Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Murals of Tehachapi, California ~ The Loop & A Village Scene


At the Tehachapi Loop long trains go around in a circle and through a tunnel where the front of the train crosses over the tail end. Since my photos of the mural are not that clear,  please check the Loop out on Google and YouTube; it's really  interesting to view.  


The Historic Tehachapi Loop ~ Artists: John Pugh and Marc Spykerbosch ~ A portion of the mural was repainted by local artist Lyn Bennett in 2008 

The Tehachapi mountains form a barrier between the San Joaquin Valley, one of the major produce growing areas in the United States, and the Mojave Desert to points south and west. From the floor of the San Joaquin valley to the Tehachapi Pass, the mountains rise to 4,000 feet over 46 miles. When the Southern Pacific Railroad was built through the valley, it was thought it could go no further when it reached the foot of the mountains in 1875. The engineers in charge considered it an impossible task to continue the railroad up the steep mountain grade. 
  

Legend has it that chief engineer William Hood observed how donkeys and mules traversed the mountain in circles and got the idea for what became the famous Tehachapi Loop. What he actually did was to survey the mountain from the top rather than from the bottom. After studying the layout of the land, another version of the legend has it that one morning he staked out the two huge circles, measuring over 3,700 feet, that would become the Tehachapi Loop. In addition, 18 tunnels were built into the mountain. The railroad was built by Chinese workers; about 3,000 came from Canton, China, and many stayed in the area after the work was completed. 

Today, this is the busiest single-track mountain railway in the world. 


Considered one of the seven wonders of the railway world, the Loop is also one of the most popular trainspotting sites. Fans come from all over the world to view and photograph trains going through the Loop. What they are most interested in is to see a very long train go in through the tunnel at the bottom of the Loop, come out the other side, and then circle the actual Loop, and finally crossing over its own last cars as they move into the tunnel below. I have seen this and it is something to behold. 


People of the Mountains ~ Artist: Colleen Mitchell-Veyna, 2004

This mural depicts village life of the Tehachapi Native American tribe, the Nuwa (or Kawaiisu), before they had any contact with Europeans. In the days before the Europeans arrived,the Indians lived in villages of 60 to 100 people. They harvested plants and animals found in the mountains and deserts, and used available raw materials. As seen in the mural, the Kawaiisu made beautiful baskets and are well known today for their skill in basket weaving. They also used the Gray Rabbit Brush,   my nemesis here,to make tea, dye, and for medicinal purposes.

In 2011, Tehachapi's Kawaiisu Project received the Governor's Historical Preservation Award for its work in documenting the Kawaiisu language and culture. There is also a section devoted to the Kawaiisu in the Tehachapi museum. 








19 comments:

  1. INTERESTING! I looked up the loop. Love your header picture!!

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  2. i have never seen or heard of this and ilove that second shot of the mural. i just watched the train go up the mountain on youtube, absolutely amazing... will show this to hubby.

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  3. Oh, I love this, Inger. Hubs was a train engineer for ten years, and is interested in all things to do with railroads. We have driven out of our way to see small railways.

    We both love to discover rail spots like this. So when we get down that way again, you can bet we would like to see that LOOP. I'd have my camera for sure, and a tripod!

    Thanks for showing these murals, which I love, and telling us about that train!

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  4. That first mural looks like you could walk right into the scene. Both murals are beautiful.

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  5. Utterly amazing to read about. I've not heard of this, but it sounds like a place to take my train buff of a husband -- and I'd probably be as fascinated as I know he would be! Thanks for a very interesting post, Inger!

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  6. very nice murals! i've seen that train loop on a blog or two before. truly remarkable construction feat!

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  7. Beautiful murals! I would have loved taking the train on that loop!

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  8. That mural is so life-like I thought it was real scenery!

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  9. That's so cool. I'd like to see that in person.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. Don't ya love it when some one can think outside the box and make the impossible,possible. I would love to see that loop.
    Wonderful murals. Modern day versions of cave painting. There for all to see.

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  11. I love these murals, Inger.

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  12. Just stunning! I am considering getting the implemented in our city. It's wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Inger!

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  13. Beautiful murals and interesting history!

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  14. Wow, that's some kind of train route. It takes a special kind of vision to be able to look at the rough terrain of a mountain and imagine train tracks going through and around it. Building it must have been a very dangerous job.

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  15. Hi Inger .. gosh I'd love to see that ... Mum and I had a trip through the Rockies ... where the stone bridges, tunnels etc are fascinating - loved it. I'd love to see this ... amazing what was achieved years ago ..

    Love the story of the murals too .. one day I hope I'll visit .. cheers and thanks so much - Hilary

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  16. Hej Inger ! Nu har vi firat midsommar i blåsigt och regnigt väder :-)
    Very nice murals again, love the posts !!
    Wish you a pleasent week over there!

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  17. Nice. There are manmade things worth looking and wondering at.

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  18. I'd love to see the mural, Inger. I'm not very familiar with this loop, but my husband hired out with Southern Pacific in 1973 and is still an active Union Pacific railroad. He is quite familiar with this engineering marvel. I think I need to take another field trip out your way! :-)

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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