North Fork’s own Larry Langley lets us in on his trip with wife Sue to catch a bit of history along and an abundance of wildflowers in April: a good reminder that these dog days of summer are the ideal time to plan an outing for a cool adventure down the line.
Here are Larry’s recommendations this week.
With all the rain we had early in 2017 the wildflowers were blooming like crazy. One area in particular was the Carrizo Plain National Monument northwest of Taft, California. We decided to drive our motorhome over to check out the rumors of a spectacular wildflower bloom in the Plain.
First, we decided to stop in Taft and check out the West Kern Oil Museum. I was particularly interested in Taft because my mom was born there in 1920 and my grandfather worked there in the oil fields before moving to Long Beach.
Glad we chose to stop over, as the museum was fascinating, including great displays of old oil field equipment, as well as the history of the area. To this day there are probably thousands of oil wells, still producing oil!
After a tour of the museum we checked the map and decided to head for Carrizo Plain through the southern entrance so we headed northwest on Highway 33 and turned left onto Mocal Road which led us to Crocker Spring Road.
You are out in the oil fields now, yet plugging along Crocker Spring Road turns into the dirt Hurricane Road. It was a bit tight for our 22’-foot motorhome and our jeep would have been a better vehicle here.
We stopped numerous times for photos and to let oncoming vehicles around us. I did mention the road was narrow didn’t I?
At one spot we were delayed because an SUV somehow overturned and was blocking a big part of the roadway.
A highway patrolman was already on the scene and was waiting for a wrecker to arrive to get the offending vehicle back onto its wheels.
There was just enough room to squeeze by and we made it by pulling our mirrors in flat.
Finally we got out of the hills and down onto the plain where we turned north on Elkhorn Road.
At first we saw a few cars coming our way and the further we went, the more cars. Finally the road ended at the highway where there were hundreds of people trampling through the flowers! It was the “easy” way to Carrizo Plain and it showed.
From there we took Highway 58 over towards Pozo where we found a nice place to camp, but that’s another story.
All images are of the road thru Carrizo Plain and the spectacular flower displays in the order we drove. Hope you like it.