Week - 123 R-Ranch, Johnsondale CA - 12-21-2008

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

We were. So we took our son John and his three children and headed to R-Ranch in Johnsondale, California.  R-Ranch in the Sequoias is an ownership ranch with 2,500 shares.  Our share was purchased by Ellen's parents, Carl and Lillie in 1988.

Johnsondale is 37 miles north of Lake Isabella (east of Bakersfield).  At 4,700 feet there is plenty of snow.

The road from Atascadero to Bakersfield, going through the oil fields on Hwy 46 is rather mundane.  But east of Bakersfield the views on Hwy 178 and then Sierra Way, north of Kernville, are fantastic.  You can see the beauty here in the winter months, but the other months are just as gorgeous as you travel right along the Kern River for 60 miles with view of the river, its rapids and waterfalls.

This is R-Ranch.   The town of Johnsondale was built by the Mt. Whitney Lumber company in 1935.  The lumber families lived in the town which was complete with cabins, store, dining hall, dance hall, church, school, fire house and even a town sheriff.  The cut lumber from the surrounding mountains was hauled to the town and floated on the town lake to be prepared for the saw mill.  The mill operated from 1938 for 41 years until 1979 when it closed due to lack of trees within an economical distance.

The town remained dormant until the mid 1980's when it was purchased to become R-Ranch in the Sequoias.  The Giant Redwoods are just 8 miles north on Hwy 99.  The original town is basically intact.  There are 80 unique cabins sleeping from 2 to 20 persons.  All the other town buildings are still in use, including the school.  Newly added in 1988 is an Olympic-sized pool, two spas, lighted tennis courts, basketball court and volleyball.  And there are 250 RV hookup sites with R-Ranch supplied trailers, or sites to bring your own RV.

This is not a time-share. With availability you can stay up to two weeks at a time. Then after a week away from the ranch, you can come and stay two more weeks.  If available, you could stay up to 34 weeks during each year.

1) Maintenance building 3) Dining Hall  4) Store 5) Lake 6) Cabin 200, our favorite with a view of the lake 7) Iced-over pool and spas and 8) the Dance Hall.  Every Friday there is bingo.  And during the busy summer months and holidays, a country-western band comes up from Bakersfield (home of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard) for a Saturday night dance. 

There is plenty to do at the ranch.  Hiking, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, volleyball, basketball, family TV and game room, adult TV lounge, bingo, craft, dances, boating (when not frozen), spas, archery, gun range, hikes to two streams with waterfalls, drives to waterfalls, rock waterslides and the giant redwoods.

1) Using the spa in warm, 60 degree, Bakersfield on the way to R-Ranch.  2) Our cabin 308, next to the store.

1) Grandpa playing with Lilly. 2) Bingo led by Evelyn and Beverly.  Our table of five players won 7 of the 10 games!

1) Kalonie and Levi play cards  2) Lilly and Kalonie dancing to Dance Dance Revolution.

1) Our son John brought his snow shovel and built snow jumps for his kids.  2) Lilly and Levi enjoy the runs.

It appears that cute little ones come in 3's.

Unlike the Ferrel kitty, Shasta, that Melissa brought home from the ranch, we left the raccoon family there. We had a wonderful time at the ranch.  Shares are available if anyone is interested.

Our wish for you during the Christmas season is that you will be blessed as the world celebrates the birth of our Saviour; and that you know Him personally.

May the Lord bless you,

Love, Pete and Ellen and family

Photos from Dec 2008

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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