As soon as it started raining like crazy this winter I began to get excited. Not only because it was much needed after years of drought but also because it meant a colorful spring. Southern California is known for its spring wildflowers and their abundance relies on the amount of rainfall in previous months. The more rain the more wildflowers. Well, we had a TON of rain so it was only natural for me to get excited about the prospect of a spring full of color.
One of the most famous spots for wildflowers is Anza-Borrego State Park located in the eastern part of San Diego County. I’d long intended to visit but as it’s 2.5 hours away I’d never gotten around to it. Well, this year was to be different. This year I would finally make it out to see the “super bloom.”
Last Saturday, bright and early, my family and I started our long trek to the park. As soon as we hit Riverside county we found ourselves surrounded by hills covered in bright orange poppies and purple lupine. It was incredible to see as I’d previously seen these same hills covered in dead, brown grass. When we reached Temecula we got off the main highway and took a country road for the next 1.5 hours. Living in the city makes one think SoCal is all concrete and subdivisions but it’s amazing how close we truly are to nature. Although the journey to the park was long it was a beautiful day and our drive was peaceful and idyllic.
We left quite early in the morning hoping to beat the crowds to the park but upon arriving we found a massive line of cars headed toward the visitor’s center. We decided to skip it and headed into the tiny town of Borrego Springs instead. I imagine it must be a peaceful place most of the year but on this day it was overrun with people. Not knowing where to go we happened across the state park store located in a strip mall. Inside, we met a friendly park ranger who showed us exactly where to go to find the best blooms. Before we knew it we were leaving the masses behind and heading out into the dessert. Which isn’t to say we completely skipped the crowds, they were everywhere, but it was nothing compared to the lines at the visitor’s center.
Before visiting Anza-Borrego I really didn’t know what I would find there. I thought it would be similar to the covered hillsides I’d seen earlier but I didn’t take into account it was a completely different environment. We were now fully in the dessert and, of course, the flowers reflected that and what they lacked in density they made up for in variety.
So many different kids of flowers growing right out of the sand! It was incredible.
After wandering around for sometime we decided to head home satisfied that we’d seen several varieties of beautiful wildflowers. All the rainfall did not disappoint and now we’re sure to have a beautiful spring. I fully intend to take full advantage of it and you’ll find me out and about enjoying my surroundings until the summer heat forces me back indoors.