Spring Lake & Lake Ralphine in Santa Rosa with Michael – 10/31/16

And what to our wondering eyes did appear but Michael with his sling at our trailhead last Monday morning. It was a happy rendezvous after the successful surgery for his shoulder injury.

We are about to follow a trail adjacent to Annadel State Park which my computer is intent on calling Annabel State Park. You can see from this map where we started at Parktrail Drive and where we are going http://www.sonomahikingtrails.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/annadel-state-park-trail-map.pdf We edged Annadel heading toward Spring Lake where we had lunch and the came around Lake Raphine in Howarth Park returning on our inbound trail. Annadel is a remarkably loved and frequented park in heart of Santa Rosa – or any other vital organ that might better describe its location. We’ve happily hiked here on a variety of trails in the past on Footloose Forays with Michael. http://footlooseforays.com

While he was introducing the hike, a flock of migrating Snow Geese flew very, very high overhead adding some primal excitement to the day.
Amid California Drought, Migrating Birds Enjoy Pop-Up Cuisine : NPR Food for the geese along their way in California’s Central Valley.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhwBDjfWr_M https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snow_Goose/id

1. At the beginning of the trail we stopped a moment to observe the rocks where Michael returning from his regular run took the spill that resulted in his shoulder
injury. 2. Larry and I discover that we have the same haberdasher, L.L. Bean, from whence our smile – and not . . . Michael’s fall!

We stop above a spillway and Michael share’s some of the history of the adjoining Annadel State Park. “In 1871 Irish immigrant Samuel Hutchinson purchased nearly 3000 acres of the former Rancho Los Guilicos land grant.” His house was called “Annie’s Dell” or “Annie’s Dale” in honor of his oldest daughter. “Henry Bolle, owner of neighboring lands, established a winery in 1880 and named it Annadel. When the Santa Rosa and Carquinez Railway began rail service through Sonoma Valley to Santa Rosa in 1888, they adopted the name Annadel for the train station near the Hutchinson home.”
https://www.scahome.org/publications/proceedings/Proceedings.08Whatford.pdf P. 191

The area was sold in the 1930s to a “flamboyant entrepreneur” named Joe Coney who bought the property from Annie and proceeded to have lavish hunting parties and invited local scouting groups to camp there under the oaks. “In 1953 he dammed Spring Creek to create Lake Ilsanjo, which he named after his wife and himself: Ilsa and Joe. Coney’s far-flung empire included steamship companies, gold mines and vast tracts in the Andes, but when his finances lagged in the 1960’s, Coney put the ranch up for sale. Annabel nearly became a vast subdivision, but State Parks – – with matching funds from local financiers – – was able to scape together the money to acquire most of Coney’s estate in 1969.”
http://www.albionmonitor.com/10-30-95/annadel.html http://www.sonomacounty.com/blog/trione-annadel-state-park Primary in that financing for the purchase of Annadel lands was the remarkable, farsighted and generous Henry Trione.

Michael also mentioned that Lake Ralphine formed after an earthen dam was constructed in 1882 was built by Colonel Mark Lindsay McDonald was named after his wife. We’ve visited the substantial “summer house” he build for his family on historic McDonald Avenue in Santa Rosa. Here’s are some splendid links about him, his family, his mansion and his pivotal career in Santa Rosa. Col. McDonald was a trained engineer who was instrumental in many Santa Rosa improvements including the Santa Rosa Water Works Company, an early private utility as well as fruit packing yards, Santa Rosa’s first library and the first steam railroad in the area.


http://www.rynersonobrien.com/mcdonald/ an artful and fascinating account of the McDonald mansion and its occupants.

Michael continues the description a la Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/190335655

One of Michael’s friends and former neighbors on McDonald Avenue, Marielouise brought along her terrific, mellow poodle (?) thanks for your help, we keep up the pace on the fire road on a bit of a hill, passing along the edge of Annabel Park we see sign for one of its many trails – Rough Go, keeping up the pace and the conversation.

Michael tells us about “Hollywood” frogs and how they found their way to “Africa”: https://vimeo.com/190335795
http://www.mister-toad.com/PacificTreeFrog.html Extensive link on Pacific Chorus Frogs (Pacific Tree Frogs)

A bridge along our way dedicated in 1977 and a part of the Lions International mission to support the vision impaired.

Numerous dogs greeted us on these trails and their owners joined in the conversation. https://vimeo.com/190340060 Michael describes the area in more detail.

A kayaker slides by on Lake Ralphine and Michael spots some swans across the way. https://vimeo.com/190340590 Some details and swan songs too

He tells us how his son Hunter, our leader last week, got his name. https://vimeo.com/190340776

We were treated to quite a variety of passing pets as well as a greeting from a small size trail blazer.

Picnic under a Live Oak by Spring Lake while we enjoy spotting water birds and find the ground squirrels in quite abundance. The conversation went to movies and Michael said he really enjoyed “Elvis and Nixon” which he’d seen on the plane returning from one of his trips. Judy mentioned and recommended “Eight Days a Week -The Touring Years” (about the Beatles) as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0TVaPzJH4w

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2093991/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2531318/

After lunch some mallard ducks passed by along with these Canada Geese, Michael talked about the mallard’s aggressive mating behavior. Here’s a thorough explanation that I found helpful: http://askanaturalist.com/why-are-these-mallard-males-beating-up-this-female/

A sentinel ground squirrel makes sure that we continue on our way or was it just a fond farewell? http://www.mary.cc/squirrels/cgs.htm

http://baynature.org/article/lord-of-the-burrows/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_ground_squirrel

And in a lovely bit of serendipity, Michael finds his friend’s DMV license which she lost today on an earlier return. It was just lying in the grass by the path as we finished the hike. The universe was getting things back in balance.


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