Day 5 was a quick and enjoyable day of hiking up the Kern Canyon. The canyon can be really hot and dry during the day, but in the morning it is protected from the sun and with the gentle uphill slope, it’s a nice stroll through the woods. Our hike took us about ten miles up canyon, and with the easy terrain, gradual slope, and relatively early start we were again able to spend an afternoon lounging around camp on the Kern River. The hardest part of the day was once we passed through Junction Meadow – a short 700 foot climb, which wouldn’t have been difficult under most situations, was a bit exposed for a midday climb and slowed me down a bit. In all, today’s hike was much more pleasant than I expected, based on my past hiking through Kern Canyon.
We found a beautiful campsite near an old cabin and moved right in. It was short scramble down to the river from camp and once there I found the most amazing lizard rock – a rock I could lay on all day and not need to move. It was flat and smooth and let me dangle my head and feet in the water. There was a similar rock down river that Paige found quite comfortable. Greg played waterslide between the two. The others fished for a while and pulled out some crazy looking trout – wish I had my camera with me at the time, I think they were some of the mixed breeds you can get in the Kern.
We had a great night around the campfire preparing for our final two days. While we tried to eat up and give away all of our extra food, we watched a cute little squirrel running up and down a nearby tree stocking his den for the winter. I wonder if he would have liked a Starburst. Oh well, too late to offer it to him.
Our plan was to get up earlier the next morning in prep for our early morning the next day, and also to get some of the climb out of the way before the mid-day heat. I spent some time with my journal and then enjoyed a great night of sleep accompanied by the white noise of the rushing Kern River.