I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, but one, of which I am reminded nearly every day, is the Sonoma Overlook Trail. This trail, that winds above the hills of Sonoma to an overlook from which the towers of San Francisco can be seen, is truly a town treasure.
After years of seeking a form of exercise that I enjoy, I finally discovered this trail. I now hike it every day that I can, which means that I am on it three to six days a week. I’ve helped maintain it, and have produced an exhibit at the trailhead of pictures of wildlife I’ve taken on the trail. So I am dismayed when I see the trail being abused.
This week, I have seen three separate parties bring their dogs, which are not permitted on the trail. Thankfully, at least two of them were leashed. But the third, a very large one, was not. That day I witnessed a deer running for its life through the forest as the dog’s owners unsuccessfully called for the dog.
One of the other things I’m thankful for is that I live in a community with reasonable people who will eventually understand that dogs are rightfully and justifiably excluded from some parts of our landscape. Until that day arrives, I will gently remind them.