Friday, October 21, 2011

Tehachapi, California & the Tehachapi Loop

Just outside Tehachapi, California is the famous Tehachapi Railroad Loop.  The loop was created to get  a train up and over a steep hill.  The trains come up from the west, around a loop and around again, gaining 2.2% elevation with each pass.  The diesel engines at the front of the train actually go around the loop and pass the cars they is pulling. Only at this location can you see such a marvel of engineering.
Tehachapi itself is a friendly little community with a reconstructed railroad station, nice parks, and a downtown full of thriving local business.  There is no Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or Taco Bell here, as the residents want to keep the town's main street businesses here.  We also went to an ostrich farm, but did not buy any ostrich meat, although it is leaner and tastier than beef.  Tehachapi is also the home of the first windmill farm in California, there are thousands of them in the mountaina and valleys.  The local museum showed the towns history, from the Indians to the floods of the early part of last century to the disastrous earthquake in 1952.




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