Sequoia NF, Red Rock Canyon SP, 2016

Once again this year I had the good fortune of hosting one of my oldest friends for a few days during a business trip to the States. With the Monterey district being closed my primary plans had fallen short, but my friend wanted to visit hot springs. So, thus, the evil loop plan springs are cool but I also wanted to see if I could get him the desert bug too!

After researching various options we decided to head into the Kern river area of the Sequoia NF. Like any good trip, we waited for solid planning until the last minute (that is, the morning when we were leaving) which thankfully informed us there was 10 inches of snow on the initial mountain road that I had been considering. So, insead, we vectored through Bakersfield (where my credit card was skimmed...) and onto a set of Hot Springs along the Kern River. The springs are directly alongside the Kern in just a gorgeous setting. This was the spot not only to grab a great soak but also to make great friends. And sometimes multiple times! We met Carson, one of the builders of the springs multiple times (though, he admits, he just carried rocks). Rum can be a powerful thing. But the spring itself and its ambience are wonderful, and seeing the stars at night from alternating pools of different temperatures was wonderful.

After the hours of soaking the next day we did a nice short hike up the canyon ridge which had some really gorgeous views of the Kern and the whole river valley, again making me upset that soon after this rough and tumble ride over the rocks it is literally just diverted to LA and its riverbed turns into dusty ditch. We tried to get to one of the groves but the road was closed even though devoid of snow, so who can guess there.

Being cold and out of season so many campgrounds were closed we pushed through to Red Rock. I really love this little state park. It's kind of like an introduction to the desert to give you a taste of how beautiful it can be in its subtlety. Plus it photographs really well, else you wouldn't see it in so many movies!

The Photographs

Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 lens.

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