24 September 2013

busted in Eureka

Wow it's been almost 2 weeks already.
I've finally settled down enough to write this.
If you've ever seen a movie you thought was a comedy,
but ended up being an uncomfortable horror-drama - this is it!
eel river

A little stroke of luck allowed me a business trip up to Humboldt County.
The last time I had been up that way was ouch 20 years or so.
I jumped at the chance to rent a car and make the trek.
mobile hotel

My early start was typically pushed to the late evening.
Hey it's hard to leave the family in the middle of dinner/backgammon night.
I also figured this would allow me to linger up north a little longer.
The little rental was a dart going up the endless 5 freeway,
and I was able to make it up to Mendocino County by the time my eyes crossed.
somewhere in Mendocino County

Isn't it strange how fast you can go to sleep in the back seat of a car?
I woke up to the sweetest smelling fresh air in recent memory.
The fog rolling over the pine covered mountains...
cows mooing as I brushed my teeth...
Time to hit the road.
There was an easy 200 miles to go.
Jaxon Keys

I've never seen "Jaxon" on a public sign before.
It was like a postcard.
willits - gateway to the redwoods - for now

The last time I had driven up this way,
it seemed like there were more stop and go communities to go through.
You know the ones that have the sudden stop lights and speed traps,
after blitzing down the highway for hours.
future 101 willits bypass

This may be the last time I drive through Willits,
the Gateway to the Redwoods.
They've begun the massive highway project around the little city,
which will cut at least 15 minutes off any future drive.
redwood highway - 101

The cruise up the Redwood Highway was much more relaxing than before,
mainly as the brand new rental car had less than 2800 miles on it.
Previous ventures north were in VW buses powered by the anemic flat-4.
I didn't say it wasn't fun back than,
only that there was always a lingering sense of doubt.
Actually if I remember correctly there probably wasn't any doubt.
I believed a good '71 bus was indestrucable
as long as I had 10 and 13 mm wrenches, a swiss army knife, spare tire,
and whatever else was suggested in the "How to keep your VW alive" life manual.
rattlesnake peak - redwood highway 101

These were the shots I had hoped to see.
The early morning fog over the peaks,
the huge redwoods in tight windy roads.
the sun peaking through the trees...
Of course all this blurred by the random bird poop on the windshield.
I used up all the windshield fluid trying to wipe this thing off!
redwood highway - 101

By early afternoon I finally made it through the forest,
and was met by what looked like the sad run-down city of Eureka.
You'd think the planning department would try to figure out how to make
this place the coastal forest tourist mecca of Northern California.
Instead they funnel the freeway traffic into the downtown area,
which is peppered with early morning tweakers and the county jail.
I'll admit with only 2 hours of sleep and a 750 mile drive,
it was a little depressing to see such a reversal.
eureka california

After a bit of mindless driving,
I learned the city's layout and found that Eureka was similar to any random town,
and it wasn't dominated by tweaker zombies like it had seemed.
Eureka Harbor

Eureka is the only deepwater port in Northern California,
but you wouldn't know this by looking at it.
The harbor is split into a Eureka side and Samoa side.
During the timber era,
there must have been barges galore.
Now that the restricted logging is moved by big rigs,
the harbor caters to the fishing industry.
eureka harbor

I knew very little about Eureka,
but I could remember some parts of Arcata,
which is a couple miles north.
A friend and lawyer Rob went to Humboldt State,
and he was the reason to go up and visit.
mad river slough

For a couple years he lived in the Mad River Slough,
or most likely in the Arcata Marsh.
His house was crazy.
There was a series of 2x12's traversing the front yard,
as the house was slowly sinking into the marsh.
I remember there was a slight tilt and one room was uninhabitable,
depending on the moon and tides,
as the water soaked into the floor.
You could literally toss a ball out the back door and the dogs would swim after it.
A very surreal place but under 21 and going to college what could be better?!

Sadly if you believe in Global Warming or tsunamis,
this is the type of area that will be inundated quite rapidly.
Otherwise this would be prime real estate!
east arcata

I'm used to driving 8 miles just to go to the metal mart.
I drove half that and I was basically in the middle of the forest.
On the way out there were some beautiful properties.
Horses, little one lane bridges, cows, barns,  and trees.
Most energizing was the air.
That thick brown so-cal smog layer was long gone.
little bridge

Back to reality.
This wasn't an extended stay,
but I did get that epically short bike ride in.
The plan was to head back south across the Redwood Highway,
and car camp somewhere to get a fresh start in the morning.

Do you remember the San Diego beer tour a couple weeks back?
Well I had found a brewery map and thought a solo version of that would be fun.
A slower drive home but there would be an array of growlers to enjoy.
lost coast brewery - eureka

My first stop was the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka.
The smell of beer and macaroni/bbq sandwich filled the air.
They didn't have an obvious growler refill or sale though.
Then the curtain came crashing down,
somebody had shaken me awake
3628 quimby st san diego ca 92106

The one time I go out of town any distance,
and the neighbors had to call the police on the kids skateboarding.
At 6 pm on a thursday I couldn't figure out why the new neighbors were so uptight,
especially to get the police involved.
This was a confusing situation,
as we had an extensive conversation the month before,
and the guy said he'd never call the cops,
his dad was an ex-con and he didn't like the police in his business.
Now there are the 3 policemen/women in front of his house.
The neighborhood is usually so mellow,
that every neighbor was outside thinking someone was injured or robbed.
going back home

There was no way to enjoy a peaceful lollygag home.
Time to head back...
world famous tree house

By the time I got to the middle of the redwood forest,
the cops were still at the house.
An hour and a half later!

Whatever the original complaint was had snowballed into an unneighborly nightmare.
They were angry about all sorts of random stuff - 
The skateboarding decibel level,  dogs barking, me working on our cars,  
everyone parking in front of their house, missing the premier of dancing with the stars...
who knows what else.
san diego police on whine patrol

Granted they are a couple with two small children that paid 660K+ for a 2 bedroom house,
then spent 2 months remodeling it.
Sure they thought they finally made it to their little slice of heaven,
only to live under a major airport flight path and see our clothesline from their backyard.
Woohoo welcome to Point Loma!
After five years we've learned to coexist with the neighbors,
and in the past month I've really toned down on the noise.
I know what it's like having little kids and an aggravated stay at home wife.
I figured if they like gas powered gardening tools, yapping dogs
and not picking up dog mess for weeks,
there was a possibility to live next to a guy wrenching on his old cars.
In less than 3 months at their new house,
somebody has called to report dogs barking at 2 houses, me wrenching, and now the kids skating.
In addition someone had called code enforcement on us a week before this had happened!
TP self portrait - 

Needless to say I was riled up,
and hauled a$$ home on my 2 hours sleep.
oakland bay bridge

Fortunately I was able to drop by Luke/Pigpens new pad near Oakland.
A cool little culdesac ranchito right off the freeway.
No pics of his lagging sportster project or shop dog Cole...
speed merchant - ticket

Halfway down the 5 freeway I was bushed.
Time for a nap...sunrise...holey chit better get going!
40 minutes and 60 miles later...
just what I needed.
A 90 MPH speeding ticket.
Thankfully the CHP wrote only an exceeding the speed limit infraction.
Frickin frack...
It did help to tone down the ride home through 8am LA traffic.
1637 miles in 40 hrs

I made it home in time to turn in the rental a day earlier than expected.
The 1637 mile marathon with 4 hours sleep in 40 hours was over.
All for a half hour meeting!
The family was exhausted and confused by the previous days ordeal,
and it was time to recuperate.
public parking

So you're probably wondering what's happened in the aftermath.
The next day,
I had parked the van in front of his house mostly out of convenience,
but with a little disrespect,
as this was a guy who said he would never call the cops.
Now he was ranting and raving all kinds of f-word profanities,
and even threatened a civil harassment suit for parking on a public street.
I realized then that there were some serious anger issues.
Not only do these people like to bully an 11 year old kid into not skating in the alley,
but he doesn't mind acting like a public donkey doing it.
11 year old honor student or public nuisance?

As renters with kids we're in a bit of a bind.
We like the area,
and my 97 year old grandmother lives 2 houses away.
It is obvious these new neighbors would love to see us move,
and they are trying whatever they can to make us uncomfortable.
Now is the time to be Zen.
There are too many positive things going on right now,
that caving in to the dark side will only restrict these new opportunities.
I learned this by weeding the back yard.
Instead of trying to grow in a spot that has gone to seed or compost,
a plant will simply grow in the spot right next to it,
and thrive!
Time to chill a little and regroup...


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