It has taken some getting used to, residing in California. Not only do LOTS of people live here (more than 10% of U.S. population) but lots of famous people, too. In particular, Joe Montana, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Sully (the famed pilot that landed his plane in the Hudson River) live or have lived mere miles from my house. But perhaps most famous, at least from the literary perspective, is Eugene O'Neill.
You may be wondering what hiking has to do with one of the most reknowned American playwrights of the 20th century. Well, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness is the site of his former ranch home. Now a museum which commemorates his life and works, the ranch is as easily accessible by trail as it is by road. A moderate, 30-minute hike from Camille Road brings the curious up-close-and-personal with northern California's beloved Nobel laureate.
The ranch house, know as Tao House, is where O'Neill wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece: A Long Day's Journey into Night. Simple yet elegant in true taoist fashion, O'Neill's former home was inspired by his interest in Eastern thought. With arguably the best view in all of Las Trampas, it is easy to see how O'Neill found inspiration here where some of his best plays were written.
Open to the public every summer Saturday and offering play readings on-site, Eugene O'Neill's former home is worth a visit for fans of work, those curious about his life, or hikers simply looking for the picture-perfect view.