When we headed out for our family trip to Bass Lake, up a little north of Fresno at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, my sister said she wanted to stop at the Indian casino along the way. She verbalized the name Chuck Chancey Casino and I thought, what a perfect name for a casino. Chancey is catchy and gives one hope of gambling and winning! It wasn’t until we drove by that I noticed it was the name of the Indian tribe…Chukchansi. Well, after I laughed at myself, I became curious about the tribe. Obviously, I had never heard of the Chukchansi Indians before.
But they have been around over 12,000 years living in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierras very near the small historic towns of Coarsegold and Oakhurst. They were hunters, farmers and gatherers. In 1849 during the Gold Rush, anthropologists grouped them along with sixty tribes with similar cultures and languages, but with different dialects in what was called the tribes of the Central Valley. They were known as the Yokuts, but there is no one tribe that goes by that name. “Yokut simply means “people”.
Unfortunately, their plight was no different than many other tribes, whose population was decreased by disease and displacement. Our government provided them “Rancherias”, small parcels of land with which to live, but without the benefits of a reservation, thus many tribal members reside in the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi. After a class action suit in 1983 the Chukchansi became a federally recognized tribe. They remained landless until recently and have made great strides in keeping pride and stability to their heritage.
Today, the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino is celebrating their 10th anniversary.
From casinos to glamping, our trip had a bit of everything. Here’s a few pictures of Bass Lake, the patio boat we rented, the views and fun we had! We used to go to Bass Lake almost every summer when our kids were younger. It was a tradition to camp in tents and rough it a little. Now, we are reviving the old traditon with our expanded family, only this time in a glorious cabin with flat screen TV’s, dishwashers and full bathrooms. Twelve of us and two munchkins made the trip, and hopefully we can do it again next year.
What are your plans this summer? Are you a beach or mountain kind of vacationer? Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Post a comment to win a $10 Amazon Gift card! And be sure to check out my June release, Sunset Seduction.