Seiad Valley, on the Klamath River, is smack dab in the heart of the State of Jefferson. A state of mind. A state of grace. An inebriated state. Take your pick ...Seiad is a classic wide-spot-in-the-road settlement, blessed with few buildings but just enough services and chutzpah to call itself a town.
You will see the distinctive ''XX'' state seal on everything from barns to highway cleanup signs. You will hear State of Jefferson radio. And see State of Jefferson bumper stickers on every other pickup. Somewhere between Castle Crags and Etna you entered a space that is not California. The State of Jefferson, comprising the northernmost counties of California and their immediate neighbors in Oregon, was the product of a secessionist movement that caught fire just before World War II. While the road maintainance issues that were the original flashpoint have long since been settled, the basic Jefferson State of Mind is alive and well today, fiercely and stubbornly separate from the affairs of Sacramento and points south.