EasyCare is also sponsoring a free drawing with the purchase of all ride entries to win a HiTie. The HiTie will be awarded on Sunday evening at the awards dinner at 6 PM, and the winner must be present to win. This means no leaving the ride right after you’ve finished! Additional tickets will be available for purchase for $5.00 each at the event.
History of the Cooley Ranch
Crawford’s father was born in Cloverdale in 1882. His father was a grape grower and the family vineyard in Cloverdale is still owned by the Cooleys. When Crawford’s father was a young man he often came to the ranch to fish and to visit the Hood family who owned approximately 4,000 acres of the ranch. Galloway creek, which you will ride through during the weekend, was famous for the abundance of Steelhead it had in the Spring. In 1910 the ranch became available and Crawford’s father, then a lawyer in San Francisco, bought the property.
The existing ranch was created out of a large number of homesteads. By Crawford’s count, there were at least 105 homesteads and four school houses on the property, none of which exist today. There were many more people in the area at that time but, as you will see, it is not easy country for a homestead. You will see old fruit trees in some pretty amazing places. Theirs was a subsistence existence and most of the homesteaders worked off the land in the vineyards and hop fields near the Russian River. By 1900 most of the ranch and surrounding area was used for sheep grazing, which continued until the early 1970’s when coyotes contributed to making the business unsustainable. There was a substantial amount of fir timber harvested after World War II, brought on by the building boom of the 1950s.
After Crawford’s father bought the ranch from the Hood family he continued to acquire other parcels until the ranch reached its peak acreage of 21,000 acres. Today the ranch is between 19,000 and 20,000 acres. In 1983 the Corps of Engineers finished Lake Sonoma, and the property experienced its next great change. The dam inundated many of the surrounding properties and eliminated the access to the Cooley Ranch. To compensate for their glaring oversight, the Corps purchased the neighboring property and gave it to the Cooley family. The ranch consists of the majority of the substantial watershed that feeds the dam.
About the Ride
On Day One you will ride by the McLaughlin ranch house. That property included 500 acres of vineyards from the 1930’s until the early 1950’s and was the second largest vineyard in the area next to Italian Swiss Colony in Asti. In the spring, when the grass is green, you can still see the footprint from the original vineyard. Crawford is currently planning to plant 200 +/- acres on the same footprint in the next few years.
In 2001, another major change affected the ranch, when the Sonoma County Open Space district purchased the development rights to the ranch, guaranteeing its physical integrity into the future. Land Paths has a management agreement with Sonoma County Open Space District and Cooley Ranch to allow for limited access to the property for recreation.
The Cooley family is very generous to allow us to use the property. It is such a great opportunity to become immersed in the many different ecological zones on a property that goes from 500 to 2300′ of elevation and has two of the largest year-round flowing creeks in Northern California. Enjoy and treat it lovingly.
After The Ride
Wine Tasting two evenings with Louis Foppiano from Foppiano Vineyards on Friday night, Bob Cooley from Landmark Vineyards on Saturday night.
Pot-Luck get together for dinner Friday Night.
Saturday Night Dinner: Gerard’s Paella
"With his Giant Paella pans, buckets of ocean-fresh seafood, baskets of farm fresh vegetables, and a big helping of personal charm, Gerard travels with all of the ingredients required to create a truly memorable culinary event." www.gerardspaella.com
– Farm fresh salad
– Chicken-Sausage Paella
– Vegetarian Paella
– Delicious Homemade Desserts
Sunday Night Dinner: DL Catering of Healdsburg
– Mixed greens with toasted almonds, crumbled feta cheese and dried apricots
– Orzo pasta salad with fresh basil, dry creek olive oil, cherry tomatoes
– Black bean salad with citrus dressing
– Roast chicken with fresh thyme and garlic
– Downtown bakery breads with butter
– Home made chocolate chip cookies
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like additional information. Remember: submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org describing why you should get the ride entries no later than Thursday, June 3, 2010.
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I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.