The Family Guide To POINT REYES
Press Reviews

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The Family Guide to Point Reyes

By Terry Donohue
Stinson Beach

"This book grew out of the questions from the many guests who stayed at my bed and breakfasts, Jasmine Cottage and Gray’s Retreat. It was 12 years ago that I opened the first bed and breakfast cottage in Point Reyes.. My own family grew alongside those of my guests. I now have a small son who is my favorite companion in sharing the splendors of Point Reyes. First as a toddler and now as a preschooler, he is cared for during my work day by the teachers at the Papermill Creek Children’s Corner."

These opening lines in Karen Gray’s A Family Guide to Point Reyes, give you a sense that her book is not your typical "hiking guide." And it’s not. Her work, or project as she called it, is the result of three years of research, writing, illustration, and collaboration. She created a guide that would not only help families and individuals to enjoy the wonders of the area around Point Reyes Station (including The Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales Bay State Park, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area) but would also convey her deep appreciation for the community within which she lives.

She wrote this book as "a project to benefit the Papermill Creek Children’s Corner." Ms. Gray not only dedicates this book to them but the proceeds of the sales of the guide will go to the preschool. As she says about the director and teachers, they are "the people to whom we entrust our most precious beings, our future, our dreams… Clearly they are people who work for love and not money… They are people who teach for the joy of it."

Drawings of flora & fauna

This is only the beginning of the lovely nature of her book. Once you start flipping through its pages, you will find it beautifully illustrated by Karen Gray and Ane Rovetta with pencil drawings that truly capture the diversity of flora and fauna of the area. The chapter sections are organized and titled to suit the needs of families: "Gone Fishin": What’s Biting & Where, "Hit the Trail! Hiking the Magical Terrain of Point Reyes," and "Where to See beautiful Sunsets, Moonrises and Stars," are some examples.

The format also makes for pleasurable, easy reading, first giving the names of the places, the highlights of accessibility and available conveniences (wheelchair access, restrooms, picnic tables, etc.) and any other special notes. Clear, concise directions from Point Reyes Station to the locations are given, followed by very informative, almost chatty, narration describing the offerings of the excursions.


And this is not all. Every chapter holds stories of animal legend, natural history, and oral tradition of indigenous people by Rovetta, Jules Evens, and Susan Brayton. What fun to be able to read these stories while sitting with a picnic meal or at home preparing the day’s adventure, or curled up on a sofa!

The Family Guide to Point Reyes is hot off the press, worthy of a place in each of our home libraries. I doubt, however, that it will remain on a shelf collecting dust; rather this book will grow feathered and worn for all the enjoyment it will offer you and your family.

There will be a book-signing party for A Family Guide to Point Reyes, a project to benefit Papermill Creek Children’s Corner with author Gray, storyteller Rovetta, and contributors Evens and Brayton in Toby’s Feed Barn, Sunday June 9 at 11 a.m.

Buy the Book

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