Tehachapi Road Trip

This Saturday I took Serbrina on a road trip out to Tehachapi. She’s been a champ putting up with all the bike stuff I’ve been doing for the past month or so. I wanted to spend the day with her and not have anything to do with pedaling for a change.

She’d never been to Tehachapi so I thought it would be a good destination. A long road trip with some California history mixed in. And food. I’ve been through Tehachapi many times. The first time many years ago when my Pops and Aunt took my sister and I there and on to Lake Isabella. My Pops drove us up Caliente-Bodfish road and it felt like we were so far from anything. It felt amazing. I remember sitting in my Aunt’s Vanagon listening to the Buffalo Springfield and watching the train go up the Tehachapi Loop. Great memories up there.

We grabbed some coffee and hit the road to Mojave. In a little under two hours we pulled off the highway at Rosamond and went the back way. Past Willow Springs and onto what is the Adventure Cycling Associaton Sierra Cascades route. Up through the windfarms and down into Tehachapi. Time for breakfast at the Apple Shed.

I spied this game on the table and started playing it. I’ve always enjoyed this game, but it always makes me feel dumb. I tried and tried but could only get three of the pegs off the board. The game says that your are just “So-So” if you leave three. Story of my life! Time for food! Nothing like a good diner meal to get over feeling like a dumb-dumb.

I’m a glutton for punishment I guess so after eating I went back to the game. This time though I got down to two pegs! Yeah! I’m “Above Average” now! It must be true if a wooden game is telling me right?

Next up we strolled through the Railroad Depot Museum. They had scale model of the Tehachapi Loop that was pretty cool. The loop was our main destination for the day. It’s huge circle that allows the train to gain elevation in a short distance. It allows the trains to travel over the mountains from Bakersfield to Mojave. It was built in 1874 by Chinese Laborers and is still in use today.

After the museum we walked around the town. Grabbing pastries to go and checking out the cool signs.

We drove out to the Tehachapi Loop and hung out, but we didn’t get to see any trains. That was a bummer, but the area is so pretty that train or not it’s worth the trip. I did score a patch though.

From there we headed out to the town of Caliente. Caliente is the southern end of an amazing motorcycle road called Caliente-Bodfish Road. If you guessed that Bodfish was the northern end then you were correct. If you have a moto or a sports car this is a fun road. One of my favorites and worth the trip. We turned off onto a road I hadn’t been on and headed west. One of Serbrina’s requests was that Neil Young was the soundtrack for the day. It was perfect out there. New roads, Neil Young and my (Life) Partner in Crime (for life) in the passenger seat. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.

We made our way back towards the highway but were able to cross it and take a smaller road heading west. It was pretty great finding these frontage roads. People were just flying by these amazing vistas just off the highway while we were able to enjoy them by ourselves. It was a perfect fit for us and this blog. Were were able to use the Frontage Roads for a good part of the day.

We left the rolling hills and descended into an agricultural area towards the town of Arvin. There wasn’t much to Arvin. Except I spotted this statue on the top of a Little Ceasar’s Pizza place. I guess they take Little Ceaser seriously there in Arvin.

From Arvin was a boring drive out the 99, then south to the Grapevine and onto home. Along the way we passed a vintage trailer and Serbrina caught some zzzzzs. Before long we were home and napping. A great end to another day in search of California’s Frontage Roads. (read that last line like Huell Howser for the full effect.)

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