Thursday, September 23, 2010

Redwoods and Pacific of Del Norte (rhymes with snort here)

I moved to Del Norte county in 1989 and the very first thing I learned here, was that "Del Norte" rhymes with "Snort." Or they laugh, not just at you, but also at themselves for insisting on it.A beautiful county, in cold and rainy territory, there are a lot of rugged, unpopulated areas, and a lot of sad and tragic history in Del Norte. But there is also a strength and courage in those who live here, and a sense of unity in living in this "solar-free zone" where gills develop if you choose to stay. We are the forgotten county. You have to drive South for 6 or 7 hours to reach "Northern California." and we rank fairly horribly on a lot of scales, in the bottom of all CA counties for poverty, drug use, teen-age mom's, child-abuse. Yet there is hope and love in the beauty and the people here.
Battery Point Lighthouse is a beacon of hope and a recognized symbol of the county, and a delightful, but crazy place to gather around bonefires and watch the fireworks exploding everywhere on the 4th of July.

Margaret Keating school In Klamath has reconstructed the native plank homes and shows a living and growing

Yurok and Tolowa culture. This in-spite of near extermination and a time when hunting Indians was legal.

Wonderstump Road, used to be a rail line for the logging company and now is a cool, green hallway lined with a regrouth that hints at the primal forest which once grew here. The Redwoods could also have been victims of extermination but finally some people cared enough to preserve some for their children's children.

The Pacific has provided richly for this area, and in turn attacked with a killer tsunami in 1964. There has been incredible fishing and tragic ship wrecks and a life on the edge of balance here. The Sea truly takes and gives.
My home, still contains a few of the stumps for which Wonderstump was named and is close to both the freezing, but beautiful Pacific and the mysterious, prehistoric feeling Redwoods.

Several movies have been filmed in this area, Parts of the ewok scenes, Jurassic Park 2, ET, and "Darby O'Gill and the little people."

It may not be a perfect place, but it hasbeen perfect for me.

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