A Wild Ride

One peg in the founding of Clovis was short lived San Joaquin Valley Railroad talked about in an earlier post; Another is, the Fresno Flume & Irrigation District.
The construction of the flume to bring both water and lumber to the city was not an easy task. But, press on did Charles Shaver and his partners. 1890 saw the first attempt at building a means more efficient in transporting their lumber to the bustling and growing towns in the valley. Washed out by a flash flood they would not be stopped. In less than 2yrs a new V-shaped flume was complete. Descending 4,900 feet from Shaver Lake to the valley floor, it was an engineering feat.
Although it was designed to transport lumber to the mill in Clovis, soon the enterprising pioneers of the day developed a special boat to fit the new flume. The trip to Fresno usually took many rough and rocky hours by horse-drawn wagon. A tale by Cliff Field of Pine Ridge recalls a time when Shaver missed the stagecoach to the valley and decided to ride the flume down through this section, figuring he could catch the stage before it reached Tollhouse. He made the journey in 7 minutes, over a distance that normally took nearly an hour by stagecoach. Although he made it down faster than the stage, he regretted losing his derby hat which blew off during the wild ride.From [7] Johnston, Hank. The Whistles Blow No More. Trans-Anglo Books, Costa Mesa, CA; 1984; p.70.

Racing at great speeds through pine forests, across canyons and down sheer granite cliffs, the flume offered a much faster, although harrowing, ride into town…. And the first water ride in the area was born! As much fun as it sounds the ride was never available to the public.
Today we have Wild Water Adventure Park, the largest and wildest water park in Central California, near the beautiful town of Clovis, CA. Exciting rides, adventures and family fun await in the full “park like” atmosphere with tree lined, grass covered areas, perfect for barbecue and picnicking. Not quite the old flume ride Cannonball Shaver took, at Wild Water, there’s something for everyone in the family. That’s why the Fresno Bee awarded Wild Water Adventure park its People Choice Award for the last 11 years.

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