by Hank Sims
Chances are that they've finally cleared that ghastly, traffic-snarling accident in Willits by now, in which a propane truck went head on with another vehicle, overturning and dumping its contents all over the roadway and necessitating a response from a Hazmat team on one of the busiest traveling days of the year. Reports from the scene indicate that traffic through the city, never ideal, was backed up for over an hour on either end, and appears to have engendered a number of spinoff accidents.
The debate over whether to reroute Highway 101 to bypass downtown Willits has literally been going on for over 50 years. Caltrans just about had its ducks in a row this time 2009, but then got aced by the Army Corps of Engineers for inadequate wetlands remediation. (The highway-builders hold out hope.)
One thing that the accident has revealed is how few Humboldters -- at least those on the Twitters -- know how to bypass Willits by their own damn selves. It's not that hard, and it's kinda pretty too. Take a look at the map below in case something like this ever comes up again, and please click through for turn-by-turn directions. One false move, here, and you'll be out in deep, deep boondocks before you know it.
This, of course, kills your traditional Burrito Exquisito/Al's Redwood Room/Chad's Fish and Chips/Purple Thistle/Mariposa Market/Paradise Cafe/Book Juggler stop, but as compensation you'll pass within a few hundred yards of the ancestral Sims manse.