Mojave National Preserve by Gail Becker, Turlock, California

My husband and I love visiting California deserts in the winter and spring before the summer heat. I have many happy memories from visits to Mojave National Preserve, Joshua Tree National Monument, and Death Valley.

Joshua Tree National Park 2009, view of an oasis

Mojave National Preserve, 2009


The First In-N-Out Burger

The First In-N-Out Burger, Baldwin Park, CA hooked by Cai King


Perhaps it’s our constant sunshine, or car culture, or maybe our eternal youth, but California has been the fertile launching ground for many hamburger empires. Few among them, though, generate the fervent–to the point of rapture–devotion that In-N-Out Burger does among its many fans. There’s even a “secret” menu for those folk. My nephew Lincoln is one such devotee. A Native Son of the Golden West, Lincoln was lured out of California at the tender age of 20 by a tech firm in Cleveland. While Ohio has proven to be his land of opportunity –there are still no In-N-Out Burgers beyond Texas. Being home (burger)-sick he even looked into booking the corporate In-N-Out Cookout Trailer to come to Ohio. Alas, the cost of mileage was above his pay grade. So, for now, he must wait for periodic trips to Cali where he picks up his rental car, revs up the GPS for the nearest location and heads for the first of more In-N-Out burgers while he’s here. It’s what a homecoming’s all about. Cai King, Fresno, CA