BATW’s first in-person meeting in over a year will be held on Sunday, June 13, 2021, at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County.
Jack London’s love of travel and gift for writing make this a natural location for BATW’s meeting. He was one of the most prolific and popular authors of his time, the first to earn a million dollars at his trade. Many of his books are considered classics. Some have been translated into as many as 70 languages. Between 1900 and 1916, he completed more than 50 fiction and nonfiction books, hundreds of short stories, and numerous articles. Among his most well-known books are “Call of the Wild,” “White Fang,” “The Sea Wolf,” and “Martin Eden.” Learn more in the park’s Fact Sheet and website.
The park opens at 9 a.m. and members are welcome to arrive early to enjoy the morning at the place Jack and Charmian London named “Beauty Ranch.” Register soon to make sure your name is on the list at the Entrance Kiosk. (Please note that there is no food service in the park so stop at the Glen Ellen Village Market at the bottom of the hill to pick up a coffee).
The House of Happy Walls Museum, which tells the story of Jack and Charmian London in the Valley of the Moon, opens at 10 a.m. and will be open until the park closes at 5 p.m. Even if you’ve visited the museum in the past, don’t miss it – the exhibits were redone in 2018. (Admission may be limited due to pandemic conditions).
The BATW meeting will begin at 11 a.m. in the Oak Grove Picnic Area. This secluded and private picnic area is shaded by magnificent oak trees, overlooking stunning views of the vineyards, historic stone barns, Beauty Ranch Meadow and the Sonoma Mountain Range. The picnic tables offer natural social distancing.
We will be welcomed by Matt Leffert, executive director of Jack London State Historic Park, and Tim Zahner, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau. (You may recognize a couple of faces working behind the scenes: BATW members Laurie Armstrong Gossy is the PR rep for the park and Jennifer Sweeney handles PR for the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.)
At the end of the meeting, BATW member Laurie King will treat us to a reading from her upcoming book, “An Elephant Ate My Arm – More true stories from a curious traveler.” Copies of the book will be available for sale with $5 per book going to benefit Jack London State Historic Park.
Before breaking out to explore the park’s 1,400+ acres, we will enjoy a boxed picnic lunch, hosted by the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau. You are welcome to bring your own picnic lunch if you prefer. And there will be special tribute to the challenging year behind us and the promising year ahead.
Park experts will offer three guided walks, of different activity levels, for those who don’t want to miss a thing. A hiker’s paradise, Jack London State Historic Park offers more than 29 miles of back-country trails that roam through mixed forests, redwood groves, oak woodlands, and grassy meadows. The elevation varies from 600 to 2,300 feet. (While most of the history-oriented trails are dog-friendly, dogs are not allowed on the back-country trails. To prevent wildfires, smoking is not permitted anywhere in the park.)
Hate to leave? Who could blame you? The Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau is collecting offers of media rates at hotels in the area. They will also have suggestions for things to do and see for those staying over until Monday.
Information registering for the meeting and how to make hotel reservations will be coming soon. In the meantime, mark your calendar for Sunday, June 13. See you at Beauty Ranch!