I didn't end up camping out "last night" for two reasons... one, had to charge up my mp3 player and phone, and two, i didn't know of a campground nearby to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. I didn't do a lot of preparation ahead of time. So I got a hotel in Lancaster... now THAT i should have checked out... it cost way to much, especially for the location. But I did have a good night's sleep and it was warm. The wind in that area was awful, so I probably would have been really uncomfortable anyway.
So after my complimentary breakfast I took off for Carrizo Plain a couple hours away.. 3 I think. It's a good thing I went by the south entrance on the way to Antelope Valley the day before. This gave me an extra chance to see the entrance sign which wasn't very visible from the eastern direction. It also looked simply like a ranch road, not one to some National Monument.
This is Soda Lake Road - dirt road in the middle of a drainage plain. Glad it hadn't rained in at least a couple weeks. I drove around a rattlesnake crossing the road at one point. I saw it's tongue flickering about sensing my car and hoped that it wouldn't get scared and strike at the tires. That might have killed it, and I didn't want to be responsible for that. I also hope no one else ran it over because there were about 4 vehicles I pulled over to let by periodically. I didn't like them right behind me when I wanted a nice casual drive watching the view...
For the birding folks who may pop by... Here's a Western Kingbird. He was sitting on a nearby fence at KCL Campground where I decided to pull in for lunch. There were a few shade trees there... well, kinda shady... they were pretty thin.
Here's a view of Soda Lake and it's boardwalk where surely the majority of visitors go. It's nice there was something there to encourage people NOT to walk on the "shoreline" and not on the lakebed either.
Down on the boardwalk I saw two quail, but didn't get my camera focused in time before they disappeared into the shadows of the rabbit brush. Overhead there were ravens flying and near the end of the boardwalk, I noticed a jackrabbit bounding through the brush. It was quite large... at least 24" from nose to tail. I managed to get a picture of it, but it's impossible to make out through all the brush, so it didn't make the cut. There weren't a lot of animals out and about, but it was at the heat of the day so I wouldn't expect too many.
And to close the day... a sunset picture from the road down below Selby Campground.
It was a pretty cold night with the wind constantly blowing and every hour changing directions from east to west back to east again. Wasn't comfortable, but it was dry at least.