The Year In Review – 2016
The Year in Review – 2016
There were lots of changes afoot in 2016. Sea Ranch members elected a new board of directors. Results were announced at the mid-winter meeting and published in our member newsletter. Speaking of our member publications, George Calys has taken over as the new Editor of The Soundings. I’m sure George will bring a fresh perspective to this publication while still retaining its core values. Sea Ranch was declared a no-drone zone. So much for taking photos with that drone I purchased last March.
A new trail has been added in Sea Ranch. Sea Forest Trail begins at the base of Moonraker Road East. The trail parallels Highway 1 and then gradually meanders uphill offering a spectacular view of the south coast. For those needing a rest, or if you wish to stop and take in the view, a bench awaits you along the path. Your reward at the end of the trail is a picturesque waterfall that vertically cascades into a creek below. There are future plans to expand the trail up the Sea Forest Drive ravine. Thank you to the Trails Committee, facilities department and volunteers for all your hard work in making this project a reality. To get a sneak peek of the trail take a look at the video clip from my recent hike posted to my Facebook page on December 20th..
In addition, there is a new cypress hedgerow too. The Equestrian Center Hedgerow is a trail that skirts the equestrian center and goes behind the stables toward the meadow trail across from the Ohlson Rec Center. These cypress trees are relatively new growth, planted approximately 20 years ago, babies compared to the signature hedgerows throughout Sea Ranch. No, that is not snow or frost in the picture. The photograph was taken in dense fog.
Sea Ranch Connect, our high speed internet project that will bring blazing fast and reliable internet service to our community is well under way and live in some units. Several homes on the north end have gone live, while other sections of Sea Ranch are soon to follow. I am hearing positive reviews from those that are up and running while some homeowners are still fine tuning the nuances of a new system, new equipment and new technology. My house and neighbors in 29A are scheduled for connection mid-January. I think a celebration will be in order when that day finally comes. Connection to all homes is expected later this year. To get a progress report about Sea Ranch Connect visit searanchconnect.org.
A new owner has taken over 1000 Annapolis Road with several new tenants occupying office spaces. Rumor has it a store/market may be moving in although I can’t confirm that. There may still be a space or two available for lease in the building if anyone is interested.
Two Fish Baking Company has opened a second location at Stewarts Point, 4 miles south of Verdant View. Hilla and Margaret continue to add new items to their menu at Two Fish Bakery, Market & Eatery. Their Facebook page is one way to find out about their new offerings, stopping by the Stewarts Point store/bakery is another. Whether or not pizza night returns is still up for debate. I have my fingers crossed, as do many others. Lynn Vollman offers fresh produce from Lucky Butterfly Gardens when in season.
Fresh baked bread, sticky buns, cookies and coffee still available at Two Fish Baking Company on Verdant View location next to my office, The Coastal Real Estate Company/Liisberg & Kalinoski. I’m always happy to have visitors stop in to say hello when enroute to the bakery.
A new general manager has taken over the reigns at The Sea Ranch Lodge as of mid-November. Paul O’Dowd is hard at work making the lodge and Black Point Grill a destination not only for tourists but a place for locals too.
Chef Christian Andersen, former executive chef at the Gualala Hotel, has returned to Black Point Grill. I’ve had some great meals at the Black Point Grill, many a dish rivaling San Franciso or Wine Country cuisine. And, you didn’t hear this from me but chef is training two pastry chefs that have just been hired. A cappuccino machine is rumored to be coming back to the lodge. Sounds like fresh coffee, homemade pastries and pies might be on the breakfast menu soon.
But even bigger news at The Sea Ranch Lodge is that the painted red arrow is now fully visible. No more framed map obscuring this iconic work of art. At long last, we can all enjoy this original supergraphic painted by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon in the early days of Sea Ranch. You can’t miss it. It’s near the front lobby and makes for a great Instagram or Facebook post.
Timber Cove Inn has been remodeled from the inside out, rumors of the renovation to be in the millions. Newly remodeled rooms and rebranded restaurant, now Coastal Kitchen has been getting rave reviews. Wednesday night is locals night with discounts on bar and lounge menu. I haven’t been to Timber Cove recently but I have been hearing good reports about the food from friends and colleagues.
There are two new additions at Redwood Coast Medical Services (RCMS), Wendy Cicek, MD and Andrew Steiger, LCSW. And, they happen to be my neighbors. Although it took a while to say hello, given our different work schedules, we finally were able to make introductions at a recent neighborhood get together. Welcome to the community, and neighborhood, Wendy and Andrew.
Sea Ranch home sales continues to be brisk. It was a very busy year for buying and selling. Real estate sales remained steady from the start of 2016 well into the holiday season, right up to the last day of the year. How many total homes were sold in Sea Ranch last year? Answer – 101 homes were sold in 2016, up from 90 in 2015. There is renewed interest in lots and new construction is on the rise. There are currently 7 homes under construction. Inventory is low and demand is high. I’m happy to assist you with your real estate needs in the coming year.
>> Read my reviews from past buyers/sellers on my ZILLOW profile
Mother Nature continues to surprise us with the unexpected. Early rains in October brought a bountiful porcini mushroom season to the coast followed by an explosion of hedgehogs, black trumpets, yellow feet chanterelles, candy caps and the occasional golden chanterelle and matsutake. All in all, it continues to be a good year for foragers of fungi on the Sonoma/Mendocino Coast. Caution – don’t assume all wild mushrooms are edible, they’re not. Some are poisonous and deadly. Educate yourself and don’t rush the learning experience. Better safe than sorry.
This year’s winter has brought a mix of weather. Late December had us waking up to temps in the 30s and frost which is highly unusual. This has to be, in my opinion, the coldest winter I’ve experienced here on the coast. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years full-time and can’t recall it ever being this cold. Although some days were cold and clear, we were rewarded with some spectacular sunsets. There were several opportunities to see the elusive Green Flash. See my post about this sunset phenomenon in the archives back in January 2014.
The beginning of the new year brought warmer weather and some fog, the first of our winter storms with high winds, heavy rains and all that goes with it like downed branches and trees, seasonal creeks, and power going off and on. The Sea Ranch Association, the local fire department and PG&E crews keep busy in times such as these. I’ve always wondered how trees magically disappear when they fall over and block the roadway. Recently, I had the opportunity to see first hard. It’s a lot of manpower and chainsaws that make it possible. See for yourself in this video clip I posted to my Facebook page on January 8th of a crew in action clearing a downed tree across Highway 1 near Navigator’s Reach.
As we move into 2017 I hope to keep my New Years resolutions – to return to blogging about Sea Ranch and to lose 10 pounds. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the blogging and the weight loss goes. Hopefully, both succeed.
P.S. Most photos on this blog post courtesy of Paul Kozal, Sea Ranch Photography.