Archive of ‘Plains’ category

2nd Visit to the Carrizo Plain

Back at it! This time seeking flowers! K and I returned to Carrizo Plain in late March 2016, after hearing that the blooms were in session. We got to explore more spots around the plain, including the bed of Soda Lake:

It was so squishy and fun to walk around. Like memory foam!

Wikipedia calls Soda Lake a “shallow, ephemeral, alkali endorheic lake.” Endorheic means that it does not drain into any other bodies of water. When there is water (if there is water), it only evaporates or seeps into the ground.

After that, we did some hardcore chilling by this field of yellows. The yellows were overwhelming, and this photo does not do them justice.

Next up was climbing the western hills to look out over the plain:We were not done with our search for wildflowers, so we took a side trip to Shell Creek Road in Santa Margarita, where there was rumored to be prime viewing. Instead, we found a very entertaining troupe of cows, that slowly, silently, and surreptitiously came closer and closer to the car…until they were suddenly all there, staring…



First Visit to the Carrizo Plain

Carrizo Plain is a National Monument located about 1:45 from San Luis Obispo. Every 12 years or so, it has a glorious superbloom that paints all the hills purple and orange and yellow in great swaths. 2017 was one of those years. February 2016, our first visit to the Carrizo, was not [though we would return later that year for some flowers].

I read the rumors of elk — Tule Elk — roaming the plain, but so far have not caught a glimpse. What Carrizo does have is Soda Lake, a typically dry lake bed that was mined for soda ash, and the San Andreas Fault, which runs along the eastern side of the plain, before the Temblor Range, pictured above.

Carrizo is kind of like a big playground. It’s a huge space, with huge sky, and you can roam where you wish. You can see lizards and snakes and birds and plants and soils and tumbleweeds, sunrises and sunsets. And we would!