This post is the next installment in our “Getting to Know Wolfe Creek Preserve” series, which takes you through the story that inspired our zipline course. After zipping off the shortest tower in our course, Stump, you’ll land safely at the Watering Hole Tower. In case you missed last week, we explained that the Wolfe family, who originally owned this land, came to this beautiful property and settled after a whirlwind of adventure involving emigration from Austria, a successful run at the California Gold Rush, and a whole lot of travelling. Isaac Wolfe eventually found his wife Sarah and they had a child named Eli who was a bit of a zipline-enthusiast himself (he tried ziplining off the second story clothesline). They settled on the beautiful property where our zipline course is located now.
This land is full of Wolfe family memories and still carries the same zeal for adventure that Isaac and his family perpetuated while they lived here. Because of this, even the story of the watering hole is not a boring one. When Isaac and Sarah first settled on the land, they were careful with the placement of their homestead. The home sat on a beautiful part of the property, surrounded by an abundance of trees and wildlife. Also, it conveniently rested next to a natural spring. Sarah appreciated how close the spring was when she used water for cooking and cleaning and the whole family were thankful for the cool spring water for bathing. However, the watering hole only lasted a few years because of Isaac’s pursuit of the next-big-thing, which in this case, was dynamite.
Always looking for adventure, Isaac was delighted when he found himself speaking to the chemist Alfred Nobel during a trip back from Australia. Nobel and Isaac discussed how much more efficient dynamite would be in comparison to using a pick-axe when searching for gold. As soon as he arrived home, Isaac began using dynamite to blow up portions of the property. He cared for mules and utilized their strength to pull heavy carts of stone up and down the steep hill. Since the watering hole was so near to the house, water for the animals was accessed easily at the end of the day.
Isaac loved the adrenaline that came with explosions and the potential of striking it rich. What his family didn’t love was the fact that after one batch of poorly-placed dynamite, the family’s natural spring dried up and diverted so the watering hole no longer sat next to the homestead. To make matters worse, the homestead later burned to the ground because after the house caught fire, Eli and Sarah could not get water from the faraway creek quickly enough to save it.
Although devastated, Eli demonstrated his naturally positive attitude by sketching plans for a new home for his family. The Wolfe family had to walk to a creek (that we now call Wolfe Creek) to get water for themselves and their animals. Today, Wolfe Creek is mostly dry, but sometimes water flows freely through and you can see it rushing toward Bear Creek which is just about a mile south of here. We encourage you to visit Wolfe Creek Preserve more than once because as Wolfe Creek ebbs and flows, so does the natural flora and fauna of the property. Depending on when you visit, various plants will sprout along the banks, animals will gather near the water, and the landscape of the property will appear different depending on the strength of the creek. It’s only one of many reasons that makes each visit to Wolfe Creek Preserve unique!
All in all, the tale of Wolfe Creek is similar to many others in the Wolfe family history; elements of adventure and enthusiasm for life changed the fortune of the Wolfe family, who ultimately met all challenges with positive attitudes and perseverance. We want you to experience these feelings of adventure, too, which is why we’ve created a zipline course full of excitement! Come on out today to zip above Isaac Wolfe’s failed mining endeavors or take a Photo Safari Guided Walking Tour with Safari Dan to get a close-up view of Wolfe Creek and the rest of the gorgeous property. We know you’ll love it as much as the Wolfe family did!