Something insane has happened in southern California and people are losing their minds, their sanity and their common sense. It rained. Yes, its called winter weather. Please calm down. There is really no need to panic. In the last few weeks, California’s drought may be over, fantastic news but it is erasing peoples use of common sense! A few weeks back, one subtropical storm system produced a crazy twelve inches of rain in some areas. Those of us living in drought-tolerant Southern California are loving this actual weather and the green rolling hills of southern California. All this rain has brought out the wildflowers, and yes, unfortunately, the city-iots (Urban dictionary definition; An Idiot from the city that does stupid city things in rural areas) because everyone wants to take a selfie with a poppy, right?
Last week I braved the worst of the congested freeways California has to offer and faced the ridiculous traffic on the 215 Freeway through the Corona crawl to take a few photos of the poppy fields near Lake Elsinore. The super bloom is so trendy right now in southern California. I got up at five thirty in the morning, chugged some coffee and drove two hours through the concrete jungle to take a few photos of the kind of wildflowers we have not seen in years.
Not only did I pack my good camera and some water for the hike, but I also brought plastic garbage bags and gloves. I expected trash, dirty diapers and God knows what else in the poppy fields because some humans do not have the smarts. Like all the ones pulling over on the shoulder of a busy interstate, dragging their kids and dogs out of the car to take a family photo on the side of a busy freeway. Did I mention on the side of a busy freeway?
This is why you can’t have nice things! Like nature!
Let’s talk about Leave No Trace. It’s a simple concept really. Don’t trash the forest. Don’t walk off the path into the poppy fields smashing the flowers to take a selfie with your dog. Don’t lie on the flowers in the beautiful flower fields because you just had to make that Instagram post. I love hiking with my pup and I take her everywhere but I specifically left her at home on this hike, as I didn’t want to deal with her on the trail up into the poppy fields and worrying that she was sticking to the trail and not pooping in the poppy fields. Also please don’t poop in the poppy fields.
I wish I didn’t have to act like this is walking in nature for dummies but when thousands of visitors see a pretty thing on the side of an extremely busy interstate shit can get crazy. I feel like living in this concrete jungle of Southern California, I may just be surrounded by the stupidest people on earth. I mean, I hike sections of the John Muir Trail in the eastern Sierras each summer and run into hikers from the east coast and they are friendly, smart and understand, pack it in, pack it out. But yet here in southern California I have to constantly remind people nature is not a big ass toilet and this is not wilderness Disneyland; No one is going to walk up behind you and pick up your Starbuck’s cup and Mcdonald’s bag you just threw out in the poppy field!
Don’t be a dumb dumb
Have a great spring day trekking through the Super Bloom. Just remember to stay on trails, don’t smash the flowers, pick the flowers or let your kids eat the flowers. Pick up your trash, pack out your poo and try really hard to be a responsible adult! We are so blessed to be able to trek into these hills and experience these unbelievable colors in nature. Let’s leave nature how we found it.
I’m linking up again this week with YeahWrtite.me for all the creative writing good times.