Editor: Part of our efforts to get people near the coast to get out to the deserts …
Originally published on April 7, 2011.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta, gotta, gotta to get away…
We’d been meaning to get to the desert to see the flowers and both our schedules and the weather cooperated nicely today. After a light breakfast and our morning work on the Rag, we piled our provisions in the car and headed east. We took I-8 through the mountains and into the desert and under a sky peppered with high clouds we headed north on S-2.
Not far along on S-2 we encountered folks on bikes. Lots of them. Then RV’s with “5th Graders Ride Across California” written on the back windows. I was able to find out that the Rancho Family YMCA in Rancho Penasquitos sponsors this ride every year. This month, from the 3rd to the 9th, these kids and parents will ride from Yuma to San Diego, over the Banner Grade! Wow! From their website it looks like they ride over the mountains, through Escondido and end their ride at South Carlsbad State Beach. 267 miles. I’m impressed.
Carrizo Creek Trail
As we continued on S-2, steering clear of the bicyclists, seeing the purple Lupine that lined both sides of the road had me looking forward to the sights to come. We turned off the paved road and headed down the sandy trail to the Carrizo Badlands Overlook.
We took a little walk, me snapping pictures and Frank up ahead scoping out the terrain. We continued on to another sandy trail, the sign marked it as the route to Carrizo Creek. The good ole PT Cruiser did fine but the washboard terrain made me think the fillings would fall outta my teeth… We didn’t make it to the Creek as the trail was getting to soft to continue so we pulled over on a hard patch of ground and got out to investigate.
At first glance I didn’t see much color, but as I looked closer I could see blossoms everywhere. Some of them are so small it made me conscious of every step I took, not wanting to trample any of the little plants. The photos here are also in the gallery below, so click on them to see larger images with descriptions.
Back on S-2 we headed north to the Box Canyon, a place Frank had been before. We parked and ate our sandwiches sitting on a rock wall at the entrance to the historic site, then grabbed the camera and headed down the canyon.
We climbed down the side of the hill, in places the rocks made a staircase that seemed almost man-made. As we came around a bend in the trail we startled a crow (and it startled us) from its perch in the canyon and it scolded us, then kept an eye on us almost the whole time we were in the canyon. I’m pretty sure I spotted its nest on the way out but didn’t see any chicks in it. Are baby crows called chicks? Anyway, I realized right then that I had never before seen a crow’s nest…
It was a glorious day, warm in the desert, cool and drizzly in the mountains where we stopped for coffee. It rained on I-8 but we could see the sun in the west as we drove home.
Most of the photos in the gallery below were taken either at Carrizo Creek Trail or Box Canyon. I’ve listed the names of the flowers I could identify. If you can, help me to identify the rest. Enjoy!