The Serenity of Lake Merritt

America’s First Wildlife Preserve and Oakland’s Crown Jewel…   Lake Merritt is not a lake. It’s the first thing you should know about Oakland’s urban waterpark. It’s a tidal lagoon or estuary.  Formed roughly 12,000 years ago after the end of the last Ice Age, the lagoon has been reshaped over the last 150 years into a water park. Lake Merritt, originally known as Laguna Peralta, is fed by a canal that flows under the Nimitz Freeway, seeping saltwater between itself and the Bay. For many, Lake Merritt is an excellent way to spend a weekend afternoon. The calm waters of the lake and the dissident of migrating birds create a serene atmosphere amongst the urban sprawl. The depth of the Lake’s history and what it offers Oakland is worth discovering.   A Short History of America’s First Wildlife Preserve Lake Merritt was originally the home of Ohlone Indians that […]

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Jack London and the Valley of the Moon

A History and Tour of Jack London’s Ranch in the Sonoma Valley, California… Jack London was a prolific writer of the early 20th century, composing famous stories about adventure, survival, the Alaskan experience—stories such as “To Build a Fire” and “White Fang.” He was also a fierce advocate for socialism and workers’ rights. What many people don’t’ know is that he was also an avid rancher, and passionate devotee and resident of the Sonoma Valley. North of San Francisco in Sonoma County, west of Napa Valley and adjoining a family winery, resides a large ranch, now part of the Jack London State Historic Park. It is called “Beauty Ranch.”This is where Jack London, the legendary adventure writer, began to take his themes and ideas, which are rooted in his literary work, and put them into action. It would be one of London’s homes and his model for his Jeffersonian ideas […]

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