Good morning all! I hope each of you had a fantastic weekend. I have been wanting to drive out to the desert and see the super bloom for some time now, so this past weekend my in laws offered to take our kiddos overnight so that my hubby and I could make the two and a half hour drive out to the Flower fields. There are a crazy number of wildflowers blooming in the desert right now because of all the rain that we received over the winter months. This is supposedly the most extensive flower bloom they have ever had, so I had to go see it for myself.
Like any trip, however, our desert outing had a few minor hiccups. I have never been to the Anza Borrego Desert before. So, in order to find it we just typed "Anza Borrego Desert State Park" into Google Maps and we hit the road. After riding in the car for two and a half hours we did in fact arrive at the park. So did approximately 750 other people. We made sure we left the house by 8 am and arrived about 10:30 am, but apparently that just wasn't early enough to beat the crowds. We ended up having to park about a mile away from the visitor's center. We wanted to get some information about the park and find out where the flowers were so we climbed out of the car and hoofed it a mile up the road. Now, this is a desert park. We arrived late morning and the temperature was already about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I don't normally mind being out in warmer temperatures, but being pregnant makes you rather sensitive to heat. I ended up chugging about 32 ounces of water in about an hour, and it did not make my stomach too happy. But, we finally made it to the visitor's center, only to find out that the best flower fields were about five miles down the road. So we hoofed it back to the car and continued to drive over to the flower fields. And when we got there, it was absolutely worth it.
There are different fields, each with different flowers growing in them. Some fields have poppies, some have desert sunflowers, others have desert lilies, and many of them have combinations of flowers all growing together within the same area. You simply pull over and park along the side of the fields and the second you step out of your car your nose is filled with the scent of fresh wildflowers. It's intoxicating. It takes serious willpower to not pick a huge bouquet of them just so you can continue to sniff them the whole ride home. The colors are indescribable. Here you are, in the middle of the desert, which is normally just sand, and rocks, and sun, and cactus, and all of a sudden it has been transformed into a blanket of purples, and yellows, and pinks, and whites. There are so many different shapes and textures. Some flowers are soft and delicate, while others are rigid and sharp. But each one is breathtakingly beautiful.
We also found an abundance of life within the flower fields. There were tons of huge green caterpillars that had one inch long spikes on their bums. These turn into sphinx moths, which we just so happened to find on one of our previous beach camping trips.
They were amazing to watch. I can't imagine what the fields are going to look like once they all turn into moths. We also saw some beautiful butterflies, no doubt feasting on the flower nectar. They are loving life right now since there are flowers as far as the eye can see.
We spent about two hours just walking through different flower fields, looking at all the different colors and shapes and breathing in the beautiful smell of all the wildflowers. We did need to be careful though, because the temperature continued to climb the entire time. It's easy to become lightheaded and dehydrated when out and about in 90 degree temperatures. I made sure to keep eating snacks and drinking lots of water the whole time we were there, and I still got lightheaded when standing up after taking photos. If you happen to be in the area and decide to stop by the flower fields make sure you bring plenty of water. And then when you think you have packed enough, pack some more. Because even though the fields are beautiful, you will still be walking around in the harsh desert. By the time we left the temperature was 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was hot.
The super bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park definitely goes down as one of the most amazing natural experiences of my life. I highly recommend it to anybody currently residing in Southern California. Or if you are here on vacation, put this on your list of things to see because it is definitely a once in a lifetime sort of experience. However, if do plan on visiting do some research on the park and which flowers you want to see. It will save you a two mile walk to and from the visitor's center. And it will also allow you to get away from the crowds, because although the visitor's center was packed with about 750 people, once we got out into the actual flower fields we were free to roam about without running into others. There were maybe 20 people in the same fields as us and it was awesome. It's so much easier to take photos when you don't have to worry about other people ending up in your shots. Overall, an amazing experience. Here are some of the amazing things we saw...