For the last decade I have been hearing about “The Super Bloom”. That magical time of year when the fields of the Southern California deserts explode in hues of yellow and orange. It doesn’t happen every year but sometimes, a perfect combination of weather systems following each other for a month or two brings forth a wave of life that has to be seen to be believed. Every year it happens I seem to miss it though. This year I was prepared though. The winter had been dry enough, allowing the seeds of the desert flowers to accumulate and it had been raining for the past two weeks. Usually, this would mean another two or three weeks would have to go by before a bloom started, but Covid-19 had started closing down the nation and I couldn’t stay on the road for much longer. I took off to Antelope Valley preparing for the worst but hoping that I wasn’t too soon.
It’s hard to describe the feeling I felt when I saw my first poppy field. I had been driving through the outskirts of Lancaster which is mostly dry farmland. There were bits of green popping out of different crevices and the mountains watched over me in the distance, a fresh blanket of snow kissing the tops. As I pulled around a curve my heart jumped with joy as orange suddenly filled my view. Immediately, I felt the urge to pull over and take it all in. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I was just pulling into the area.
About a mile further down the road, I came upon the entrance to the reserve. I parked my car as quickly as I could, eager to get out into the fields hiking. As I headed up into the hills, it was hard to comprehend the colorful landscape that stretched out in front of me. As I hiked deeper into the trails a feeling of contentment came over me. Nature had painted a scene using every color of the rainbow and I was here able to take it all in. It’s hard to feel big or egotistical when one is surrounded by so much beauty. I continued my hike feeling as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. All I could feel was humility. I sat down on the next bench I came across as looked out to see the mind mills in the distance. A feeling of humility suddenly overcame me and I smiled.
On to the next voyage I thought to myself as I walked back to the car. Covid was shutting down the world and I had to figure out where to go.
Closest Supercharger: Tejon Ranch 46 mi
5602 Dennis McCarthy Dr, Lebec, CA 93243
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536