Marion and I have been hoping to trailer up to the hills for a wildflower ride all spring. Sarah (brave girl) was willing to take us, but one thing and then another kept getting in the way. Yesterday, we made it at last.
Rancheria is one of my favorite places to ride. It’s not too far out of Bakersfield; the road is little traveled yet not too rough; and once you start climbing into the hills, there are usually wildflowers. It was so sweet of Sarah to take us up there to have a wonderful short ride.
There were a few problems. First, Sarah’s mount Pepsi and EZ did not get along in the trailer, so we wound up taking only two horses. We were disappointed that Sarah didn’t get to ride, but she was philosphical. Second, Xena knew what loading our horses in the trailer meant, and wanted to go too. Peaches followed her, so boarder Ethan kindly held them until we were out of sight. Then, when we got up there, we missed our turnout and had to turn around — right where the county was working on the road. That wasn’t easy, but Sarah managed, and finally we got parked and the horses unloaded. Sarah helped us saddle up, then planned to indulge in a quiet nap.
We saddled up, and headed down the trail. The spot where we parked doesn’t have a lot to see, but we knew we didn’t have to go far. Sure enough, only a little way down the road we hit the first oak trees, and fields of orange fiddleneck.
There was lots of fiddleneck. It’s the most common wildflower up here.
Even the banks of the road were spotted with flowers. Blue dick, miner’s lettuce, red maids, and more.
The road rises gradually, offering new views at every turn.
Still more wildflowers . . .
We kept on climbing, but we knew we’d have to turn back before too long. We didn’t want to stress our horses, so we rode for less than an hour before we turned around. We didn’t really go farther than we would on a ride at home — just hillier. That road is sure tempting.
More tomorrow . . .