July 23: Mountains to Desert

Monday morning began with a ride along Bena Road which parallels the railroad route up into the Tehachapi Pass, then leaves the tracks and climbs steeply up to Keene. I ate lunch at the Keene Cafe, then continued climbing up the Woodford Tehachapi Rd to the overlook of the Keene Loop. This is an engineering feat in which the railroad tracks spiral up in circles to keep the grade manageable for loaded trains to make it up to Tehachapi. The road then climbed high above Highway 58 before dropping down into town.
I stayed the night at Steve and Vicki Harp’s house; mutual friends of John and Sandy Jones. We had never met, but connected immediately. They took me out to dinner with their business partners, Chris and Terri. We went to pizza and I put down an embarrassing amount of food; we all ate up and talked and had a great time. Steve and Vicki then took me on a driving tour of the surrounding areas- Cummings Valley, the prison, and Woodford West BMX/skateboard Camp. I want to thank them for being great hosts.
Tuesday I climbed south out of the Tehachapi Valley and up through the windmill farms. Then it was a long descent past the edge of the Mojave Desert and across the Antelope Valley. As the day wore on the wind increased and I fought a headwind all the way into Palmdale. Tomorrow I will tackle the Angeles Mountains.
Some highlights of the day were passing the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, a scripture sign on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, and a green alfalfa field in the middle of the desert.

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