Those who love hiking, wind turbines, and living in California, listen up. The gods of renewable energy have answered your prayers — a perfect combination of those various things has now emerged in the flesh, so to speak — in the upcoming Windmill-Wildflower Hike in Tehachapi, California.
This hike, which is being put together by the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club, is set to take place on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 — with the hike set to start at 9:00 am. The meetup/departure spot is the trailhead kiosk of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), just 100 to 200 feet northeast of the junction of Cameron Canyon Road and Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road — on the south side of Cameron Canyon Road.
The 2015 hike will actually mark the 30th year of the annual spring hike — and is intended to bring attention to a relatively unknown and unused section of the trail. Fortunately, for those that have an interest in renewable energy, the trail section also passes large numbers of wind turbines.
Here’s a bit more information (via an email sent to CleanTechnica):
Tehachapi’s Windmill-Wildflower Hike is one of the longest-running such events anywhere in the world. Nearly a thousand people, from children to octogenarians, have taken the six-mile walk across Cameron Ridge since the event was first launched.
Spring weather at 5,000 feet in the Tehachapi Mountains is unpredictable. The temperature can vary from near-freezing to sweltering. And it can be extremely windy. Hikers are advised to dress appropriately. Bring a hat, jacket, sunscreen, and at least one quart of water per person. Long pants and hiking boots are advised. Hikers should also pack a lunch and be prepared for any kind of weather.
The six-mile hike is rated “moderate” by seasoned hikers, but it has steep uphill and downhill segments. Please note that this is a real hike and not “a gentle stroll through the park”. Those with heart conditions and reduced lung capacity are advised not to participate. Parents with children must assure that the children can walk the entire distance. Though there are frequent rest stops, including lunch, there are no way stations where people can be picked up by car. This is a through hike with a car shuttle at the end.
Hike duration is expected to be about 5 hours (including stops), and a shuttle service will be waiting at the end to ferry hikers back to the meetup spot.
The wind turbines that hikers will be passing generate an estimated 8 billion kilowatt-hours (8 TWh) of electricity a year — so, roughly, 3% of the state’s total consumption.
As well as the wind turbines, as the name of the hike alludes, you can probably expect to see a fair number of wildflowers as well — grape-soda lupine (Lupinus excubitus), Kennedy’s Mariposa lily (Calochortus kennedyi), sun cups (Camissonia sp.), and gilia (Gilia sp.), in particular.
A couple of final notes:
A carpool will leave from Bakersfield at 7:30 am.
For more information on carpooling from Bakersfield, call Tony Swan at 661-363-5106 or Paul Gipe 661-325-9590.
And for more information on past hikes, visit Windmill-Wildflower Hike.
Image Credit: West via Wiki CC
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