Continuing from Death Valley, our plan was to drive from Death Valley to Fresno and spend the night with my cousin Liz and her family.

En route we stopped for lunch in the town of Inyokern, California, which is in the Mohave Desert.  My dad was in the Navy during World War II and he was stationed there.  He always felt that wasn’t fair, he loved the sea and had hoped to serve on a ship. Instead he got desert duty. My mother, sister and I spent about six weeks living there in a tiny motel to be near him. Most nights he was able to be home with us. I have many memories of that time though I couldn’t have been more than 4. We did find the motel where our little family had lived, and we had lunch at a colorful local place, but there isn’t much going on in Inyokern.

Lunch in Inyokern

Motel in Inyokern

motel 60 years later<

with cousin Liz

Cousin Liz on the right, under the orange tree

Liz is a little older than I am. Liz was adopted as an infant and I think the family discussions, and talking with her about adoption, kindled my interest in adoption as a child. She now lives with her husband Jim in a lovely old section of Fresno. She is surrounded by family.  In the short time we were there we saw three of their four children as well as some grandchildren. They have two orange trees and Raven had his first experience climbing an orange tree and picking a few fruits. Liz served a luscious lemon sauce over a cake she had made as well as fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast.

Ripley's under the orange tree

Ripley family under the orange tree

Raven in an orange tree

Raven climbing to pick oranges.

Liz suggested that we visit the Vine Market on our way out of town. It is covered with vines which provide shade and reduce the glare from the bright sun. We saw many unusual vegetables including a large array of mushrooms. We bought radishes, green onions, cilantro, and fresh strawberries.

Vine market

Vine Market

fresh vegetables

Common and unusual vegetables


An entire display of fresh mushrooms

We have one more stop to make. Before heading for home later today we will visit Wendy Lawton, the maker of my favorite dolls. We have a bit of business to do, and will have lunch together.


Joy, ready for the 4th of July


patty in Spring

Kiesha, these are nine inch dolls, Wendy sculpts the heads and designs the clothing.