Last weekend I drove up the coast for my friend's wedding in San Mateo. I took the back roads north, since I knew it might be a long time before I had a chance to pass through the Central Coast Range of California again.
Surprisingly, there were a lot of poppies blooming near Gorman. There were almost none a few weeks ago, and I thought the season was over.
Buttonwillow, CA - a sleepy farm town in the middle of NOWHERE.
A big oil field somewhere east of the Carrizo Plain. There is still lots of oil land out there but I hear the supply is running out in this area.
Highway 33 north of Taft... no one really goes out here except the people maintaining the oil wells.
Very barren hills somewhere between Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo, near the edge of the San Joaquin Valley. This is probably due to a combination of very dry weather and grazing, but according to some very old historic records, these areas were nearly barren in the summers after some dry years, even before grazing, invasive plants, and other such human impacts. During the early spring these areas can be full of wildflowers, though.
The road to Parkfield from the south.
San Andreas Fault
There are lots of earthquakes in parkfield, but there weren't any when I was there.
Part of the road north of Parkfield is dirt.
A lonely intersection...
The next day I was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, what a contrast!