You will be able to find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook and Google Books soon:
I use my Astro van as camping vehicle, when it gets cold at night I often turn the engine on to warm up. By default the Daylight Driving Lights stay on while engine is running which is very annoying in the campground situation. I found out that pressing Dome Override button 4 times will turn them off.
I started my hike from Kennedy Meadow Campground, I picked the spot because it looked promising on the Google sattlite map with Little Kern River running thru and nice mountains surrounding the area. I had no idea at the time that this campground is a long-desired goal and destination of hikers arriving from the southern, desert leg of PCT, or Pacific Crest Trail.
I arrived driving J41 road at night I thougt I ended on the end of the world, roads in Sierra Nevada, especially at night are quite an experience with narrow passes over black, abbyssal drops.
I have spent the night sleeping inside my Astro AWD van on my military cot, which is much more comfortable than pitching a tent. In the morning I hiked at first light, way before couple of families with kids, few hundred yards away would steer up.
The campgroud is big and unlike crowded midwestern camps it gives you plenty of space and privacy. The vegetation is deserty chapparal but there are plenty of trees thanks to the river nearby.
The Little Kern Rivers is a beauty, at this time of the year in the late fall it was quiet, with plenty of clean water, the edges of the river had ice at some points, but the weather and the athmosphere were a daydream.
I hiked several miles north following the PCT, but then I decided to explore the mountains to the east. The hikes up and down the mountains are very steep, but not impossible with the huge boulders and tall trees, to reach the tops there are no paths to follow, just hopping from a boulder to another, sometimes squizing between bushes and sometimes walking on dry sandbars with deer tracks. You have the feeling that the monntail lion will pounce upon you at any moment from the boulder overhanging above you, l was happy to have my rifle with me.
Reaching the peaks gives you the ultimate reward of seeing the large valley bellow, the tall trees along the river and the PCT, look small, the remote valleys between the mountains sporting not a single human path look inviting with untold stories of adventure awaiting.
I think it is important for hikers zipping along the well travelled PCT to take this extra time and explore the land to the sides. This region, although not as beloved as subalpine meadows, is one of the best places a person can choose to explore. The nature is absolutely pristine, maybe sans grizzly bears that used to roam California and are no longer. The weather especially in late summer and fall is perfect and the river allows you to refresh at the hike's end in its clear, cold water.
I hope to come back there again!
It is difficult to balance what to write in a blog to keep it real and at the same time not to wash one's dirty loudry in public. I really don't know what the recipe is, but I think I should write about things that move me forward and omit the "little" stuff like the work and all the politics. We have a choice every single day to dwell on the past (day), or build the better self. I think the later is the answer to a public journal.
I took Natalia to movies tonight to see a movie "Wild", a story by Cheryl Strayed - I have been reading a book by the same title. The story is about a woman walking the Pacific Crest Trail, PCT to find herself. The book is amazing and the movie is excellent as well, however the book has much more detail, I was hoping that Natalia will understand my longing for mountains and time in the nature.
Last year while doing a solo weekend in Sierras in California I actually hiked along the PCT, if only for few miles -- l Can envision being on this trail for weeks at the time and the protonnd effect it would have an my psychology. l miss Sierra Nevada.