On The Go All Day

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 142015

We seem to be developing a very bad habit of getting up way too early in the morning, and yesterday was no exception. We were up at 7:30 again, because we had a lot to see and do. and it’s a good thing we got such an early start, because we were on the go all day long.

First we drove 16 miles on a very narrow, very winding road to the Jack London State Historic Park. My dad was a lover of books and I grew up with him reading me stories from his favorite authors, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, and Jack London. Probably best known for his books about Gold Rush Alaska, like The Call of the Wild and White Fang, London wrote over 20 novels and dozens of short stories. He was also a poet, a playwright, a rancher, a farmer, an adventurer, a war correspondent, an oyster pirate, and a social activist. And he accomplished all that before his untimely death at age 40!

London and his wife Charmian lived on a ranch in Glen Ellen that became the present-day Jack London State Historic Park, honoring the author and his life. After a stop at the Visitor Center, we walked the 3/4 mile trail to the gravesite where London and Charmian are buried, than another 1/4 mile to the ruins of the magnificent Wolf House that London had custom built, that was destroyed by fire just before the couple were to move into it.

There are signs along the park’s trails warning of rattlesnakes in the area, and when I stopped to use a porta-john I opened the door and saw one coiled up. It didn’t take me long to close that door, and suddenly I didn’t need to go to the bathroom anymore!

Rattlesnake sign small

We also toured the cottage where the London’s lived, and where he died. He wrote his books in this office, often working until 5 a.m.

London office small

Jack London was also a great practical joker. Take note of the rope at the foot of the bed in one of the guest bedrooms. It was concealed and went under the floor to a system of pulleys, and when an unsuspecting houseguest was asleep, London would yell “Earthquake!” and an employee would pull the rope, sending the bed skidding across the room. What a wakeup call!

Guest bedroom small

Leaving the London ranch, we drove back into Santa Rosa to tour the Charles M. Schulz Museum. The creator of the wildly popular Peanuts comic strip lived in Santa Rosa for the last 30 years of his life, and the museum is a wonderful tribute to his life and work.

Museum outside small

This is a fun place that kids of all ages will love. It was fun to check in with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and the rest of the crowd.

Charlie Brown small

And the bathrooms had indoor plumbing and there wasn’t a snake in sight! But what they do have are panels from the Peanuts comics in tile in the stalls, in case you need something to read while you’re in there!

Bathroom comics small

From the museum, we drove 25 miles west to Bodega Bay, a small coastal town I have wanted to see ever since watching Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds back when I was in high school.

There isn’t much to see in Bodega Bay, just a few tourist oriented shops, some restaurants, and a big marina. Overall, it wasn’t nearly as impressive as places like Florence and Newport, Oregon, which we’ll be visiting soon.

Bodega Bay Marina small

About the only reference to the movie we saw is The Birds Cafe, a small place with outside seating.

Birds Cafe small

The Potter School, featured in the movie, is actually in the town of Bodega, about five miles from Bodega Bay. It is the private residence to three generations of the Taylor family and not open for tours. They have a sign on the gate that tells its history, and asks that people respect their privacy and do not disturb the family.

Birds building small

We could easily spend several days here in Santa Rosa, but we are back on the road today, headed for Eureka. I think this is one place we’ll be returning to again.

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  8 Responses to “On The Go All Day”

  1. Nick you missed Spud Point café I use the term loosely on indoor seating, but they serve great clam chowder.


  2. Surprise I have two comment for you, I love Glen Ellen, the last five years of my working career was spent at Sonoma State Hospital. The entire area is just plain beautiful. The hospital was built in the late 1800 and some of the old building still stand, This is a facility for the severe to profound developmentally delayed and the entire hospital is set in a park like setting. Second your mysterious MH jink found us again, thank goodness we go all set up, Mike went to adjust the jack and found we have no power at all, hopefully it is just the battery that is probably 4yrs or old. Enjoy N California it is beautiful, I really do miss it

  3. Sorry Nick you hit a nerve…..
    Ya Jim one of our Favorite places and were just there last week. Spud Point has the best Clam and Salmon Chowder in the world as well as fresh baked Bread every day. If you had driven out around the marina to “The Point” you come over the ridge and see the most beautiful site of the Pacific Ocean with hills of Purple and Pink Ice plant waves rolling in and sandy beaches. Down the way is the Russian River, Gualala River. Jenner by the Sea. Salt Point where you can watch Ab divers take their limit. Not much. People come from all over the world to see wales with their babies push them into pod pools and leave them there to play while they go and get food. They then come back and take the babies out and off they go to Mexico for the winter months.
    Anywhere near the coast has been expensive for years.You pay for what you get. Just think of Arizona!… Most people know that and expect it when they cruise to the coast of California. You missed Muir Woods which has some of the tallest Red-Wood trees in North America.
    Not much to see?????????
    I am so tired of California Bashing. So don’t let the gate hit you is the butt on the way out.
    Have a fun day

  4. So Dave, I talked about two places we really enjoyed visiting here and said we’d be returning, and mentioned that one place didn’t impress me as much as someplace else, and I was California bashing? Really?

  5. Nick, if you like Victorian architecture, don’t miss Ferndale, CA, about 20 miles south of Eureka and west of Highway 101. Too bad you missed their weird annual bicycle race! Go to http://kineticgrandchampionship.com/ and look at the videos to get an idea. We caught it one year and it was a hoot!

  6. I live in Palmdale, CA and read your blog daily. I don’t see any California-bashing. Not sure what Dave W is talking about.

  7. What is with all of the hateful bullshit lately? Last week someone went off on Nick because they didn’t like his list of places to see in Massachusetts and today someone has their panties in a knot because he didn’t fall over backward praising 1 place out of 3 he visited. Its his blog. If you don’t like it don’t read it. It’s as simple as that! Try writing one every day of the year for years on end if you all know so much more or can do it better. I wish Nick would ban all of the jerks who have nothing better to do with their time then criticize. They are a bunch of miserable people!!!!

  8. Really not being hateful at all toward Nick or anyone. There was a Post from a Woman Which has now been pulled ? that stated how they left California and moved to Texas and will never go back.
    It just rubbed me the wrong way and then I read about not liking Bodega Bay but you didn’t really see it probably just drove through on Hyway 1. A lot of blogs and boards seem to bash us here but don’t really check out where to go to see the real State but always complain about the cost etc. Wasn’t mad at Nick I don’t even know him!… Sorry Nick. I was speaking in jest about the Gate not anger. I apologize to anyone that I offended.
    Seriously, have a good day.

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