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I’m pretty sure when the fine people in my hometown county of Humboldt decided to give the largest airport in the county a new name they did have the best of intentions. I think. For decades, the airport has been called Eureka/Arcata airport or Arcata airport even though it’s not really located in either place but rather in nearby McKinleyville, California. Like most of us who call this county home, we all should be awestruck by and not forget the visual wonders of God’s creation that can be seen here. We do have an ocean, lots of trees, mountains and green or brown hills depending on the season. And like most of us who live here or have ever visited, we realize the folks who chose the new airport name probably wanted visitors (and visitors to be) to know that our airport now called California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport, is not just any airport in California. To land at this airport is to land at a different yet special kind of place. Let me explain.
Tall Trees and more
To begin with, with such a long name I think the creators of it wanted you the traveler to know your precise location and to have the chance to make a memory at this place–even if you don’t necessarily remember the name of the airport.
Besides knowing ones precise location from the name alone, one can glean even more from its detailed length. By being in the state of California (which BTW also happens to be a long drive from here to SoCal so maybe flying is a better way) they wanted you to know that once at the airport you will also be among the Redwoods. Yes, these are those super tall trees you may have heard about in your favorite travel magazine or TV documentary! And not only will you be near the Redwoods but those same Redwoods are the ones that occupy the west coast in California. And should you land at The California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport would also mean you’d be on the same Redwood California coast as those Redwoods! I don’t think any of us truly grasp the magnitude of what this means.
Let me try to explain further. Once your plane lands on the newly conditioned asphalt runway at California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport you will not only have landed on the Northern California Coast but near a cliff that is a drop away from the Pacific ocean! And if this weren’t enough to wet one’s traveling spirit to see and hear all that this place provides, remember you will also be stepping foot in the county known as Humboldt (yes, that Humboldt). This is that Humboldt which is located in California on the coast by the ocean with the really tall trees called Redwood trees! (Yes there are lots of them)
It can be amazing here but I do have a minor suggestion if you are traveling from this airport to see the trees or the ocean or even the coast. Try to overlook any unpleasant distractions or smells one may encounter on the way…. But I digress.
Long Name and Long Runway means Larger Planes (I hope!)
However, what probably amazes me most about my home county airport is not simply its amazing location of that being near a cliff on a coast with the Redwoods by the ocean in California but of the sheer length of the airport name and tongue twisting characteristics.
Having a long runway is good, but I still wonder about the long name? What good is a really great name if it is hard to remember or even say? This is maybe where the name falls short, or long depending how you perceive it. Ultimately of course tourists will get to decide as the airport’s new name becomes more widely known. (along with this post)
For now I think I’ll just call my county airport the Humboldt County Regional Airport or maybe a better fit should be: The Airport With a Long Name (That’s Kind of Hard to Remember and Say), unless you’d rather keep saying California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport over and over until it rolls off your tongue like water on your cat’s back.