Willow Creek was the third address Gene Walker took us to. Walked onto a golden, ten-acre dome. Gasped at the 180 degree view: Goat Rock, Salmon Creek beach, Point Reyes lighthouse, and Sonoma Mountain. Our hearts’ desire. “We’ll buy it.” Gene laughed, “Don’t you want to see the house first?”
We took water for granted. City dwellers. Turn on the tap and water flows out.
Five years in, we drove onto Willow Creek, turned on the tap and nothing. Neighbor’s horses snapped the water line. Time to appreciate country-water-system mechanics.
Then came the drought of 2014. Water tankers cruised Willow Creek. Neighbors ran out of water. Our well soldiered on.
“You have the most reliable water on Willow Creek,” said hydrologist Gene Boudreau.
Most of Willow Creek ridge is Mesozoic-era Franciscan melange. Closed Chert. Shale. Serpentine. Compacted Clay. Water only found in open fractures.
Our dome is a remnant of the younger Merced formation. Open Sandstone. 120 acre-feet of water.