Malakai Turned One!

Malakai

Last year on August 10, 2021, my husband, Jeremy, delivered Malakai, at our home in the seaside town of Eureka, California. I am very grateful for the beautiful experience and the baby it brought me. Malakai is developing quickly for his age and is rather a large (2-3T/tall) boy. He is kind and plays well with others. Malakai’s birth has also been a transformational experience for me; I have found myself much more organized and future-focused. I have taken up business classes and organizational skills I didn’t have before. I had a summer off from substitute teaching and played in the sun with my children going from one campsite to the next, one town to the next. 

It was a beautiful mothers day in May when my son started repeating his first word, “Dada.” The ramblings of “Da Da Da Da” went on for months until Halyaya (his sister) and I couldn’t help but reply, “I am not dada!” Toward the end of the summer, my son started saying, “Mama.” I might close the door behind me, and he will stand with his arms outstretched, screaming, “Ma ma! Ma ma!” Or he will be in a sour mood and ask to be held with his hands opening and closing and a crying plea “Mama, Mama,” snuggling his head into my chest and rubbing his nose against my blouse. This little victory was exciting for me, just as much as his little first step, which led him to run through the house with other children or play outside in the backyard. 

Malakai started eating food which felt like it took forever as my friend’s babies were being fed bananas, strawberries, and avocados, but Malakai refused it all. He eats meals with us, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He loves snacks. Like Halaya, he prefers warm foods over cold foods. On my birthday, two days after his, Malakai fell into the fireplace and got a cut on his eye that bled profusely. We rushed him to the ER, and by the time we got there, he didn’t seem fazed by it. He is one tough cookie. 

I love the community I have met, the friends and acquaintances my son draws in at festivals or parks. Even at the grocery store, I can have a sour attitude, and a lady will approach me and comment on the kindness in my son’s eyes or how much they love his smile. At his daycare, where I picked up a shift or two over the summer, I watched as his cheerfulness and playfulness spread amongst the teachers and infants. It will be hard for me to return to work and place my one-year-old in daycare in a week when summer comes close. Halaya, Malakai, and I have had two months of intensive bonding.  

Even though we are no longer breastfeeding, Malakai still cosleeps with us. My husband and I want him to sleep in the cradle, but it is hard for me mostly to separate from him. He no longer sleeps next to us but more like against us, on top of us; sometimes, we find him at our feet. He will whimper or cry in the night, and one of us will get him a bottle. I love to soothe his cries. I expect that the cosleeping will be coming to an end shortly. 

Now that Malakai is one, and I look back, I had thought the first year would be more challenging. I was surprised to have gained somewhat of life back, to continue to have a healthy relationship with my husband, and still have time to spend quality time with my daughter. Even though I have to commit more time to raising my child, I have learned to cut out certain times of the day to get things done, like writing my blog. Things that are harder than I assumed would be going out in public or leaving my children with someone else to watch. If I were to do it again, I would have breastfed longer, introduced solids sooner, stuck to using cloth diapers more often, and maybe would have been less eager to go out in the town. But in all, it’s just been great, and I couldn’t be happier with the little family we have created. 

Camping with Young Ones

Last month I went on three camping trips with the kids, to the Summer Music and Arts Festival, Grizzly Creek campsite, and with my partner to Ruth Lake. We had a great time and no one got sunburned! Here are a few quick tips on how I made it camping for a month with my kiddos!

The Sumer Music and Arts Festival was the hardest of the trips. We were vending and had a fairly large pop-up behind our booth but it’s not easy keeping a ten-month old in the shade. He enjoyed walking around and listening to music. I brought ear muffs for the kiddos so they could enjoy the stage and a wagon to pull the baby in. We were placed next to a yoga dome that was never built so there was less traffic our way. My daughter got poison oak in her eye on Sunday and we had to rush to the ER and they dosed her with steroids. I’d say we reacted properly and got her help as soon as it was obvious the swelling wasn’t going to go down with over-the-counter drugs. I came back to pack up without the kids. We brought lots of water to this event and had friends camping with us to help along the way.

Grizzly Creek Campsite we were able to cook on the fire. Check-in took a little while but the kids played with the freshwater spickets. Friends came and went and our dog Zed protected the campsite. Halaya set up her first tent which was a huge accomplishment. I took the kids swimming and Malakai had a blast in the water. He wasn’t a fan of his LifeVest but we had a lot of fun in the shallow area. I didn’t bring enough formula and the surrounding stores didn’t have any but I was able to contact a friend to bring it before it was too late! Camping with the kids isn’t nearly as hard as it might seem. The baby wakes up twice a night and I have extra bottles made. I made the bottles with hot water but I might have made a bottle or two during the day without making a fire and heating it. We brought baby sunscreen and a little sun hat. Halaya read to me at night and wrote a haiku in her journal. On Sunday we went hiking and explored the forest and river. I used my Ergobaby backpack to comfortably hike with the baby. It was a path off the road that doesn’t look like it gets a lot of foot traffic and leads to a beautiful clover field.

My husband got jealous of all our camping and wanted to come with us on an excursion. He loves to fish, so we went to Ruth Lake. Ruth Lake is beautiful. You can see the trees on the hilltop are burned from recent fires and have a white tint. The valley had come back, with lots of greenery and life. We wanted to camp at Boy Scout Camp but so did everyone else because it was full. I would recommend getting a reservation for that one, word says it has great fishing. Instead, we settled for the first campsite Fir Cove Campsite. The sites were more spread out than the other sites, there was easy access to the water and hiking trails. We brought both the dogs on this one and they did great! Halaya and I walked the trail closest to the water and it lead to the next campsite. We swam in the water which was mushy and full of tall grass. I swam pretty far out and the weeds continued to tickle my body. We cooked hot dogs and let the dogs swim after the beach was clear of other guests. We drove around looking for the perfect fishing spot but couldn’t find it. I recommend reserving a boat, fish are released into the lake seasonally.

Overall camping with the kids is magical. In the forest, no work and time spent together. I loved every moment I got with my children, friends, dogs, and husband. I appreciate everyone that was a part of my camping excursion. The biggest tip is not to forget sunscreen, lots of water, and formula. Don’t be scared to sleep in the tent with the kids and spend time under the stars.

Till next time!

Student Show; Humboldt High School and Humboldt State Artist Exhibit

Saturday, May 7th 2022 RAA (Redwood Art Association, 603 F Street,)– showcased Humboldt County High School students from Arcata, Fortuna, and Eureka alongside Humboldt State University. It was a beautiful mix of emotion, progression, and styles brought on by these inspirational artists. I found my heart over stimulated with a variety of art techniques, media, and themes. High school students expressed in-depth, mature, and well analyzed concepts along with impactful self theory, imagination, and creativity.

(Redwoods Art Association, Eureka)

(All pronouns unless otherwise given remain they/their)

Naia Ponzo won first place out of the high school showcase for their drawing Through the Woods. They were complemented on its use of texture and detail using pen on paper. A scene of a porcupine captures the depth of a small woodland area and the complexity of nature and life. 

(Naia Ponzos, Fortuna)

This exhibit was a great reminder for any adult to not give up on their creative drive. Artistic spark can be drowned out by the need to survive. While stories are told through creative endeavors.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, Lily of the Valley, a fantasy painting of a woman holding a harp in the forest accompanied by woodland creatures. Reflects life in the redwoods and finding wellness in isolation.

(Louis Marak, Arcata)

Louis Marak’s Night Skull linoleum print won third place. A creature with a hut attached to its body with smoke lifting from the chimney. The artist left room for the interpreter’s mind to -=their own story. 

(Nico Headlee, Eureka)

Honorable mention of Nico Headlee and the unique medium, tempera, Untitled impressionist painting of a castle. The depth and dull colors makes you feel like you could step into this world. A sense of playfulness and realism. 

The styles of these student’s show through their work. Specific choices to use mediums, canvases, and themes that will surely reoccur in their future projects as well as reflect their passions and mindset of their youth. As an observer I am reminded of how talented humans are and how heavy the critique ego can be on the heart.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, drawing Forget Me Not, a well executed cartoon like depiction of lesbians embracing. The shading is well placed and defined. Framed and characterized with flowers. 

(Chloe Asness, Arcata)

Forgive my picture taking. Chloe Asness Untitled, surrealism ink drawing. A woman’s mind blown out with searching eyeballs, perhaps symbolizing the fear of how one is interpreted by others. 

(Mariza Guimares, Fortuna)

This magnificent painting by Mariza Guimares called Deep End, a woman underwater in a yellow dress. The soft colors and reflection in the water, another well executed impressionist piece. 

(Cassidy Thorpe, Arcata)

This picture got a lot of shine but Cassidy Thorpe, Untitled, oil painting of vases and flowers similar to the Old Master Rachel Ruysch’s style with a dark background and an exquisite floral arrangement. The painting almost looks wet in the smooth strokes where the petals hit the water. 

(Tasuki Kato, McKinleyville)

Tasuki Kato, Untitled, graphite portrait. A young woman, hair and facial depth well defined. So life like you could pick this character out at a grocery store. Something in the eyes, playfully bringing on the future. 

(Alden Mauro, Arcata)

Alden Mauro won first prize, Untitled, a two piece floral oil painting. Experimenting with a variety of flowers and fitting detail and color into the vase while keeping a sense of space around it. The fallen petals can be interpreted as a reminder of a temporary form. 

(Mirian Wheeler, McKinleyville)

Walking into the RAA you would have been greeted with ceramic art. Here is Mirian Wheeler’s ceramic jar Feeling Peachy. I really enjoy the surreal gore aspect here. The metaphoric use of a peach may speak to you as the sweetness of a child’s life is full of chaos. 

(Samuel Hood, Arcata)

Samuel Hood’s Untitled colored pencil portrait of a flower woman in the nude. Being one with nature and producing the flower.

It is easy to relate high school with innocence. A lot of first times, fewer responsibilities, and less worldly knowledge, we can easily forget that our experiences are built from a core experience. Many of which start in high school. Themes of money aren’t very common here but I think many of us can still relate to the depictions in these pictures and our very own first experiences and how they shaped us to be who we are today. 

(Keigen Shaykett, Arcata)

“This is living.”

(-SHAWNA CHANCE)

Keigen Shaaykett’s Hot Wax Rider, a graphite drawing, has a clear similarity to 50’s cartoons while expressing a fast drug life and party scene. A candle burning on top of his head, as if the birthdays are coming so fast, he might as well keep the candle lit. A broken hula hoop framing a character on a bicycle’s face. A bottle in this mouth, holding a pill bottle spilling drug content. His other hand is in an almost yogi zen position, waving high. Accompanied by five other hands, a mix of pop art and surrealism. 

(Keioni Young, Arcata)

Keioni Young, Untitled, a beautiful Graphite drawing of a young man going somewhere. Bag in hand, smile on his face, dressed in comfort, this picture captures a moment, a feeling of freedom and adventure. 

(Paycie Holland, Arcata)

Paycie Holland, Gliophorus Psittacinus, modern art, digital painting of a green mushroom woman dancing. Themes of body acceptance, and therapeutic mushrooms are expressed here against bold contrasting colors of orange and green. Bringing up a controversial topic of allowing medicinal mushrooms to be widely accepted and the healing that can occur when we accept all body shapes and live in self love. 

(Abigail Garcia, McKinleyville)

Abigail Garcia, Untitled, watercolor uses blends of colors to draw emotions out of the young woman’s face. A fun, playful, coming of age image.

The following images are from Cal Poly Humboldt students.

(Valie Ward, Arcata)

Valie Ward’s outstanding image, Bliss, an acrylic painting on canvas with crystals. This image captures feeling and sound. It provokes an emotion of soothing comfort like when you give yourself a hug.

(Karina Juarez, Arcata)

Karina Juarez honorable mention, Nido De Abejas (Honeycomb,) ceramic tea set. Life sized bees and a beautifully presented soft curved honeycomb.

(Jolie Chaidez and Catalina Carlton, Arcata)

Jolie Chaidez ceramic vase, I’m your Venus (Left) blue and purple colors, rounded edges flowing gracefully, this piece looks like the liquids not meant to be trapped inside but can easily pour out. Catalina Carlton, Untitled, a sinful creature with tattoos, smoking a cigarette, the devil in all of us. Fun and excitable.

(Jacqueline Vasquez, McKinleyville)

Best in Show went to Jacqueline Vasquez, ceramic piece, Slab City. A tower, similar to a magician’s top hat, indented with many lines, waves at the brim, folded into its sides and open at the crown. This image represents a city built up by nomads towering for sustainability, and fighting for security. This piece has so much to say and represents it in texture.

Foraging Mushrooms in Humboldt County

If you’re familiar with my blog, you might have read my post “Places to Hike in Humboldt County.” Headwaters Reserve. This beautiful salmon spawning preserve has more to offer than meets the eye. Take a trip along the dirt paths that branch from the cement road, and a trained eye will see a whole ecosystem full of mushrooms.

Why forage mushrooms? Mushrooms are a fungus that grows from mycelium. There are miles of mycelium under the forest floor, a massive white fiber that communicates with trees and the rest of the duff. Mycelium grows mushrooms for different purposes, from decomposing dead material to forming partnerships with plants. Mushrooms vary in characteristics and design. Some are poisons, some induce hallucinations, and others are great in meals. When picking your mushrooms, be careful which you touch, which you eat, and which you use for medical purposes.

Are you interested in mushroom foraging but don’t know where to begin? There are a few simple steps you can take to start your mushroom adventures!

Amanita muscaria

The best time to look for mushrooms is during the rainy season. Mushrooms grow in different habitats. Some thrive on trees, while others can be underneath ferns or in the dunes and your backyard. In Humboldt, Porcinis form close relationships with pine trees. You may find these and Chanterelles also under spruces. Oyster mushrooms like to expand on dead and dying alder trees. Ways to identify mushrooms is by using a book such as Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel. Other ways to identify mushrooms are taking pictures and using an app or a Facebook group. At first, it might be overwhelming. I don’t recommend searching for a specific species unless you know that it will be growing in a particular area. In identifying mushrooms it is also important to recognize the surrounding trees.

Humboldt County is a mecca for mushroom foraging. There are many trails and forests where you can find all types of shrooms! The mushroom community is supportive and will help guide you in safe foraging. While mushroom hunting, you should only take what you need, don’t take all the mushrooms (!), and leave no trace. It is bad ju-ju to sell natural resources, including mushrooms, so do it for fun and your community! My neighbor blessed me with chanterelles that we put on our steak, and it was the best meal I ever had! These kinds of actions not only put a smile on someone’s face but create memories that are not easily forgotten. Mushrooms foraging is a family sport, so grab your loved ones and head to the woods to see what you can find! You are continuing the mushroom life cycle just by walking through the terrain.

Lactarius aestivus

Please follow habitat guidelines. It is strictly noted not to walk off-trail at the headwaters preserve. Stick to the dirt trail!

Setting Your Birthing Space


We prepare our bodies and minds for birth for nine months, but what about our birthing space?

Giving birth at home gave me time to prepare my birthing space. A popular question during my pregnancy was, where are you going to give birth? I imagined in the bathtub or on all fours in the bathroom. My mom foresaw me giving birth in the bedroom- and that’s where it happened. Regardless of where you give birth, in the hospital, or at home, starting to prepare your birthing space can begin right away. Even though nothing will ever go perfectly to plan, making these items and putting energy into your birthing space will help prepare you and comfort you for when the time comes.


As soon as I decided to make the bathroom my birthing space, I began my south-facing water shrine, and I knew I had to do something about the lights. I am not a fan of fluorescent light. We switched out the mirror lights with blue LEDs for an aquatic mood. When I went into labor, it was still light outside, but we still like the blue lights.
I painted Circus Lion Malakai on the shelf. I got a fern, a common plant that grows under Redwoods, and a beautiful blue vase (which ended up not being practical.) A few candles and a vintage starfish mirror made up the rest of my south-facing alter.

To prepare my daughter, Halaya, for the birth of her brother, I had her read “Kid’s Book to Welcome a New Baby” by Barbara Collman. One of the activities was to make welcome signs for the baby, and a baby is sleeping sign. Halaya miss understood the “baby is sleeping” sign and wrote, “Malakai go to sleep!” I love the “Welcome to the World Malakai” sign she made. I smile every time I pass it. After having the baby, you have to bring him into his body. Stretch him out, move around for him. I feel like these signs are another way of welcoming him into his body by acknowledging his presence.

For my baby shower, I orchestrated prayer flags. Prayer flags are a sentence or two welcoming a baby into the world from the book Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. Everyone reacted differently to the prayer flags and uniquely wrote their flags. It was heartwarming to hear what everyone had to contribute to Malakai’s coming, and it helped me feel supported by a network of friends and family. Later in life, Malakai will also appreciate the people who supported him in his journey into the world.

It was eight days after my estimated due date, and the whole house was getting ansie. I had all the time in the world, but feeling like you could pop any minute is distracting. There was this little art project I wanted to do for my birthing space inspired by a decoration in the window of the downtown clothing store, Belle Starr.


My mom and daughter were buzzing around me like frantic bees, so I bought different-sized ribbons and used a wreath base from two Christmases ago and had them work together on this octopus. It ended up being a bonding project that they were both proud of. At first, we hung it in the bathroom, and it looked beautiful with the blue light, but I had my husband remove it once the rushes became too intense. Now, this birthapus is hanging in the art room.

This picture was gifted to me by a mother friend friend, Mikaela. I found it entirely appropriate for my birthing space and felt I could use this mandala to meditate through my rushes. The painting was looking out for me and supported my journey into motherhood.

Last but not least the mobile I made for Malakai that I hung over the bed where I actually gave birth. This mobile took me two tries and hours of a DYI Mobile Macrame Youtube video with a tedious Christmas carol playing in the background. This mobile represents dreams and he loves looking up at it.


Even if you don’t give birth in your birthing space, preparing yourself with comfort items to help with the rushes and set a comfortable mood will allow you to ease your birthing experience. Also, having a humidifier with your favorite essential oils will calm the mind. Stimulating all the senses in positive ways can help with birth! Planning your birthings space ahead of time helps prepare your mind, so you can enjoy the ride.

Little Lost Forest Deviation Runes

Guide to using Deviation Runes

Deviation runes are said to have come before time from the center of the cosmos. They were used by Norse and Germanic civilization. The original 18 letter alphabet is told to have been a gift from Odin after he went through nine obstacles that cost him a lot of pain and distress. There are many different tales of how he sacrificed himself by hanging himself and being reborn a higher being. Each rune has a spiritual meaning and was used for writing language as well as mystic purposes. Later this set would become a 23 letter set with an added destiny card.

Choose a set of runes and speak clearly to you. Tad lock them rather in blood or saliva mixed with water and paint and draw the symbol on the rune and then on your forehead. Meditate with the rune and its meaning. Say out loud a spell that works to your liking similar too “I do this as an offering to create a link so that this rune can speak its truth to me.”  Or “I name you _”runes name”, I breathe life into your meaning. To you this name I fasten. As I will it, it shall be.” or “Mote it be.” Finish by breathing toward it. (Bewitched Bemused, You Tube.)

You may use the runes in multiple ways. Use the symbol in your everyday routine either in charm bags, under your pillow, in a window seal or shrine to amplify its energy and purpose. Clear the stones energy before each use either with incense, shaking the bag or with a crystal. 

You can use the deviation runes to ask as single question by pulling a rune. If more information is needed pull out another and place in a row from left to right discarding any runes that are showing a blank face. You can pull three stones for past, present, and future. Again, if more information is needed you can draw more runes for clarification. When casting the bag of stones, empty the bag onto a surface and remove any backward facing runes. Read the runes, taking special notes of any clusters. I prefer to shape them as a circle as you can see I have done in my last blog post.

We are selling sets of runes on the Etsy Little Lost Forest store made from epoxy resin. We can customize front and back colors, and have options to add gold flakes or fine glitter.

Deviation Meanings

The runes are in the order as displayed in this photo.

1. Kenaz Torch/ Luck/ Purging Fire/ Controlled Energy/ Gift for Skill/ Knowledge/ Warmth/ Caregiving/ Intellectual

Enlightenment/ Transformation/ Purification/ Clarity of Mind/ Stagma/ Creative Work

2. Ansuz Odin/ Wisdom/ Ancestor/ the God

Wisdom/ Healing Power/ Occult Power/ Language/ Communication

3. Hagalaz Hail Stones/ Disruption/ The Unanticipated/ Damaging/ Rebirth/ Change/ Protection Thwarted

4. Wunjo Joy/ Comfort/ Blessings/ Wisdom/ Good Reputation/ Friendship/ Happiness/ Success/ Peace

6. Tiwaz War God/ Victory/ Order/ Success/ Justice/ Legal Matters/ Fight/ Will/ Competition

5. Mannaz Evolution of Individual/ Female/ Self Perfected/ Social Standing / Self-improvement/ Communication/

Meditate/ Memory/ Intelligence/ Human Condition

7. Laguz Lake/ Healing/ Life Energy/ Flow/ Water/ Endless/ Terrifying/ Wild/ Dangerous/ Road to Adventure/

Transition/ Aid Intuition/ Influence/ Growth

8. Eihwaz Yew Tree/ Saftey/ Channeling/ Otherworld Communication/ Dynamic and Ongoing/ Protection/ Strength/

Paradox

9. Ingwaz Fertility/ Earth God/ Invoking/ Completion/ Grounding/ Progression/ Life Cycle/ Masculine (Barring fruit)/

Magical

10. Nauthiz Constraint/ a Need/ Defense/ Self Control/ Restriction/ Destress/ Limitations

11. Jera Year/ Sucess/ Harvest/ Year’s Cycle/ Hardwork/ Cause and Effect

12. Thurisaz Thorn/ Protection/ Overcome Resistance/ Weapon/ Barrier/ Rage/ Impulsive/ Losing Control/ Willpower

13. Sowilo Self/ Sun Wheel/ Wholeness/ Vital Energies/ Centering/ Higher-self/ Nourishing/ Clarification/ Illumination/

Journey over Water/ Strength/ Life Force/ Arrogance/ Cruelty 

14. Othala Prosperity/ Possession/ Ancestral Power/ Property/ Estate/ Enheritance/ Sacrafice/ Hardwork/ Skill/ Effort/

Family/ Environment/ Status/ Invoking Ancestors

 15. Berkanu Earth Mother/ Love/ Goddess/ Fertility/ New Endeavour/ Need for Neutering/ Invoking/ Emotional

Stability/ New Starts

16. Gebo Marriage/ Union/ Power Given and Received/ Gift/ Generosity/ Hospitality/ Equal Exchange/ Partnership/

Agreement

18. Isa Ice/ Standstill/ Delaying Defense/ Rest Period/ Stop Slander/ Relaxation/ Calm/ Coldness/ Unexpressed

17. Perthro Fate/ Game Piece/ Future/ Evolving Karma/ Hidden Forces/ Take Risks/ Lighten Up/ Sudden Luck/

Discover Secrets/ Emotions/ Meditation/ Rest

18. Ehwaz Horse/ Trust/ Motion/ Safe Journey/ Adjustments/ Astral Travel/ Mobility/ Prosperity/ Aristocracy/ Working

Together/ Cooperation/ Psychic Journey

20. Algiz Moose/ Friendship/ Protection/ Shielding/ Sharp Edges/ The Hunt/ Protected/ Incompentent

21. Raidho Ride/ Journey/ Quest/ Defense/ Decisions/ Taking Control/ Team Organization

22. Fehu Cattle/ Weatlh/ Good Fortune

Prosperity/ Power/ Creative Energy/ Love/ Growth

23. Dagaz Home/ Breakthrough/ Twilight/ Between Two Worlds/ Invisibility/ Light and Strength of Sun/ The

Awakening/ Enlightenment/ Hope/ Happiness/ Collective Consciousness/ Peak 

24. Uruz Strength/ Physical Health/ Vitality/ Strength/ Courage/ Healing/ Untamed/ Warrior Spirit/ Wild Natural

Energy 

25. Blank Destiny

References

  1. Bewitched Bemused, Aug 26,2020, Youtube, “Into the Runes: How to Charge them and Use them for Deviation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFoD4Zk9mE&list=PL2q7eRR0LSt-D7wQ8pdRdMwmtJa86mVWK&index=1&t=1s

Places to Hike in Humboldt County

Episode One

by Natascha Pearson

May 5, 2021

This week I have explored three new locations to hike in Humboldt County.

I started in Sunny Brae, where I hiked trailhead 1, the Beith Creek Loop Trail. I came upon two beautiful creeks during a moderate hike followed by an intermediate upslope. This hike is full of giant redwoods and immerses its participants in a forest experience. In addition, this trail has a bike-friendly accomplice. Unfortunately, this trail gets some traffic since it is so close to Arcata and College of the Redwoods. Nevertheless, my dog and I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It is the most challenging of the three listed. This is a dog friendly trail.

Next is Headwaters Forest Reserve, which is full of history and plant life. This 11-mile hike (to the end and back again) is a day’s mission—5 1/2 miles to the end and back again. The first mile is on a paved road that follows a stream. Along the way, there are signs posted to educate people passing by about salmon spawning and how the forest reserve came to be once an old logging road. There is a beautiful, wooden education building in the first stretch. Once the paved road turns to dirt, I find the path less crowded and have yet to pass another person after this point. There are some uphill sloops, but overall, the hike is an easy one to make. The path is pristine. Running water and the songs from the birds fill the forest. I worked on training my dog on this path because it is a beginners hike and I can communicate with her easily compared to the rough terrain of the forest. I recommend this hike for someone looking for an easy-going day hike. This is a dog friendly trail.

I also made it to Agate Beach in Trinidad this week, a 32-minute drive from Eureka. We paid $8 for parking and drove through a rather large campsite to a parking lot on the coast. A beautiful view of the ocean awaited us when we got out of the car. From there, we hiked down a beautiful steep hill with gorgeous plants with a rather attractive texture. The trail was a little wet from running water. When we reached the bottom, there is a stream to your right where I left an offering of used tea herbs in thanks for any pebbles that we collect on the coast. Next, we walked down the nearly empty beach surrounded by redwood trees. The ocean seems to have less aggressive waves than on the beach in Eureka, but the tide comes in fast, so you have to watch out while collecting stones. We all got our shoes soaked. The stones are small in size but are what I was looking for during our walk. I brought some home to craft with for my Little Lost Forest store. This wasn’t a dog friendly trail.