In 1868, a massive flood rolled down the Sierra Nevada Mountains, carrying tree after uprooted tree in its wake. Once the waters receded, those trees and the very confused squirrels hiding in them covered the Kern River valley. That's right where Thomas Barnes found them. So he cut them into logs and built a cabin from the ground up, then moved in with his wife and seven children. Today, that same cabin stands as one of the buildings within Kern County Museum's Pioneer Village.
The structures here are relics of several different times and places. Some came from old farms in the area, while others once stood on the main streets of towns?such as the Beale Memorial Clock Tower from old Bakersfield. While their original purposes have long since passed, the buildings still spring to life each time a visitor passes through. It's easy to imagine a blacksmith at work at the Calloway Ranch in the late 1800s, or the faithful tellers who saw The Kern Valley Bank through the Great Depression.
A different view of Kern County's history takes center stage inside the museum's other permanent attraction, Black Gold: The Oil Experience. Here, 9,640 square feet of exhibit space reveal how oil forms deep within the earth, as well as methods for its discovery and production. Other displays profile the workers and historical events that ultimately led to Kern County claiming 64% of California?s oil production.
The rapids rock beneath the raft, pummeling the vessel like a boxer delivering uppercuts to a heavy bag. After successfully navigating the foamy surges, the paddlers hit an abrupt drop that tosses one adventurer out of the rear of the raft. He resurfaces, bobs in the water, and then presents a thumbs up, inciting cheers and laughter from his fellow rafters.
The guides at River's End Rafting & Adventure Company pride themselves on delivering fun and safe adrenaline-pumping adventures like these. Based about 15 minutes from downtown Bakersfield, the crew transports rafters to the mouth of Kern Canyon, then guides paddlers through Class II¬–III rapids before the river yawns into Lake Ming. In addition to whitewater rafting, the team at River's End also coordinates outings including kayaking, rock climbing, and paragliding over Ant Hill, a 100-foot-high skyscraper of luxury ant condos.
BakersFIT?s trainers have been whipping bodies into shape for nearly a decade. They work with clients one-on-one or guide groups through workouts during indoor boot-camp classes. The regimen is simple, but effective. Each workout begins with a 10-minute warm-up that includes stretching and calisthenics before moving into 30 minutes of full-body circuit training. And because the trainers recognize how much of a role diet plays with your health, they offer online nutritional counseling with seminars and meal plans high in protein and cinnamon. Even kids can break a sweat during special youth boot-camp sessions that focus on conditioning, agility, speed, and strength. On weekdays, VIP members can work out while their kids play at the on-site daycare.
Though some participants choose to run and others to walk, everybody who participates in the Color Dash experiences a transformation. As participants make their way through the 5K Color Dash and UVSplash courses they are subjected to bursts of color; additional events include the Bubble Bash by Color Dash and Zombies by Color Dash, which adds the undead to the equation. Though the color will wash away, the memories will remain forever in the minds of all participants who aren't goldfish. Proceeds from Color Dash events benefit local children's charities and organizations.
The flight instructors at Just Fly Paragliding steer students over California landscapes in tandem paragliding lessons and USHPA flight-training programs. They teach basic paragliding maneuvers as well as more advanced flips, turns, and a range of landing approaches. Before taking off, though, they prep students for the risks of getting airborne by covering risk assessment, proper gear handling, weather interpretation, and landing under emergency conditions such as high winds or raining meatballs. In addition to helping customers commemorate flights through photos and video, Just Fly Paragliding provides the means to fly with beginner and intermediate gliders by Ozone, Shoo'ka, and Flying Planet.:m]]
The promoters behind Valley Comedy draw from a rib-tickling lineup of local comedians and touring funny folk to host monthly shows at Shamrock's Irish Pub in Bakersfield and the venerable Western-themed Old Town Saloon in Clovis. Valley Comedy also works with the community to arrange public and private events, dispatching standup comedians to fundraisers, corporate events, parties, and glum parent-teacher conferences throughout the Central Valley.