Rod McLaughlin

Tehachapi via Oak Creek Pass (4600 ft) (08 nov 12)

Set off from Palmdale, via a bike store to stock up on tube repair kits.

Through Lancaster with the wind behind me. The Google instructions weren't quite right, but I found Tehachapi Willow Springs Road. I forgot to buy any food, and found that the nearest grocery store was 3.4 miles east. This would mean returning 3.4 miles against the sou-wester, adding an hour to my journey, which was in danger of ending in darkness. I had just enough food (noodles) if I had to camp out, and plenty of water.

So I continued up Tehachapi Willow Springs Road. The sun gradually went down. I decided that I must make it to Tehachapi, as it would be cold to camp, and it might rain or even snow. By the time I got to the false summit, it was almost dark. As I ascended toward the real summit, it got dark, and I put lights on. I got dizzy from altitude, dehydration, riding all day in the hot sun, and salt and sugar loss. I drank the last of my Gatorade. I pushed the bike the last mile toward the summit - I was too weak to start it uphill. 

I realized that this was the same route I had followed in the opposite direction four years ago. Lots of electricity-generating windmills, and strong wind:

By the way, America still has a black president.

Got to the top. Slow downhill, as I could hardly see the road in my headlamp. Saw a truck stop. Dived in, gulped down a very sugary cocoa, and got a Subway sandwich. The first hotel was La Quinta Inn - that's where I am now.

Still not a single puncture for two days! 

It's a good thing I got over Oak Creek Pass today. Tomorrow night is forecast to fall below freezing in Tehachapi. Tomorrow's road to Bakersfield again takes me over two 4500 ft. passes, but I'm already at 4000.

Judging by what these girls are wearing, it's not cold in Bakersfield:


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