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."