Winter 2022 – Day 1 - Day 5: Lakewood WA to Lake Isabella CA

The first 4 days of this trip had us making a mad dash down I5 from Lakewood Washington, through Oregon south to Bakersfield California, and then east toward Lake Isabella. We were trying to find no rain and warm sunny skies with no clouds. Yesterday (day 4), we finally found the warmth of the sun and our first dispersed camping (free boondocking) spot in Keyesville South Recreation Area, about an hour east of Bakersfield. Nice to be boondocking instead of camping in rest areas with noisy highway traffic and loud diesel refrigeration trucks. 
Our camp spot

We got to the BLM land off CA 155 about a mile out of the town of Lake Isabella. Our camping spot was located down the paved road at the second entrance to the recreation area. The road can be found on the left just after passing the Kern River, which is fed from Lake Isabella. The paved road runs about a mile back in the recreation area with lots of free camping spots along the route. If you drive back far enough you get to an old homestead that is being restored by BLM. The old cabin is known as the Walker Cabin. The cabin was originally built in 1863 by miners.
We stopped long before reaching the cabin. After four days of traveling it was nice to have a day where we were not moving the trailer. Even so I was up early to get some sunrise photos, a light meal, and then off to do some exploring. 
Heather climbing around rocks behind camp
First stop was Silver City, a makeshift ghost town in Bodfish California. The ghost town consisted of 20 to 30 historic building from the 1800’s. The building where all trucked in from different mines within 8 miles of the makeshift town. Moving the buildings was an effort to preserve these old mining camp building for generations to come. It cost $7.50 per person to explore the old historic buildings. 
Silver City ghost town

Main street of Silver City

Boardwalk of Silver City

More buildings of Silver City

Crystal doorknob of old church
Inside of one of the saloons

JS Ponderosa sign

 We also drove along the lake, which was very low. Cattle were grazing along the waters edge, and lots of white pelicans could be found feeding in the lake. There were even trailers camping along the waters edge, along with some fisherman. After our morning exploration, it was back to the trailer for a refueling lunch break, and before more exploring. 
Cows grazing along lake shore

Campers and fisherman at Lake Isabella

More fisherman at Lake Isabella 
 In the afternoon, we drove further back on our road in the rec area. We checked out the Walker Cabin, as well as ventured down to the Kern River where rafters put in. No rafters today, water looks way to low for river rafting. But we did see some mountain bikers, motorcycle riders, and a side-by-side, as well as a couple of wild coyotes. They were resting in the shade of a tree until we came along. We stopped and watched them as they slowing walked up the hill side next to road. Hopefully they found another shady tree with less humans around. 

The Walker cabin and surroundings 

Entrance to the old mine maybe?
A well fed coyote
Once back to camp it was time for dinner and some internet browsing. Yes, there is phone service up here, and I’m posting this via my T-Mobile hotspot. We finished our first non-travel day with a great dinner of Chicken Alfredo along with some warm French bread, that I washed down with a beer because I had no wine. Time for bed soon, so I can be fresh for more traveling/exploring. Stay tuned for the rest of our winter journey through the western United States.