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Old 04-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #1
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Location: East Bay CA
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Some central CA spring conditions 2015

I just got back from a loop from roughly San Simeon through Carrizo, over to Red Rocks, Ridgecrest and Panamint Valley, then up to Alabama Hills and back to the Bay Area via 108, which opened Friday.

Still some flowers (see the other thread here). More of those desert marigolds or dandelions than I've seen in years. Also, I saw more mariposa lillies than I'd ever seen in the Cosos in China Lake. Zippo in the Carrizo Plain; what was there is gone although some greenery on the EAST side of the Temblors, which seems odd. But odd is the new normal I guess.

San Simeon is running low on water; they closed the restrooms and use porta potties, and you can only use the campground water for immediate use, not tank filling. Same problem in Red Rocks.

Roads all seem in pretty good shape; not much erosion or damage over the winter. Monitor Pass has been open for a while; 108 on 4/17. Little snow up there. Most Eastern Sierra trailheads are accessible, and DVNP, Panamint and Inyo roads are in good shape. Some dude made it up to Cerro Gordo in a Camaro (convertible, no less) per the caretaker. Campgrounds all over seem to be shut; land managers gotta get in synch with the weather and start opening them sooner. But lots of boondock sites; many of the nice ones on 108 were available and free of snow.

I saw the trailer at the south end of Saline Valley indicating the grader is out there, but it was too hot to go explore out there, although I was tempted to do it just to drive a fresh road.

Overall the timing of the little rain we did get seemed to have helped, but geez it's gonna be a dry summer out there. Looks and feels like late June; only patchy snow at about 10K. Rather depressing.

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Old 04-19-2015, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Some central CA spring conditions 2015

Thanks, Rob. Those are many places I frequent. Things out there are certainly odd. Scary, actually. Driving on rt. 138 early in April where the poppies should be, and there were no blooms and hardly any plants. THAT was weird.

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Old 04-22-2015, 09:33 PM   #3
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Re: Some central CA spring conditions 2015

I just got back from area's where the Rim Fire tracked through. Usually the lower foothills are still fairly green but it looks like late May up there now. There was quite a bit of thunder activity a couple of weeks back and some that started last Monday which continued into today but the snow was all but gone at 6000 feet. Records are made to be broken but I'd rather see heavy rains.
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