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Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

A forum to initiate member meet-up. Looking for a hiking/climbing/fishing/skiing/etc. partner, or are you planning a trip where you wouldn't mind having some company? Last minute invites can be just as fun as a well-planned group trip (sometimes even better) so don't be shy! And be sure to post a trip report to the appropriate forum when you get back.

Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby Hobbes » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:44 pm

I will be driving through on SR58 from I-5 to US101 tomorrow morning on my way to the Bay area. It looks like a 25 mile detour to the visitor center, so I might head down a few miles depending on my time. Either way, I'll take some shots and report on what I see.



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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:13 am

That would be great Hobbes, main interest is in the hills of the Tremblor Range on the eastern side of the valley. :nod:
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:10 pm

Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree are experiencing massive wildflowers displays, especially AB, which is reporting a super bloom not seen since 2005.

CP, on the other hand, has not produced a super bloom as of yet, temps are pushing the upper 70's this week, and then a low front moves in lowering temps and bringing rain Mon-Tue, possible dropping a 1.5". If higher temps prevail afterward, it will bring out the caterpillars, which will eat some of the wildflowers and when the temps go even higher it will finish off the remaining wildflowers. The last super bloom in CP was also 2005, in the last week of March, this round of rain could help, but it may be to late for it to help with a super bloom in CP, at least for this year, we will see what the next week brings us.

NWS:

A cooling trend will begin over the weekend as high pressure departs to the east and a trough hits the west coast. Initially this won`t mean much for our area other than temps returning to normal as well as increasing night and morning low clouds and fog. However, by Monday night and Tuesday the jet stream will drop far enough south to bring the next system into central and southern California. While there could be some rain across NW SLO county as early as noon Monday, it won`t likely arrive until Monday night or early Tuesday in LA County. Models in pretty good agreement in general that it will rain, just not very certain on timing or amounts. Will bump up pops a category but still keep them fairly conservative for now. The GFS amounts seem a bit inflated, though it is tapping into some pretty high pwats to our southwest, around 1.5", so there is the potential for some heavier rain with this next system.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:54 am

From a wildflower watch blog re Carrizo:

This past Sunday, the center of the monument has large displays of goldfields and a few large displays of tidy tips. I’m guessing peak bloom should be last week of March and first week of April. Your best bet is to call the Goodwin visitors center for updates on current and future bloom status.

The next two weekends are returning to a rainy pattern - I'll be in Henry Coe backpacking one weekend, and camping elsewhere the other one. So I'll see you next time...
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby Hobbes » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:09 am

I saw a couple of RVs heading that way as I drove through on SR58. Admittedly a little bit premature, but this is what it looked like Monday (3/13) morning:

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby maverick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:33 am

Spoke to the botanist at Carrizo yesterday, some wildflowers are starting to bloom, but this weather moving in with rain and cooler temps will put the flowers in a dormant state and push back the full bloom cycle of many flowers, possibly into the beginning part of Apr, so will there be a super bloom, they don't know yet, we will continue to be in a holding pattern until there is something concrete evidence either way.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby Hobbes » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:44 pm

I really enjoyed driving through the Carrizo plain area. Even though, over the decades, I've driven the I-5 <-> US 101 loop between SoCal and the Bay area a zillion times, I had never taken the SR58 cut-over before. For those unfamiliar with this classic NorCal/SoCal road trip, Pacheco pass (SR 152) is the preferred cut across for the S bay, while I-580 (Tracy) serves the same function for the rest of the Bay area.

Because I've always been en route northbound or southbound, the Carrizo plain had remained a bit of a mystery. I knew it was (out) there as I passed by the turn-offs, but it's 100 miles from freeway to freeway, and the avg speed is around 35mph. In this particular case, I was driving by myself to deliver a car to my parents; I had all day, and was flying back the following day. Even though it added tiring mileage/time, it was the perfect opportunity to go for it, especially since it was spring and also because of the record rainfall.

However, if you're actually *going there* for some purpose, it's not that big of a deal mileage/time wise. From San Jose, the cut-over @ Santa Margarita is 180 miles; from OC, the cut-across @ off the I-5 is only 160 miles. Both of these drives are really easy - especially compared to getting to the Sierra - but the name of the game is leave really early. Like, say 5am. If you do that, I-5 moves @ 80mph or 2 hours. US 101 has a lower speed limit, but you can still easily get away with 70mph, or 2.5+ hours.

So, whether leaving from north or south, you can be at SR58 before 8am. It takes around 1 to 1.5 hours from there to get the Nat'l monument, which still puts you in position for a full day on day one. Just be aware that this might be (IMO) the most remote part of Calif - for instance, way more remote than Death valley. DV has the benefit of constant big-rig traffic supplying the park and surrounding communities with gas, food & supplies. SR 58 is really narrow and slow - there is no one out there, so there is neither reason to use it as a transit route or to go there to re-supply.

Which means fill up your tank at either cut-over, take a lot of water, beer, food, firewood, etc. If you do that, you should be fine. I can imagine one could satisfy their itch in just a quick 2-day, 1-night trip, especially if one is hunting for an ephemeral bloom that quickly comes and goes.

20 miles west of I-5:
Image

There are 15mph turns on this road:
Image
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby Dave_Ayers » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:50 pm

Folks, the "Motion" episode on the Carrizo Plain is airing on Outside TV tonight now (7:30-8:00 p.m.) and again at 10:30-11:00 p.m. Pacific time. It's from 2011 when there was a good bloom in case you want a preview of the trip.
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby EricaR » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:16 pm

My first post here. Looks like the Carrizo Plain is happening now. http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca.html Check out the Mar 27 photos. It was starting to dry down last Sat at Shell Creek, but we got 1/2" rain since then in Arroyo Grande ( 50 miles W of the Carrizo Plain).

I'm going to try and make it out there soon.
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Re: Carrizo Plain Meet-up Mar-Apr

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:36 pm

Hi Ericka,

Welcome to HST! Thanks for the info, read that post too. A photographer who was down there this weekend mentioned that the colors were predominately yellow, even on Shell Road, with a very few purple and even less orange in the hills of the Tremblor Range. For it to be like in 2005's Super bloom, we need a large variety of colors to bloom as close as possible, with as much overlay as possible, so maybe next week or the week after, but we need more than just yellow.
Looking forward to your report in the next several days, maybe things will change for the better. :)
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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