A big rock, located on the far back of my property, has always intrigued me. You need to know where it is and how to get to it. The rock is a round mass of smaller rocks held together by what looks like some kind of mud or gray plaster. The diameter of the big rock is about eight feet and almost perfectly round. It is located about half way up on a hillside where no other rocks can be found. This leads me to believe that the smaller rocks are not indigenous to the area. The smaller rocks are held so tight that they have weathered many storms. No small rocks have fallen off of the big rock.
I have been reluctant to have an archaeologist come to inspect this rock on my property. I remember an article that appeared in the National Geographic Magazine many years ago. The farmer owned 11 miles of canyons that contained many prehistoric carvings and drawings. The farmer was also getting old and he thought it might be time to give this canyon area to a college that had an archaeological department. The farmer signed the papers and moved into town. Several weeks went by and with nothing to do the farmer drove out to the canyon property. To his dismay the college had fenced the property and installed NO TRESSPASSING signs. He saw no students working on deciphering the writings. In addition, the entire area was now designated an historical site and the entire 11-mile area restricted from public viewing. This is not what the farmer wanted. That article caused me a lot of concern.
On the opposite side of Sanel Valley is the Hopland Research and Extension Center, previously known as the University of California Hopland Field Station, a vast property of 5,300 acres. Most local people refer to the center as the acronym HREC. The university bought this historic sheep ranch in 1951.
I had met Kim Rodriques, PHD, while she was serving as Acting Director of the Center. I continued to follow the events that Kim arranged for the agricultural community in the North Coast. I served on the selection committee when she was hired as the Director. I learned that one of her areas of interest was the movement of the native Americans some 200 years ago across Sanel Valley.
I asked Kim if she would help me with the history of the Rock of Rocks that was on my property. I felt Kim would be no threat to me in disclosing her findings to any government agency. One afternoon I took Kim with me on an ATV to the back side of my property where the rock was located. Kim studied the rock and came up with several possibilities. The first was that the rock was a product of a giant explosion million of years ago and the rock was just deposited there. Her second thought was that an ancient civilization built this as a tomb for the remains of the dead. The small rocks appear they could have come from a creek some one-half mile away. They could have made the mud or plaster used to adhere the initial rocks to each other from water in a spring which is just a few yards away. As more rocks were added, the ball of rocks became bigger, until it became the size it is today.
Kim agreed that this was very interesting to her and would take just one of the small rocks back to the university for study. Weeks later Kim called me back to offer no solution to my Rock of Rocks. So, the Rock of Rocks will just sit there for my future generations to enjoy. They can ponder just why and when that Rock of Rocks wound up on our property. My late friend Bill McCarn took a picture of the rock.
After he passed, his wife Topsey gave me the picture. It hangs on the wall of my bedroom. I look at the picture every day…