Humboldt Made: Take the Long Way Home

– Linda Stansberry –

Gas is cheap (for now). Time is long (for now). The days are getting longer and the sunsets remain breathtaking. Rush hour through Eureka is still only 18 minutes. Life is pretty darn good. So if you’re headed home, why not take the long way?

To live in Humboldt County is to rejoice in many simple things, including our commutes. Where else in the world would your trip from home to work be an opportunity to absorb so much beauty? Yeah, we get it. Towns are spread pretty far apart here and sometimes even the prettiest route can lose its appeal in the drudgery of a daily drive. So here are some suggestions to regain your zest.

Bike It: Skip the gym and make that trip from Eureka to Arcata and back on your bike. The new bike shoulder is looking much better these days. For an added health boost, detour into Bayside and stop by It’s Alive! Kombucha for a swig on the porch with the regulars.

Hike It: Your favorite back roads have their share of hidden hiking spots. One of our favorites is off of Blue Slide Road between Rio Dell and Ferndale. Russ Park has a good mix of cardio-heavy uphill, gentle ridge traipsing and great views of the scenic Victorian Village. If you’re commuting in the Eel River Valley, why not set aside 45 minutes and get your hike on?

Embrace Your Adrenaline Junkie: Hey Fortuna to Eureka commuters, ready for an adventure? Set aside at least an hour and hit Tompkins Hill Road, which winds its way through the verdant hills south of College of the Redwoods to just above Bear River Casino. It’s steep and windy and not for the faint of heart, but the views and experience can’t be equalled.

Picnic Breakfasts: Finally, give yourself an excuse to enjoy the journey. Maybe pack a thermos of Humboldt Bay Coffee or grab a bagel to go from Los Bagels, and find a spot out of the way to sit and enjoy your breakfast. Watch the fishing boats come in at Woodley Island. Walk barefoot on Clam Beach. Take a back road and find that out-of-the-way spot no one has yet discovered. You can keep it to yourself if you want. There’s more than enough beauty and quiet to go around.

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