Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Arcata is a delightfully boho little coastal town, full of gaily painted wooden buildings dating from the 1850s when it was first established. Dress code is hippy/sporty, as if the entire population listens to the Eagles on headphones while jogging. The entire population, actually, more than doubles during termtime: of the 17,000 inhabitants, nearly 8000 are students. On Saturdays there's a Farmers Market in the Plaza - a large grass square with a statue of William McKinley, a few palm trees, a blue-grass quartet called Striped Pig Stringband and the Occupy Arcata encampment, all surrounded by fruit, veg, flower, and cookie stalls.
There's a lively cafe culture in the admirably compact town centre, but Arcata's major attraction is the wonderful wild fowl sanctuary that's actually a water treatment plant, where you can see hundreds of sea and marsh birds. We saw pelicans, sandpipers, avocets, egrets and herons - including a black crowned night heron in a tree only feet away.
Three Foods, a misnumber if not a deliberate misnomer.