The fording of the Kern River in late spring or early summer at mile point 36.1 is not recommended, especially in a higher snow year. Therefore, Stacey and i took the listed alternate.
The alternate however was a very old and defunct trail which was partly due to the influence of old fires. The first two miles one could easily find non-established paths that other hikers and animals have taken. Zoner said he went back to the River after two miles and cross country-ed it using fisherman trails and such. Surprisingly, there were three fresh hikers prints using this trailless trail as well. After two miles, I turned on our gps and was able to find a good enough route to get us to a well used trail that would take us back to the Kern River after having flushed a black bear into a galloping sprint.
We arrived at Jordan Hot Springs in the dark and enjoyed a good soak the following morning.
Song Sparrows, Brewer's Blackbirds, and Robins flittered and flirted with the warmth that the earth can naturally endow.
Jordan Hot Springs is also the Home of a cool Homestead that lights up one's imagination of living a life purely in the wilderness... away from the complications that society inflicts upon that which is truly native and harmonizing.
A return to Nature and to one's inner True Nature is the real definition of living a healthy lifestyle where all actions are purely organic.
We actually ran into a group of a dozen teenagers who were out on a 22 day hike with their teachers as a part of their Chadwick Alternative School curriculum. It was day 14 for them and they looked strong and invigorated and were looking forward to a good soak in the 3 pools at Jordan Hot Springs.
Sugar Pines, Western White Pines, and Red Fir gave way to White Fir the higher we climbed. We picked some Morels at around 10,000 feet to enjoy later with dinner. Soon it snowed upon us for several hours leaving us with about two inches of snow to walk through.
At about mile 64 the trail disappeared and so we pulled out the gps to correct our course.
Descending back towards the Kern River yet again, we traversed through many layers of ancient lava flows.
Meadows were filled with deer and marmots alarmed in the excitement of our arrival.
Sequoia National Park was now on our Horizon.
And dippers were the only other souls who enjoyed the rapids of the Kern River. Nobody else back here but us.