Kern River Camping

Sierra-8 kern

The “Kern” as ongoing campers call it, is a beautiful place to camp, fish, and raft. There are numerous campgrounds along the upper river and several designated free areas to camp along the river. The lower river also has a few campgrounds as well, but I prefer to talk about the upper section above the town of Kernville, California. As far as campgrounds along the Kern, I like limestone, Fairview, and Hospital flat campgrounds. They have the best shoreline and some shade at these places. When your talking about designated free areas I am disappointed to discuss it because several years ago you could camp anywhere along the river. The park service got tired of cleaning up all the trash left behind along the river. A group and the rangers imposed a law restricting camping to the campgrounds and 8 free small areas along the river. Now people are overly congested, camping on top of each other in these areas and they now can be policed by the Sheriff, Ranger, and Game warden . So much for a peaceful weekend along the Kern. Basically idiots have ruined it for everybody.

Camping reservations for the kern campgrounds can be made at http://www.reserveamerica.com

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Orvis
The Kern River is a river in the U.S. state of California, approximately 165 miles (270 km) long. It drains an area of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Bakersfield. Fed by snowmelt near Mount Whitney, the river passes through scenic canyons in the mountains and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and kayaking. It is the only major river in the Sierra Nevada mountain range that drains in a southerly direction.The river was named by John C. Frémont in honor of Edward M. Kern in 1845 who, as the story goes, nearly drowned in the turbulent waters. Kern was the topographer of Fremont’s third expedition through the American West. Before this, the Kern River was known as the “Rio de San Felipe” as named by Spanish missionary explorer Fr. Francisco Garcés when he explored the Bakersfield area on May 1, 1776. On August 2, 1806, Padre Zavidea renamed the river La Porciuncula for the day of the Porciuncula Indulgence. It was locally known as Po-sun-co-la until its renaming by Fremont.

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Calkins Flat designated camping area,Upper Kern River.

Sierra Trading Post


Ozark Trail 4-Person Dome Tent

This is one of my tents I take when camping solo or just two of us. It’s inexpensive and well made. It has lasted me many years so far. Ozark Trail is Walmart’s brand and it provides well made gear at affordable prices.

limestone-campground

Limestone Campground, Upper Kern River.

Kern Canyon, the deep canyon of the river northeast of Bakersfield, is a popular location  for fishing . Of particular interest to fisherman are the Kern River rainbow trout, the Little Kern golden trout and the California golden trout. The Kern Canyon is popular for camping, hiking, and picnicking. There are developed campgrounds maintained by the US Forest . All of the campgrounds are open in the summer months while only a few remain open year round. There are also some undeveloped areas off Mountain Highway 99 available for camping. I myself am a fishing addict, so I can’t wait to fish most of the time I’m there. Over the years I have caught plenty of fish.

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Fall Kern Rainbow Trout

I like to shore fish or wade in the water wearing waders when the river level and flow is low. Baits I use are nightcrawlers, and green powerbait. I also use rooster tail and Rapala lures.  I like to fish with the current or in deep holes found along the river. The biggest trout I ever caught on the Kern was a 4.5lb Alper trout that was stocked ,back in 2006 from a hatchery near Mammoth ,California that had a program with the state. I haven’t seen one that big since ,but I know they have big Brown Trout in the upper wild section of the river above the Johnsondale bridge. This area is accessible only by foot and has heavy fishing regulations to follow.

kern trout

Another Summer Rainbow

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC


Ready 2 Fish Trout Spin Medium Combo with Kit

If your new to fishing or just want to grab something quick to up there, get this trout fishing set up and some small treble hooks and green powerbait . This will do you fine and it’s not expensive. I always get my gear at Walmart or Big 5 and they have what I need. It also doesn’t cost a fortune to get started. I’ve caught huge fish on a cheap 30 dollar setup and the guy next to me with a 300 dollar rod and reel hasn’t got anything.

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Fresh Trout Dinner

Make sure to bring plenty of food, snacks and water. Don’t forget the beer, but as of this year the Kern river district has banned all glass containers making it a glass free zone, so bring cans or you may get a ticket. Here is the official Ruling.

Glass Ban: As of May 16th, 2016, the areas around the Kern River and Lake Isabella are subject to a glass prohibition by the Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. It bans glass food and beverage containers along the Upper Kern, the Lower Kern, all of Isabella Lake’s shorelines (to surrounding roadways), and for a circumference of 500 feet around the Johnsondale Bridge.
The new glass ban is another way the Kern River Ranger District will continue to improve the recreation experience for visitors to our beautiful Wild and Scenic Kern River and the shorelines of Lake Isabella.
The Forest Order with maps and specific descriptions of areas included in the glass ban can be found at any of the Sequoia National Forest’s offices.
For more information, or if you have questions about the ban, please call Tricia Maki, Kern River Recreation Officer, at 760-376-3781 extension 630. The Forest Order with maps and specific descriptions of areas included in the glass ban can be found here, or at any of the Sequoia National Forest’s offices.

I like to grill meats and fish when I camp. Hotdogs on the fire are great too. I bought this grill I love at Walmart and not only do I grill on it , but I put my skillet on there and cook a variety of things for breakfast and dinner.

Texsport Heavy-Duty Camp Grills

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Fairview Campground site 15, Upper Kern River.

RAFTING ON THE KERN

An award-winning outfitter known for exceptional service and running carefully structured, exhilarating rafting trips with a crew of well-trained guides. Their goal is simple: Provide you with a whitewater rafting experience that is so much fun that you will return for another trip with Kern River Outfitters.  http://www.kernrafting.com
One of the primary outdoor activities to the Kern river valley is whitewater rafting. Short trips, one and two day are available on the Upper and Lower Kern river. The Upper Kern rafting season is generally from late April through early July and the Lower Kern rafting season is from Memorial Day weekend through early September. Flows change on a year to year basis depending on the California snowpack.

Two day rafting trips
The Lower Kern river offers a 20 mile, two day rafting trip, starting below Lake Isabella dam. Kern rafters enjoy miles and miles of fun class II, III, and IV whitewater.

One day rafting trips
Full day Kern river rafting trips are available on both the Upper and Lower Kern sections of the river. The advantage of a Lower Kern one day trip is that the rafting is uninterrupted, meaning you get on and off the bus just once. The advantage of the Upper Kern full day is that there is plenty of road access, meaning you can pick and choose the most ideal sections of river to raft on.

Short rafting trips
For those tight on time, shorter Kern rafting trips are available. These include a half day and a 2 hour trip.

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Check out the Kern, you may fall in love. With so much to do and see, the Kern is a special place to my family for many years and many years to come. Until next time here on campingandfishing.org

 

Tent care tips

Sierra Trading Post
Besides buying a good quality tent,follow some basic guidelines to keep your tent in good lasting condition. Thanks to our sponsors from Sierra Trading Post, this video will help discuss these key points.

Depending on the amount of people or extra space you need, determines the size of the tent you want to have. I like to get one a little bigger than my head count to provide extra room for storing stuff and to be able to move around a little more. I have four people that sleep in my tent, so i get a six person tent. I prefer Coleman tents. Coleman is a trusted  brand and has been used by my family ever since I was a kid. There are other good brands as well but prices vary.

Sundome 6 Person Tent
This Coleman 6 person Sundome tent is the tent I have. It is really durable and has held up in rainy weather. Other Coleman dome tents are also a great choice. There are some newer ones that are of just the same great quality.

Coleman Cimmaron 8-Person Modified Dome Tent
The Cimmaron is a larger 8 person domestyle tent that is roomier and longer. This tent looks sharp too in it’s bright red color.You have room to stand up in this tent and it has a weather tech system like most coleman tents to keep out the bad weather.

Coleman 8-Person Double Hub Instant Tent
This Coleman 8 person Instant tent is a breeze to set up. My parents have one and they love it. It is really roomy inside and you can also stand up in it. It also has a weather guard system and is made of poly guard fabric to stand up in the elements.
Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

ALPS Mountaineering Gradient 2 Person Backpacking Tent
If you don’t need a big tent,get a backpacking tent. They are small rugged and lightweight. Alps Mountaineering makes high quality backpacking tents. Backpacking tents usually are going to cost a little more money based on the materials and alloys they use to make the frames lightweight. Walmart and Target do have 2 person tents for around $30 that will do the job, but these tents will last longer and can be used if your hiking.

ALPS Mountaineering, Taurus Tent, 4 Person
Another Alps Mountaineering tent the Taurus 4 person tent is really rugged with special flys and zippered doors. It also has a weather system to survive the storm.

Ozark Trail Heavy-Duty Tarp, Silver/Brown
The video refers to using a footprint to put under the tent to add protection to the tents floor. Unless you are backpacking and need a layer exactly the shape of your tent for weight purposes, Get a tarp. Tarps are cheap and can be placed under the tents floor for great protection and it won’t kill the pocket book.

Follow these  basic guidelines and your tent should last a long time. So get that tent out of the garage and check it out. You may to clean it up,repair it, or you may need a new one.  Remember to have the right gear you need to enjoy the outdoors. Until next time ,here on campingandfishing.org

Camping checklist

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Extra 15% off at Sierra Trading Post with code ALWAVES6. Valid through May 4, 2016.
It’s that time of year again to get ready for summer camping. Whether your going alone, with friends,or family,you have got to have the right gear you need. What you bring depends on a lot of factors. Location and climate play a roll. Always prepare for rain and cold weather even in the summer while camping. So bring rain gear and cold weather clothes. A tarp isn’t a bad idea either ,it can be used as shade or a rain shelter to cook under etc. The amount of people who are going does affect how much and what you bring. Pets also need gear too. Car camping let’s you bring more gear of course than if you were backpacking your gear into a site via a trail. Any recreational activities being enjoyed also determine what gear to have. A kayak or fishing pole may be on the list to take with you. So I have devised a list of basics and a few cool items to take with you on your next trip into the outdoors.
1. A tent. Pick a tent that fits the number of people you plan on having in your tent with you. I always get one a little bigger than my headcount in my family to have some storage .
This Sundome 6 Person Tent is the one I have for my family and I. We really like it and we are happy with the quality of Coleman tents. Ours has lasted for several years now. If you need a smaller tent they have a Coleman Sundome 2-Person Dome Tent  which is smaller but also works well if your hiking.  For those big families that all want to sleep together you need an 8 to 12 man tent like the Ozark Trail 21′ x 10′ 3-Room Instant Tent with Awning, Sleeps 12, Red


Ozark Trail is Walmart’s brand. It is great quality at a low price. I have a 2 person Ozark Trail tent I use for backpacking that I love.
2. A good sun canopy is great to have. You can use this to cook under if it rains if you have to.  A canopy has saved several of my trips in the past. They are also great to rest at the end of the day under and have a cold drink in the shade. The Trademark Innovations Lightweight and Portable 10’x10′ Canopy Tent Is affordable and available in several colors.
3.Sleeping bags vary on climate and user preferences. Coleman,Tetonsport,and Kelty  make quality bags at reasonable prices compared to other high end bags. My wife uses the Coleman Brazos 75″ x 33″ Rectangle Sleeping Bag Navy/Beige 2000004419 its a 30 degree bag and works well in the mountains in the summer.

Coleman Heritage 84″ x 40″ Rectangle Sleeping Bag Navy 2000008710 This bag is a bigger bag for tall or wider people like me. I really like Coleman bags ,Lanterns and tents. They have been a family tradition for me since I was a kid.
3. A sleeping pad or an air mattress really makes the night more comfortable both in warmth and hardness on the back and neck. The INTEX Pillow Rest Classic Full Bed Inflatable Airbed Air Mattress w/ Pump is a brand I use and is affordable and has lasted me for several years.If your backpacking or just want a pad rather a mattress the ALPS mountaineering pad is great. Pads are expensive and range how light you want one to carry.

ALPS Mountaineering Summit Sleeping Pad – Regular
4. A pillow. Bring one you don’t mind getting abused. I like to use a flannel pillow case.
5. A multitool like the LEATHERMAN 832132 Multi-Tool, Silver, 12 Tools can handle all sorts of projects around camp or on the trail. I even take mine fishing with me.
6. A knife. I usually bring several with me camping for different needs. The Morakniv Clipper 840 Knife – Straight Edge, Fixed Blade

This is a great knife for bushcraft meaning ,doing things around camp. The Mora knife is from sweden and was made as far back as the 1800’s. It is used by their military still today. The carbon steel blade can be used with a flint to start a campfire. I also bring a big survival knife ,which is military issue, for large jobs and protection. K-bar has been making combat knives forever.The United States Marines recognize a superior knife when they see one. The Ka-Bar USMC Serrated Edge Knife 5018

And lastly I bring a good fillet knife for preparing the fish only. Keep your knife sharp at all times. This knife comes with a sharpener which makes it easy.


7. A good axe is needed  to chop kindling for the campfire and do other tasks around camp.This axe really gets the job done. Condor makes excellent knives and axes. Especially primitive bushcraft knives.
8. A backpack. Whether you need a daypack for short walks around the lake or a 55 liter hiking pack,High Sierra has got you covered. They make quality packs at low cost.

high sierra daypack 4

High Sierra
9. A camp chair. I have a nice big guy chair that I love. I was tired of the other chairs I had that were uncomfortable.Coleman in general makes good quality chairs.

10.Headlamps and flashlights. A good headlamp like the Coleman 2000021027 Axis HP LED HeadLampkeeps it bright while you do chores or hikes at night. As far as a flashlight ,I like Cree type lights ,the technology is brighter than LED lights and is compact. Lumintop has a great variety of lights to choose from.

And top of the line 800 lumen super bright cree light from Nitecore,it’s more expensive but superior to all cree lights.

11.Lanterns. By far the Coleman lantern is the best propane lantern out there for camping. It is an icon of the outdoors. The propane lanterns are a lot brighter and last longer than battery powered lanterns. The propane bottles can be interchanged with the Coleman camp stove as well. This one has a nice carrying case. Also bring extra mantles.

12.Water filter and water tablets. The Sawyer water filter is the one I have and I’ve drank river water for a week while hiking and love it. Sawyer makes a great product at inexpensive prices compared to other filter systems.

13.A stove.  A great camping stove like the Coleman 2 Burner Triton Series Stove 2000012034 gets things cooked fast. It has two burners to do the job. A Coleman griddle fits the stove perfect, to make pancakes and other delicacies. The one I’ve had for years has done the job well.Don’t forget extra propane bottles and matches.
14.Camp fire grill. I use the Camp Chef Lumberjack Over the Fire Grill to cook meals in my skillet or grill meat.It folds up easy to take with you. I like to wrap mine in a trash bag so I don’t make a mess in the car while traveling.
fish fry
15. A skillet,pots,and pans. My Camp Chef 20″ Lumberjack Skillet really is nice and home cooked meals in camp. An iron skillet lasts forever. Remember to not clean it with soap you can use sand or salt and water to clean it with a scrubber. I also preseason it each time after cleaning with cooking spray and heating it up on the camp stove.
16.A Dutch oven is another great method of camp cooking. It is like a camping crockpot. The Camp Chef 10″ Deep Dutch OvenI have ,I really like and I make all kinds of recipes in it. Cookbooks are available for Dutch oven cooking like this book I have; The Wilderness Guide to Dutch Oven Cooking . Follow the same process to clean and season just as the skillet. And don’t forget your food ,and drinks your going to bring. Put that on a separate list.
17.Kitchen accessories like paper towels ,cutting board,cooking utensils,ziplock bags, aluminum foil,a can opener/corkscrew,pot scrubber and camp soap are good to have in camp.A good coffee pot is absolute like the Stansport STN11230B Enamel 8-cup Coffee Pot With Percolator & Four 12-ounce Mugs . Splurge a little and bring some starbucks ground coffee. Nothing like a cup of joe lakeside.
A cooler is another item necessary on the outing. I bought a Coleman 54-Quart Steel Coolerand I love it.The cooler is made out of steel belted radial tire material and it keeps the ice cold for 5 days. I have had it for 7 years and nothing is broken,The thing is tough. Mine is stainless ,but they come in several colors all steel. All you need is the Ice.
owens river camp
18.A camping table set is an awesome thing to have. Everything you need to eat with is all there for the entire family. Both Stansport and Coleman make a great set. The enamel stone finish is tough.

19.Personal items like toilet paper,shampoo,toothbrush and paste,lip balm,sunscreen and insect repellant are just a few items to take.Don’t forget any medications you may need.A good first aid kit is essential to any outdoor adventure.

20. A camera or camcorder works ,most people use their phones nowadays.
21.Binoculars come in handy in the outdoors.Get a good pair and you won’t be sorry. They can be used to enjoy the beautiful scenery or view wildlife.

22. Maps,guidebooks,magazines and books are nice to take along.A notebook ,pen and pencil are nice to write memoirs. A sketchpad is a great idea,to draw the surroundings. Don’t leave your camping reservations at home either.
23.Pet needs. Pets have to have things too like toys,pet bed,food,a leash Maybe a stake ,and water.
24.A good radio to listen to music or the weather conditions is a sound idea.
25.If you have kids then you might want to invest in these.I have them and they work great to keep in contact with my son while he plays close to camp.

Motorola MS350R – 35 Mile Range Talkabout 2-Way Radios, PAIR

26. A deck of cards,games,water toys,kites,and a hacky sack bring enjoyment to camp.There is nothing like a good hack and a cold drink at the end of the day.

Hacky Sack – Alie (Colors Will Vary)n

At night a star gaze map,hot cocoa, glowsticks for the kids,and S’mores really are a big hit.Don’t forget a coat hanger or a marshmallow roasting stick.
27.Clothes and footwear. Remember to always bring warm clothes and rain gear to the mountains even in the summer.A good jacket will keep you warm at night.

A good sweater or sweatshirt is also a great idea. Bring pants and shorts,but don’t forget the swimwear. Wool socks are a good choice even in the summer they work fine. I wear Long underwear at night to sleep warm. A good hat is hard to beat. Ballcaps work great. A beanie also keeps you warm at night. I love my boonie,it keeps the sun off me.
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Fishing Hunting Bucket Hat Boonie Outdoor Cap Washed Cotton Military Safari Summer Men – Land Camouflage
Footwear is a personal choice, but I prefer hiking shoes. They protect my feet and give me a good footing on the rugged terrain.  Merrell makes great footwear and is lower in price than other great brands.

I also bring a solid pair of outdoor sandals. They do me just fine. They are great around the water and I’ve even worn them swimming.

28. Recreational items are needed depending on the type of activities your going to enjoy on your trip. I always bring Fishing gear when I go camping.Walmart seems to have the best prices on fishing poles and tackle. I rarely spend over $30 for a rod and reel and I catch just as much fish as the guy next to me with the $200 set up. Don’t forget the powerbait and lures.

Daiwa D-Shock 2-Piece Spinning Combo 7′ DSK30-2B/F702M

canoe
29. Kayaks and Canoes are a great way to explore the water while on a trip. Walmart has nice kayaks at low prices that won’t cost $800 plus out of your wallet.Remember to always wear a life jacket.
Lifetime, 9’8″, 1-Man Boyd Sit-Inside Kayak, Yellow, with Bonus Padded Seat Back

30. Mountain bikes are also popular in the outdoors. There is nothing like zipping around the trails on a bike in the woods. Take a backpack along and a water bottle. Don’t forget to wear a helmet.

26″ Mongoose Men’s Maxim Mountain Bike, Green
So whether your going a week ,or going a weekend you have to make a checklist to see what you have and what you need. Don’t be unprepared in the outdoors. Put things together early and you’ll be glad you did. Your next journey outdoors awaits. Until next time here at Campingandfishing.org.

Walmart onboard with campingandfishing.org

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Walmart.com – Homepage

Americas leading retailer,Walmart has joined the campingandfishing.org team. We now can provide outdoor gear at rollback prices. Whether it’s a tent,fishing pole,or chairs they got you covered.


Ozark Trail 14′ x 14′ Instant Cabin Tent with Private Room, Sleeps 11, Green

Ozark Trail,Walmart”s brand, Is a quality outdoor equipment at a lower price. I personally have an Ozark Trail 2-man tent,That I use backpacking that I love.walmart outdoor products

Ozark Trail 4-Season 2-Person Hiker Tent

So check into their gear.They make anything from stoves,tents,chairs,canopies,you name it,they probably make it and you can save money.


Ozark Trail 9′ x 7′ Dome Tent, Sleeps 3-4

For years I’ve bought outdoor gear at Walmart and have saved money. I really like their fishing poles. I rarely spend over 35 dollars on a rod and reel combo. I have a stove from there.I’ve gotten Chairs over the years.My tent I mentioned earlier is great. Knives,paracord,propane,lanterns,and countless fishing tackle are just a few of the many items I purchase from Walmart. Campingandfishing.org would like to thank Walmart for providing the contract to advocate quality low price gear and joining us in the wild as we explore the outdoors.

Rock Creek,CA Camping Trip

High Sierra

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I decided to go somewhere new this year, and I decided to go to the Eastern Sierras, they are beautiful. Mountains, hiking trails, creeks and lakes to fish, and lots of places to camp are only a few things the Eastern Sierras have to offer.

So now I’ve got to make a checklist and see what I have and what I need for the trip.You can print a checklist off of the web on sites like Coleman and REI, or just form your own custom one. Here are just a few basics to cover; A tent,a good decent tent. This is the tent I have, I like it and it has been reliable for several years.The best thing about it is it doesn’t cost a fortune the Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent

 

tent
Sierra Trading Post
They also make a 4 person version. But if you need a bigger tent for a large family, I recommend a cabin tent. Coleman also has nice cabin tents like this Coleman 8 person instant tent  

My parents have one.  It’s nice and easy for them to set up.

rock creekSo going up to the Eastern Sierras, it is still cold at night – even in July and August. You need a good sleeping bag. I learned this the hard way by having an old cheap 50 degree bag. So this year I got a new bag and I love it. It is not expensive, not like some of the bags you see for two and three hundred dollars – it is the Outdoor Products 20 degree sleeping bag.This bag is big – I’m a big guy at 6′ over 200 pounds- and I have a hell of a time finding one that is not too tight.

long lake

The last basic item I’ll bring up is a cooler. You need a good cooler if your staying somewhere for five days or more. A cooler that holds the ice from melting.  I had this old cooler that was terrible and the ice melted after 2 days. But my wife and I got a cooler for a wedding gift from her brother that I have to say has been the best cooler I’ve ever owned. It’s durable and keeps the ice cold for a minimum of five days. I’ve had it for 6 years and it still is great, no broken parts. It’s the Coleman 54-Quart Steel Cooler
I know what your going to say, it’s a little expensive. But it is worth every penny, I swear by it. It’s steel and almost bullet proof.  It is insulated with a steel belted radial tire material and the hinges and latch are rugged and have lasted me 6 years so far.

So enough about talking about gear, let me talk more about the Rock Creek Lake area.  The campground we stayed at is called “East Fork.” It is reservable on Rec.gov or http://www.reserveamerica.com The area is just above the town of Bishop and south of the town of Mammoth  along Highway 395 in California. The campground sits along Rock Creek which is shown in the picture above earlier. There are shady spots throughout ,but the best ones I noticed were along the creek. The sites were big and more shaded along the creek. This area is Bear Country and which I mean Bears came into the campground every night we were there. They had broke into a rented trailer window, got in and also raided a campsite a few doors down and ate all the people’s food as they were unloading their car before they could put it in the bear boxes that each site has.bear

This was the bear. The camp host named her Cinnamon and she’s been coming to the campground for 3 years . I don’t know why they haven’t relocated her so no one gets hurt, including the bear, but anyways we didn’t have any trouble. We kept our site clean; food and trash stored in the bear box along with no FOOD in the tent. I also had a big can of bear spray I carry attached to my hip.

The campground was great overall and the fishing was good all along the creek near the campground. I heard it was really good with a few beaver ponds up the creek with deep pools but I never made it there having to keep an eye on the kids, especially with potential bears around.fish stringer

Anyways I can’t complain. I caught some fish, we ate them for dinner and enjoyed the campfire.  Our family really had an amazing time and we truly appreciate nature. We came home refreshed and craving our next experience together. A future story I have in mind is the hike we went on during this trip from Rock Creek lake into the wild John Muir wilderness so be sure to check it out.

Thanks,

Joey