May
stranger $40 that his pet frog, Dan'l Webster, could outjump all comers. While Smiley obligingly went in search of a frog for the stranger to match against Dan'l, the stranger prudently fed the champion a dose of quail shot, successfully ensuring his own victory. Every spring since 1928, Angels Camp in Calaveras County has marked the tale with a county fair and a Jump ing Frog Jubilee. Frog fanciers from all over the United States, and even from foreign countries, enter their favorites in the jumping tournament. The visitor who wishes to compete but who has no frog is invited to catch one in a pool stocked for the occasion. Officials guarantee that none of their frogs has been fed a diet of quail shot. Unfortunately, the guarantee says nothing about other handicaps. My borrowed frog, whom I hopefully chris tened "Paul Bunyan," thoroughly dis graced us both. In the three consecutive hops allowed by jubilee rules, he covered an embarrassing 4 feet, 71/2 inches. Later, after a frog by the less glorious name of "Hops" had swept the field with a creditable 14 feet, 8 inches, I asked a veteran frog-handler what Paul Bunyan's trouble was. He took a long look at Paul and another one at me. "Mister," he said pityingly, "the first thing you do is get a new name for that frog. If it was me, I'd pick 'Paulette' or maybe 'Gertrude.' She's expecting, and she's carrying half a pound of eggs." Some 40 miles to the southeast of Angels Camp lies a treasure far more dazzling and durable than gold. Yo semite National Park, another of Cali fornia's great magnets, attracts more than 1,600,000 visitors each year. Actually, Yosemite is not one magnet but hundreds of them, ranging from On a lonely strand, a curl of kelp garnishes froth-laced Point Sur beach. Other Big Sur beaches-isolated in high-walled coves-reward beach combers with jade, agate, jasper, iridescent bits of abalone shell, and moonstone smoothed by sand and tide. Residents value a greater treas ure: privacy in a wild symphony of sea, mountain, and sky. The seafront country was the sur,or "south," to the Spanish settlers of old Monterey. KODACHROMEBY TOM MYERS © N.G .S .