After a half day spent chasing down parts in Bakersfield, CA it was time to head out to our next destination. We had plans to visit family during this trip, as it had been years since we spent a considerable amount of time in California, so it only made sense to head north from Bakersfield towards Kernville, CA. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Kernville I highly recommend it.
Kernville during the winter months may not be a great destination, as most of the recreational activities that make the region popular for tourism, i.e. river rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, and other various water sports are on hold for the season. Yet, the small-town charm remains, with a small downtown park to stroll through, coffee shops to get your caffeine buzz, and greasy spoon restaurants that serve up some great breakfast fare ( I have to recommend The Cracked Egg Cafe. A great small town cafe with friendly service and great food. They also have a guest log for people to sign, and you can see people from all around the world have visited this little hidden gem!) It is also a short drive to visit the famous Trail of 1000 Giants, which showcases the amazing California Redwoods that if never seen in person, are worth the trip in itself.
Kernville has a variety of lodging options ranging from Bed and Breakfasts, old school motor coaches that have retained their 1950’s charm, to free camping on the beach of Lake Isabella. We opted to stay in a family members vacation cabin during this portion of our trip, as we had a bag full of laundry to take care of, and the thought of stretching out a bit sounded nice, although we would later regret this decision.
There are a few things that you must learn the hard way while adjusting to Vanlife. First, it is not always better to take up offers to stay in a friend or family members home. Why is that you might ask? Well we found that the process of transferring clothing, toiletries, food goods (as we were staying in a vacation home), all the stuff the dogs require, etc. a bit time consuming. In fact, after the second stay, which was yet to come, I vowed to never do it again. I am good with transferring laundry but the repack was just overly time consuming, and really negated any of the relaxation gained from merely sleeping in a house. I am down to hang out, do laundry, watch TV, stretch out. But from now on we are sleeping in the van and changing and getting ready in the van. End of rant.
We decided to spend 3 days and 2 nights in Kernville. We strolled through the park, visited family, enjoyed a few good meals and beer at the local brewery. Yes, this small town has a great little brewery The Kern River Brewing Co., I can recommend the Isabella Blonde. But the road was calling, and we decided that it was time to head towards the coast for some salty air and sandy beaches.