Thursday, April 25, 2019

~ Chasing Butterflies and Wildflowers ~

The article "CALIFORNIA: Chasing Butterflies and Wildflowers" by Robert Griego was originally published on the RoadRunner Tour website on May/June 2020.

"All good things are wild and free."  Henry David Thoreau

It was an amazing motorcycle ride on this cool spring day across the Mojave Desert chasing California's wildflower super bloom.

Unlike my usual stories, I need to hold back a bit. I'm on assignment for RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine and if you wait, you won't be disappointed.

Florian Neuhauser, Editor-in-Chief, assures me that they plan to run with a full editorial display commensurate with California's wildflower super bloom.

He reminds me, "Chase as many butterflies as you want, but we want some wildflowers with panoramic views, especially with motorcycle riders." Now, his words are on my mind as I head for Joshua Tree National Park and beyond. Seeing the Joshua Trees at sunset is a fine way to end my first day.

My previous article, In Pursuit of Wildness: Joshua Tree National Park, is a great place to get reacquainted with the desert park.

I love the desert and it is important to stop to reflect on nature as I try to capture the moment.

Click. Click. Click.

California is moving slowly out of a drought, and the wildflowers are in love with the change.

The iconic wildflower super bloom is here. I've been told that many of the wildflower seeds have laid dormant in the ground for over 50 years. Or was that 150 years? Isn't nature grand? It knows exactly when and how to perpetuate its cycle. We need to learn more from nature on this assignment.

I'll ride through Central California following the trails of two great country-western icons in Bakersfield starting at the Buck Owen's Crystal Palace - Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

A bit further down the road, another icon appears, Cesar Chavez. Now, he has a National Monument named after him and his contributions to lifting the migrant workers in California's agriculture. His work along with these country western superstars is equally important.

Oil fields, country-western music, and migrant workers. The stage is set for my story about chasing butterflies and wildflowers.

In all fairness, that's about as much as I can share now. RoadRunner magazine will see to the rest. This story will unfold with California's wildflower super bloom across the Mojave Desert, and yes millions of butterflies, called 'Painted Ladies,' migrating thousands of miles along the way.

Henry David Thoreau would be pleased that we remembered his words while chasing butterflies and wildflowers across the Mojave Desert - "All good things are wild and free." 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

~ Look Deep into Nature: Explore National Parks for Free ~

The article "Look Deep into Nature:  Explore National Parks for Free" by Robert Griego was published on the "RoadRUNNER Travel & Touring" magazine website on 4/22/2019.

I just returned from an awesome motorcycle tour chasing butterflies and wildflowers. You can expect the full article on the wildflower super bloom at Joshua Tree National Park and surrounding areas in an upcoming issue of RoadRUNNER. In the meantime, you can read more about this awesome park in my article, In Pursuit of Wildness: Joshua Tree National Park.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better.”  The evenings in Joshua Tree National Park are special. The Joshua trees silhouetted against the mountains as the sun sets are magical.
If you are looking to explore Joshua Tree National Park or another one of our country’s amazing parks, you’ll have the opportunity to do so this summer and fall for free. The National Park Service (NPS) announced several no-fee entrance dates for 2019. This is the perfect excuse to plan some amazing rides. Future dates include:

  • August 25, 2019 (the National Park Service’s birthday)
  • September 28, 2019 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 11, 2019 (Veterans Day)

Monday, April 1, 2019

~ In Pursuit of Wildness: Flowers along Dry Creek

The article "In Pursuit of Wildness:  Flowers along Dry Creek" by Robert Griego was originally published on the "RoadRUNNER Touring & Travel" magazine website on 3/29/2019.

Just last week, my wife Denise and I traveled to Anza-Borrego State Park to capture the wildflower “super bloom.”  The desert was transformed into a sea of color.  A detailed account of this area and this incredible wildflower phenomenon will be featured in a future issue of RoadRUNNER in my In Pursuit of Wildness column, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, Dry Creek is shining and I’m already seeing other motorcycle riders enjoying the warm sunny day.
Dry Creek Road is a mere 15 miles from our home in Three Rivers and is a favorite for local and visiting riders alike.  If you continue on this country road, you’ll eventually arrive at Kings Canyon National Park.  But today, we stop immediately at the first sight of bright California poppies.  Dry Creek has an abundance of water from the recent rains.
I’m going to be short on the words today, allowing the wildflowers to talk.