Many Treats

March 31, 2023

Yesterday was a day of many treats!

First, there was the ever-so-satisfying, thought-it-would-never-happen indictment of the creepiest, most corrupt country-wrecker in our nation’s history. That was major cause for celebration, even as this hush money fraud case is the least of the violations he’ll be indicted for before all is said and done. He’s dodged accountability for way too long and this just feels great. It made for a super fun night of late night comedy, too. Couldn’t live without late night.

But before that news hit in the late afternoon, it was already a special day. My old college roommate Carol was in town. I’m guessing we see each other once or twice every ten years. We can always count on our annual January birthdays phone conversation, which is very nice, but the chance to hang out is rare. She and Bill are in Northern California for a number of events and I’m grateful she found some time to meet up with me. We decided to meet halfway, in Martinez, for lunch.

I always forget what a sweet town Martinez is.. full of restaurants and charm (and probably lots of other things). We had a two-hour lunch at a place called Lemongrass Bistro. Modest ambiance, excellent food.

Then.. to a place I had no idea existed — certainly not in Martinez — a National Historic Site managed by the National Park Service: the home of John Muir.

Everyone knows the naturalist, mountain wanderer, writer side of John Muir. I did not know about the fruit rancher part of his life.

At 42-ish, he was in the Bay Area and was introduced to Louie, daughter of rich fruit ranchers. They married and moved in with her parents and helped operate the ranch. After the parents died, John and Louie took over the fruit ranch and made a ton of money. They raised two daughters there, Helen and Wanda. (The park includes hiking trails, and were it not super muddy, we’ve have hiked to the top of Mt Helen and Mt Wanda, about a 600′ climb.)

The house is a 10,000 square foot mansion and really fun to wander through.

Carol and me in that bell tower at the tippy top.

Here’s Muir’s office…

Cool, huh? I took lots of photos inside the house.. their bedroom, a gorgeous piano, the kitchen.. all kinds of things I’ll spare you. But it was so very cool to know he lived right there and to try and picture his daily life. I’m a fan girl. I mean.. I attended John Muir College at UC San Diego, and Muir’s presence is all over Yosemite. He founded the Sierra Club and is the father of our National Park system.

Here’s a neat blurb I read online:

Finally settling in San Francisco, Muir immediately left for a week-long visit to Yosemite, a place he had only read about. Seeing it for the first time, Muir notes that “He was overwhelmed by the landscape, scrambling down steep cliff faces to get a closer look at the waterfalls, whooping and howling at the vistas, jumping tirelessly from flower to flower.”[15] He later returned to Yosemite and worked as a shepherd for a season. He climbed a number of mountains, including Cathedral Peak and Mount Dana, and hiked an old trail down Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake.

We were lucky to get a brilliant, sunny day, after so much rain. I didn’t take any shots of the orchards and hills, but did take this one at the bottom of the hill before walking up to the house:

This was a nice sculpture inside the visitor’s center:

One Response to “Many Treats”

  1. blk4609 Says:

    Ooo, id love to see your photos of the inside – especially the kitchen!

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