Arcata, CA July 2016
I’ve been a lot of places and I’ve done a lot of exciting things. I have fond memories from many trips. All of my trips have provide me with that warm tingly feeling we call happiness.
But, I would have to say that the trip that has provided me with more warmth and more tingles (?) is a recent trip I took up the redwoods.
A couple of friends of mine from high school are moving up to Arcata, California. One for school, the other for love. They’re married.
When I first heard that they were moving, I selfishly volunteered to help them. Any excuse to travel I will take. I told them I could barrow one of my dad’s work trucks to move their furniture.
Months had passed since my initial offer. During that time two of the work trucks died. There was nothing left for me to barrow. The company was short on trucks. But, I told them I would help them and I wasn’t about to break that.
I rented cargo van.
I picked up the van late on Wednesday afternoon. Then drove it up to their home in North County (San Diego). I hadn’t been sleeping much since I got back from Montana. I gave them the van keys, told them to load it up, and proceeded to take a nap.
Ten hours later, I woke up. Maybe about half of the packing and apartment cleaning that need to be done was done. I tried to help out as best I could, tetrising in as much of their belongings as I could. Almost everything had to fit in the van because she drives a small Honda and he drives a Fiat.
When it was finally time to leave, we left San Diego just in time to meet up with the LA rush hour.
My aggressive driving style and their frequent bathroom breaks got me about an hour and change a head of them. We stopped in Sacramento for a late night dinner. Only one place was really open so we went their for tapas.
We decided that it was best to find somewhere to camp for the night instead of trying to drive the next six hours (estimated arrival time 4:20 A.M.). We found a small campsite on google maps outside of a town called Collusa, about an hour north of Sacramento. It wasn’t too much of a detour.
When we got there, I pulled out their living-room rug, spread it out on a picnic table, tossed out my sleeping bag and went to sleep.
The morning started lazily. But, soon enough we were headed back out on the road. From the Five we took the 101 to Arcata. I’ve been to Arcata a few times, but never via this road. New is good.
It was beautiful drive in. I don’t know what it was about this particular trip but I couldn’t help but think, during the entire two days of driving, how happy I was. I was happy to be on the road, I was happy to be with friends, I was happy to be a part of huge change in their life.
I missed their wedding when I was in Taiwan. They had it the weekend after finals and a week before I got back. They were to selfish to push it back when I asked, so whatever. I didn’t go, nor did I get them anything. I considered this a late wedding gift, early housewarming, and repayment for that time I was supposed to help you pay for that van we totaled in high school.
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Arcata is a beautiful little college town in the heart of the redwood forest in Northern California. It’s home to Humboldt State University.
We all pretty much spent the next four, or five, days (I can’t rememeber) smoking weed, taking naps, smoking weed, walking around town, hiking, smoking weed, and drinking.
This was also during the Forth of July. We met up with some other friends from high school and their friends and drove down to Eureka to see the fireworks.
I would wake up earlier than other people, take the van to a near by beach, and spend some time alone mediating. The mornings were foggy, I loved it. I was alone on the beaches until about 9 or 9:30. I found it very relaxing.
Then one morning, I had to wake up and leave. Almost without saying goodbye.
I drove back down through Avenue of the Giants, Mendocino County, and over to Glass Beach. Glass Beach was two hours out of the way but way worth it!
– – –
I had this strange urge to move there. To stay in the mindset that was I in. I had been so depressed the past couple months. The friends who were their for me just moved 14 hours away to some redwood paradise. I fantasized about moving up there, working on a farming, dumpster diving, trimming, and selling psychedelics purchased off the dark net.
These thoughts persisted for a few weeks after I returned. I was contacting a friend-of-friend who had a farm job to see if there was work. I signed up for a WWOOFUSA account to find farms to live at. I told my family I was thinking about doing. I even used it to justify canceling a trip to Montreal to visit a friend.
Then I realized something. I was lost. I was just filling my emptiness with another persons dream. After college, after my long-term relationship ended, I didn’t know what to do. I had to much freedom of choice and I attached myself to the first wild idea that presented itself. I paused. Reevaluated.
As much as I would love to live in the moment that was my five days in their home. I can’t. I would have gotten over that novelty. It was their dream to live their not mine. I have wild fantasies of my own I must chase.
And, I am. Stay tuned.