black widow, california, campfire, kern valley, koa, lake isabella, s'mores, spider, VanDeCampSeesAmerica17
16 – 19 March 2017 at Lake Isabella/Kern Valley KOA
Heading from Anaheim into the Sequoia National Forest and southern Sierra Nevada mountains outside Bakersfield, CA was a change of scenery. We gained about 4,000ft of elevation – most of which Sherrie did without tow/haul mode engaged all the while wondering why it was struggling to stay above 45MPH.
Lake Isabella is fairly remote and boasts mostly white water rafting and mountain biking trails nearby. The remoteness focuses your attention instead on the beautiful high desert mountainous scenery and enormous sky vistas. At night, there is no nearby light pollution and wide open spaces which provided an unparalleled view of the stars. Of course, that wouldn’t be complete without a campfire and s’mores.
The Lake Isabella/Kern Valley KOA is small and family friendly. They have a great playground for the kids. Our kids gave it all thumbs up and spent many hours playing in the folly western town, wagon, slide, and swings.
Isabella, being the mindful child she is, always asks if there is anything dangerous which lives where we’re visiting. Here, we discussed rattlesnakes and black widows. She knows of rattlesnakes from Yakima but we had to describe a black widow, sure she wouldn’t need to know. Of course, she was the first visitor in 3 years to find one in the park 🙂
As with most of our stops, the kids make instant friends with other campers. Here, they met Casey with whom you could always find Lucas racing their bikes around the campground. Luckily, Casey also joined us for s’mores on our last evening – his first time making s’mores!
We spent half-a-day visiting the Silver City Ghost Town, which may be the only thing to really do for a young family nearby. Overall, it was a very relaxing site and a nice change of pace from Disneyland. Real camping in the mountains under the stars.
From Lake Isabella, we headed back to Anaheim for work meetings.