Fortuna to Ukiah Today

If you guessed I went west to Eureka, you guessed right!

Looking back toward Redding over the area burned by the Carr Fire.

I vascillated on the precipice of the decision for about a minute. Then I knew I needed to head west along the Trinity River to Hwy 101 to drive through the redwoods today. The extent and range of the Carr Fire’s destruction in and west of Redding was sobering. Surprisingly, homes are already being rebuilt.

The river canyon is beautiful. It’s been long time since I’ve seen a Northern California river – made me want to stop and soak my feet. I didn’t, Professor.

Initially I thought I’d stay overnight in Eureka. Ummm. No. No, thanks.

The years since I attended Humboldt State University haven’t been kind to Eureka. Besides being the unofficial capitol of the Emerald Triangle (Google it), the opioid crisis has hit particularly hard. I saw lots of zombied-out humans and a few drug deals. There’s a huge “sporting goods” store surrounded by a very serious metal fence.

The streets downtown are nothing to linger on and forget about staying there. The nicer chain hotels have complete perimeter fences and security and cameras. I checked into a Best Western Plus only to check right back out. No, unless you are attracted to misery, there’s nothing to see here. Pity.

Down the road in Fortuna, things seemed a little safer for a gal on her own in a come-and-get-me Ruby-red truck. So I got dinner (take out) at the Eel River Brewery and went back to the hotel to finish that 2,500 word essay for the travel writers conference on Thursday. I stayed up until 10 (Pacific Time) and got up at 5 this morning to finish it.

I had much of it already written, but needed to cut. Boy, did I. When I started whittling, I had over 7,500 hundred words. This morning, I ended up with 2,474, and am reasonably pleased with the piece.

We’ll see how long that lasts when Cahill and the cohort rip into it!

My apologies to friends here in the region. I promise I’ll visit again. But not Eureka. Not even for the Samoa Cookhouse would I return.

Next stop, Ukiah and home.

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I was raised in Northern California on a sheep ranch. I'm passionate about working landscapes – balancing the interests of agriculture, thriving rural communities, and healthy natural resources. My husband Richard – the Professor - is a teacher. We live in Idaho with our horses, dogs, and close-by daughter and her family. I'm taking a trip soon and have attempted to introduce readers to some important backstories that will be helpful to understand the context for my observations. To read them, go to Topics in the sidebar and select Rambles with Ruby.

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