Carrizo Plain National Monument

March 21-24, 2008
Endless carpets of goldfields and daisies
In what has become a yearly springtime ritual (well, almost, I missed 2004 and 2007)
I visited Carrizo Plain National Monument.  I first went in 2003 and was impressed
with this rural beautiful area of California that looked more like Wyoming, only with
flowers.  Lots of flowers.  Billions.  If you go they'll knock your socks off.  Then you
can walk barefoot through the vast grasslands and really get to know Carrizo.  I also
recommend rolling on the ground with the poppies.  Get down to their level and you'll
get the best photographs.  Just be careful not to squish them!

This year I met 4wheelbob (I originally met him at Carrizo Plain in 2005 and we met
each other's spouses out there in 2006), hikerchick395 and her hubby Greg,
Orygawn, Rebecca D and her husband and two kids and two good friends, and
2heeldrive out there for a few days of exploring and camping.  Several of us arrived
on Friday with more arriving Saturday.  On Sunday everyone left but me, but that was
okay.  It was Easter and it was my birthday and I spent the day with my wildflowers
:)
A full moon rises over Selby
Campground Friday night
If Van Gogh had painted it it would've
looked like this
Hikerchick395, Greg, and 2heeldrive enjoy the campfire.  Those are sparks
that when photographed with a slow shutter speed look like tree branches.
Phacelia, daisies, and fiddleneck color the
hills near the campground
Fiddleneck
Phacelia is very beautiful and also quite fragrant
A pretty little daisy
Bob and I set off to explore on Saturday morning
Hey, wanna climb that hill?  Labeled as simply Point 2177 on
a topo map, I later dubbed it as "Diabase Hill" because a
brochure detailing the geology of the area said it is made
of a rock called diabase.  It is apparently what remains of a
15 million year old volcano.  This hill  stands alone about a
mile north of KCL campground and with a rock cairn on top
and abundant wildflowers it was begging to be climbed.
Bob and Tashia climbing up through fields of desert mallow.  This
pretty pink flower carpeted the southwestern side of the hill
whereas purple phacelia dominated the southeastern side and
fiddleneck the northern.  At the top were Blue Dicks, popcorn
flower, and a rattlesnake!  I about jumped out of my skin when I
heard it and saw it!  I didn't stay long after that ;)
Looking west towards the Temblor Range
Looking east towards Caliente Ridge
Blue Dicks, Fiddleneck, and popcorn flower
After Bob heard me scream "Rattlesnake!" I don't think
he was eager to go any further.  But he made it up a good
portion of the hill.
Tashia liked the desert mallows :)
Everyone likes goldfields!
Locoweed
Lomatium
Golden Bush
Tidy Tips
Blue Dicks
Wild Cucumber
Yellow Salsify
Tragopogon dubius
Owl's Clover
Baby Blue Eyes
Cream Cups
Red Maids, these are tiny.  See here.
Poppies and Red Maids
My new car likes the flowers, too.

Todd and I traded in the Subaru Forester, we kept having
problems with the alignment and transmission. We got this
certified used Jeep Compass for a very good deal :)
Goldenbush and Painted Rock can be seen in the distance left.  Here
there are spectacular pictographs, see my
2006 trip report.
On Sunday morning before everyone leaves we get a groupshot
Hikerchick395, her husband Greg, Jan, Mr. Rebecca D, Rebecca D,
Jim, Orygawn, 2heeldrive, me, Rebecca D's two boys, 4wheelbob,
and Tashia
Orygawn, Bob, and Tashia explore the trail down to Soda Lake
Orygawn wonders if you can lick the sodium sulfate
Goldfields!
The Wallace Creek Streambed has been offset 400 feet by the San
Andreas Fault which runs at the base of the Temblor Range
I took the trail alongside Wallace Creek for a ways but
besides goldfields and fiddleneck there weren't as many
flowers on the western side of the plain
So I went back to the east side to explore the
rocks near Selby Campground
To the south is a cool little sandstone canyon
Bird nests
King lizard
And now aren't you glad you went through all these pictures 'til the
very end??  Here are my up close and personal with poppies shots :)
Selby Rocks and Campground by the last light of day
Selby Rocks and Campground by the last light of day
More about this area
Carrizo Plain 2003
Carrizo Plain 2005
Carrizo Plain 2006
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