13 April 2006 Thursday

We drove into Carrizo Plain National Monument.  This is a large valley flanked by mountain ranges, one of those ranges, the Temblor Range, is formed by the San Andreas Fault.  We drove down a dirt road to a Visitor Center, asked a few questions and had lunch on the tailgate.  While we were having lunch, several people stopped to chat, asking us about where we were from, our camping setup, what’s for lunch.  Funny, it seems that the further we get from the city, the friendlier people get.  

Driving thru the Plains is really beautiful now, the wildflowers are all blooming and the green hills are splashed with various yellows, golds, purples blues and oranges. We stopped at Soda Lake, an ancient salt sea bed that evaporates in the summer leaving a salt crust on the shores.  We saw it with some water and a host of bird life.  We drove next to Wallace Creek, which runs right across the San Andreas Fault.  In 1857, this area had a big earthquake that shifted the creek 30 feet!  The creek now has 2 right angle turns in it.  We also saw a pair of rattlesnakes mating on the dry creek bed.

The sun is setting and this looks like a good place to camp.  So we camped within a few hundred yards of the infamous San Andreas Fault. 

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