Labor Day Weekend – Kernville, Sequoia and Lake Isabella

Last weekend was Labor Day weekend in the USA, the bank holiday that traditionally signals the end of summer (we live in the desert so summer is not over yet). We made plans a few months ago to go camping again but as campsites over here book up so quickly we had limited choice.

Luckily we weren’t actually too bothered about where we went, we just wanted to go somewhere none of us had been before. I managed to find a campsite in the small town of Kernville, which is only about 2 hours from us and is right by the Kern River, Sequoia National Forest and Lake Isabella. It was also recommended as there is a great local brewery in the town.

What we didn’t anticipate was how hot it was going to be… Camping in 38 degree heat is definitely a different experience! We arrived early Friday evening and set up our camp, had dinner and tried to get an early night which didn’t exactly go to plan. The tent was roasting hot and Charlie was panting so much we all struggled to sleep. We were a bit worried about Charlie and tried lots of ways to cool him down which didn’t work, so we all only managed a couple of hours sleep that night.

Determined to persevere (there was a moment about 2am we contemplated driving home) we spent Saturday exploring the Trail of 100 Giants in the Sequoia National Forest. It is an easy walking trail through giant sequoias, and was perfect for a group of tired and hot campers. We had planned to do a bit more hiking this weekend, but it was just too hot, not only for us but for the pooches too.

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The trees were incredible though, I don’t think I have ever seen trees as big! Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so only managed to get pictures on my iPhone which I am now very disappointed about as it was such a photogenic place.

After an afternoon exploring the giant sequoias, we headed back to camp and took the pooches for a little swim in the river to cool down before heading to check out the Kern River Brewing Company for a few beers. I’m not a huge fan of beer so didn’t try of any the local ones, but they did have my favourite Belgian raspberry beer which I was very happy about. As we were all pretty exhausted we had another early night which was thankfully a couple of degrees cooler so we managed a few more hours sleep.

 

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We visited a local ghost town on Sunday morning called Silver City, which I am going to write a separate post about as I took quite a few pictures and it was fascinating. It looks like a film set but all the buildings are actually original. We stopped off at Lake Isabella on the way back to dip our toes in and take a few photos.

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The plan for Sunday afternoon was to get a couple of inflatable boats and float down the river so we headed back to get sorted. I’m not exactly sure why we thought this was a great idea with the dogs, especially when we were advised to wear life jackets and that there were a few rapids down the river… but we went anyway! It started off nice and relaxing, but when we hit grade III rapids in an inflatable dingy, clinging onto the dog so he didn’t fall out it was a little bit terrifying to say the least! At least our dogs can say they have been white water rafting, you know, in case they ever want to brag about it…

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We definitely needed a drink after that afternoon, so we headed back to the brewery for dinner and a few beers. It is so nice to find lots of places to eat and drink that have patio areas to be able to take the dogs, and they were exhausted so very well behaved which is always nice.

Monday was our last day, and after packing up the tents we had a little explore around Kernville. It’s actually a really lovely little town, with a few cafes, restaurants, bars and lots of antique shops. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the town before heading into the saloon bar for a drink and a game of shuffle board. It was a proper saloon bar with the swinging doors which made more excited than it probably should have done!

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We headed home in the afternoon, stopping off by the lake again to take some more pictures. I really wish I had my camera with me though! I think that is going to be our last camping trip out here as we have stuff planned pretty much every weekend until December, then it will be a bit too cold for camping and we are probably heading back to the UK before summer gets going again next year.

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We’re going to Palm Springs tomorrow for a relaxing weekend, I can’t wait!

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