For much of the drive on two-lane Highway 99 the focus is on agriculture big rigs slowing traffic and the fool who is trying to pass dangerously. One must stay diligent in the focus on defensive driving and employ Zen calmness techniques as needed.
If my driving plan includes Highway 99, I like to leave early to enjoy the incredible sunrise over the agriculture fields. I also plan with plenty of time as a bumper, because you never know what the traffic is going to be like on this road.
If traveling in May-July, there is a stop to plan for: the Bayliss Lavender Ranch will be in bloom and it is gorgeous. If you don’t plan for it, you will likely zip by this flash of purple, thinking, “Oh my gosh, that’s incredible!” and then quickly return your focus to the traffic in front of you.
Why isn’t this article filled with photos I’ve taken during the bloom? I did excitedly show up with my camera one day and was immediately approached and directed to put my camera back in my vehicle. It’s $100 an hour to photograph here, and there are forms to be signed and scheduling that must take place. There is also a fine if you don’t share your photos with the Ranch within a designated time frame.
Wedding photographs and family portraits are two favorite photograph categories depicted in their online gallery.
It’s worth the stop to walk around the fields. It is beautiful, and the closest thing to France we’re likely to experience in the Biggs area! (If there’s an incredible French Restaurant in Biggs, please let me know!)
There’s a gift shop on site where you can purchase Bayliss Botanicals (also available online), as well as other gift items, including photographs of the lavender fields. (You might call to find out if the gift shop is open since the pandemic).
The lavender fields at Bayliss Ranch are definitely a highlight on Highway 99 and worth pulling off the road for a few minutes to take it in.
Featured image: Google Images, a lavender field in France
Article written by: Catherine Goggia, Northern California Chapter Guide
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