Desperately seeking wildflowers. Need the 411!

Wildflowers
Image by njhdiver via Flickr

April is wildflower month and I’m on a (failing) mission to find them. The first April weekend we hiked the mountain south of Pacifica and caught glimpses of wildflowers along the way which hinted at wild profusions to come.

After a google search of “best wildflower hikes in the Bay Area” we decided to hike the back side of Mount Tam.  Cataract Trail is a spectular, but steep, hike  that showcases gorgeous waterfall action all along the route. After this winter’s rains, the waterfalls were in prime condition and flanked by rich, mossy banks. We huffed and puffed our way uphill, enjoying the waterfalls but focused on the peak at Laurel Dell where wildflowers in all their reckless abandon would seize us in their pollinated grip.

We huffed, we puffed and we made it to the top. The 360 degree views were magnificant, the ascent from tree-shrouded trail to open air couldn’t be more exhilarating.  There was just one problem. Where were the f*king wildflowers?  The hills were verdant with grass and here and there were little microgreens-sized flowers. We’re talking tiny here. It. was. so. damn. disappointing.

We ate our snacks and hustled down the hill to a great dinner at Sushi Ran in Sausalito. No disappointment there. This place earns its Michelin stars. The freshest, most innovative Asian fusion food without a speck of attitude or pretense.  We gloried in our dinner, our hiking prowess and our friendship which managed to survive my apparently  baseless claim that we were going on a great wildflower hike.

But next weekend, I gotta have wildflowers. Should I go to the East Bay and hike near Mt. Diablo? Is there someplace in the South Bay? I welcome your suggestions and I’ll continue to do my research. I must find my field of dreams– my wildflower extravaganza–and I will be a happy hiker.

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