Desert Wildflowers, March 20-24, 2005
The record breaking rains this year brought a once in a lifetime opportunity to see
desert wildflowers, so, for spring break, I took four days exploring the vast deserts
of southwestern California. I started the trip by driving to the very north end of
Death Valley National Park, where I boondocked the first night. Then I drove south
to the main part of the valley and camped the second night in the foothills.
After leaving Death Valley, I continued working my way south, camping
for a night in the Mojave National Preserve and then making my way
thru Joshua Tree National Park to the Salton Sea, and camping the last
night in the Anza Borrego State Park.
All along the way I saw tons of wildflowers. There were dozens of different kinds,
of all sizes, colors, and varieties. Sometimes there would be "carpets" of flowers,
blanketting hundreds of acres. Other times they grew in smaller,
more interesting arrangements, but everywhere I turned I saw life
blooming in the desert.
Click here to skip right to the flower pictures!!
(otherwise, read on and see all the pictures from the trip)
I wasn't the only ones out looking at the wildflowers.
Had an interesting coincidence on the trip. While making my own
personal travel videos I had
become quite an avid viewer of television travel documentaries.
One of my favorite series is on PBS, and called California
Gold. It goes from town to town in California and digs up
local color in a friendly talksy format. As I had done the
narratives and voice overs on my own videos, I had come to
respect the host of the PBS series for his ability to
do ad-lib interviews in the field.
As I was driving along the road in Death Valley, who
should I see but the series host and producer,
Huell Howser, on the side of the
road filming a segment about the wildflowers for his
series. I stopped and waited till he finished the segment
and got a chance to say hi and snap a picture.
Once again, I thought it was pretty neat meeting Mr. Howser,
since I had even thought about contacting him at some point, if I keep making movies.
In any case, it was clear that I had chosen the best possible time to do
this trip. I kept hearing how the California Desert Wildflowers had even made
a National Story that week (on ABC news, I think). It hadn't rained this
much, or consistently, for several decades ...