If you looked at pictures from our Kern River adventures, you wouldn’t think it’s the deadliest in California. But that placid look is part of what makes it so deadly, and it claimed 3 more victims this weekend, and 26 more had to be rescued from the roaring river, as a record snow pack starts to melt, and Lake Isabella can only operate at 60% of capacity. This isn’t to say you can’t have fun on the Kern, from camping, lounging, and even white water rafting, but you HAVE to wear a life jacket if you get in that river!
Here we are jumping into an area that looks deceivingly calm, but has a current that can easily carry you away:
One of the other things that makes this river so deadly are the strainers that can trap bodies, and the fact that the water is so cold, it can literally put you in shock. The river also can go from knee deep to neck deep in literally one step, and again, that current is deceptively strong. But, according to the LA Times, two-thirds of the deaths involve alcohol or drug abuse, and almost none of the victims were wearing life jackets.
So, if you head out there, please be safe, and wear that life jacket! This is what rafting is like on a low-flow year: