Jack London State Historic Park


I've been a big fan of Jack London for as long as I can remember. As a bit of a latter-day adventurer and storyteller myself, I was always intrigued by his life, the world he saw and his take on things. I've read many of his books and followed some of his big footsteps in Alaska, the Yukon and Hawaii. He was, in many ways, the first celebrity journalist of the 20th Century. A child of the Victorian era, he was a thoroughly modern man by many of our standards today.

And so, 25 years ago when my family and I moved back to norhern California after living and traveling in many other places, I started making regular pilgrammages to the ranch he loved so much above the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County. Jack London's Beauty Ranch, where he died at the young age of 40 in 1916, is now Jack London State Park. The Park does an excellent job intepreting Jack's life and restoring and maintaining the places where he lived, worked and died.

Jack London State Park is fortunate to have an excellent team of rangers and volunteers working to communicate Jack's story and nurture his legacy. We met one of the Park's stalwart volunteers recently. Our OpenRoad.TV photographer and editor, Stefan Ruenzel, and I had a terrific time with Elisa Stencil who's working hard to revive Jack London Lake, a quiet and lovely place that needs our help. I hope you enjoy our little video tour of Jack's ranch and our look at the lake with Elisa. Then I hope you join her efforts to return the lake to a condition Jack would recognize and enjoy.

Our state parks are among the crown jewells of California, but most of them are suffering from years of underfunding. Rangers and volunteers, such as Elisa, are doing their best against all odds to sustain and improve our vulnerable parks. But they need us as a society to do better, and they need us as individuals to pitch in and help. Here's a link to Elisa's website Jack London Lake Alliance and another to the California State Parks Foundation . The Foundation works to provide private support to all our state parks. I've supported the Foundation for a long time and urge you to do the same.

So, here's to Jack and his brief but very full life, and here's to a swim in the lake that bears his name.

Take a stroll into the past and have a picnic at the Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, California.
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History, Parks, State Parks
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