Carrizo Plain National Monument

Carrizo Plain national monument is located near Bakersfield, CA and belongs to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The monument is mountainous prairie land with a valley the center containing a lake. One of the monuments main attractions are the large amounts of wildflowers that typically bloom in the spring and summer. Ashby was especially excited about seeing the wildflowers so we made this a priority stop. We spent 4 days parked up a hillside overlooking the valley below.

Wildflowers

While this park is known for its vibrant “superblooms” of wildflowers, the blooms depend heavily on the amount of precipitation that occurs during the winter. Unfortunately, the monument did not see the much rain this winter so, we missed out on a “superbloom” but still saw some unique wildflowers. We will have to visit again when the rains are better.

Purple Owl’s-Clover and Fiddleneck

San Andreas Fault

The division between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates runs up the length of the monument appearing to be no more than a drainage ditch. It is a unique experience when you are standing on this immense geological boundary. I decided to go into the fault line and on my way down heard a rattle and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. My immediate reaction was to jump and run the opposite direction. I quickly surmised that I had just narrowly escaped being stuck by a rattlesnake! We then stood above the fault line and observed the rattlesnake slither back under some rocks all while it continued to rattle at us. This day happened to be our 3 year wedding anniversary and Ashby was glad we didn’t end up in the hospital.

San Andreas Fault

Takeaways

This is a remote mountainous prairie that in some ways reminded us of the vast prairies back home in Texas. We hope to return again following a good rain season to witness one of the wildflower superblooms this area is famous for. Until next time!

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