While in the middle of a 5,000 mile road trip around the country, I was beginning to grow disheartened by the realization that perhaps there really aren’t many places that much worse than poor Dorris. Perhaps my blog series should have been entitled “Places Comparable to / Slightly Better than Dorris,” and then I could write more. But as it is, finding places actually worse than Dorris is quite difficult. Even Alturas, a town I was positive would be a contender, over-delivered.
It was in the midst of this hopeless pessimism I had the fortunate misfortune of driving through Orick, CA. Orick is a less than lovely town in Humboldt County, Northern California and has the advantage of being just outside Redwood National Park. It also lies on the coast’s main thoroughfare, the big and bustling US-101.
While most of the places I judge to be less than desirable are generally in the middle of an arid desert or oil field (and thus have little choice but to be heaps of dookie by environment), Orick is in an otherwise beautiful area with natural fresh water, rain, coast, and lots of pretty trees. And yet, even then, not even the Redwoods can save Orick. It wasn’t so much that it was run down (which it was) or in the middle of nowhere (which it also was), but that it had little things that put it slightly on the life-fearing side of the creepy zone.
Even then, if it wasn’t the sign beckoning visitors to relieve a doddering house of its alienation or the suspiciously cheap BMW, it was the apparent lack of motel vacancies on its main strip.
Orick, I’m sorry, but you’re a coastal town outside of a national park. You have no excuse.