Working the front desk tonight, I’ve been thinking of a song by one of my favorite musicians. On the album Black Sheets of Rain, Bob Mould has a song called “Tonight’s the Last Night”:
Tonight’s the last night that I’ll ever spend with you / And please don’t ask me why ’cause I don’t know
A somber sentiment, sure. But after 22 1/2 years and probably over 7000 nights welcoming hostellers (we guesstimate over 75,000 unique guests in total during that time), tonight is the last night for the little hostel at Wilson Creek. The reasons for the closure have been described before, but now we are left with the reality. For my family, it’s been a great time: four years of meeting travelers and helping them plan their day, four years exploring the beach across the street and all the hiking trails throughout the Parks, and four years of scrubbing the same toilets day after day. Well, okay, maybe that last part wasn’t so great. But it was part of the experience.
Some random off-the-top-of-my-head memories from the past 4 years….the power going out for 4 hours on our first day in charge o’ the place….severe storms tonight and the possibility of the power going out tonight…the fellow skateboarding the entire coast from Mexico to Canada on a 6-foot long skateboard….Linda Marie and Craig showing up with a Christmas tree a few days before Christmas one year….Humboldt State’s French class showing up each year, and speaking French for most of the weekend….Humboldt State’s German class showing up each year, and speaking English for most of the weekend….popping “Kind of Blue” into the living room stereo before opening the office….Mike the Spoon Guy biking here with his bucket full of hand-carved spoons….a group of hostellers including 15 or so of the California Conservation Corp singing to our son Rory on his first birthday here….a member of the CCC losing his bookmark and being upset because it was his grampa’s photo (we found it and tried calling the CCC but they didn’t have contact info for you–if you’re out there we still have it 4 years later)….all the many kids playing with our son Rory for a day or two….all the many adults playing with Rory for a day or two….watching Kailen born here–as hostellers were checking in at the office right below us….getting to know all of our great staff members over the years: Cautip, Mark, Matthew, Barbie, Tara, Lezlie, Emily, Andrew, Brandi, Sarah, Kyle, and Chris….all the other hostellers, too numerous to name, who have made working here a fun and rewarding time…and, of course, the thousands of hours of conversations with Kaci on every possible detail of the place: policies like daytime lock-out and length of stay, furniture, wall decor, prices,advertising, recycling, landscaping, purchasing, coffee and candy bars and the foodstore and the bookstore and on and on and on and on. You’re a rock star, Love, and I look forward to whatever adventure we share next (and congrats on the Manager o’ the year award–you earned it).
So, yeah. Thanks for the memories, Redwood Hostel.
– Ryan (with “Kind of Blue” on the stereo right now)
P.S. For those that don’t know, we will be opening our doors one more time. So there is one last chance for people to come on in and check out the place (or should that be “check the place out”?) before we start disassembling bunk beds and moving everything out. This coming Saturday, January 23, from 3pm to 8pm, we will have the farewell celebration. There will be live music, free food and drink, and a history of the settler, pioneer, and hostel history of the area. We’ll also have a community hour where people with a connection to the place can share stories. More on that here.