Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pictures from a Long Weekend

In which we relax with good friends & fine wine in an extraordinary landscape

Independence Day: Motored up North to Ukiah to spend a night in a cabin with friends.

On the way, I took this snap at Ukia's little aereodrome. This Black Hawk-type chopper was being used to fight one of the many fires still burning around the state. Piloted by men of steel.

Despite the low air quality from the lingering smoke, the view from our deck overlooking the vineyards was mighty fine indeed.

Hazel certainly seemed pleased with the view.

We trecked up the hill to get a view of the mountains around.

Evidence of fires long ago sometimes leave elegant traces today.

Motored on down to Glenn Ellen to visit the estate of Jack London, now Jack London State Historic Park. Above: A view of a neighboring vineyard through the ruins of the old winery that London converted into housing for his farmhands and guests.

Jack and Charmian's cottage through the trees and the ruins of some of the stone outbuildings.

Inside the cottage, a ewer and bowl in a hallway next to a window. Note the quintessentially arts and craft curtains. And nice light and shadow on that shot if I do say so myself.

The master's study. Here each morning he would write his one thousand words per day, no more, no less, seven days a week, including holidays. The rest of the day he would see to the affairs of the Beauty Ranch, as he called it, plus riding, hiking and swimming for excercise. London died when he was but 40 years old in a room adjacent to this one. But what a life: factory laborer, oyster pilot, seal hunter, sailor, drunk, Klondike gold miner, political activist, rail-riding hobo, and one of California's greatest and most prolific literary and intellectual treasures.

The ruins of the old distillery near the cottage.

Mission de Solano, Sonoma, California.


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