The crew, minus Greg Taylor, who had to leave early to open his shop. From left to right: Roy Tennant, Michael Studebaker, Priscilla Miles, Dan Noreen, and SOT Chair “Secret Ranger.”
Today six volunteer stewards gathered at the Sonoma Overlook Trail kiosk/trailhead to do the very first group “Rock Patrol.” Rock Patrol as it has been developed consists of the following:
- Filling in holes with dirt for rocks that have already come out of the trail;
- Removing loose rocks;
- Removing particularly problematic rocks (rocks likely to trip hikers and runners);
- Backfilling all of those spaces with soil, following this protocol:
- Wet the hole with a watering can (preferred) or a spray bottle;
- Lay down a thin layer of soil and compact it by stomping on it; and,
- Spray lightly again, lay down another thin layer of soil, compact it, and repeat until the hole is completely flush, or even slightly higher than, the trail.
This first time out we were able to complete the beginning section of the trail from the kiosk to the junction with the Rattlesnake Cutoff Trail. Next time (Our Chair proposed doing this once a month for a while), we will tackle the section of Rattlesnake Cutoff from Norrbom Road past the junction with the Overlook Trail.
We were quite pleased with the many nuisance rocks (or worse) that we were able to remove (see picture of three large rocks and the smooth spot where they had been removed — it’s darker since it’s wet).
So if you happen to see a group out there with shovels, buckets, watering cans, spray bottles, and an assortment of other tools, that’s Rock Patrol. If any of the three readers of this blog want to participate, just shoot me an email.
Please be aware, Trail Friends: A mountain lion was sighted on the Montini Preserve this week. Be sure to hike with friends and only in full daylight hours.
Staying Safe in Mountain Lion Country
Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, conflicts can occur as California’s human population expands into mountain lion habitat.
- Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
- Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Keep a close watch on small children.
- Do not approach a mountain lion.
- If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
- If attacked, fight back.
- If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.
If you’d like to join a group of energetic hikers, come every Wednesday morning at 8:30am for a one-hour round trip hike to the top of the Overlook Trail. We practice social distancing and wear masks. Meet at the trailhead kiosk.