Feature

Getting the flavor of...The Mojave’s subterranean secret, and more

The Mitchell Caverns are limestone caves in the Mojave Desert that were occupied for centuries by Chemehuevi Indians.

The Mojave’s subterranean secret
California’s Mitchell Caverns “introduced me to a world I’d never experienced,” said James Dorsey in the Los Angeles Times. Entering these limestone caves in the Mojave Desert, I stepped into a “colorful subterranean wonderland” that seemed made for an adventure movie. “Surreal sculptures snaked their way down from the towering roof or ascended majestically from the floor, forming towers, pillars, and chandelier-like protrusions.” Although the caves were occupied for centuries by Chemehuevi Indians, they are named after Jack Mitchell, a businessman who retreated to the Mojave after 1929’s stock-market crash. He built a house near the caverns, and guided tours by torchlight until the ’50s. Today his house is a visitors center on state park land and a launch point for weekend tours. “No spelunking experience” is necessary for two of the caves. A third, though, can only be entered via a 300-foot drop. Contact: parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25146

Southwest Louisiana’s cultural gumbo
Situated halfway between New Orleans and Houston, Lake Charles, La., is part Cajun, part Creole, and “a little rough-and-tumble Texas,” said Laura Reiley in the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times. It’s this “wild, eclectic mix of cultures” that gives Louisiana’s fifth-largest city its “unique spice.” There’s so much flavor, the only question is what to taste first. Because Lake Charles is the state’s “festival capital,” your visit is likely to coincide with one of 75 festivals held annually; if it doesn’t, you may want to stop at the Mardi Gras Museum, home to a costume collection that comprises amazing “confections of feathers, glitter, sequins, and jewels.” The turreted and filigreed homes of the nearby Charpentier Historic District are also worth seeing; you can detour into it while following the Boudin Trail, a self-guided driving tour on which every stop serves a version of the city’s famous sausage.
Contact: cityoflakecharles.com

Recommended

U.K. Supreme Court: People living in glass apartments have privacy rights
Neo Bankside apartments from Tate Modern
People who live in glass houses...

U.K. Supreme Court: People living in glass apartments have privacy rights

Russian troops are joining Wagner mercenaries in grinding push for Bakhmut
Bakhmut, Ukraine
Attrition

Russian troops are joining Wagner mercenaries in grinding push for Bakhmut

U.S. firm offers Ukraine 2 Reaper drones for $1, plus $10 million in shipping
MQ-9 Reaper drone
Fine Print

U.S. firm offers Ukraine 2 Reaper drones for $1, plus $10 million in shipping

German police say suspect killed lookalike so she could fake her own death
German police.
doppelgangers

German police say suspect killed lookalike so she could fake her own death

Most Popular

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained
Hogwarts Legacy logo photo
Briefing

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained

The Adani Group scandal, explained
Gautam Adani.
Briefing

The Adani Group scandal, explained

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us
Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett in The Last of Us
running up that hill

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us