William Preston Bowling
William Preston Bowling
William Preston Bowling, aka “Wild Bill” Bowling, took exception to KB Home’s Tom DiPrima saying that there were no tanks up at the windmill well in the highlands of Runkle Canyon May 23, 2012.

Bowling, dumbfounded by the audacity of such a statement, decided to embark a long journey through Ahmanson Ranch all the way to Runkle Canyon’s windmill well.

This is no easy hike as beautiful as Ahmanson Ranch is. This is mountain lion and rattlesnake country and a lone hiker high in the wilds of this place is putting life and limb at risk. But the rewards of traversing this tough untamed land soon became apparent.

Sure enough, the tanks were still there. The largest one showed evidence of being recently tipped on its side. An security vehicle watched the vast reaches of the west end of Burro Flats where the well sits with tanks dumped there at least 22 years ago according to the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Returning through Ahmanson Ranch, a place EnviroReporter.com knows well, the sun set and darkness covered the back country. This is when mountain lions love to hunt. And, as Wild Bill pointed out, if a mountain lion can be found in Santa Monica, it certainly can be found in its native habitat. But Bowling had no fear having trod many miles in the Simi and Santa Monica ranges — he knew that predators can ‘smell’ fear. He also knew that he had an excellent defensive stategy: making noise and using his camera flash to blast back the darkness. It worked and the Man from Runkle returned safely no doubt to the chagrin to those who wish his photos of Runkle Canyon’s windmill well didn’t exist.

Sometimes a person has to go the extra mile, literally, to show that he or she is right about something that they have discovered is wrong. Bowling went that extra mile, those extra miles, and the results speak for themselves.

Read more about Wild Bill Bowling and the Battle of Runkle Canyon in “Runkle Canyon TanksKB Home stumbles at Simi Valley Planning Commission meeting seeking project extension.”