By | Curran Daly
Julia Hunt left for the In-N-Out in Redding, California a little after 8 p.m. one night in September, arriving at the In-N-Out a little before midnight.
“My roommates and I were sitting on our couch all looking at Facebook and we came across a video of In-N-Out,” Hunt said.
The video sparked an idea. Hunt and her friends decided to drive to In-N-Out. They got in a car and drove for three hours to Redding in the dark.
“It was a bonding trip, we got to know each other better throughout the car ride,”Hunt said. “We would talk about our families and everything.”
Hunt and her friends made a pilgrimage to In-N-Out. Hunt’s trip to In-N-Out was about more than food, her and her friends got to share stories and memories from their childhood going to In-N-Out.
Yvette Valdez-Beas, a kinesiology sophomore, was also on the trip with Hunt.
“They were just like ‘be ready in five minutes’,” Valdez-Beas said.
They all got in a car and began their long and turn-filled road trip along state Route 299 toward Redding.
“We went to Redding and we took the 299 and I’d never been that way,” Valdez-Beas said. “ The drive was kinda scary because it was at night and I didn’t know how windy it was.”
Many people make the claim that In-N-Out is the best burger place. Valdez-Beas craves an In-N-Out burger whenever she has a burger from any other restaurant. No other burger can replicate the flavor and simplicity of an In-N-Out burger.
The round trip roadtrip totalled 240 miles and six hours of driving on dark and winding roads. In-N-Out served as the focal point of a bonding experience that these friends hope to do again in the future. Hunt, Valdez-Beas, and friends are not the only people who miss In-N-Out while behind the Redwood Curtain.
Alex Hain is a freshman psychology major who found the transition away from In-N-Out difficult.
“In-N-Out used to be the only thing I ate back home and I abandoned it,” Hain said.
Hain has been trying to organize a trip with friends to the new In-N-Out in Ukiah. The only thing stopping him from heading to the In-N-Out is finding someone able to drive him on a Sunday.
The new In-N-Out in Ukiah is about 25 miles farther than the one in Redding, but the drive takes about the same amount of time. The road to Ukiah is much less intimidating especially if it is dark.
Freshman marine biology major, Carlino San Miguel, misses the In-N-Out by his home in the Los Angeles area. He believes that its simplicity is what makes it so popular.
“They’re different than other burger place, it’s only hamburgers, you can’t get chicken strips or chicken sandwiches, it’s just straight hamburgers so you go there and you know what you’re gonna get,” San Miguel said.
While a six hour drive for a hamburger may seem impractical, these journeys done and planned focus more on feeling at home. San Miguel, Hain, Valdez-Beas, and Hunt all admitted to In-N-Out being one of their first stops while heading home.
Sometimes living in Humboldt can feel distant and isolated from what people are used to. In-N-Out offers that feeling of coming home.