Carrizo Plain

Although I hate road trips, I love traveling and seeing new places. It didn’t take much convincing after reading about the flower bloom in Southern California to get me excited about renting a car and heading down the highway for 5 hours to see it.

We clearly did not do things right, though. Between missing the fine print on the rental agreement, getting to the campsite after the welcome center had closed, and forgetting to get firewood ahead of time, we were pretty stressed on our ride there. Luckily, getting out of the city and camping in the wilderness has its way of soothing even the most restless of Avys.

Our first pit stop was barely out of San Francisco, just past the Devil’s Slide tunnels, to see the bunker along Highway 1.

We stopped for lunch in Salinas. The downtown areas of these little western towns seem straight out of a movie, and walking into the antique shops is like traveling back in time. This photo doesn’t really tell any of this, so you’ll just have to trust me on that one.

We set up camp roughly an hour before sunset, so we decided to go on a short hike. We quickly learned we know nothing about flowers, as all the returning hikers casually told us we “absolutely had to keep going until we saw the {insert name of flower I had never heard of here} which are fully in bloom this evening”

Someone got in the way.

It was Nat Geo Hannah.

Or maybe it was Animal Planet Hannah?

There were flowers everywhere. That was kind of the point.

Sadly, this photo doesn’t do justice to the insane colors of the rolling hills being hit by the setting sun.

The next morning, we started up the same trail we had already hiked. A whole bunch of white flowers like this one had bloomed overnight.

Our campground, seen from above.

The flower fields were massive.

The Soda Lake is really strange. Even after the heavy rains that led to the bloom, there was a thick crust of salt on top of it. These are the footsteps of crazy people who went way deeper than we dared to.

Overall, it was worth the drive. I’d go back.

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