The spring wildflower show at Carrizo was incredible The hills were painted with shades of yellow, purple, pink, and orange - and the plain itself was technicolor as well! We saw acres of coreopsis, goldfields, filaree, phacelia, Parry's mallow, fiddleneck, California poppies, lupine, golden bush, tidytips, desert candles, white fiesta flower, miner's lettuce, shredding evening primrose, recurved larkspur, cream cups, owl's clover, Indian paintbrush, locoweed, baby blue eyes, and more...

We had 22 people come out for this annual event:
Todd and I
My parents
My best friend, Andrew (who, yes, is from Oregon, but he's not Orygawn!)
My sister-in-law Tina and brother-in-law Rod, their friend Jenn and her daughter
4wheelbob, Gina, their friends Greg and Sabbath
Toejam (Steve) and his Grandaughter Adele
395Hikerchick and her husband Greg
Greg1062 (yes, we had 3 Gregs there!)
Serpicorabbit (Nick)
Sunbeam (Albert) and his wife Lio
and DavidSenesac

My first trip to Carrizo was in 2003. In 2005 I met 4wheelbob there. In 2006 I took Todd there and met Bob's wife Gina. And since then more and more people have come to the plain every year. I invited more of my family this time, my parents and my brother- and sister-in-law. It's a fantabulous place to go this time of year!

My parents arrived at Selby Campground on Thursday, the rest of us arriving on Friday and a few on Saturday. The nights were chilly but during the day it warmed up nicely.

On Saturday Greg1062, Serpicorabbit, Sunbeam, Lio, Todd, and I hiked the short trail at Wallace Creek to see where the San Andreas Fault has offset the creekbed. We then drove further south and hiked up a canyon in the Temblor Range that literally looked like someone had spilled yellow, purple, pink, and orange paint along its steep slopes. We could even smell the sweet orange-blossomy smell of phacelia from hundreds of yards away. Serpicorabbit, Greg, and I made it to the top of the canyon and the top of the range where we could see vast views across the plain on one side and the Central Valley on the other. We didn't know it until later, but we had hiked passed Hikerchick395 and her husband Greg on the way up.

That night we all gathered and ate great potluck food. I blew out birthday candles on a cute cake consisting of a bunch of cupcakes. And we all sat around a roaring campfire telling jokes and stories. Thanks to 4wheelbob's dog Brodie we now have a new "trail name" for Greg1062. Brodie, who's part red Dobie, part chocolate lab, decided to sit on Greg who was in a reclining camp chair, Brodie resting his private parts right on Greg's legs, lol. So Greg is now dubbed "Barkalounger".

Then next day when we did a group photo Brodie proceeded to put his butt into Toejam's granddaughter's face, lol, and Hikerchick captured it on film. We won't bestow upon the poor girl any nicknames for that, though!

'Twas also an eventful weekend - On Saturday morning my parent's dog Abbey had a brush with barbed wire and cut her back leg pretty deep as well as smaller cuts on her front leg and chest. Thanks to Gina, who has doctored up her own dogs frequently in the past, we got her wounds cleaned and bandaged and my parents took her to the vet in Bakersfield on Saturday. So there went my parent's Saturday, but by Sunday Abbey was running around again all stitched up and feeling better.

Then on the drive home Todd and I were second to arrive on a single motorcycle accident on Hwy 58. Looks like the Harley rider spun out on a tight corner and crashed. He was unconscious but thankfully breathing when we arrived. First on scene were a trio of middle-aged ladies who were on the phone with 911 but obviously had no First Aid experience because they were just wringing their hands and panicking. Fortunately I do and I carry gloves in a pouch in my purse so I put them on, grabbed our two pillow cases, and ran over to the man while Todd took over the 911 call with a steadier voice than the ladies'.

The man was breathing like I said but not very well, very rapid and shallow. He was already on his back so I kneeled at his head. He had had a helmet on, but it had come off in the middle of the highway. So the left side of his head was bleeding, thankfully not gushing, but it was obvious that's where his major injuries were. So I held his head in place and began to talk to him and looked for other injuries. His hands were both bleeding, and his left knee, but not bad. In a minute or so he became alert so I basically just sat there for the next 15 minutes until firefighters and the ambulance arrived, talking to him, putting gentle pressure on his head wound, and holding his head in place. At a couple of points he tried to get up and move and I told him to stay still, but it took Todd's strong voice to really impress upon him that he needed to stay still, that we were helping him and more help was on its way.

He knew his name, and eventually also was able to say where he was from. He kept asking what was happening and I told him he was in a motorcycle accident but and he kept saying, "I don't have a motorcycle. I've always wanted one, though."

Well, once the medics arrived they life-flighted him out to Bakersfield. I hope he pulls through okay. Todd had found his cell phone on the ground and 30 minutes before the accident he called his mom, probably to tell her he'd be home soon since he lived just a little ways down the highway.

So after that ordeal, I was exhausted. We were going to drive back via the Kern River Cayon, Hwy 178, to see the flowers there, but we decided to go straight home. Well, almost. My Mom called and they had just driven past the California Poppy Reserve and said that the poppies were coming out en masse along the roadsides there. So that's the way we went home and I'm glad we did. Seeing those fields of happy poppies at the end of the day helped calmed me down and find some peace after the day's events...
Carrizo Plain National Monument

March 26-28, 2010
Click here to see the rest of my photos from this trip :)

Carrizo 2004
Carrizo 2005
Carrizo 2006
Carrizo 2008
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