You lucky bastard! (Kernville)


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Published: July 23rd 2009
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Ah, CaliforniaAh, CaliforniaAh, California

When I think of California, this is what I USED to think of. I know better now.
I left kernville for fear my luck would run out. Since I´d been in town I´d been taken on a whitewater rafting trip for free, met an old dude named Chuck (soon to be Chuck of Many Miles) who had rode Ushuaia on his KLR and found a guardian angel to boot.

When was stopped at Dome Rock I ran into a family who ruined the solitude of my experience there, but were very nice while doing so. They gave me cheezits and fruit rollups and told me about how they´d just been whitewater rafting in Kernville, where I was headed. Somewhere between there and Kernville an wonderful idea struck me: why not offer to volunteer at one of the rafting outfits in town and hope for a free trip down the river. So once I arrived in Kernville that day I went around to every rafting outfit in town offering my help (which wouldn´t amount to much) and they all said they´d never heard of any such nonsense, but the very last one, Whitewater Adventures, at least entertained the idea. They told me they were going to ask the boss, and that I should come by the following morning.
Beautiful Yokohl ValleyBeautiful Yokohl ValleyBeautiful Yokohl Valley

Didn't see any Yokles in Yokohl Valley. But shortly after this photo was taken I came across a King snake and an up-ended Suzuki V-Strom. The rider was being carted off to the hospital. It was a knarly road.
So the next morning I broke camp bright and early (no trouble given that I was squatting next to the highway) ate my peanut butter, avocado and jelly on tortilla breakfast and headed back in to Whitewater. Brian, the general manager told me straight up: no volunteering but they might be able to just let me onto a boat, given that they had a couple europeans coming in and not enough people to fill the boat. He told me to show up the following morning to find out. I headed out of town to go do some tinkering with baby where I met some guys from LA who were putting in two rafts and offered to take me along.... they didnt´have an extra life jackets or helmet though. I would´ve considered wearing my riding helmet, but the lifejacket thing was a bit of a dealbreaker. They gave me a couple beers and headed out. Shortly afterward I saw a big ´ol Suzuki V-strom with aluminum touring panniers cruise past.

Some say you make your own luck and to some extent they´re right, but you can´t make luck like that. Later on, when headed into town to try to use
Snow on the Western Divide Pass.Snow on the Western Divide Pass.Snow on the Western Divide Pass.

Almost 9000 feet. First sign that the Sierra Nevada might live up to It's name. (Nevada means snowy)
the internet at the library I


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The NeedlesThe Needles
The Needles

They speak for themselves.
Atop Dome RockAtop Dome Rock
Atop Dome Rock

I had a half a mind to stay the night up there, but the wind and lack of tie-down ability made setting the tent up unlikely. Anyway, I needed to get supplies down at Kernville.
Baby posing...Baby posing...
Baby posing...

We almost ran down a Japanese tourist right afterward, heading down the rock.
My's eye-viewMy's eye-view
My's eye-view

Notice the bug spatter and just be glad you can't smell it.
From Sequias to Sagebrush in 10 milesFrom Sequias to Sagebrush in 10 miles
From Sequias to Sagebrush in 10 miles

It was a fun road to ride.
South Creek FallsSouth Creek Falls
South Creek Falls

My baby's hiding in the bushes, just above the falls. She's braver than I
Lake IsabellaLake Isabella
Lake Isabella

When I got to Kernville I just cruised on past to the lake, thinking I'd see what's what. I came up to this bend and the wind literally MADE me pull over. I took it as a good sign to go back to Kernville. Thank god I did.
Kern RiverKern River
Kern River

That rapid looked WAY bigger from the middle.
Smile you lucky bastard!Smile you lucky bastard!
Smile you lucky bastard!

Poor guy who took the picture had no idea that he paid my way onto the boat. It may look like a fake smile, but I couldn't stop grinning all damn day.


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