3 years ago I made my first trip to Central California's Carrizo Plain National Monument, off state Hwy 58 between San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield. My first trip sold me - wildflowers in numbers and varieties I'd not before witnessed. Color everywhere. And the promise of different attractions during the "off season."
One of those attractions was noted on our second trip. We ran across several herds of pronghorn, a native not often seen in CA these days. In late winter / early spring they can be found in small herds on the Plain, just at the edge of one of the bordering mountain ranges. The Caliente Mountains rise to more than 5,000 feet on the west side of the Plain, while the Temblor Range creates a border between the Plain and the great Kern County oil fields.
Another attraction is the presence of the San Andreas Fault running south to north at the base of the Temblor Range. I will always make a trip to go to the Fault, park and bounce on top of it, hoping to create a disturbance significant enough to register on the Richter Scale. No success with that little endeavor so far, however. Makes a good story for newbies and tourists, though - I've sold it to The Unsuspecting several times.
I'll be meeting up with a great bunch of folks, most of whom I know. And after as wild a winter as I've had personally, I'm looking forward to this trip! Hope to find a snake or two, too.
If it's wildflowers you seek, you can do no better than plan a weekend to this monumental Monument. Bring your own water, as it's arid as all hell and twice as hot in summer. Campgrounds (Selby and KCL) are first come, first served and cost nothing. You'll get more than your money's worth.
I'll post a little report after I return March 23. I'll be there Friday, 3/21 just in case you're interested. Find me at Selby CG in all liklihood.
Hope all is well in your worlds. Take a hike!