"People say we are trying to stop time and hold on to flower power." - Camilla Roslind
Today marked the first day of Spring, but the poppies didn't need a reminder. Heavy rains in Southern California this year have brought wildflower super blooms (according to National Geographic this is a "colloquial term" but there is really nothing ordinary about these flowers). We packed up the family and headed out to Walker Canyon, in Lake Elsinore, to see what these super blooms were all about.
Heading north on the 5 from our sleepy beach town, we cut east at the 74 (Ortega Highway) after a quick lunch in San Clemente. If you like long, winding country roads, this highway is for you. I have a serious case of wanderlust that is really only quenched by this kind of drive and I got my fix today. The San Juan Creek was even visible at points through gaps in oak and maple lined trails and tall grasses. It only took about an hour and fifteen minutes from our house to the Canyon itself, which is typically the longest I keep my toddler strapped into a moving vehicle on days I am valuing my sanity.
I've heard of the traffic jams around Lake Elsinore and within Anza-Borrego State Park, although we didn't see any today. That said, for a Monday, there was still a bit of a manic vibe around the freeway exit and plenty of people gawking at the Walker Canyon trailhead itself (not that I blame the gawking). Turns out Walker Canyon is actually an Ecological Preserve with 490 acres of high desert to explore. We ended up taking up taking in just a mile or two of the Canyon itself and the infamous California poppies, but those miles were well worth it.
Hopefully these images and the thousands of others floating around the web give you the kick in the butt you need to get over to Lake Elsinore in the coming weeks before this super bloom is super gone. Living in Southern California, it can be tempting to spend every weekend in the surf or at the beach, but there really might be something to this desert thing. Time really does seem to stop out there.