A “must” to do loop… CA.

Monday, April 30th, 2007

So yes, we are still in Kernville. I was never going to commit myself again after the fiasco of my friend Glenn never leaving Maine to meet us in Utah… it was only 2800 miles round trip and blizzard weather conditions (!!!)… but I did again! And rightly so, as Mark and his wife Judy did show up to the campground around sometime in the afternoon. The first riders that I meet from the Pashnit Forum… same Forum having a get together sometime in May a bit east of Stockton… Great time, great conversation and being a local having even lived by this river in his ancient childhood… some tips!

His tip was on the money… if you are ever in this area, this is a loop not to miss. It is a “feel good” loop!… No traffic even on a Sunday… actually only saw a couple bikes and a constant change in the scenery.

Starting in Lake Isabella you will take Caliente Bodfish Road going south. Climbs the mountain at first giving a great view of Lake Isabella and its water. Many tight curves, mostly no yellow lines, a bit uneven road due to the harshness of winter. It was a hard day for pictures… much haze…

This one still gives you an idea of the view.

It is then the descent passed Havila between Hobo Ridge and King Solomons Ridge, taking on another air as the flowers are in bloom, the greenery is abundant and the drivers of the few cars coming the other way are… waiving! I felt being back in the south east where everyone always waves! I am tempted to call this loop the “friendly triangle”!

We stopped a few times, taking a few shots here and there, just appreciating this hidden valley that just seemed to have a character of its own without letting you know what State you are in!

I have just changes the oil in the rig, she is purring… I don’t know yet, always wonder if it is psychological or does an oil change truly makes it run better!… Regardless… we are enjoying ourselves… Spirit is hanging out a bit more… much to smell… I am riding slow… what is the rush!

One more time we go up and down… through the beautiful Harper Canyon, with its mountain edges narrowing the road and twisting it forward. A “comfort ride”…

The town of Caliente makes its presence… I was ready for another break… but there was only a Fire Station… no town to speak of! We make a right, still on Caliente Bodfish Rd which turns into Bena Road. My map above did not follow that road… it showed we rode on 58 which is parallel, no reason to get off this pleasant loop.

And the scenery again changes, now to rolling hills. A couple motorcycles did cross us waiving!

We stopped to watch the cows… again and take in the fresh air making up this perfect day.

Bakersfield suddenly appeared in the distance… smogged in… with a thick white crown, traffic started buzzing right and left, orchards made their appearance, packing plants… even a potato packing plant on the road. But we did not have to go into town…

Another right on 184 which took us to 178 which itself would take us back to Lake Isabella.

We stopped at a fruit stand where 178 and 184 meet, greatest strawberries I have ever had… that was lunch…

178, a busier road follows the Kern River through its Canyon with many pull overs, many opportunities to take more pictures. Even day use areas with picnic tables and benches where one can sit and listen to the roar of the waters going by…

We were moving along, it is not a long loop, about 140 miles maybe, and I decided to stop in Kernville by the big square as I call it. Many bikes there out for the day, we are only a couple hours from Bakersfield, at much higher elevation which means cooler escaping the city heat as Bakersfield is only at 402′.

We even pushed on a bit further north pass the campsite, my hope to see some kayakers did come true… I kept watching them goig through some rapids… get back on the bike and wait for them at the next rapids!!! It looked like a lot of fun…

Even without a calendar I can tell when the weekends come up. We had a few campers scattered around here, none within hearing distance, this morning all are gone and again we are the only ones by the river… it is all ours to enjoy with a nice cool weather, a little breeze… it has been a true gift these past few days except for one real hot day.

Spirit’s food is cooking this morning, he is finally gaining some weight… feeding him often throughout the day, I could not stand it! I myself fixed me a nice dinner last night! With all the hoopla on tri-tip around here I had a vision of my own version. The ingredient list is simple… the local Jamies Market here is awesome! A German lady runs it… we talk a lot… she knows her stuff let me tell you and make a dinner to go every night also. I have been waiting anxiously for tonight as it is Pit Roast!!! Never had it… cooked in brown bag… will let you know…

An apple sausage… couple slices of trip-tip, very thin, you can have the butcher do it if you don’t have any fingers to spare… and some great slab bacon! I wanted to keep it light (!!!), an avocado, tomato, asparagus that was on sale, a couple green onions… and yes… some butter garlic spread.

Micro Cooking all in one pan… Start cooking the sausage which will continue cooking throughout the whole preparation. Precook the bacon next to it, keep it soft as you will need to wrap it. Precook the slices of tri-tip also. Remove the last two items, add the peeled (yes, please… so much better…) Asparagus which will grill in the juices adding more flavor to it… 5 minutes or so… Dice the avocado, tomato, slice the green onions… you are almost done.

When the sausage cools a bit wrap the trip tip around it first, after spreading some garlic butter spread on its inside surface… use all fingers, you will need them!… then wrap the bacon around it also, two toothpicks parallel which each other and return it to the pan to crisp the bacon and cook the tri-tip some more… Slice diagonally… try anyhow… arrange as above and you are done. A bit of olive oil and lemon juice on the vegetables… (I know… tomato is a fruit…).

So I could not eat the whole thing… it is great for two… Oh! Well…

We are going north in a day or two I think. Not being unhappy at all camping here, but I kind of messed up thinking we could see the big trees as a day ride… did not realize that they are further north… that there is the Sequoia National Forest and the Sequoia National “Park”. That will put us near Stockton eventually where we will be east of it around the 10th for a gathering of riders…


You be well… enjoy… come and join us!!! I’ll share my dinner…

Ara & Spirit

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One Response to “A “must” to do loop… CA.”

  1. Joe Says:

    The road between Bodfish and Caliente is very pretty and not crowded at all. SH-178 is also pretty but has much more traffic and you’ve got to be paying attention. I’ve not stayed overnight in Isabella, just passed through and looked around a couple of times. You just missed seeing the Tehachapi Loop, where a long train will cross over itself. I blog about it here>> http://diceshooter60.blogspot.com/2007/03/tehachapi-loop.html

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