People coming from all over seeking info on Carrizo 'super bloom'
A steady stream of out-of-town visitors has been passing though Taft over the past couple of weeks, many stopping at the Chamber of Commerce or calling for information and directions.
There all looking for the same thing: wildflowers.
You might say the chamber has become the wildflower Information center.
Most people are seeking directions and information about the Carrizo Plain, which became world famous two years ago for the historic "super bloom."
After a wet winter, Chamber Executive Director Kathy Orrin said she was ready for an influx of visitors
"We were kind of waiting for this, we weren't surprised," she said.
Orrin said traffic really picked up in mid March with people coming in seeking information about the Carrizo, even thought the cool, rainy weather delayed the bloom.
Orrin and Events Coordinator Shannon Miller stayed informed by talking with people passing through after they have left the Carrizo and can give updates on flowers, road condition and other information to the visitors coming in.
"They're mostly from northern California, the Bay Area," Orrin said.
But they've had visitors from as far away as Venezuela.
People are also asking about other areas in the state, like the Lake Elsinore area in Riverside County and the Antelope Valley in northern Los Angles County.
But mostly it's about the Carrizo.
Orrin said they not only give directions, but make sure people no what they are getting into.
There are no gas stations, food or other conveniences on the National Monument, and for the most part, no cell service.
Roads have dried out so that's not an issue, Orrin said.
They keep getting updates from visitors leaving the Carrizo to pass on to people coming in.
Unfortunately some people aren't being responsible when they visit.
There are few, if any Bureau of Land Management personnel on the Carrizo at any given time.
There have been numerous reports of people trampling flowers in the Carrizo and Orrin said a rancher in the Temblors said people have even cut through barbed wire to drive onto the private grazing land.