The California Super Bloom – A rare carpet of color that cascaded its way across southern California this spring was on display for the first time in more than two decades and was vibrant enough to be seen from space.
Fortunately, we were in California and thought we’d take the chance to see it. Two spots gave us beautiful views among oceans of wildflowers – The California Poppy Reserve and Carrizo Plain National Monument.
With fields rich in orange hues and roadside turnouts packed with cars enjoying the short bloom window, the poppies were stunning and much like our beloved bluebonnet phenomena of Texas each spring.
But the wildflowers of Carrizo Plain were simply unbelievable. High in the hills (which meant a slow and careful drive up a snake-shaped road) above San Luis Obispo, the Carrizo Plain is a hardly visited national monument. And while we literally spent hours driving 10 MPH down dirt roads as everything in the RV shook like jackhammer, it really was worth it.
Just before sunset we stopped at a seemingly endless field of yellow wildflowers that was so thick you had to gently wade your way through them. And its surrounding hills were in full bloom with vibrant purples, florescent oranges and glowing greens like spring on steroids. It looked as if God had intentionally spilled paint across the horizon.
Carrizo Plain is also home to Soda Lake, a salt rich and dry lake, which created a stark white contrast to the explosion of colors surrounding it. The photos don’t do the scene justice as the yellow flowers were nearly effervescent and covering such a distance that the sunsets seems to become one with the fields each evening.
We spent a couple days hopping from flower field to flower field, taking pictures, observing the wildlife and helping the kids earn their first National Monument Jr. Ranger patch. Such a neat experience.
Next stop: Channel Islands National Park and Anacapa Island