Friday, April 06, 2012

Persnickety Poppies*

(* with a nod to Arkansas Patti)

One of the items listed as a place to visit on the Thousand Trails web site for our campground was the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.  With visions of us traipsing through vast beds of poppies a la Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, Denny and I planned a day trip to the reserve.  There is a ten dollar entrance fee (nine dollars for seniors) per car load for which you can wander the seven miles of trails throughout the park and check out the visitors' center.  We dropped additional cash at the visitor center for a sweatshirt for Denny as the winds were drastically stronger than they had been at our campground and the temperature was lower also.  While inside the visitor center the volunteers there warned us that with the lack of rain, cold and blowing winds the current crop of poppies was, well, minimal.  Hmm.  The ladies told us a good view would be from the Tehachapi View Point so Denny and I headed that way.

This is what we saw:

Far in the distance in the valley there are beds of still in bud form poppies.  Really there are.


The volunteers had informed us that the second best area for seeing poppies was from the South Poppy Trail so that's where we headed next, only to see this:

A close up view of the still tightly furled poppies:

As we headed back towards the truck we didn't feel the need to watch out for the rattlesnakes all the footpath signs were warning us about but we did see this little Western Fence Lizard: 
Disappointed by the "best" views of poppies, Denny and I decided to wander some of the back roads suggested by the ladies at the visitor center to look for other areas of poppies and to take in lunch at the restaurant they suggested.

Driving down Munoz Ranch Road to Elizabeth Lake Road in Lake Hughes:

Yes, we finally saw some sun drenched poppies.

Lunch was at the Rock Inn, which was built in 1929 after the original trading post and post office burned to the ground.  Rebuilt of stone, the trading post and inn was apparently popular with Hollywood actors as a bit of a getaway.  Today, they serve burgers and booze to locals and tourists alike and the Inn has become quite popular with bikers.  Denny and I enjoyed our lunches of deep fried cod; mine as a sandwich and his as fish and chips while surrounded by Art Deco touches, murals and the scent of woodsmoke from the fireplace (I told you it was a cool day!).  

Despite the lack of poppies at the Poppy Reserve, this turned out to be a pretty great day!


Anvilcloud said...

Apparently, it wasn't the best day for poppies, but it seems as though you had a nice meal in a nice restaurant.

Linda in New Mexico said...

Boo to the lack of abundant poppies and yeah for the beauties you spotted. Cool dinner spot. Love that the day turned out to be a good one. Linda, the other

Arkansas Patti said...

Ha, had to laugh at your title. Thanks for the nod. Those poppies may have been persnickety but they were pretty.
My RVing brother was here for a week so I missed your post.
That restaurant looked sooo inviting.

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