After Robyn and Arlo left San Francisco in the early 1970s, they first moved to Hopland, a town they had visited a number of times before, because they had friends with summer cabins in the area. Their first son Aero was born in Hopland in 1972. In the brief period they stayed in Hopland they visited Terry Riley a couple of times, who is a schoolfriend of Arlo's and lives on Moonshineroad in Camptonville, which is located north of North San Juan along Highway 49. They really liked the area and started thinking about moving there.
At the same time, Robyn's father John Martin had an interest in a gold mining claim close by and therefore knew the area. It was for this reason that he heard about the farm for sale, which was a great piece of property due to its southern exposure and the freshwater springs which are located on the property. The land was owned by cattle ranchers who did not want to sell the property to the adjacent spiritual community 'Ananda Village', giving John the opportunity to buy the property for Robyn and Arlo in 1974. At first they lived in a trailer they had brought from Hopland and that they pulled in one of the old feeder barns. In 1976, while on vacation in the bay area, a wildfire destroyed the trailer and much of the property, which is why they lived in tipis for some time, until the building of the house started in 1978.
Today, the property belongs to a trust, with Robyn as head trustee and the children as further trustees. As Ana told us: "They had this vision that all the kids would live there and utilize the property, things didn't work out that way, it's disappointing for them, they are kind of bummed." Aero has built a small cabin on the property for him and his wife Kara, at a time when they thought they might take over the farm, when they were in their twenties. You can hear them talk about their time living on the property, and have a look at the cabin in the video below. Today, Ana and Jeremy live in the so called Grannyhouse, a house that John once built for him and his wife Mary but which he had used only for a short time period. Now the two are taking care of the farm, while raising their son Aksel.
In the video above, you can hear more about the takeover of the property and see images of places less frequently used, than the area around the farmhouse, such as the Pond, the Fallen-down Barn and the old Toolshed, the Yurt Ana once lived in, the Grannyhouse she lives in now, the Junkyard Arlo uses as a source for potential building materials for new sculptures, as well as the Upper Meadows, which had been used for gatherings, weddings and May Day celebrations in the past.
In this video, you can hear Kara and Aero talk about how Aero built his cabin, the time they spent living on the farm, and why they ultimately decided to leave and move to nearby Nevada City.
The gate in the background leads to the upper meadows.
Seen from the pond next to the yurt.
The upper meadows offer an amazing view over the Sierra Nevada foothills and you can enjoy a wonderful sunset.
Seen from the fields
Located close to Ana's house