For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of north San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® in Carlsbad, California, are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May – literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, also is one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in southern California. (http://www.theflowerfields.com/)
Carlsbad located about 34 miles north of San Diego. We arrived on Sunday morning, early before the parking lot was full and we spent about 2 hours taking a lot of pictures.
From the Flower Field we crossed the Parking lot and arrived to Carlsbad Outlet. This is a great outlet and I recommend it. We stayed there about 2 hours.
From there, we went to eat lunch at 'Berth 55 Fish Market Seafood Deli'. the place is in Long Beach inside the port. The food was OK, but most of the people who eat there are workers from the port, so the atmosphere was not very enthusiastic.
From there, we drove to Bakersfield, to DoubleTree Hotel. We had dinner in Black Angus Steakhouse near the Hotel.
Today we planned to drive to Mammoth Lake, 270 miles ahead. We ate breakfast at Corner Bakery cafe, 3700 California Ave, Suite 100, Bakersfield. It is highly recommended.
We drove without stopping to Lone Pine. The road was beautiful and the weather was excellent , about 30 degrees Celsius. On the way we passed wind turbines and the Red Rock Canyon State Park, and photographed them from afar.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
We stopped at the Long Pine Visitor Center and ate a light lunch that we brought with us, on a picnic table. From afar we have already seen the view of the Alabama Hills with the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the horizon.
We planned to stop at Long Pine at Beverly & Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History, but it did not look inviting and we decided to go directly to Movie road.
The Alabama Hills, a recreation area located in the shadow of Mt Whitney and the high Sierras, was a favorite movie location for old Hollywood and a staple of more cowboy movies then you can count. Throughout the last century, the Alabama Hills have appeared in hundreds of movies with even a recent Quintin Tarantino project being filmed here. (http://californiathroughmylens.com/alabama-hills-arches-movie-locations-photography)
the Direction to the beginning of the Movie Flats Road:
Coming from the south, you turn left at Whitney Portal Road right in the middle of Lone Pine.
Approximately 2.5 miles west, after an amusingly painted rock on the side of the road, you will come to a road sign for Movie Flats Road. There is also a plaque there in a vacant lot next to the turnoff that talks about the movie history of the area.
The next 7 miles or so goes quickly from a paved road to a well-maintained dirt road that even a regular passenger car can navigate. It winds in and around some of the greatest rock formations you’ve ever seen, and many that you will recognize from hundreds of old western movies. Once you’ve driven through them, you will start easily picking out the distinctive terrain in movies you watch in the future.
You can stick to the main road, which is pretty hard to lose, or you can take any of a number of little side roads to get closer to particular formations or to explore on your own.
At the end of Movie Flats Road, you will run into Moffat Ranch Road, which will rejoin 395 just north of Lone Pine, and immediately south of the Manzanar National Historic Site
The entire loop from 395 to 395 is 12 miles.
Views from the Movie Road:
The Road trip was lovely, we tried to locate the exact spots where the Movies were filmed. The weather was great and we enjoyed it very much. It took us a around 3 hours to finish the road trip.
From there we started driving towards Mammoth Lake were we spent the next 2 days.
Mammoth lake is much higher than Lone pine and on the way, the temperatures dropped, the sky filled with clouds, and by the time we got to Mammoth lake, A heavy Snow was falling.
Our hotel was Mammoth Mountain Inn, 10400 Minaret Road Mammoth Lakes Ca 93546. It is a Ski resort.
The Snow was a surprise for us (we don't ski) and in the hotel they didn't know when the weather will improve.
We settled in the hotel, took the shuttle into town, and had dinner at Campo, an Italian restaurant in an area called the Village.
Today, the snow fall all day. We gave up all the plans for hiking and decided to go to Mammoth Lake with the shuttle. The Shuttle bus driver suggested that we eat at Old New York Deli @Bagel Co. The place was very nice, warm and tasty, and we bought some bagels and salad for dinner to eat in the room.
We returned to the Hotel, stayed at our room, watched TV, and from time to time went outside to take some pictures.
at about 18:00 the weather started to improve, and we could see some blue sky but it was still very cold, around 0 degree Celsius.
We woke up to a beautiful sunny day. The Hotel was piling up with skiers and we left the place and started driving north towards Reno. On the way we stopped at Mono Lake to take some pictures.
We arrived in the afternoon to Eldorado Hotel Casino 345 N Virginia Street Reno Nevada 89501. the hotel was very nice.
Day 5 on the Road: Lake Tahoe.
A nice day trip to lake Tahoe. We went from Reno to I-580 and than US-50W. We circled the lake from the south and continued all the way to Emerald Bay, and went back to Reno. Staying at Reno is much cheaper than staying at Lake Tahoe, so we returned to our hotel at Reno.
views from lake Tahoe:
We had lunch at Freshies, South Lake Tahoe. This is a very small Hawaiian restaurant, very nice and tasty, and we ate their famous Fish Taco.
We continued on our way to Folsom. After settling in the hotel we drove to the historic district . We wandered around, fillthe atmosphere and finished the day with a very good Chinese restaurant called Hop Sing Palace.
We waked up early, and drove towards San Fransisco. on the way, we stopped at Tiuborn which is a nice town in the north of San Francisco. It has a lovely waterfront and we took several pictures of San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge.
From there we drove to our hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Salinas 523 Work Street, Salinas Ca 93901
The hotel had a great breakfast and had a good location since we intended to visit Point Lobos State Reserve, and Carmel the following days.
Day 8 on the Road: Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel
We started the day at Point Lobos State Reserve. Although the signs at the enterance said the parking lots are full inside, we found plenty of parking. We parked the car and started waking along the waterfront. The place with beatiful with plenty of opportunities to take great pictures:
From there we drove to Carmel. The place is beautiful. We parked at a free parking place near the waterfront on Scenic Road and from there, continue north by foot along Scenic Road, until Ocean Avenue, where we turned east. we continued until Carmel Bakery, Ocean Ave Ste 203 Carmel, California, CA 93921, where we had tasty coffee and Bagel.
From there, we returned through the small streets to our car. Since the streets are criss Cross, it doesn't really matter how you go.
Day 9 on the Road, Last day before going home: 17 mile drive, San-Francisco: Pier 39, Lombard street
We started the day at 17 mile drive.
This is a privately managed roadway, winding between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, takes you through a wind-sculpted forest of cypress trees to a rocky coastline dotted with some of the most envy-inducing homes on the planet. You’ll also get great views of the celebrated golf courses of Pebble Beach. (http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/17-mile-drive)
Spanish Bay: our first stop.
The Restless sea: Second Stop
Bird Rock: We saw Brandt's cormorants and California sea lions sharing the rock
The Lone Tree:
We finished the 17 mile drive around noon, and went to eat at Phil's Fish market at Moss Landing. The place is nice, and we had Artichoke Salad which was great.
After lunch we went to San Francisco. we stooped at Lombard street, and took some pictures:
We continued to Pier 39 and took some pictures:
We finished the day at the Cheese cake factory at San Mateo Mall: