Spoiler alert! Shameless self-promotion follows.

All photos: Barry Evans.

Twenty years ago, when Louisa and I first “discovered” Humboldt County, I was a babe-in-arms. I knew nothing about our new home, not even how it got its name. Fortunately we have here a wealth of historical sources: the County Library with its Humboldt Room; the Humboldt Historical Society; the Timber Historical Society; the Clarke and the Maritime museums; UBC’s photo library…not to mention our local historians, biologists, geologists and the like, all of whom have been so willing to share their knowledge.

Now I can pontificate at length on:

  • Construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad — why it was routed down the Eel, what happened to the Dyerville bridge following the 1964 “Christmas Flood,” and its final demise, leaving five (now four) locomotives stranded on the balloon track;

  • How our county got its name, and why the name “Eureka” is featured on the Great Seal of the State of California;

  • How the Mad River got its name — and why the Mad River Slough is wrongly named;

  • McKinleyville’s connection with the nation’s most expensive lighthouse;

  • How Japan launched its Pacific submarine campaign less than two weeks after Pearl Harbor with an attack on a tanker just off our coastline — and where half the ship ended up;

  • How a species of redwood thought to be extinct was discovered in China — one specimen of which now thrives outside Eureka City Hall.

Not to mention: the Loleta tunnel, whales in the Klamath, shipwrecks (Milwaukee, Emidio, Donbass), local labyrinths, cormorants and egrets, lighthouses (Punta Gorda, Cape Mendocino, Trinidad Head), and the best hike in Humboldt Redwoods. If any of this tweaks your fancy, you’re in the market for my latest book: some 70 Humboldt-themed stories titled (wait for it) The Humbook. It’s at Eureka Books and Booklegger, or get it directly from me (barryevans9@yahoo.com).

Or — finally, here’s the serious plug! — come to my book signing at Eureka Books during Arts Alive on August 7. Please. There’s nothing worse than sitting behind a table in a bookstore while everyone walks by pretending not to see you. I speak from experience.