TV’s ‘Survivorman’ is in Humboldt Scouting Locations in Which to Strand Himself

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 2:32 p.m. / Our Culture

(Photo: Survivorman Les Stroud with PacOut’s Chris Ostrom)

Humboldt County’s status as a smokin’ hot reality TV star destination grows. And this time it is, without question, due to the trees. 

The folks at Pacific Outfitters sent in the accompanying photo, taken this morning, of famous outdoorsman Les Stroud, better known as OLN’s Survivorman. Word is Stroud and his production company will be in the area for the next week or so scouting locations for the show and needed some gear.

For those unfamiliar with the Survivorman concept, in the show Stroud will strand himself in the wilderness sans food, water and/or medical assistance for a week at a time “with little more than a multitool.”

From the show’s description

“And if that weren’t enough, he refuses to bring along a film crew, preferring instead to film the weeklong journey himself, dragging 50 pounds of camera gear every inch of the way.”

Welcome to Humboldt, Les. Word of advice, though: Might be a bad time of year to venture into the hills ‘round these parts. Multitool ain’t gonna cut it. 

Good luck.



Obituary: Dylan Wade Ruiz, March 2, 1991 – Oct. 16, 2014

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 1:37 p.m. / Obits

The following piece was submitted to the Outpost by Dylan’s loved ones:

-Dylan Wade Ruiz-
(March 2, 1991 – October 16, 2014)

Have you ever met one of those special people who light up an entire room with their smile, and how everyone there feels more joy and connection and lightness of being? Dylan was one of these very rare and special people who, quite simply, had “Presence”.  Everyone who encountered him craved him – his brilliant and easy smile, a kind word, a big hug, a kiss, or a witty retort. There was just never enough of him, and you always wanted more.

If you didn’t know him, you may be asking yourself, “Why? What made Dylan’s friendship so desirable?”  First, he was a man of boisterous joy, full of dancing, delight, and compassion. He loved making others feel special and accepted, and his whole demeanor communicated, “You, my friend, are special!  And I am so glad to share this moment with you.  If you are sad, join me here, I’ll take your sadness and we can turn it into joy and laughter, together.”  He lived to make others happy and to encourage them along the pathways of life.  

Dylan loved and needed to experience music and dancing as much as he needed air to breathe.  He loved to perform, whether dancing on the floor with friends at the Pearl or the Palm Lounge, participating in the twerking contests at Blue Lake Casino, singing with the Humboldt Community Access and Resource Center  (HCAR) Studio Choir or the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, or even fire-dancing.  He was so naturally creative and in touch with his amazing body that every performance was a masterpiece. For Dylan, no matter the performance, he was “all in”, and every detail considered for maximum effect.

He had a way with words, both spoken and written.  He cared about the power of his words and about his friends and family. Dylan was beloved by everyone who knew him. He was the epitome of charisma, the prince of laughter, the ambassador of compassion and the mayor of mirth. Unrestrained joy and kindness and celebrating life were his calling cards. And everyone was welcome to join the party!

Dylan had a prodigious memory for music. Often called “Jukebox” by those who witnessed the fact that there was virtually no song for which he did not know every last word of the lyrics, he turned to music to express whatever it was that needed to be heard, or said, or felt.  There was nothing he was not good at doing – making his famous enchiladas, helping his partners with projects around the property, planning his next performance, seeking to do the best job possible for his employer, or giving fashion tips to his mom, girlfriends, and boyfriends alike.

Dylan freely gave of his talents and was a vibrant participant in the community life of Humboldt County.  He competed in the inaugural “Mr. Humboldt 2013” contest last November, and was devastated that he didn’t win. (It took a while to convince him that in this instance, winning was “not the only thing” that made it worthwhile).  Winner or not, he wowed the audience with a performance that night that included back-flips, while twirling the “electric” fire baton in the dark. At one time, he sang with the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, and directed the HCAR Choir.  The HCAR choir was particularly important to him, and he received so much delight making music with this special choir. He loved seeing his singers come alive while performing for very appreciative audiences.

He also loved performing drag and burlesque when given the chance.  Those of you who witnessed one of Dylan’s performances know that when it came to the costumes, his motto was “less is more”.  His mother recalls making an apron for him so he could cook, even as a little tyke.  Of course, the apron was the only stitch of clothing on his body when he decided to get down to cooking.  This was indicative of the later reality to “wear only as much clothing as essentially necessary for the moment at hand”.

Dylan loved his family of origin through thick and through thin.  His very best friend was his mother, Gaylyn Mikolowski, and his heroes, his father Steve Ruiz, big brother Mikee “Turtle” Ruiz, and Jesse “Squirtl” Ruiz.

Dylan was always so proud to take Gaylyn out for a night of dancing at Jambalaya or anywhere else music might be playing.  He was at his absolute happiest in her presence.  She was his confidante, loving mother, and truest friend.  She inspired him, and set the example for the great joy and compassion that were the hallmarks of his life.

The influences of his dad, Steve, and brothers, Mikee and Jesse, helped shape the wonderful person he became.  He was so grateful to them for teaching him the practical skills and seminal lessons of life that only a father and brothers can give in the schools of familial love and of hard-knocks.  He experienced so many of the good  things of life through his work and play with them – fishing, hiking, running, wrestling and everything else they brought to his life.

Stacy Sundberg-Ruiz, Mikee’s wife, was especially loved by Dylan.  He opened his heart to her as with no other person, regaling her with stories of his wild adventures and also the secrets of his heart.  At times, he shocked her with too many of the details.  Nevertheless, she held his trust, and it was a given that for her, nothing was to be held back in the telling of his tales, no matter her internal protestations of “TMI! TMI!”.  She was a true and trusted friend of the highest order and he loved her dearly.

Dylan lived the last three and half years of his life with his chosen family and life partners — Michael Weiss, Todd Larsen and Joel Bollinger.  They called themselves the “Wolf Pack” and Dylan was immediately dubbed their “Woof Pup”. He loved that name. Dylan was the apple of their eye and he was treasured and loved deeply by each of them.  They were his chief allies and cheerleaders, best friends and lovers.  They fostered his emerging confidence and encouraged him in his journey to early manhood and through the self-discovery all that entails.  They were blessed to know all the many sides of their whimsical “Woof Pup”, facing together whatever life brought their way, the happy times and the mournful times.  In the shelter of their arms of love, he began to grow and blossom and accept himself just as he was and for whom he was.  They cherished him in every way and are devastated at his tragic loss.  His presence made them not only a “pack”, but a “family”. His loss will be felt by them forever and their grief is immeasurable.

As happy as he usually was, the events of 2014 insured that Dylan, and his family and friends, were no strangers to grief.  The year brought the most difficult of circumstances – the death of his brother Jesse in a tragic killing.  The shock and horror of this despicable, incomprehensible act shook Dylan to his core.  He told Joel just weeks before his death that he wasn’t confident that he could ever come to terms with what this greatest of losses meant for his life.  It initiated a period of intense sadness, discontent, confusion, and inevitably, growth.  He was very grateful for the solace offered by his many friends in getting through this difficult time.

It is impossible to name the names of every friend who is worthy of being named in a tribute such as this. Dylan made friends his entire life and everywhere he went.  Many knew him as a schoolmate at the Trinidad School, as a classmate at McKinleyville High School, as a featured performer with the “VaVaVoom Burlesque” troupe, as a fellow employee at Cypress Grove Chevre, as a performer with the “Pom Pom Queens” at the

“Bat ‘n Rouge” community events of recent years, or supported or rode with him in the California AIDS Lifecycle. No matter where or when, he instantly drew in friends with his wit, charm, sense of fun, and ability to make you feel special and affirmed.

He delighted in the company of his family and dearest friends, and especially took joy with their kids.  In the context of this tribute, there are those that need naming.  If possible, all of you would all be named, because that’s how Dylan would feel about it:

Sergio Valencia, his nearly constant companion the last month of his life, provided him with good company and encouragement and the joys of friendship in a time of great transition; other special friends include Paola Ayala, Katey Randall, Ryan Ayala, Josh Tillett, Pressure Anya, DJ Joe-E, The Twerk Crew, Kris Luiz, Camille Damian, Cassandra Funk, Sarah Baroni, Briar Bush, Debi Farber-Bush, Sandy and Harry Scott, Tony Ashford, Danny Baer, the Fieldbrook First Friday group, Lynette Nutter, Chakeeta, Doreen Ashley, and her kids, Andru & Eva, his choir director, Bristol Martin, her daughter Tosh Martin; Charlotte and Melissa Medina, who always encouraged and loved him and have given so much light and love to all of us; his beloved aunt, Roxanne Ruiz, along with cousins Aja Fennell (Terry Lee and Joe), Patrina Fennell, P.J. Fennell and the entire family.

Dylan also had the great fortune of reconnecting with the Mikolowski side of his family this year when he got to take a business trip to the Midwest where they live.  He was so glad to have them in his life, particularly cousin Emilee and Grandpa Alvin.

Dylan lived his life fiercely, loved passionately, and with the greatest compassion and joy one could hope for.  He stepped up to the river of life and drank deeply from its springs.  He looked forward to all the discoveries, mysteries, and delights that life had in store for him.  He pursued life with eagerness and high expectations.  

He kept close a fortune from a fortune cookie that read, “You will travel to many places.”  At the time of his death, he had plans to travel to The Bahamas, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Sacramento.

Words are inadequate to express what is ineffable, but there are many that come to mind to describe him:  Charismatic, Determined, Magical, Gorgeous, Kind, Gentle, Gifted, Sensitive, Boisterous, Beautiful, Musical, Brilliant, Stubborn, Complex, Sexy, Soulful, Breathtaking, Compassionate, Irrepressible, Priceless, and above all, Loving.

For those of us who knew and loved Dylan, the car accident that claimed his life in the wee hours of Thursday, October 16, 2014,  is so very unfair, tragic and painfully inexplicable.  It is hard to accept, but some of life’s mysteries are not to be understood on this side of the veil.

There is a French phrase that Dylan recently claimed as his motto; in fact, he wanted it to be his next tattoo, “JOIE de VIVRE”, the Joy of Living.  It was what he stood for, what he desired, and how he lived his life that was altogether too short.

Dylan is survived by his father, Steve Ruiz, his mother, Gaylyn Mikolowski and her partner Don Dellamas, his brother and sister-in-law, Mike Ruiz and Stacy Sundberg-Ruiz, his great aunts Florence Gomez, Domie Lopez and Dollie Pile, his great uncle David Ruiz, his aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family, and his life partners, Joel Bollinger, Todd Larsen, and Michael Weiss.

We will always cherish our memories of our dear sweet Dylan even though it seems impossible right now to live without him here in the flesh.  We will always love our beautiful, magical, delightful Dylan.

The family is deeply thankful for all the expressions of sympathy, caring, and love that have been extended to us in this saddest of moments.  Many have stopped by, brought food, shared stories, cried with us and laughed with us.  We could not endure this painful loss were it not for your love and compassion.  Please accept our deepest gratitude.

A Celebration of the Life of Dylan Wade Ruiz will be held at the Arcata Community Center, Arcata, CA, on Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and a fundraiser for the Arcata Ridge Trail, “Cirque Disco-leil”, will be held that night with music in his honor beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Arcata Community Center, tickets $20, event is for those 21 and older.

In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted at in honor of Dylan for a scholarship fund for youth performing arts.

‘Nasty’ Accident on 101 Near Fortuna

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 12:41 p.m. / Traffic

A caller to KWPT The Point reports of a “nasty” accident on Highway 101 near the Main Street exit in Fortuna. The Lost Coast Outpost‘s CHPWatch confirms, noting a collision between a Toyota pickup and a white sedan. Both southbound lanes are blocked. One vehicle is said to be flipped onto its roof. At this point the extent of any injuries are unknown.  

The latest info will be provided in CHP-speak here.

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UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Photos courtesy of LoCO Facebook commenter Tiana Davis:

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UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Both lanes are now open. Additional photo below provided by LoCO reader Bruce G:

McKinleyville Single-Wide Trailer Fire Response Hindered by Downed Power Lines

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 11:41 a.m. / Fire!

Arcata Fire Protection District press release: 

In the early morning hour of 3:00 a.m., Arcata Fire Protection District responded to a residential structure fire in the 1600 block of Norton in McKinleyville. When the first crew arrived on scene they found a fully involved single wide travel trailer that was threatening the permanent structure on the property. The crew took quick action to extinguish the fire by conducting an aggressive exterior attack on the fire. This procedure also helped with exposure protection of the residence near the fire. Our access to the fire was limited due to the arcing power lines next to us.explained Captain Nate Padula. Despite the hindrance created by the down power lines, fire crews were able to control the fire within approximately 30 minutes after arriving on scene.

The Humboldt County Sheriffs Department responded after neighboring residents reported that the fire occurred soon after an altercation at the residence. Fire officials state the fire is suspicions and is currently under investigation. Humboldt Bay Fire also responded to provide coverage for the Arcata Fire District.

There were no injuries reported and the trailer valued at $10,000 was estimated at a complete loss.

Although nobody was injured, AFPD wants to remind everyone to stay away from down power lines. If you see power lines down, please call 911.explains Fire Prevention Specialist, Jenny Williamson. 

Not to Be Outdone, Arcata Police Whip Up Own ‘Most Wanted’ Poster

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 11:23 a.m. / Crime

The Eureka Police Department has been producing their “Most Wanted” posters for nearly a year now. As a result, the agency has reported numerous arrests thanks to help from citizen tipsters.

Well, now the Arcata Police Department is getting in the game. Thus, feast your eyes on the mug spread below (click to enlarge). Have info for APD? Give ‘em a call at 822-2428.


Sheriff’s Office Upgrades Garberville ‘Death Investigation’ to ‘Homicide Investigation’

Andrew Goff / Yesterday @ 9:48 a.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 10-18-2014, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on the deceased body located off US 101 near Alderpoint Road, Garberville. The autopsy revealed the body was a male and he died of gunshot wounds. The case is now being investigated as a homicide.

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office is close to identifying the deceased male and upon confirmation and notification of next of kin, will publicly release the identity.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the case. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detective Jennifer Turner is the lead investigator and is requesting anyone with information regarding this homicide to call her at 707-268-3642 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

PREVIOUSLY: Decomposed Body Found Near Garberville

Patrol Car Damaged When Fleeing Suspect Abandons His Vehicle

Kym Kemp / Monday, Oct. 20 @ 2:56 p.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department press release:

On 10-17-2014, at approximately 9:20 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputy driving a marked patrol car saw a multi-colored Blue pickup truck being driven by Steven Stolberg, 39 years old from Eureka, on Harris Street near Central Avenue, Eureka. The deputy knew that Stolberg had a no bail felony warrant for his arrest for violation of probation. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on Stolberg, who drove into the Winco parking lot. Stolberg continued driving through the parking lot towards Spring and Harris street at a slow speed. As the truck neared the southeast corner of the lot, Stolberg jumped from his moving pickup truck and ran towards Harris Street. The deputy pursued Stolberg on foot after watching the pickup truck run into the bushes and hit the curb. 

The deputy chased and caught Stolberg, and took him into custody. When the deputy returned to his patrol car, he saw Stolberg’s truck had rolled backward into the patrol car damaging the patrol car on the driver’s side. 

Stolberg was arrested on the arrest warrant, and also charged with resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license. Stolberg was on formal felony probation and also two summary probations. He is being held without bail. 

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.