For my birthday, we decided to take a short road trip to visit the Central CA coast at Morro Bay and Pismo Beach and then continue east to see the “Super Bloom” in the central valley. We saw some lovely scenery, ate some good seafood, and enjoyed more of the fantastic wildflower display that happened in 2017.
We spent the first night, April 5 in Morro Bay. On the 6th, my birthday we toured that area. Montana del Oro State Park was new to us and worth the drive. We also found a cultivated bush with purple cone shaped flowers, that we really loved. Had to stop at a nursery to get the name, “Pride of Madera” (knew they looked familiar, we’ve been there) or Echium.
One of our favorite spots in Morro Bay is Giovanni’s Cafe. It’s right by the bay and close to the Morro Rock. We ate outside with a quart of fantastic clam chowder and a bottle of some decent white wine. Very nice Birthday lunch!! Then we drove to San Luis Obispo and enjoyed a driving tour of Cal Poly. We stayed that night in Pismo Beach and went to another place that we knew, Scotty’s Bar and Grill. Good food and drink.
On Friday, the 7th, we headed east on CA 58 to find the Central Valley “Super Blooms”. They were definitely that. Hills and fields full of flowers in many shades. Botanists say that the seeds for all these plants had been laying dormant throughout all the drought years. Then, since 2017 was very rainy, they all burst forth at once. The recommended spot was Carrizo Plain National Monument, also new to us. Really awesome.
After an overnight in Bakersfield, on April 8th we went further east to Tehachapi and then south on Willow Springs Road; on the way to the Poppy Preserve near Lancaster. We saw many Joshua trees and more Wind Turbines than the I-10 corridor near Palm Springs. They also had many solar panels; great to see natural power being harvested. As we got closer to Lancaster, we started seeing many Poppy fields around Ave. I and 110th St. Golden California Poppies mixed with blue/purple phacelia along with goldfield were all around us. So glad that we were able to see this display on our way home!
We arrived home to find one of my most beautiful Iris’s had bloomed!