These large turbines must have significant gearing and generators in them that require quite a bit of lubrication.


A short 8 mile day today just to get to town.  I was out at 5:45 and at the road just after 9:30.  I saw a runner going up as I was going down and there was a truck at the bottom of the mountain, so I was hoping to be able to get a ride to town with him as long as he wasn’t going farther than I thought and take too long to get back to his truck.  I stopped at the road to check the bus schedule and get rocks out of my shoes when he came by.  As luck would have it, I was right and he was going right by where I needed to go so I scored the easiest hitch of the trip so far.

The final mile to the highway between Tehachapi and Mojave.

The entire eight miles was through the major part of the same wind farm as yesterday.  This is the birthplace of wind power.  The display they had was pretty informative.  The current models supply 10mw of power each (might have been 3mw).  There was a whole row of these big GE ones spewing grease out the back of them.  I imagine they have serious gear reduction and need alot of lubrication to keep them from burning up.  Clean energy, huh.  There must have been ten different models of turbines in just this one field.  The older ones looked like toys compared to the modern ones.  This farm started in 1980.

Entering a newer section of one of the oldest wind farms in the world.

The temperatures were pretty warm for that early in the day once I got to the backside of the mountain and the wind died down.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the biggest day of the heat wave so I’m not looking forward to the next week.  This is the last 135 miles of desert before I hit the Sierras at Kennedy pass.

I used my Marriott points to stay at the Fairfield Inn for free tonight (yay points) and spent the afternoon doing errands.  First up was visiting the Big5 sports in town.  I was able to find some nice Saucony shoes on sale for $40 that are pretty comfy.  Had to go with size 13 shoes.  A fresh fuel canister and two pairs of socks and I’m set other than snow gear.  I have microspikes in the box at Kennedy Meadows, but the snow is still deep enough that I will also need either poles or an ice axe to be safe.  Looks like I will have to rent a car tomorrow and hit an REI to get the last goods.  I can also make a trip back to Cajon pass to try to look for my sunglasses.

Now I is time for dinner at the local BBQ joint run by a native American who has teepees out back that he will actually let hikers stay in if they ask nicely.  People rave about it and I imagine it might be the only decent BBQ I will find on the entire trail.  My major mistake was in ordering beans as a side dish.  Beans?  Aren’t I sick of beans yet?  Apparently not.  Something green (green beans) would have been a better choice.