Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Tuesday: I got up about 7:30 to prepare to leave. Everything was secured, the windshield washed, and the leveling blocks put away in no time. Helen fixed a nice ham and egg breakfast and we chatted a while and I left about 10am.

I headed West on Rosedale Highway taking Highway 58 through Buttonwillow and McKitrick and over the mountains to California Valley.

Carrizo Plains NM Entrance Sign.JPG Soda Lake Overlook Parking Area.JPG
I stopped at the Soda Lake overlook and then took a hike out by the lake on the boardwalk.

Soda Lake With temblor Ridge Behind.JPG Soda Lake Salt.JPG
The mountains on the other side of the lake are called Temblor Ridge. the San Andreas Fault runs along the front edge of the ridge and provides some of the best views of fault activity, reportedly. I'll have to return and check it out in better weather.
Soda Lake Salt.JPG Information Sign About Soda Lake.JPG
Soda Lake has no outlet so the lake dries out when the water stops filling it. They mined salt here around the turn of the century.
Information Sign About Temblor Ridge.JPG Painted Rock From A Distance.JPG
The information sign about the fault on the left above. Painter Rock from a distance onthe right above.
Painted Rock Up Close.JPG Rock Pinted By Lichen.JPG
I then went by the Visitor Center which was closed. On up the hill about two miles on the dirt road beyond the Visitor Center is Painted Rock. The rock is about a 1/2 mile hike from the parking/picnic area at the end of the road. These petroglyphs are different because they are polychromatic, they are painted in several colors, not just chipped into the rocks or charcoal drawings. It was drizzling on the walk. The clouds were threatening. They are interesting. They are different than the typical petroglyphs we've seen al around the southwest using different symbols.
Painted Rock Information Sign.JPG Painted Rock Parking Area.JPG
The information sign about painted rock and the view of the Painted Rock parking area.
Trail To Painted Rock.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
The train to Painted Rock where there are lots of unusual petroglyphs.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Some are faded or eroded. Many are damaged by vandals.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Some are very colorful.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Thee symbols are different than those in the southwest desert.
Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG Painted Rock Petroglyphs.JPG
Here is a link to a photo album about my visit to the carrizo Plains NM.

I had planned to camp here in the monument but the main campground is closed and the other campground is out a dirt road several miles. This dirt looks like it gets really slick when it gets wet and a storm is due tonight so I opted to leave instead. I don't need to be stuck in the mud for a few days! For the same reason, i back tracked on the paved road back to highway 58. The road South through the monument becomes a dirt road about 10 miles from Highway 58 and the next 25 miles on tho highway 166 is dirt. Probably would have been OK but why take the chance, with my luck. Evidently you can camp along the road on Elkhorn Road on the East side of the valley but it's dirt and not as level as most of the roads. I'm toadless, as in no car available, so my exploring on this trip is in the RV and that isn't the best way to determine how the roads really are.

I camped in a rest area North of Paso Robles near Camp Roberts army base on highway 101.

Wednesday: Up early and on the road by 08:00. It rained some last night but the dust from the dirt roads on the back of the RV just turned to mud. That problem was pretty much eliminated later during a deluge on the way to Salinas. No more mud, just the typical dirt from the road. Perfect timing. i stopped in Morgan Hill, South of San Jose for breakfast at Scramblez. They have a good country fried steak, hence the reason to stop here. Very good as expected. I continued on toward home stopping at the Oakridge mall for a look around and to update the blog before I get distracted at home.

Nice trip. Not exactly as planned but we don't really plan our trips so it must have been per our plan?

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