Two weeks ago, my wife and I set out on a small trip to Eureka, a city in the northern most part of California. She had gotten her teaching credential there at Humboldt State and I, amazingly, had never been to this part of California. For this week’s post, I decided to feature both the sketchbook pages that I drew from just before we left and up until our return. It was a busy week and this trip was long overdue.
As you can see, I used a detail from the page on the right for my last post where I talked about my feelings regarding a recent encounter with racism. The rest of the images that you see were drawn during our trip. The drive to Eureka normally takes six hours from where we live, but it ended up taking us twelve hours instead due to all the stops we made along the way. If you’ve ever driven up the 101, you’ll know why it took us so long: it’s an absolutely gorgeous drive, especially once you get to the Avenue of the Giants. The views there are stunning and being amongst the redwoods is magical. You literally walk next to trees that are up to two thousand years old — simply incredible. I never used to be much of a nature kind of guy, but my wife has slowly exposed me to it in a way that will stay with me forever. She’s helped me grow as a person in so many ways.
I loved Eureka as soon as we arrived: cool weather — about 62 degrees as a high most days, overcast and cloudy. Between the breathtaking scenery of the redwoods and the cloudiness in Eureka, I was blissfully happy. This has always been the kind of climate that I prefer and it always will be. I swear, I must have been British in another lifetime. While there, we were able to take in the many sights found not only in Eureka, buy also in its neighboring cities: Arcata, Ferndale, Fieldbrook, and Trinidad. Most of them are quaint cities with a true small town pace and feel. As I get older, these types of places appeal to me more and more. Who needs a car when you can walk? While in Eureka we were also able to catch up with friends. In fact, the drawing you see that’s titled “José El Andaluz” was inspired by a couple of flamenco CDs that I purchased at Cornucopia, our friend Dorine’s music shop in Old Town Eureka. If you’re ever in the area, stop by and check out her charming little shop in Old Town. Click the link and check out her webpage and blog. José El Andaluz is a fictitious character that I made up for possible future reference. He’s based on my all time favorite flamenco singer, Camarón de La Isla. The old guy in the hat is someone that I saw while hanging out at Eureka Coffee and Chocolates in Old Town. Interestingly he, too, was drawing. Who knows, maybe he was drawing me?! The palm tree on the first page was drawn on our last morning there while having breakfast in neighboring Arcata. It was an absolutely beautiful overcast morning as my wife and I sat outside eating our oatmeal. Ah, I could do that forever.
Our trip was a success on all levels. It reinvigorated me and reminded me that there are other places and things to see and do. This trip stirred up lots of things that I’ve had in mind over the past few months. It made me ask questions about all sorts of things. The desire for new experiences has been building over the past few years, and my wanderlust has also been waking from its long dormant state. The desire to grow and flourish is impossible to ignore for me. I’ve grown tired of the way things are and want something different for myself. You get to a point in life where you know what you want, and what you don’t want. I’m definitely there, and I definitely want something new.