Matt (Maxon), Bernd and I headed up to the Sequoia National Forest near...hmmm, I can't think of anything it is "near"! Which is probably why I like it so much. Anyway, it's northeast of Bakersfield, and south of Sequoia National Park. Thereabouts.
Driving up late Saturday afternoon, we found a decent dispersed campsite just as the sun set and the cool breezes kicked up the pine scented air. On a holiday weekend, solitude and quiet in a place like this would be remarkable - except that there are so many old logging roads around here, if your favorite spot is taken, all it takes is a short drive to find a new one.
A few bats circled and chirped above our heads, and we occasionally heard the hungry squawks of a baby woodpecker nesting in a nearby stump.
Time for bed:
In the morning we packed up, set up a short car shuttle, and headed down the unofficial trail to Nobe Young Falls.
We have rappelled this before, but the cool morning and sheer volume of snowmelt water made us decide to skip it this time, though as a canyoneering route this would be the first rappel normally.
Heading downstream we saw interesting plants:
And pot farm evidence It looked old though, so it seemed safe to continue. The canyon was beautiful, with easy walking through the open forest punctuated by a few sloping rappels on very slippery moss covered polished granite.
This area is near the Domeland Wilderness, and it seems to me (certainly no expert in geology) that the granite domes here are just emerging from the mountains and will someday be more exposed, like in Yosemite. We soon arrived at the biggest rappel of the day, with a gorgeous view of the Kern River canyon in the distance and that exciting/sickening feeling of ...uh oh...hope our ropes are long enough!!
And of course they were. Though we chose to stay out of the water here since one in our party had already taken a slip on the moss on a short rap.
We hiked out to the car from here. There could be another few shorter raps in the canyon if the goal of the day was to play in the water, making this a fun, and versatile canyon with a little something for everyone. No animal sign, though the carpet of pine needles is not the best for tracking There is certainly a good population of the usual wildlife here.