On my last visit to Boonville; Thanksgiving 2007, I’d learned from the local plumber that Ted Simon had settled in the Anderson Valley, ….. unfortunately he knew not where. Last week when I was interviewed by Mark and Bruce from the Anderson Valley Advertiser, as the name ‘Ted Simon’ slipped from my mouth they both pointed in the same direction, …. North East.
Covelo: Population 1175, Elevation 1398. I’d been warned about the people of Covelo, I was told that it sat in a valley, …. it was a place that was disconnected from society, it was a lawless kind of town. These warnings were no different to those received on a national basis whilst heading down through the Balkans, …. and proved to be every bit as inaccurate. Covelo does indeed rest within a valley, it may or may not have a resident sheriff, the local population may or may not stretch the limit of ‘6 plants for medicinal purposes’ rule, ….. but it certainly didn’t strike me as being ’lawless’. Perhaps it is a town that has seen more affluent times, perhaps parts of the high street are more ’shabby’ than ’chic’, …. but I found it to be just as friendly as anywhere else in Northern California. Covelo isn’t a ‘Pretty Town‘ but towns like this serve a purpose, they are a central meeting point for the wider community and the place where all necessary services are provided; schools, markets, post office, fire department etc. The paint might be peeling from some of the store fronts and the hotel may temporarily be closed, …. but Covelo and the surrounding areas look fine to me.
Unfortunately I was unable to make contact with Ted Simon, .. perhaps that will happen on my next visit, …. but having ridden into town from the West, and exited across the mountains to the East, …. I can fully understand how a traveller like Ted Simon could call this place home. Covelo was in fact, … quite beautiful.