Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/2 Tehachapi Pass, California, with Snow

Tehachapi Pass is a 4,000 pass that separates the Central Valley of California from the Mohavi Desert.  Normally, it is just a scenic place to drive through, however, with the El Nino rains, they had a lot of snow and blowing up there yesterday and the day before.  I checked the weather and road conditions, and knew it was supposed to be 36 degrees and sunny today, with only 22 MPH winds, so I figured I'd give it a try.

After driving through exciting little towns like Mojave and Boron, along the north side of Edwards Air Force Base, you see the mountains arising out of the flat plain.  There is a huge wind farm here as well. I was a little worried because the wind speed was more like 30 MPH along Edwards.  Luckily, it was less in the pass itself because the nearest campground, should I have chosen to turn back, was 60 miles behind me! 

After the boring flatness of the area near Edwards Air Force Base, the mountains come into view.  This is a very heavily traveled road because it is the shortest distance between Las Vegas and most other points east and the valley and northern California.

By this point, about halfway through, there was a dusting of snow along the highway.  I saw a couple of cars full of people stopped who had apparently never seen real snow before.

This is identified on several sites as one of the most dangerous roads in California.

I stopped in the town of Tehachapi for cheap gas and almost slipped on the ice in the gas station!  Should have taken a photo.

After a few miles, however, the mountains turned into green, rolling hills!  Yes, sometimes California is really green and the poor cows actually have fresh grass to eat!  I'm sure they were ecstatic. 

Pretty rolling hills, in any case.

And finally, you can see the valley between the last set of hills. 
It turned out to not be as bad a drive as I had feared. I was not worried about ice as much as wind because most RVs, mine included, do not do well in winds.  Nothing like feeling yourself being blown to the side as you drive.

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