“Pay it forward, Man!”
“Don’t pay me back, but pay someone else back.”
“It is called paying it forward.”
There are no hippies like a Humboldt hippy. Walking down the streets of this sleepy town of 15,000 is like taking a step back in time. Everyone here smokes pot, which is not surprising considering that Humboldt County is the marijuana capitol of the United States, and most of the people walking around have beards and long hair or dreadlocks. I have not been to any other place where I wanted to take pictures more badly, or felt like I was less welcome to take pictures. Pedestrians here have the right of way, and there is a legal cap on the number of large corporations that can be located within the Arcata city limits.
I have been told that people here rebel by not smoking pot, and being well dressed and well groomed.
I love Arcata. I love the rain, and the orientation toward local everything, and I really love the burrito bus, where you can get massive, juicy breakfast burritos for about $6.50. I am staying with my friend Meredith and her boyfriend Nathan. Meredith works at a video store, and Nathan does accounting for Planned Parenthood. They rent an awesome apartment above a dentists office, complete with thick green carpet, stainless steel appliances from the 70s, and a massive wood burning stove in the middle of the room.
It is hard for me to image that they would ever use the wood burning stove, because the temperature here pretty much always stays between 70 and 40, with the main variance being in the amount of rainfall that they get at different parts of the year.
Staying with Meredith has been a vacation for me. I slept and read for most of yesterday afternoon, which was good considering that it was my first real break in a month. At night we sit around and play Wii bowling while eating sushi and enjoying a drink. During the day, when we are not resting, we wander around to the different stores, co-ops, glass shops, thrift stores, restaurants, etc.