Carrizo Plain NM, 2018
Although closer to me than other places I've driven to, Carrizo Plain is one of those newer national monuments that I never visited. With few trails and only a dirt road going through it, soon afer it was established there did not seem like much to do. Going online, I saw there was some organized tours and decided to finally take time to visit here.
The drive to the monument was gorgeous along a fun winding road that weaved through ranchland and the pretty hills around SLO I've only recently begun hiking. The monument itself was surprisingly beautiful. A plain nestled inbetween two mountain chains, it also formed its own drainage basin that was a dry lake in a place I never expected. I went on one of the guided hikes to go see Painted Rock, a large sandstone outcropping on the plain that was covered on the inside with petroglyphs. It was guided this time of year due to nesting birds, including some owls which were quite large. Also at the visitor's center were some old pieces of farm equipment from the time when the plain was attempted to be made productive. I also didn't know that the area was home to quite a few endangered species and had been primarily preserved by The Nature Conservancy, whom I seem to be coming up against more often, ironically. After tromping around the rock it was time to head back into the car and head to Tahoe. But the strange plain was still beautiful driving out. Little did I know soon I would be flying over it and able to identify it clearly from the air, seeing the San Andreas fault that helped uplift the Temblor mountains. It's an interesting place to which I think I'll be returning to meander on the lake and weave a new path up into the mountains.
Picutres were from the a900 system with the 24-70 and 70-400 lenses.
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