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Explorer's Club Adventure - Hills of Gold, the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve

Estimated cost per person is $10 (that includes gas for carpooling and vehicle admission fee). PLEASE NOTE: For every 4 people that are attending the event, we will need one volunteer designated driver. If we get 15 people or more, we could then arrange for the group to get a private guided tour. Right now the goal is to meet in at Platine in Culver City and head to the poppy preserve and be there no later than 10 AM to be able to get to participate in the free guided tour. Ready for this Sunday? Our designated meeting place will be in front of Platine: Its street parking, but it should be safe since its a Sunday. Just make sure to read the signs. PLEASE ARRIVE no later than 7:30 AM. I would strongly recommend you get a good night's sleep the night before, so no partying on Saturday night! From Platine, we will hop on the 405 and then the 5 then to whatever other freeway we will need to drive to get to the preserve. I will be passing out maps/driving directions IF YOU ARE WILLING TO BE A VOLUNTEER DRIVER FOR THIS TRIP, PLEASE EMAIL ME. WE WILL NEED AT LEAST 4 VOLUNTEER DRIVERS FOR THIS EVENT. Some trips to make this long commute a bearable one. 1) fill up your gas tank the night before if you are going to be a volunteer driver. 2) bring snacks and bottled water because there's no restaurants at the poppy preserve. 3) Use the restroom (i.e. empty your bladder) before you arrive at Platine at 7:30 AM - this way, you won't need to do restroom stops. If for some reason you need some help getting to Platine on Saturday morning, give me a call. My cell is[masked] Note: For those of you that live near the Glendale area and don't want to meet at the Culver City starting point, contact Katrina if you want to carpool with her. Just make sure you email me that you are doing this or I will consider you a No Call No Show for the event. Gory Details... Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year, affected by differences in winter's precipitation. The wildflower blooms generally last from mid-March through mid-May; the peak bloom is usually around mid-April. Wildlife includes gliding hawks, singing meadow larks, lots of side-bloched lizards zipping across the trail, gopher snakes and rattlesnakes. If you're lucky, you may spot a coyote or bobcat. Benches located along the trails make good places to sit quietly and watch for wildlife. Numerous burrows around the trails may house mice, gophers, kangaroo rats, beetles, scorpions, or snakes that have taken them over. Facilities The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center, offering a short video, wildlife and plant displays and gift shop, will be open daily for the duration of the wildflower season. Nearby, shaded picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with an interpretive display and a serene view over the valley to the San Gabriel Mountains. Be prepared for wicked strong winds and bring sunblock! The desert temperatures can vary widely and change suddenly, so bring layers for unpredicted changes in weather. While visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, we also suggest you visit the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, located seven miles west of the Poppy Reserve just past 210th Street East. Here you will see a native Joshua Tree and Juniper woodland, one of the few left of this habitat which once spread across the Antelope Valley. In favorable conditions, Joshua Trees bloom with soft white artichoke-shaped flowers. There is a short self-guided nature trail located at the park and information panels about the woodland, and it's a haven for local wildlife so keep your camera ready. Admission is free and dogs are allowed on-leash. Watch for the sign on Lancaster Road and park along the fenceline; the pedestrian walk-through is adjacent to the locked vehicle gate on the north side of the road. More about the Reserve The Antelope Valley is located in the western Mojave Desert at an elevation ranging from 2600--3000 feet, making it a high desert environment. This State Natural Reserve is located on California's most consistent poppy-bearing land. As unpredictable as nature - the intensity and duration of the wildflower bloom varies yearly. California State Parks does not water or use any other means to stimulate the flowers; the land is preserved to only be influenced by the natural forces that had once influenced all of our surroundings. The broad views of this landscape provide eyefuls of brilliant wildflower colors and fragrance. Whether you most enjoy expansive fields or the close-up study of a single flower, this is the place to visit.

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  • YourieG.

    It was definitely a nice visit and as always, Robert, was a fun, well-organized host. A short, nature respite from the city. And sounds like more high adventures are on the way with the Explorer's Club. Looking forward to them!

    April 6, 2009

  • Robert

    Chrissy, your pics were excellent. I was right - I told the others that you would be taking more pics of the flower fields that we passed along the road on the way back. I see you also couldn't resist the lure of the lake. Did you see the meadow along the I-5 that had horses looking very happy on a field of yelow wildflowers? It was like a picture perfect moment as we drove past the area on our way back to LA.

    April 5, 2009

  • Chrissy

    April 5, 2009

  • Chrissy

    Beautiful place! You can tell it's very different every year and I was thankful I got to experience this one.

    April 5, 2009

  • Robert

    For those of you that don't want to meet at Culver City, the established time to arrive and meet at the actual preserve is between 9:30 AM and 10 AM. Call me on my cell (714)[masked] when you arrive at the preserve.

    If anyone lives near the Glendale area and want to carpool with Katrina, email her directly.

    March 27, 2009

  • Darrell

    There's a hotline number you can call for blooming status. The traffic can be miserable during peak season. I bring a bike and park a mile or two away to avoid the parking lot which is the road. It's all flat so easy biking. I suggest bring blankets and do a potluck picnic right in the fields.

    March 2, 2009

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