On this Memorial Day I’d like to leave you with this image of nature and a huge thank you to all the men and women who have served our country!
Amazing all the apps that are available to edit your prized iPhone photos! I have to admit I enjoy it. Here’s an image I created from a hike in Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, California. I used to practice here when I was on the cross country team in high school and grew up down the street a bit. It’s a beautiful oasis of rustic woodland trails that lead you through redwood groves and oak woodlands across lush creeksides and wet meadows. Hikers, equestrians, bicyclists, joggers and picnickers from all over the Bay Area regularly frequent the 500-acre park.
The park is named for one of the more colorful figures of the 19th century. Cincinnatus Hiner (“Joaquin”) Miller. He was born in Indiana in 1841 and during his life he was a pony-express rider, lawyer, judge, teacher, gold prospector, nomad and author.
During a trip to the Bay Area in 1870, he met California’s first Poet laureat and Oakland’s first librarian, Ina Coolbirth. Coolbirth convinced him to take the colorful pen name of Joaquin Miller. He became well known as the “Poet of the Sierras.”
When he returned to Oakland in 1886, he settled on 70 acres of grassy hillside, which he had purchased parcel-by-parcel in the hills about the “City of the Oaks.” In an effort to create an inspirational artists’ retreat, he erected monuments, built structures for his mother and daughter, and coordinated the planting of 75,000 trees — monterey cypress, olive and eucalyptus. He died in his home in 1913.
Near the Mare Island Naval Shipyard is St. Peter’s Chapel. It was built in 1901 under the guidance of Chaplain McAlister, and it’s the oldest naval chapel in the United States. A classic example of Victorian Gothic architecture with its tidy brown shingle, cream-colored trim, steep pitched roof and a soaring octagonal spire, it has charm and history inside and out.
There was a wedding going on so I couldn’t go inside but hopefully next time I’ll get a peek. In the meantime, here’s a link in case you’d like to see the inside and learn more about the history.