Star Volunteer Award goes to Joanna Kemper

A well deserved award, “Sonoma Valley Star Volunteer” was presented to Joanna Kemper today at the 11th Annual Celebration for Star Volunteers at Hanna Boys Center, hosted by the Sonoma Valley Fund.

Joanna was the leader of the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards for over 9 years, providing guidance, support, and vision to the all-volunteer group that maintains and manages the trail. She’s been a key player in intiating and completing the recent rehabilitation and restoration of the trail. She’s still involved with the trail, providing support and energy to events, trail work and leadership.

Congratulations Joanna!

Meditation hiking

Jeff Falconer led a group of hikers on Sunday on a silent hike to the top of the Overlook Trail where the mindful walkers enjoyed the sweeping view with a deep calm.

Jeff started the hike by suggesting the hikers combine awareness of breath, body in motion, and enjoy the natural surroundings for an enhanced experience.

If you’d like more information about enhancing your hikes with the discipline of meditation Jeff’s newly published booklet on Walking Meditation is available for purchase at Readers Books.

Meditation Hike July 28

Join us for a Meditation Hike on the Overlook Trail, Sunday, July 28, 5:00pm – 7:30pm

Led by Jeff Falconer.  Cost: Free! No Registration or Reservation Needed
Meet at the Sonoma Overlook Trailhead Kiosk
198 1st St. West at the entrance to Mountain Cemetery

The everyday activity of walking, combined with an awareness of one’s breath, one’s own body in motion, and one’s surroundings, can quickly reward the mindful walker with a deep calm and increased sense of belonging in the natural world.

Please join us as we explore this lovely activity on a relaxed 2.5 mile loop hike to the top of the Overlook Trail to enjoy the sunset and light refreshments afterwards. Your guide, Jeff Falconer, will begin the journey with a brief overview of Walking Meditation, followed by a short standing meditation to ground and center us before embarking.

About Jeff:
Jeff has practiced meditation for many years. He spent time at an ashram, a spiritual hermitage, in India in the early 1970’s, is also a Tai Chi enthusiast, and an avid… mostly mindful… hiker. Jeff’s newly published booklet on Walking Meditation will be available to purchase to guide your personal journey after the hike.

Photo from last year’s meditation hike

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Hike to the top with other hikers

Our community hikes on Wednesdays are becoming more popular. Come and join us for a refreshing, invigorating hike to the top of Overlook Trail and enjoy the view. . . .and maybe make your entry into the Hikers Notebook that’s up there. (Read about the notebook in this blog–Roy is pulling out great quotes and stories from nearly 20 years of notebooks).

Meet at the Overhead Trailhead Kiosk at 8:30am every Wednesday.

View from the top–last week’s hikers. . . before coffee!IMG_7862

Sonoma Raceway Hike        

IMG_1519bWe had a lot of smiling hikers this past Saturday at the Sonoma Raceway.

Huge thanks to Steve Page, CEO of Sonoma Raceway, who led a large group of 5 mile hikers and Chelsea Lazzari also with the Raceway, led another group of 3 mile hikers. This is the 4th year Sonoma Raceway has opened up the “back country” of the Raceway to host hiking and to support the Overlook Trail.

We enjoyed having glorious weather, seeing woolly weeders and baby wooly weeders, and of course everywhere there were jaw dropping views.

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There were over 100 hungry hikers that enjoyed a generous lunch provided by Levy Restaurant.

Thanks to Hope Nissan for organizing the day, Connie Bolduc for making registration so easy, and the many volunteers that helped with the hiking, parking, and welcoming.

Most of all thanks to the hikers who support the Overlook Trail! With your help the trail is maintained and kept in tip top shape as our local treasure.

Overlook Trail Re-Opens!

The Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards invited the town to come for a celebration of the Re-opening of the Overlook Trail. It was a beautiful spring day and all who came were excited about hiking the newly created lower trail and renovated Upper Trails.

Nearly 100 people gathered at the Trailhead Kiosk to honor the people and volunteers that made this possible.

The Kiosk sported fluttering streamers with the over 400 names of individuals and organizations that supported this renovation project.

The Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards: Susan Peterson, Jeni Nichols, Maggie Salenger (sitting), Lori Parmalee, Fred Allebach, Priscilla Miles, Sally Stone, Roy Tennant, April Stark, Mary Nesbitt, John Donnelly, Bill Wilson, Connie Bolduc, Joanna Kemper, Leanna Breese. Not pictured: Lynn Clary, Rich Gibson, Laurell Meredith, Jackie Steuer, Hope Nisson, Karen Collins, Wayne Schake, Ronda Guaraglia, Jaye Hayes.

There was an enthusiastic ribbon cutting ceremony—Let the Hikes Begin! Doing the cutting: Rebecca Hermosillo for Congressman Thompson, Ezra Chabaan for Senator Dodd, Marcelo DeFreitas on behalf of Sonoma Alcaldessa Karen Collins, Amy Harrington Sonoma Mayor, Richard Dale Sonoma Ecology Center, Bill Wilson Project Manager.

Hikers going on the VERY FIRST Hike of the newly re-opened trail.