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  • Writer's pictureLilly Sedaghat

Day 14: Inaccuracies of the Internet

Fortuna → Miranda

41.0 miles

↑ 915 feet ↓ 614 feet

Arcata Scoop

Open 2pm - 8pm

7:52pm arrival

Lights off, door closed. No one inside or nearby.


Starz Burgers

Open Everyday, 11am - 8pm on Sundays

Sunday 11:05am arrival

Door locked, tables and chairs stacked inside. A sign taped to the window: CLOSED SUN-MON.


Los Bagels

Open 7am to 3pm

2:20pm arrival

Door slightly ajar, “CLOSED” sign displayed. Employees cleaning up inside.


The internet is an inseparable part of our lives. We rely on it to tell us what’s available, where to go, how to get there.

It is a pervasive force, something we believe reflects truth. We believe what is online is reality.

But like any tool, the internet has its flaws. The web itself is shaped by social forces meant to connect people to content, content to people.

For the most part, the major companies we’ve come to rely on for information--Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yelp--operate in centers outside small communities. They lean on businesses and locals to update listings and keep accurate records. While these business’ dominance may be pervasive, their knowledge of the real world can sometimes be tenuous.

The divide between the real world and virtual world continues to get blurrier. And while many urban consumers see the two worlds as one and the same, in many places they are still separate entities, operating on their own time, at their own pace, with their own cultural cadences.

We entered Avenue of the Giants, a two-lane road through the heart of the giant redwoods. The wind blew softly, the light fell like a curtain through the trees, illuminating the gentle greens, the dark browns.

We marveled at the redwoods’ thickness. I thought about hugging one, but there was no way my arms could reach all the way around.

The road cleared and we came upon a field of blooming sunflowers. A little farm stand stood at the end of the field, where an a-frame sign advertised “Blackberry Popsicles.”

I smiled at Cory. We knew.

“Where you coming from?” The woman was behind a row of tomato crates.

“Portland!” I said excitedly.

Across from us, another customer examined a stalk of brussel sprouts before throwing it into a plastic bag. Melons, zucchinis, and cream-colored gourds sat on handmade shelves. Summer was gone; fall was in full bloom.

“We have a tradition of paying it forward here,” the woman said, brushing the short hair out of her face. “Bikers get free blackberry popsicles.”

I looked at Cory and mouthed WOW!

“We have one left. Would you like it?”

“That’s exactly what we’re here for!” I said, almost jumping up and down.

She handed us the popsicle--blackberries mashed together and frozen onto a little wooden stick. It was delicious.

We watched as the customer paid for her produce. “Here’s an extra $2,” she said. “For the next bikers.”

Cory and I stood on the side of the road, passing the popsicle back and forth, the blackberries slowly melting in the warm sun.

“The internet didn’t tell us that there are good people in the world,” he joked.


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