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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Two nights on the Carrizo Plain - "yelping of coyotes in the distance"

 We arrived late in the afternoon.
 As we looked for a campsite we found the side roads still muddy from recent rains.
 The spring wildflower bloom had begun.
We set up camp deep in the hills far from the main road.
 Dawn was misty.
 More mist rolled through after breakfast.
 Eventually the sun broke through the clouds and we went on a hike into the surrounding hills.
 There was rain to the East.
 We followed the road high into the hills.
Caliente Peak was far to the North.
 We cut cross-country across the hills.
 And made our way back to the road and followed it to our camp.
 I spent the remainder of the day reading while Bosco patrolled the perimeter.
 The yelping of coyotes in the distance signaled the approach of darkness and about an hour later we retired to the camper.
 Another foggy morning.
 We broke camp and drove back toward Soda Lake Road.
 In an odd twist of coincidence I was listening to Snortin' Whiskey by Pat Travers as we drove by Traver Ranch.
Massive fields of yellow were to be found along the road.
 And we found a gigantic field of purple.
 Then we drove farther to North Soda Lake.
 Reflections on Soda Lake.
 We drove East on the San Diego Creek Road and found a quiet place to eat lunch.
 On our drive back to Soda Lake Road we had a chance encounter with Tom Hanagan, who owned Four Wheel Campers from 2001 to 2016. We talked for awhile about exploration, retirement and Four Wheel Campers until it was time for Tom to drive North and me to head South.

 The Soda Lake Overlook was crowded with people and vehicles.
 We parked at a turnout to capture a photo of water in and clouds over this shallow, ephemeral, alkali endorheic lake.
 After visiting Soda Lake we turned around and drove South toward CA-166.
A mile from the highway and time to leave the lush blooming plain of Carrizo behind and head for home.

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