Tehachapi Off The Beaten Path Tips by travelgourmet Top 5 Page for this destination
Tehachapi Off The Beaten Path: 25 reviews and 95 photos
A FOREST OF WINE TURBINES IN TEHACHAPI
One of the largest wind farms owned by several companies is located in Tehachapi with over 5,000 wind turbines and is the second largest collection of wind generators in the world (The largest is at the Altamont pass, near Livermore and the San Francisco Bay area), but is now the largest wind power array in the world in output. You can see these giant props turning in the wind like the windmills of old using only the power of the wind to spin. Just east of Tehachapi, you can see them from Hwy 58. One of the better ways to see the monterous propellers is close up on the Tehachapi Willows Springs Road south of town off Hwy 58. You can drive all the way to Rosamond on this stretch of wind turbine country. Now if only these companies would look at Desert Center, California between Indio and Blythe. I have some acreage out near the Cockscomb Mountain that is always windy. lol
TEHACHIPI LOOP courtesy of Google Earth Map
If you are a railroad buff, maybe even just curious, then to drive about 10 miles north of Tehachapi to Keene on Hwy 58, get off and go right on the road for about 3 miles and there is a roadside monument marker about the "Tehachapi Loop". Find a pull out off the road and go read the marker then look up and out to the railroad tracks below. The tracks go in a circle but in reality one track is going under and through a tunnel below the top track. If the train is long enough and most freight trains are, you can see this marvel of engineering that was done in the 1870's. Southern Pacific Railroad wanted a route from San Francisco to Los Angeles and the route was to go through the elevations between Bakersfield and Mojave. The 4,065 summit pass, later named the Tahachapi Summit Pass, needed to be crossed and the only way William Hood, the civil engineer for the Southern Pacific Railway Company was to do it safely was to loop the track one over the other to keep the grade within the permitted grade of 2.2%. The track loop using the circular path measured 3,799 feet to make one huge loop that became the "Tehachapi Loop."
It seemed like a long ride out to the area of Keene, but the scenery along the way was wonderful to see with the mountains and wide open spaces. The smaller two lane road from the turn off was a bit of concentration for it had many curves till the marker was seen. It is also a little difficult to turn around on this road with not to many turn-outs. Once I did get turned around and stopped off the road, I got out and saw this view of tracks and was told that a freight train should be by every 15 minutes. It was difficult and for me unable to get the entire track in one photo but with the use of a photo, thanks to Google Earth, could see this marvel in one photo. I did see one freight train go by. No scheduled passenger trains have taken this route since 1971. So, become an engineer for the railroad, or dare to hop a freight (it is against the law and dangerous) to ride the rails on this "Tahachapi Loop." Well, you could be a brakeman or signal man or rail-bed worker to take the ride around the loop. I've been workin' on the railroad, all the live long day. I've been workin' on the railroad just to pass the time away. Don't you hear the whistle blowing?
HEY, WE GOT TOURISTS
Yes, you can see big birds in Tehachapi. Yes, they call them Ostriches. One of the largest working ostrich ranch in the Western United States is the Indian Point Ostrich Ranch in west Cummings Valley, Tehachapi. The ostrich ranch started up in 1992 and in 1996 opened the ranch up to visitors with a tour of the ranch and using their term "Os Trich-izing" visitors with the ostrich. These big birds really do get to be "Big Birds" as a fully grown ostrich can be 10 feet in height and weigh in at 500 pounds.
At the Indian Point Ranch, you can see the growth of the ostrich from the egg to the grown adult. I could hardly believe that the 3 month old "babies" stood over four to five feet tall and looked like they weighed over 30 pounds. The eggs are the size of large grapefruit. I was told that one ostrich egg weighs 3 pounds and contains the equivalent of 18 chicken eggs. Now that would make one large omelet. This is a fun adventure for young and old. They have a walking tour of the property and you can get up close and personal with the ostriches.
Take a close up look at the ostrich foot. It has two toes with one being huge. Now, if you see an emu, they have 3 toes. They are very similar to the ostrich except I learned that ostrich eggs are very white while emu eggs are a dark green. How about that?
There is a store called the Ostrich Nest which is their Visitor Center & Ranch Store where you can purchase fresh or empty ostrich eggs, ostrich jerky and ostrich lotions and oil. Let me tell you that I put the smallest amount of ostrich oil on my palm from the free tester and I could rub that amount over both my hands and forearms. Two days later and my skin still glowed and stayed smooth with no dryness. That is a purchase in my book. If you have the time to see The Indian Point Ranch, it is located a short drive from downtown Tehachapi off Hwy 202 in Cummings Valley. They are open May-October daily from 11am - 5:00pm and November - April Friday - Sunday 11am - 4:00pm. Of course that is weather permitting. This is a working ranch not a zoo, so please take that into consideration when you visit.
Other Contact: Facebook/indianpointostrichranch
Phone: (661) 822-9131
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