As those of us who dwell here are aware, Humboldt is full of all types of species of weirdo — from hippies to kineticists to Bigfoots, to name but a few. But now another of our curious subgroups has grown in strength enough to merit notice by the outside world.

Look out, HumCo. The “marbleheads” are rising. 

A new article by Ashley Harrell published by no less than National Geographic highlights the growing popularity of outdoor marble hunting as a way to pass the time up here in the redwoods. Logically, the activity is especially chic during global pandemic times, it turns out. Regular LoCO readers and those active in local social media circles may already be clued into the practice, but if you are unaware of what’s been happening in the forests around you thankfully you can now just click over to NatGeo to learn that countless people in recent years have taken up the habit of either hiding or searching for custom made marbles in Humboldt’s pristine nature places. One couple featured in the article claim to have spent many a weekend forging into the woods, following clues posted on social media, an obsession that has thus far netted them 320 brightly colored ornate orbs! You’ll agree, this is all very Humboldt!

Needless to say, members of our local marble scene are stoked for the recognition. Topher Reynolds, a local glass blower, marble maker and one of the organizers of the (in pre-COVID times) annual Humboldt Marble Weekend, has been working diligently in recent years to make the North Coast “the center of the marble universe,” as he calls it. Humboldt Marble Weekend, held annually at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, draws glass artists from around the world and is, according to Reynolds, “the largest marble event on the planet.” 

Topher Reynolds, local National Geographic-featured marble maker

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of the Humboldt County marble scene,” Reynolds told the Outpost today when asked about the love his community received in the NatGeo article. “There are few things better in life than watching a passion grow and take on a life of its own. We are all incredibly lucky to live in a community that actively supports the arts.”

Since Humboldt Marble Weekend is historically held in February, Reynolds confirmed that the current COVID reality means there will not be a 2022 edition of the event, but he said he “hope[s] to do the big show again in 2023.”

Lose your marbles, Humboldt! Then go find them! If you’d like to learn more about Humboldt’s ascension to marble destination of note, go here to read the NatGeo article, or click here to listen to Topher share his passion for marbles during his appearance on LoCO’s Humboldt Holding Up.

Above: That time LoCO stopped by Humboldt Marble Weekend