Why do you love where you live? Do you love the climate, the proximity to nature, cultural events, the political leanings…? Jen, a fellow Humboldt blogger, gathered 13 mini essays on why she loves it here and my head nodded in agreement so much my neck ached. Her love for the county glows through her writing and makes her site a daily read for me (even though she usually talks about her erotic romance writing career which is an exotic change of pace from my usual life!).
But sometimes her views differed from mine like two fabulous cheeses–Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog and Blue d’ Auvergne-similar but different in ways only a fanatic could delineate.
To her, the gray Humboldt fog is a warm blanket, to me it is sea foam rushing down mountains and pooling in valleys. When she talks about the people, she never mentions marijuana growers and the deep political fissures that run between indoor and outdoor growers. Where I live, that would be like failing to mention Mercury in a discussion of the planets.
As Eric exposed when he separated the blog roll on his site into So Hum bloggers and the ‘others,’ there is a distinct split in view points between regions of the county that probably only a resident would notice. Its not that Southern Humboldt has progressive politics and Northern Humboldt doesn’t. I’ll bet Ernie Branscomb’s politics are a lot more conservative than mine but, as we both come from south of Redcrest, we see things from a different place than those further up the coast.
Mostly I’m a Humboldter first, but sometimes, when I’m listening to someone from further North, I really feel the difference between our areas. I notice that those of us who live south of the conjunction of the two Eel River branches tend to feel a bit surprised when someone from Fortuna speaks of themselves as being from Southern Humboldt—for them driving to Eureka takes 20 minutes, for me it’s a three hour round trip. When someone in Fortuna calls the police there’s a reasonable chance that a response will occur within the hour. In Southern Humboldt, the chance is almost nil.
Don’t get me wrong, I think those of us living in Humboldt have so much in common that its obvious we belong in the same category but like Humboldt Fog and Blue d’ Auvergne we have some distinct differences that makes the flavors of the differing Humboldt regions distinct and pleasurably dissimilar from each other. Arcata is not Eureka, Ferndale is not Bridgeville, and Fortuna is not Southern Humboldt (Humboldt Heartland–anyone?).
But they are all rather wonderful places and each of their subtly differing flavors makes Humboldt County as complex and surprising as the rather wonderful cheese plate at Hotel Carter.