Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello California!

I have safely made it to Humboldt County! The drive was actually quite pleasant, and Michael and I were good about trading off every few hours so that neither of us got too bored or tired. We ended up leaving a day earlier than planned to avoid any weather complications from the snow the meterologists were forecasting for the Seattle area. As it turned out, the storm wasn't that bad, and we could have stayed, but it has been nice to have additional time to get settled in here.  Driving through Oregon was SO beautiful at times. We saw a lot of "lichen trees" as I started calling them--deciduous trees totally covered in lichen, so much so that they looked like evergreens from a distance. It was so cool. We also drove through a lot of Willamette farmland, which was pretty neat. There was one field that had a bunch of sheep and little tiny lambs in it! The final leg of the drive, along the 101 from Crescent City down to Arcata, was really pretty, too. There are some stunning views of the ocean, and much of the landscape was shrouded in fog. There is one area that is home to a large elk population (just north of Orick, I think), and one part of the herd was right at the edge of the roadway. We were sure to slow down to avoid any possible collisions--those are pretty big animals!

Yesterday Humboldt County welcomed me with its amazing weather--drizzle and rain all day long. There were some tentative plans to go camping that got called off because of this excessive precipitation, but it did give us plenty of time to run errands and grocery shop in Eureka. On our way to WinCo Michael took a wrong turn that routed us to the south end of Eureka (not quite where we were aiming for), but it was a great scenic detour to see some farms.

Today I went to campus to get things sorted out for the class that I will be the TA for. Lectures will be online from WSU, and lab will be in person here in Arcata. There have been a lot of difficulties getting the Humboldt students access into the WSU system, but hopefully we've gotten closer to solving those problems. Everyone I met today in my quest to fill out paperwork and get myself established was very excited to get this project up and running, though they all acknowledge that it's a very novel situation and may be quite difficult. But I'm prepared for that! I now have a copier code, and keys to my office, and lab scheduled for Tuesday afternoon!

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