On Friday morning Keith called me from Barstow saying that instead of taking a train back to town he and his engineer and another crew were being deadheaded back, meaning that they get paid to ride in a van for a few hours. Nothing wrong with that and lots of the railroad guys kind of like those deadheads once in awhile. Getting paid to nap in a van works for them!
So, when he got home he said let's get in the car and go up to Tehachapi for lunch since we got the car fixed on his birthday instead of going to lunch and that sounded good to me, so after he messed around for a while and I waited impatiently for him to get ready to go, off we went.
We took the back way down Edison Hwy and through the hills, a very pretty drive even if the hills are all brown right now. You can continue on Caliente/Bodfish Road up to Lake Isabella or go right and join up with the freeway and on into Tehachapi.
We were debating on whether to go to our old favorite The Apple Shed or try a new barbecue place across the street, decided on the barbecue place until we saw the incredibly high steak house size prices on the menu, then went over to The Apple Shed after all. Which was very disappointing. They had changed their menu a bit and gotten in a new salad/soup bar which was okay, but the pot pie that Keith had been craving for months just didn't taste good and the chicken salad sandwich that was always my favorite came on some different bread this time and that's all I could taste was bread, so I ended up eating the small scoop of chicken salad out of the inside of the sandwich. The only thing that was as good as last time was their 4 bean salad as my side. The service wasn't all that great either, we were ready to go and no check yet, so we got up and stood for about 5 minutes before she finally realized we wanted to go already, and brought us our check. And, no, she wasn't too busy to see us there since we were well past the lunch rush and there were only a few other people still sitting at tables.
So, sadly, The Apple Shed is now off of our list of places to eat.
But, we did get to see (and wave at) Joe driving his train through town, Keith had called him knowing that he was probably on the rails somewhere close, and sure enough he was getting ready to head up the hill into Tehachapi. We went across the tracks so that we would be on the engineer side of the train and he waved at us through his little side window, and what a thrill to see my kid driving that big train! We actually saw him twice, waiting down on Caliente Road where the tracks cross the road until his train came down off the hill and through a tunnel and we could wave at him again.
On the way back to town we stopped at Murray Family Farms, the best place to stop and use a restroom and maybe get a snack or whatever. Plus they have a petting zoo! I guess it had been a long long time since we've been out that way because since the last time we were there they built a gas station on the property. Smart thinking there, it's the last chance for gas and restrooms before going up the hill and the cashier is inside the fruit stand building so yeah, you'll buy something other than just gas. As we were going inside, a tour bus full of Japanese people were coming out, it seems to be a popular stop on the tour bus circuit as we have run into them before there. I think last time they were German tourists.
We did buy a few things, some tomatoes and some peanut butter covered pretzels (delicious!) and a couple of bottles of gourmet soda pop. This butterscotch rootbeer definitely lived up to it's name, because DANG was it good!
Speaking of front yards, the grass looks like crap despite spreading some grass seed and daily watering, but our wildflowers are huge and starting to bloom.
We found some solar lights at Target the other day but had to improvise by buying a flag pole mount to put the stake with the solar panel on so that we (Keith) could hang the lights on the eave of the house. I guess they are intended more for a fence or bushes since it came with the stake to go into the ground to mount the solar panel on. They are little metal stars and look really cool at night with the light shining through all the little holes in the stars.