Antelope Valley, California (sans poppies)

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2021)

So our first mistake yesterday was NOT deciding to visit the mining towns instead of eating breakfast in California City.

No, it was the earlier decision to go to the Desert Tortoise Reserve and Red Rock Canyon instead of Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in the first place.

There were lots of valid reasons for making that decision from the purely greedy (the poppies are late and another hot sunny day will mean there will be a few more open when I get there) to the practical and mundane (it seemed safer to leave our car with all our stuff in it at the Poppy Reserve instead of at the more isolated tortoise reserve and canyon), but as it turned out, the tortoise reserve would have been perfectly safe and with no trail maps at Red Rock we never got much out of sight of the car.

So, in the end, they were dumb reasons – especially since the weather has now changed and is cold, cloudy, and windy. . . meaning there will not be any poppies at all today.

Poppies close up and hide when it is cold and windy.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I COULD have come back here yesterday and there would have been tons of sunshine and lots of poppies (although the woman at the gate tells us they are still pretty spotty and probably two weeks from their peak), but no: I figured the hot sunny weather we were having would continue on indefinitely. What an idiot.

So here we are.

It’s still a pretty place, with lots of other things (that aren’t as picky about the weather) blooming, including owl clover, which we haven’t seen before.

It isn’t a complete loss, but still. . .

Next post: On the Road North

California desert wildflower tour


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