Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kern River Camping Trip - Part 2

Back for Part 2, I see :) Well, YAY! If you missed Part 1 of our Kern River exploration, make sure to check it out! I mean, there is a cute video of Walt the Wiener Dog swimming in the river! You should pop over just to check that out if nothing else!

Like I had mentioned in my post about "Being Okay With Rest/ Travel" before we left, Ryan and I had a couple hikes on the schedule for our camping adventure. We decided we would try and tackle two of them on Friday morning. We were hoping that some people were still at work, so the trails would be less busy.

But first, we had to get our EAT on, right?! I mean, we needed some nourishment if we were going to be hiking around in 100+ degree weather! Breakfast burritos were our meal of choice (complete with Morning Star soy sausages, red onions, egg, cheese and some Taco Bell sauce).


The first hike we went to was the Trail Of A Hundred Giants. There were mixed reviews about the hike. Some people said it was awesome and you got to see lots of the big sequoias, while others thought it was lame because it was more of a paved walking path than an actual hike. We both thoroughly enjoyed it though, especially with a wiener dog in-tow. (A quick word of warning - it does cost $5 to park at this spot - but it goes towards keeping the area clean! We knew about the fee before we arrived though, so made sure to have cash on us.)

Some of the shots from our phones

You got a little brochure when you parked that had facts that correlated with numbers along the path. Some told you about trees growing together, trees that had fallen, root systems, and even one that had a portion of the tree fall off and impale the ground. The only bummer thing was it seemed like at the same time we arrived so did a big party (or maybe a school bus) so we were having to jump around a bit to get around them, but other than that it was a lovely 2+ mile walk.

I was in the crack of a tree!


Why won't Walt cooperate with our photos?!

He is an adventure doggy!

The roots of a sequoia go out, in a maze formation, not down into the earth

It was great to have some of the path shaded. Really cooled it down!

Ryan thought there might be a Squatch in those woods...

I told Ry we needed to get Walt a Wilderness Explorer badge ;)


Just for a little comparison... This is the BASE of one of the trees that had fallen


We are so silly!


Obviously I had to sport my #WeRunSocial tank on the trip!

Again, the selfie stick came in handy to allow us to capture just a bit of these GIANTS!

About 10 miles further up the road was Dome Rock. Ryan had heard that it had some awesome views, so why not keep heading up the windy road?! There were definitely some great views, but not much of a hike. It was more of a climb up a rock - still cool nonetheless!

Tree lined streets are pretty magical!

The view from the top

I really have NO idea how people rock climb. It is SO scary to me!

These are "the needles" in the distance

I just noticed it, but doesn't it sort of look like the tree trunk of this picture
goes with the tree in the above picture? Okay, maybe not...

Even with the drought there is still some green

The valley

Maybe I decided to take a quick break with Walty ;)

By this time we were pretty much famished (so much so that we forgot we had actually put all of our food in the truck to keep bears away from the campgrounds and didn't realize we could have eaten at any time), so we made our way back to camp.

Along the way we saw this fence with locks on it

If only we had a lock we would have left it!

It reminded me of the fence they just took down in Paris, so
I wanted to get a couple pictures of it. Definitely NOT as covered
as the one they just removed, but still cool!

We got back around 2pm and gobbled up some PB&J's before heading down to the river. Oh yeah, and not only were we hungry, but the pup was TIRED! While we were busy taking pictures on Dome Rock, he would find whatever shade he could and curl up for a 10 second nap.

Walt in "some shade" snoozing while we were grabbing a selfie 

He LOVED the shade of the pop-up we had at our campsite (thanks Reef!)

Let me tell you, the river felt DELIGHTFUL after the morning of hiking (I think in total we probably did 3-4 miles, which doesn't seem like much until you factor in the heat, sun, and having a hiking buddy that has 4 inch legs).

We had some nice neighbors who let us use their pop-up and raft when they
were away from their camp for the day. 

Ryan carried Walt over to a further rock. Walt kept looking at me like he
wanted me to somehow help him back to shore.

Another day, another attempt at having Walt swim the river:

This is the life, right?!

Ryan ended up getting a fishing license from the local
party liquor store (sorry, you non-Michiganders have different
terms for those places) so tried his luck with some river fishing.

We stayed in the water for the majority of the afternoon, that is, until we got hungry again and made our way back up to our fire pit. Next up on the menu? Pizza.

Ryan manning the fire

It didn't look too bad, but it didn't taste great...

A little shot of our site (I can't believe we didn't take any pictures of our "arrangements")

As soon as he hit the chair, he was OUT!

I would say this was our least successful meal of the trip. The dough didn't necessarily cook all the way through (thankfully we brought some pita bread as back-up crust "just in case"), but Ryan ate it. And what's the ONLY way to wrap up a campfire meal?! With a s'more of course! Ours were complete with square marshmallows (did you know these were a thing?!) and Reese's cups!

Oh heck-to-the-yes! My favorite part about camping ;)



They were like cotton candy clouds!

The sun setting behind the hills across the river from us

When Ryan zoomed in on the camera you could even see craters!

And now Friday is in the books! Let's be honest, sleeping in the heat was NOT my jam, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do! At least we were safe from any rogue bears...

Okay, #RealTalk time, what are your thoughts on Selfie Sticks?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kern River Camping Trip - Part 1

As you know, the hubby, puppy and I went on a little camping trip this past weekend. We left Thursday morning and came home Sunday afternoon. We stayed at the Camp 3 Campground up in Kernville (about 4.5 hours north of Oceanside), which is located in the Sequoia National Forest. Ryan had been up to this area before (he takes an annual "Sasquatch Trip" with some guys and they stayed at another campground along the river for one of them), but this was my first time.


Obviously we took a TON of pictures (and even a couple videos) of our adventures, so I thought instead of overwhelming you, I would break them up over a couple posts. So, without further ado... HERE WE GO!

We got out of the house around 7:15am on Thursday morning (I was up at 5am so I could get in a 5 mile run and shower before we left). I grabbed a Suja juice for Ryan and I and we hit the road.

A BIG thumbs up to Suja for sending us so many amazing juices!

The drive was pretty easy. Obviously there was traffic (mostly due to construction and a brush fire that firefighters were able to contain the evening before) through LA, but nothing too terrible. We grabbed a quick lunch once we came through the grapevine (and just in case you were wondering - it was Taco Bell :) ). We stopped to get gas and ice when we hit Kernville since we knew it would be pretty desolate by the campgrounds.

We made it to our site by 1pm, set up camp, and realized they weren't joking about the triple digit temperatures we had been seeing on the weather apps. It was rather toasty, so once we got most things set up, we headed straight to the water! The river was probably 20 yards from our site, down some rocks and through some trees (close enough to hear the rushing water while we slept but far enough away to have a little privacy at our site).

Ryan was LOVING the cooler water!


Up the river (to the right of our site)

Down the river (to the left of our site)

Walt isn't much of a water dog, but we wanted to get him more comfortable in it. Ryan had taken him out on a surfboard in the Carlsbad Lagoon before, but for the most part he will only go into the water if he is chasing something (a bird or another dog) and once he realizes he is in there, he jets out. My mom got Walt a life vest for Christmas so we knew this would be the perfect place to test it out!

There was a nice rock that Walt used as a pedestal to watch Ryan as he floated in the river.
A couple times he would try and drink the river water and would slide off the rock into
the river, but for the most part he was like a goat and conquered rocks like nothing!

We spent most of the afternoon and evening on Thursday just hanging out in or near the river.

Ryan wanted a selfie stick for our camping adventure, and I have to say, it came
in handy! We were able to get a little more of the background in our shots ;)

This pup HAS THE LIFE!

Oh, selfie stick shadow ;) 

For dinner we made grilled cheese and corn on the cob. If you don't know, corn is my JAM! We both gave the corn two thumbs up a piece! YUM-MY!


We cooked the grilled cheese in the cast iron on the Coleman grill, but the corn
was done right over the camp fire!

Although we didn't get a full day on Thursday, due to travel, it was still pretty amazing!

An idea of the river from the site. There were a couple
trees and some big rocks to climb down, but it wasn't
too treacherous. 

And that concludes Day #1 at the river ;) All that activity helped us sleep well in the truck bed, but we were a little freaked out to keep the back window open (which was helping with the breeze). Our camp host mentioned that the week before there was a bear that came into the camp right at our site (I guess it was due to the guy cooking some very delicious shish kabobs that the bear wanted for dinner). Thankfully there were NO bear sightings that night!

Do you enjoy camping?