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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Running In The Desert

We're always looking for new experiences in our fulltime travels.  We've heard time and again that one of the best burgers a person can get is an In-n-Out burger.  There was one nearby so we decided it would be a great place to eat lunch and try out this delicacy.

The place was mobbed, standing in line almost forever, we knew we were in for a special treat.  Little did we know what kind of a treat it was going to turn out to be.

After several lifetimes of waiting, our burgers were served.  We sat down, hands shaking in anticipation and chomped down.  Huh? 

The burgers didn't taste very good at all, in fact, they were pretty disappointing.  White Castle makes tastier burgers.  Since we had already paid for the burgers and had a couple of places we were going to today, we just choked them down and headed out.  We thought the burgers were pretty forgettable.  How wrong we were.

We drove to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a highly rated "must see" in this area.  We've fallen in love with the Arizona desert and want to learn as much about it as possible.

The museum is excellent with fascinating exhibits.  Along with the reptiles (there's lots of kinds of snakes in the desert...Marti passed on that exhibit), we visited a prairie dog village,

saw a real live mountain lion (they're pretty big...including their teeth),

even a bat cave!

The Desert Museum's exhibits are spread out along a two mile trail.  The facilities are back at the entrance.  This is where the day got really interesting.  The In-n-Out burgers attacked.  As in no longer wanting "In".  In fact, the "Out" became an urgent out, as in Turkey Trot out.  Of course, the alarm bells went off at the farthest end of the two mile trail. :cO

We try to get exercise every day, some long walks, hikes, bike riding.  Today, it was power walking, actually power running.  People jumped back off the trail as first I came steaming through, then, a little later, Marti.  I bet they thought the mountain lion had gotten loose.

Happily, we both made it in time.  For me, because I erroneously ordered a double In-n-Out burger, I made it in time, several times.

Never a dull moment for us, but rest assured we'll never darken the doors of another In-n-Out burger joint.

Once we had regained our composure, we started again our tour of the exhibits, staying much closer to the front of the museum, just in case.  There were lots of cactus for Marti to enjoy.

When we finished the museum, we had to drive the roads in Saguaro National Park.

There is a $10 entry fee.  With a debit card, I hardly ever carry much cash.  The visitor center was unmanned and it has an honor system ticket booth, where you take an envelope, put in your money and deposit it in a lock box, then taking a tear off portion of the envelope as your pass.  

Opening my wallet, I had nine dollars.  Scrounging around in all my pockets, I came up with enough change to make up that last dollar.  Hopefully, they don't mind 15 pennies.  If they do, we're already long gone.  ;c)

Off in the distance we could see huge groups of solar panels, each group larger than several football fields put together.  With the high temps here in the summer and the huge demand for electricity, solar energy is a good renewable resource.  After all, it seems like the sun shines here every day, and this is the winter.  (Do you think they'd notice if a couple of panels came up missing?)

The cactus were beautiful and many of them were waving hello to us.  We even saw one that seemed to have been influenced by Disney.

A coyote walked across the road in front of us, and we were so thrilled to see it, we never thought to take a picture until it was well into the bushes on the other side of the road.  Oops!

We really (really) like Tucson, it could be high on our list of a place to settle down again someday, if it wasn't so far away from our kids.  Maybe a winter lot...?

Before we make any choices like that, we've got a whole lot of the U. S. to see, so stay with us as we roll along.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. I know some people (Jeri) really like IN-N-Out but we do not. We didn't have your bad experience but we just don't like their food. Hope you've recovered. Isn't the desert just the best place ever. And you got to see a coyote - how neat is that.

  2. sorry to hear the burgers were only good for the 'out part'!..nice walk through the desert!!!

  3. Doc told me one time to drink tea when the upset stomach occurs. What I thought was happening was way past the stomach... like way down near the end of the intestines. Any way.. I started drinking tea, hot or cold, usually not sweat, and was amazed at how quickly an upset or sour stomach can be turned aroud, usually in a matter of minutes.
    I guess they call them In and Out burgers for a reason huh?

  4. You sure are having your share of problems with restaurant food:( I have added this to the list of places that have tried to poison you:)

  5. You need to get older so you can get a Senior Pass!

  6. Oooops ... at least there were facilities within 'running' distance (no pun intended).

  7. Sorry to hear about your experience with In & Out. We don't have them in PA, but while in CA, we go there occasionally. Never had to rush Out :)

  8. WOW what in the world could have been in those burgers to cause such a quick reaction in your intestines? I didn't even know food could move that fast through the system. I definitely won't darken their doors.

  9. Okay, okay what I like about In-N-Out is their sauce. I always ask for extra sauce and their fries are always so fresh.

    Tucson is a great place. It's one of our favorites too but we never seem to have enough time. Or, maybe the winter is just never long enough.

  10. We never found In-N-Out to be anything special but we never had the run experience either.

    Sounds like you are having fun down there in Tucson. When you head up to Dogpound North you probably won't see the big cats, they are pretty shy, but we will certainly arrange for our coyote choir to sing you to sleep.

  11. We could probably all benefit from a little power, but not with incentive like that! How lucky there were facilities within running distance! (and available :))

  12. Coyotes are a regular happening here just south of Indy. They are such a problem, they snatch dogs and cats out of fenced yards.

  13. I'm with Sherry. My guess is it was something long before In and Out that caused the problem. Eaten any green apples lately? :)

  14. butterbean carpenterFebruary 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Howdy Marti& Paul,
    Some people just rave about IN&OUT
    Burgers, like Dan Chance(BY CHANCE blog)he almost lives on them; would if he could!! They have just hit Texas and people are standing in line to get them(???), my daughter
    said they were too expensive for her to even try!! Sorry for y'all, but like Judy Bell sez,' it coulda been sumpin' else that you et!!'
    Marti, DO NOT FEAR SNAKES, or anything else that can't GET TO YOU
    the fear to escape as you stand still beside it.. In your travels
    You're agonna come in contact with lots of things that you fear..
    If you'll MAKE YOURSELF NOT FEAR IT will be a whole lot more enjoyable experience in living...
    See if you can get to know Judy Bell(TravelsWithEmma blog)she is a
    wonderful naturalist as well as an
    ex-teacher, who travels with only her dog and works at US nature centers.. I think she'll be glad to help you with your fear of Nature... Enjoy traveling with y'all !!!

  15. When I visit my daughter in Hermossa Beach, Ca she takes me to a local In & Out that is pretty good considering it is fast food. However I have found that by far the best places to go for a cheeseburger are the locally run joints that are starting to crop up everywhere.
    If you are ever in South Florida I will invite you to Charm City Burgers, only one around, in Deerfield Beach. They have by far, the best burgers I have ever eaten plus every type of brewery beer you can imagine :)


  16. I LOVE the Desert Museum, especially the hawk show. Cool Beans! If you think you're going to be in a lot of National Parks and Monuments this year, you could buy an annual pass.

  17. Great post, well, not exactly for you two, but for us readers, brought a few laughs. I can just picture the mad dash! Just glad you both made it! I love the desert landscape too Marti!

  18. Thank you for the laugh. I have never tried an In n Out burger, and thanks to your sacrifice I shall never have to. Actually I sort of felt the same way about Krispy Kreme when they opened here in Portland. Everyone kept talking about how great they were. I get better donuts at a bakery here in town.

    I want to thank you for your blog. Its a fun read!