Jack London Ranch
Glen Ellen, California
This morning, I went on a walk through part of Jack London's Ranch near their vineyards. Afterwards, I visited the other side of the property for a hike to the Wolf House. I didn't make it all the way to the Wolf House. It was a blue day with no clouds in the sky. At least a half dozen white butterflies skipped across and above the green grass and blooming flowers, vibrant oranges and yellows reaching for the sunlight after the recent rains. Usually, I suffer hiking here part of the time, because it gets so hot in the summer and fall. Winter and Spring are the best times to go for cooler spring like weather.
When I was in my late twenties, I used to buy the wine that was produced from the grapes here. In my twenties I wasn't really sophisticated about the taste. I didn't have any sense of history or care that the grapes were grown here. The reason I bought the wine was because the bottle had a picture of a Wolf on the label. I love wolves. It was affordable. And the Cabernet tastes good. I haven't bought Jack London wine for years, but I have a feeling it's still good. I plan on visiting Kenwood Vineyards to try it again sometime soon. They produce the wine for the vineyards here and the Wolf is still on the label!
Trail on the Way to the Wolf House
On the way to the Wolf House, I heard a Pileated Woodpecker. Scott's favorite. I have only heard them a few times in my life and rarely see them. It was so wonderful, a gift, a sign to hear the Pileated on my hike. They have a distinct sound, like a strong hammer, a loud knocking hitting the tree. The woodpecker only made a few strikes and then silence.
Almost to the Wolf House, I found a bench and decided to end my short hike before making it to the ruins of Jack London's Wolf House which was burned in a fire before he moved in. It was so peaceful sitting on the bench. I sent Scott my love, listened to the birds and watched the leaves on the trees gently lift in the light breeze. This was one of our favorite places to picnic and hike. While I was sitting on the bench, at a crossroads between Jack London's Grave and Home, one vulture came by and circled above me a few times and left.
"House of Happy Walls"
At the beginning of the hike and returning from the hike, you end up at the home of Jack London's wife Charmian. She built the home naming it the "House of Happy Walls" after his death. Now, it is a museum holding their artifacts, books, photos, and papers from their life together and all of their adventures. When the museum was open before COVID closed it, Scott and I spent hours going through each room when we visited. We always found something new to appreciate. There is so much to see and read.
Today, I am having a good day. I feel connected. The camera, the hikes, the time spent in nature is something I need. It is the air I breathe to keep on going.
Jack London Ranch