”…hidden in the glorious wilderness like unmined gold,” John Muir.
Giant redwoods, small farms, rocky beaches and old mill towns were featured on the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission Fam Tour attended by location managers representing all facets of the location profession: print, commercial, television and features. Attendees included Barbara Miller, Marie-Paule Goislard, Joni Coyote, Kent Matsuoka, Beth Tate, Peter McClafferty, Robin Citrin, Jill Naumann and Nancy Haecker.
Arriving at the Arcata/Eureka airport we were met by Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine and her crew – local scout Rowdy Kelly and Project Manager Caitlin Volz.
First stop–Merryman’s Beach House at Moonstone Beach for a welcome lunch of delicious organic, locally grown foods. Exceptional beach access and photogenic opportunities galore have made Merryman’s a favorite film location. Trinidad Mayor, Julie Fulkerson along with local location pro Patti Stammer gave an overview of filming in the region and underscored the message, “we can make it happen. ”
After lunch the group toured the rugged Northern California coastline along with fishing villages, Humboldt State University, downtown Arcata and several small towns in-between.
The little town of Samoa in particular caught the eye of the scouts. Lost in time, Samoa has not seen an upgrade in decades. Old mill worker houses with their peeling paint and rickety fences make it the perfect backdrop for the Deep South circa 1920’s or even the East Coast.
After another amazing meal at the Carter House Inn and Restaurant, we checked into our hotel, The Red Lion Hotel in Eureka. Spacious rooms, including 9 luxury suites, wifi, flat screen tv’s, same day laundry–the amenities we’ve come to expect–plus close proximity to the Arcata-Eureka Airport, make it the ideal accommodation for any sized crew.
The Black Lightening Motorcycle Cafe was our first stop on Day 2. A hip, urban motorcycle shop and cafe where you can shop for motorcycle gear while having your morning cup of joe. Next, we hit the historic properties: The Carlson Mansion, Eagle House Victorian Inn, Historic Benbow Inn and Old Town Eureka. The area is home to hundreds of examples of ornate Victorian architecture.
A special treat was our tour of the Redwood Grove House designed by renowned 20th century architect Julia Morgan, best known for her work at the Hearst Castle. Owner Allison Huegel graciously hosted a cocktail party in the property’s pear orchard capped off with an exquisite dinner al fresco.
Day 3, breakfast at Murray Field’s Hangar Cafe set us up for our drive north on the 101 for breathtaking views of Battery Point Lighthouse and the Klamath and Smith Rivers before entering the old growth coast redwoods: Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the Coast Redwoods of Jedediah State Park.
One of our last stops was at the Historic Requa Inn. The hotel was constructed when the area was an active fishing center in the late 1880’s. Built in 1914 in an Arts and Crafts style, the bed and breakfast is rustic and simple. Each room has a view of the Klamath River below, which continues to be a favorite fishing spot for sport fisherman.
We would like to commend the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission and sponsors for a stellar familiarization tour.