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The Tehachapi Loop Borax-hauling mules, German pretzels and a railroad wonder Head south on I-15 as though you’re heading to Los Angeles or San Diego. On this trip, you’re on the path to some truly extraordinary sights instead, beginning with Zzyzx Springs. How many times have you driven past the sign? This time, take the exit and discover this place of erstwhile crazy dreams and current scientific study. After you leave the Interstate on Highway 58, pause for a look at the Rio Tinto Borax mine, California’s largest open-pit mine. The Borax Visitor Center boasts a genuine 20-mule team rig and informative interpretive exhibits. Farther west near the tiny hamlet of Walong, watch fully-laden 100-car trains circle over themselves as they pull the grade around the world-famous Tehachapi Loop. As you head back home, stop in Tehachapi for some freshly baked artisan bread Soda Lake, east of the Zzyzx Desert Studies Center The Apple Shed The Tehachapi Loop 66 | Desert Companion | May 2012 Z Z Y Z X : M ik e B a i r d , f lick r . b a i r d ph oto s . c o m ; T h e Appl e S h e d : M e g a n e d wa r d s Train: bruce h. jones or pastries at The Apple Shed. (I-15 to CA-58 to Broome Road and return on CA-58)

Desert Companion - May 2012

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