Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Roadtrip to Bakersfield, Come Along!

Ah it seems so long ago that we went on this roadtrip and I am just getting the opportunity to post this. It was actually last week Wednesday to be exact!

Ever just wish you could pack up last minute, get the kids in the car, pack a few snacks and head out on the open road for a roadtrip to somewhere???

Well that is basically what we did, although we did have a destination in mind. Bakersfield!



Well if you have been following my blog you know that Steve's job takes him all over the place, and at the last minute he got called in to Bakersfield for a service call. Most of the time he does these at night since it is easier when stores close but he had the option to do this one during the day.

Just the drive out to Bakersfield in itself is simply a beautiful but long drive. It takes us from our brown, flat, desert floor to the beautiful, green, cool, mountain slopes of Tehachapi before dropping us off the backside into the farm lands of Bakersfield.

So we did what any parent would do, we asked the kids if they wanted to go? Well since my kids have been camped out indoors due to our high temperatures, they practically jumped at the opportunity to do something new.

So while Steve went to have our cars oil changed, we packed lunches, snacks, drinks and some games to keep the kids busy for our 5+ hour roundtrip journey into Bakersfield.

I found some really interesting games to play on the internet besides having our kids tune us out with their Ipods and GameBoys, so once we were well on our way, I passed them out. We played car bingo that had them looking for such things as speed limit signs, horses, cows, tractors, planes, birds, farms, and I am sure you get the idea.

There was even one game that had them look for specific vehicles like a pickup, mini van, sports car, etc. The best one that we all got involved in was the License Plate Game. By the time we finished our drive we had 26 out of the 50 states found. Most of them were on big rigs and RV's. Thanks Steve for pulling into the truck stop to find a couple more!

It was super fun looking for these while driving. So I thought I would take you all along for the ride with us.

This first picture at the beginning of this post is when we began our journey on highway 395. As you can see where we live is quite flat, brown and just covered with sage and Joshua Trees so when you all send pictures with green trees, and lots of grass, we get envious! Ah to move, but this is about our roadtrip!

So the road is pretty wide open for most of the trip with nothing to look at except big rigs and other cars on the road. Not even clouds in the sky, just wide open spaces until we get to the base of the mountains.

We drive up through the Tehachapi's and we pass through the wind farms and see all kinds of windmills. I love this because it shows our kids how wind can make energy and how beautiful all these windmills look when they are all spinning!

We were reading up on these and when they break down, the companies that install them just leave them there. They don't repair them because it costs too much money. So they sit like sad little people watching life go on around them and wishing that they could be a part of it. The funniest thing was when we watched one windmill with two of it's blades missing, still attempt to spin around like it was giving it everything it had. I kept hearing, "I think I can, I think I can!" in my head.

Once we got into the mountain areas because it's summer, it's all brown except for the oaks that dot the hillsides. I was telling my hubby it looked like cashmere hills because the yellow grass looks like soft beige cashmere. So that is what we nicknamed them. Cashmere Hills!

We saw trains coming and going through the mountain sides, disappearing into tunnels like a game of hide and seek as we drove past them only to appear on the other side.

Once we reached the bottom of the valley floor, we came across some beautiful farm lands filled with almonds, pistachios, citrus and apple trees all in full bloom. Such a different world from the one we left behind.

When we arrived in Bakersfield, we left Steve to complete his work while we walked the mall there, Valley Plaza. Beautiful but a complicated mall to navigate because it was always turning back on itself or leading us to complete dead ends. My girls loved it because it contained stores we don't see unless we go to our higher end malls in the coastal communities.

They shopped for about an hour when Steve called and said he was finished. So we headed back to our car for our road trip home. We agreed to stop at a roadside farm for some freshly picked produce and just to stretch our legs.

So we stopped at Murray Family Farms. The girls stopped and posed for a picture just outside. They had all kinds of things to do here, and lot's of fruit to sample. We picked up some strawberries, peaches, and some corn nugget things Kailee wanted. We drove past their animal farm since everything was locked up because they were closing soon. They even had an Ant Farm that you could crawl through like you were an ant. The outside temperatures here made that something no one wanted to do. I believe it was around 109?

Now we headed back through the Tehachapis'once more where Steve and I decided to take a break and have dinner at a place called the Apple Shed. We had been there years earlier when we wanted to take a break from our summer heat when we lived in Lancaster. The temperature here was ideal! Even Cait seemed to fall instantly in love with the atmosphere this small town seem to charm out of her. She even mentioned she could live here!

Steve stopped and posed for me. Inside this cute little restaurant you'll find it sits along the train tracks. So you are always finding a train coming by, blowing it's horn and rumbling past. The kids loved watching these trains and feeling just how powerful they were while in the restaurant.

We had homemade meatloaf, Bar B Qued ribs, tri-tip, potatoes and salad. I mean isn't that what a home cooked meal should be? After we finished dinner and headed home we waved good bye to the windmills that stood like sentinels on the hillsides once again waving their blades as a passing sad goodbye to us.

We looked back after descending the mountains and noticed some clouds lingering above the wind mill farm while the sun began to set. I captured this picture as we left the cool mountain air for a much hotter desert landscape back home.

As we neared home the last thing we did as tired eyes began to slowly close was count the number of cars on the train that seemed to want to race us home. 64 was the count that this engine team was pulling behind it doing about 70 mph.

The best part of the drive was the memories that we created with our kids, the hilly dips that we passed over, speeding the car up to see if we could create that tickle in your tummy, and the question Caitlyn posed while driving through the farm lands. I have to share it with you because as a 16 year old now I am puzzled, she asked, "Are those wild cows?"

Yes Caitlyn, those are wild cows!


Gotta Have Faith said...

Yep, those are wild Cows and if ya get to close they will eat the shirt right off of you!

That post was great and made me think back on when we drove out there just last week!

I would love to do it again soon!

Love the pictures!

Anonymous said...

wow, love your pictures :) thanks for posting all about your trip! sounds great!

Mari said...

Great post! Those spur of the moment things are often the best memory makers! I love the windmills!

Wendi said...

A spur of the moment trip is always the best! Glad that you had a nice time.

Annette said...

Awesome! Looks like a great day!!

Andrea said...

Loved the windmills and the train! Well, actually I loved all the pics, but those were my favorites.

Looks like you had a wonderful adventure with your precious family.

Blessings and prayers,

Warren Baldwin said...

Great pictures of some beautiful country, but the memories made along the way are what matter most. wb

Bitter Sweet Moments said...

Road Trips are great!! My husband and I used to just pack a lunch and drive on Saturdays. It was great.....well then life happened and we got busy. Thanks for making me remember those days....we're going to have to do that again soon:)

RCUBEs said...

Thanks for taking us along with that trip of yours though it happened a week ago!!!

It is fun to just drive around and get to see unfamiliar places and new things to do.

The pictures are great!

Loren said...


Sounds like such a fun trip and I love those games you had for your family to do! Sooo much better than ipods and video games :) Your such a good momma!

Thanks for sharing this fun filled family day with all of us!

Love you

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

Loved this post! I felt like I was riding along with you all with your great pictures! Love it!
Collette xxx

Silver said...

The trip sounds wonderful and glad to hear of that great family time. The girls look so cute and pretty too!


3 Blessings said...

Thanks for sharing!

I wanted to let you know I handed out my awards today. Thank you agaain for nominating me.

Crown of Beauty said...

This was a great post, Kat. It is always good to read more about a blog friend's slice of real life. THe pictures, the stories of the things you did in the car...the way you did a chronological write up, the love that a family shared with one another, the windmills

64 cars in one train! wow!

Thanks. I enjoyed reading about your trip.

christy rose said...

Thanks for taking us with you on your road trip. You got some really great pictures and seem to have made some great memories.
BTW Aren't all cows wild? :)

LisaShaw said...

I so enjoyed your road trip! Thanks for taking us along with you in those beautiful photos. Your girls are so beautiful.

I'm throwing a bunch of stuff in the car and taking a sort of a road trip this weekend when I drive 5 hours to meet some blogging friends.

I would love to take a family road trip soon too.

Love ya.