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Southern California and R-Ranch in the Sequoias
Our Family Vacation in Sequoia National Forest
I can remember the day my family visited the R-Ranch in the Sequoias camp site. We were invited by a 'owner' to visit for a Thanksgiving weekend for free. This is one of the 'sales pitch' weekends where they treat you like kings and queens and then at end expect you to purchase a 'Share' in the property.
My parents were sick of time-shares and although we enjoyed our stay they were NOT interested in getting stuck in a time-share again.
This however was different [per my mum]- R-Ranch - is a group buying community and they exist all over the United States. One unique quality is that unlike time-shares, if room is available you can use the facility. You don't have to use it just one week per year or however your particular time-share works.
R-ranch only requires you to leave the property after a 3 week stay - 10 days off - and then you are able if you would like [as long as there is available space] to return. *Rules and Regulations differ with each R-Ranch community*
Johnsondale Lumber Yard
A short History of Johnsondale the logging camp that is now R-ranch in the Sequoias.
Our First Visit
A 16 year olds point of view
Where We Stayed:
Although this R-Ranch community has cabins, this particular weekend was quite crowded as it was Thanksgiving Weekend. We stayed in one of the nearly 100 trailers on the property at the time. This was the first time our family of 5 stayed in something like this and it was cramped. It had a wee bathroom, wee stove and a wee sink. The shower was quite an experience to maneuver.
Where We Ate:
At the time they had a working Restaurant on the property so we were able to eat in a cafeteria. Being in California we were able to eat our Thanksgiving Dinner on the outside patio. I think this is the main memory I have of this time - eating on the patio in the sunlight while my parents discussed the possibilities of investing in this community.
What We Did:
The R-Ranch in the Sequoias has a man-made pond filled with fish. They had so my sisters took turns going out on the pond and chasing the Ranch ducks. We also took time to walk around the pond and feed the ducks. My sister was feeding a goose and got snipped by it - to this day when she thinks of R-Ranch she thinks of being snipped by that goose. paddle boats
We also visited the horse ranch which houses 'owners' horses and took a small trail ride. Later in the evening we visited the entertainment center aka Barn where we watched folks dance to the live band. My sisters and I also explored the youth center where they had a television which was used to watch videos. We played pool, a couple of board games and the pinball machines.
Sequoia - Big Tree
Have You Visited the Big Trees? - Sequoia Red Wood Trees in California
The Redwood trees in Sequoia are some of my favorite natural wonders. I have many childhood memories of these trees as each summer my family visited either Yosemite National Park or Sequoia National Park.
I think that it is was these regular visits to this area of California that impacted my parents final decision in investing in the R-ranch in Sequoias community.
Have You visited Sequoia Big Trees?
R-Ranch Revisited 2009 - A return to What is Good
My last visit to the R-ranch was really a retreat. It was just after my husband was laid off and it was a needed break for my worried brain. I was blessed to go with my Mum and her friend.
This photo is actually not in R-ranch but at the back of a Steak Restaurant just down the hill from the ranch. The Kern River is just under us and the bridge leads to the camping area.
Owners take pride in the ranch by adopting a cabin to decorate and love. Most furniture, decorations, appliances, pots and pans etc.. are provided by these Adoptive owners.
Cabin #303A - Summer 2009Click thumbnail to view full-size
Places To Visit - Near R-ranch in the Sequoias
These are additional sites we have visited over the years.
- Cheryls Diner - small family owned restaurant in Kern Valley - winner of the 2010 - 2011 Small Business Award.
- McNally's Fairview Lodge and Restaurant - the steak house we visited on my last visit to the ranch in 2009.
- White Water Voyages - 11252 Kernville Road
- Lake Isabella - boating, wind surfing, fishing and a multitude of other outdoor activities.
- Antique Shopping in Kernville
- Kernville Museum
- Silver city Ghost Town
- Trail of 100 Giants - short hiking trail
- Native American Cultural Center - Farmers market on the weekends
- Cowboy Memorial
- Kern River Preserve
- Fishing Derby - Yearly event with cash prizes
- The Fish Hatchery - visited this when we were young
Sequoia National Forest - Detailed Map of Camp Sites as well as Hiking Trails
Places to Visit Nearby
Kern River - Originates in the High Sierra near Mount Whitney - Activities Available - camping, picnicing, fishing, rafting and kayaking.
Cannell Meadow Cabin - this is an early ranger station in Kernville build in 1907. It served as the base for forest rangers who patrolled the area to prevent forest fires.
Lake Isabella - this is the largest reservoir in Southern California covering more than 17 square miles. Offers fishing, boating, water skiing, camping and picnicing. Lake Isabella is not just for recreation as it provides water for irrigation, hydroelectric power and flood control.
Welcome to the Land of the Giants - Map of Tulare County and the Surrounding Sequoia Region
Johnsondale is circled on the map - this is now the location of R-Ranch in the Sequoias. If you follow the map from Johnsondale South, you will located Kernville and Lake Isabella.
Kern River Fish Hatchery
Located One Mile North of Kernville
We visited this Fish Hatchery on one occasion while visiting the ranch. It is located just one mile north of Kernville at 14400 Sierra Way [Mountain HWY 99] across the road from Camp Erwin Owen.
Did you know that the State Fish of California is the Golden Trout? I didn't even know we had a State Trout.
Originally built in 1928 buy the Kern County Fish and Protective Game Association. The water supply for the hatchery comes directly from the Kern River.
The state of California raises 8 different strains of rainbow trout and these fish are planted in the Kern and Tule Rivers every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
This fish hatchery has Llamas which belong to a retired fishery biologist and are used to carry equipment into the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. Each are able to carry 100 pounds which is about 1/3 of their body weight.
There is a Totem pole on the site which was designed and carved by the Kern Valley High School students in 1996 as part of the JTPA [Job Training Partnership Act]. The students carved a grizzly bear, tortoise, quail and golden trout.
More Information About R-Ranch - in the Sequoias
These links take you to the R-Ranch in the Sequoias website and explain in more detail each amenity available on the Ranch.
- R-Town Center
This area includes the General Store, The Restaurant and the Dance hall - previously called the 'Barn' by me.
A photo gallery of all the cabins available on the ranch. - Grizzley Hill - Loggers Hill - Main Street - Stone Street - School Street - Skunk Hallow - Employee Housing
The Stables at the ranch house horses owned by owners. I'm not sure if R-ranch owns any of the horses or if employees board their horses - Each ranch has it's own policy on boarding horses. The ranch has a hired Stable hand which is also the man/wo
- Map of R-ranch
Includes the whole property with cabins, trailer storage, and community buildings. R-Ranch Sequoia has a working fire station on the property which proved to be valuable to the ranch when the area had a series of fires in the 90's.
Looking to Invest?
If you are interested in purchasing a share in the R-Ranch in the Sequoias community visit Wesley Walton - Board President for more information.
All photos and writing are copyright Sara Duggan aka Momwithahook. I do not work for or represent r-ranch properties and the information I present here is my opinion only based on my experience as a child of a share holder.
For detailed information about R-ranch in the Sequoias visit their website http://rranch.org.