Daytripping - Day 1

CA Fruit Depot

Lots of almonds
Alas, it is Spring Migration time and I get to check out new places!  I left the comfort of Rancho California on Easter & have stopped in Santa Clarita, CA until I can figure out which fork in the road to take. Coast or Inland?   I have never been to central California west of the Sierra's so either way is new & I would like to do both at some point.  So today, I made a trek up I-5 to Bakersfield.   I checked out 5 - 6 RV parks and found just 1 I think I would actually stay at.   I was not overly impressed with the city but it does offer a good location for checking out the spring wildflower blooms.   After I found a suitable place to stay should I go that way, I scouted the surrounding area.   I found the California Fruit Depot where they were boxing up oranges to head off to market.  It was quite interesting to watch them separate the oranges into different sizes and see the boxes get filled.  I also watched men out harvesting oranges from the trees and filling up large crates of oranges.   The Depot had a great tasting room.   They had samples of everything from fruit and nuts, to olive oil and licorice to taste.   They even had a large orange squeezer so you could squeeze there fresh picked oranges and have orange juice.   Definitely my kind of place!

From there I thought I'd do some wildflower hunting & headed south through miles of orange and almond groves, vineyards and acres and acres of other crops that I have no clue what they were.  About the only crop I know is wheat & corn and there was none of that growing.

 I came across a Courtesy Drive In restaurant in the next town down and HAD to stop!.   My family owned the Courtesy Drive Ins in St. Louis back in the day and so the name really caught my attention.  The food did not disappoint either.   They have all types of burgers.  I chose the Mexican burger & it was fab.   The extra bonus at this stop was the Galaga game that they had inside.   I love this game.  You can keep all the new fangled action video things .. just give me one of these to play!

Looking back towards all the crop fields
From there I headed east on CA-223 towards Tehachapi and hit the jackpot on flowers.  The fields were beautiful.   The hillsides were alive with yellow, white and purple flowers.  There weren't many places to pull-over & take pictures but I did find a few spots.  The beauty here & a few California poppies along the roadside helped me decide to take the long route home and check out the Antelope Poppy field area.   I had hoped to see poppies like I did in 2011 though it is a bit early for poppies still.

Joshua Tree bloom

I headed to Tehachapi and cut off down a back road through the wind farms, through blooming Joshua trees and to the poppy fields... not a single bit of color there yet.   It was windy and desolate and I got whapped by a few tumbleweeds to boot!   Instead of fighting the wind, I opted to take a canyon road through the Angeles forest to get back home.   There were plenty of horses along the winding route through the blanketed green hills.   200+ miles and 6 hours later, the never pretty track subdivisions and the Magic Mountain roller coasters came into view and I was home.   Now to load up the 'surf' tunes on the iPod for tomorrows daytrip to the coast!    I love 'migration' time!