To get to the forest I need to go through Bakersfield. So I head through Santa Paula to the 5, and then over the Grapevine to the 99 to Bakersfield. From there we’ll head past Lake Isabella, through Kernville and into the forest.
The Grapevine is amazing. I’ve never seen it like this. Not just spring green, but areas that have always been very brown all year are covered with a green and yellow-brown that looks like velvet. So soft.
We’re following the Kern River northwest from Bakersfield.

I expected the river to be rushing, filled with snowmelt. But it’s higher than the normal channel.
I stop at Lake Isabella to walk with Sherman awhile, then head toward the forest.
We get to the Sequoia National Forest late Tuesday afternoon. At the boundary there is a Ranger Station. They’re closed. A ranger in the parking lot asked me if he can be of any assistance. I ask if I need any permits? No, just drive in and enjoy yourself–and, the road is closed about 25 miles in. There’s still 6 feet of snow in the passes. Ok. Thanks…
I’ve never been here before and don’t know the look or feel of the campgrounds. I drive by a couple, then through one. Not inviting. Near the river is nice. But flat and open. Like camping on a bad beach. I find Old Goldledge, a small 3 site camp by the river. It’ll do for the night.
Across the street is an old road that we walk up to look around.
Thistles just opening along the road.
There’s a small field near what looks like an old corral. I think that this could be an alternative place to camp.
No shade. But solitary, quiet and great mountain views.