Recently I was asked to write about sightseeing around my new home in the country, in the middle of nowhere, in a one-horse town in Kern county, California.
After seven years living abroad and traveling the world, I’ve moved to the small town of Lake Isabella, CA, population 2300. With one main road and three traffic lights, there are no sights to visit. To understand and appreciate the extraordinary diversity and raw elegance of my new home, one has to venture into its essence..
Situated in the high desert, on the edge of the majestic Sequoia National Forest, home to the world’s largest trees, this small hamlet offers easy access to countless activities for everyone. The surrounding landscape is as magnificient as the gorgeous trees.
In spite of the drought, the lake is still full of bass for sport fishing and kayaking. There are two rivers and countless creeks for trout fishing, rafting, tubing, swimming, more extreme kayaking, just putzing around in the shallow water, or stretching out on one of the smooth boulders that line the river. My friend’s daughter, Rose, has lent me a kayak, and I just bought the necessary life jacket at a local thrift store. I’m ready. Estoy lista!
I’ve already taken advantage of a few of the hundreds of hiking trails in the area. They range from ea
sy to difficult, and most are accessible. Camping and lodging is plentiful. One need only contact the Park Department to make camping reservations within the park, and each small town has at least one motel or lodge.
In addition to water sports, you can picnic on one of the National Forest’s developed picnic areas, go horse riding, mountain biking or view wildlife from your car or while hiking with your camera or binoculars. Use your manners. How close do you want a complete stranger coming to your family?
During the winter, with any luck at all, there are ski slopes, snowshoeing, and even snowmobiling which I must say I am not fond of because of the damage done to the forest floor.
At night, after a hard day of outdoor fun, people flock to the many pubs in the surrounding towns for great food made to order, locally brewed beer, and to listen or dance to live music played by excellent blue grass and folk bands. Before bed, take time to marvel at the crisp, clear sky above you. Track NASA’s satellites, identify your constellation, view the Milky Way, and wish on a falling star.