’round Tehachapi


We recently traveled to Tehachapi where the southern Sierra Nevada tip meets the Mohave Desert.  There we stayed in a home on a high windy peak with desert views and access to hiking trails.  Our Weimaraner, Zso Zso, and I went out to explore.  Granite boulders dotted sage-covered slopes, creating labyrinths of caves and dens that Zso Zso nuzzled.  Later that day my husband and I met a woman eager to share her knowledge of the area.  She warned of a particular Japanese restaurant and rattlesnakes.

“Rattlesnakes?”  Although I am watchful of them in the desert, I hadn’t associated rattlesnakes with this terrain.

Tehachapi BouldersThe woman who had fine curly hair and a wiry build nodded vigorously.  “And they’re mean ones.  My friend’s dog just got bit.  She called vet after vet and finally found one who would come for $800.  He worked all night and saved the dog.”

The following afternoon as a I set out on a hike with Zso Zso, voices drifted up from a couple of joggers beneath us on the trail.  “There’s a lizard, ” a man said.

“When the lizards are out, the snakes are out,”  his companion sang in a single breath.

As Zso Zso and I began our hike I admonished her to avoid anything that resembled a den, advice she disregarded.   I let her run until the cinching in my stomach warned I might be tempting fate.  Then I called her back.  Kept her close to me.  Pointed my lens at her.  Captured her like a boulder ’round Tehachapi.