Friday, June 20, 2014

Mimi by the Kern River


Mimi reminded me that it was not all fire and brimstone and doom and gloom last week.  The Kern River was still flowing and its banks were lush and green.  Those Class IV white-water rapids of yore have been replaced by quiet ripples of clear, icy water.  The water is still too chilly for me, but my travel buddy jumped in to cool off in the hundred degree heat.

The 165-mile Kern begins with snow runoff from Mt. Whitney, California's highest mountain, and descends into the San Joaquin Valley to Bakersfield.  California, however, is in its third year of drought so the rafters were gone this summer.  Fishermen were still out and even a few gold prospectors.  They like the lower depths of the river because they can wade right in with their pans.  People are actually finding some good size nuggets.

We drove north on the 395 and noted the Sierras were still topped with snow.  So Mimi's right.  Even though 2013 was the driest year on record, that snow made me realize the rivers will still flow.  At least, a little.  And if they dry up completely?  Well, we can always pan for gold!

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