Thursday, May 02, 2013

Carrizo Plain

I finally decided to visit the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  It's located kinda halfway between Bakersfield, CA and Vandenberg AFB.  The famous San Andreas fault runs right up the middle of the monument showing some interesting large-scale geologic deformations.  Here's a google map centered on Carrizo Plain.

The wikipedia page includes photos of the San Andreas fault formations there.  It also confirms that Pronghorns live there.  I was startled when a small group of them ran across the road in front of me.

If you visit when the wildflowers are in bloom, it's supposed to be a nice sight.  Unfortunately, they weren't blooming during my visit a week ago.  I was actually a bit bored.  I'm not sure what I was expecting.  I think I had too many things on my mind at the time.  Some day I'll return and drive the many dirt trails that stem from Soda Lake Road.  They looked interesting and appeared to wander around the gentle hills bordering the valley.

I stopped by to check out the KCL Campground.  Only 2 of the 12 sites were occupied.   It looks like a nice place to camp.  It's the only campground with shade trees.

I cut across the big plain and left the monument via Hurricane Road.  That is a great dirt road with nice views of the plain as you climb the hills on the east side.  Then it becomes a narrow shelf road as you cross the hills.  The drop off is very large and might be unsettling to some drivers.

Ranches come into view east of the hills and the road dumps into the busy oil production fields.

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