Family Guide to Point Reyes
By Terry Donohue
"This book grew out of the questions
from the many guests who stayed at my bed and breakfasts,
Jasmine Cottage and Grays 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 Childrens Corner."
These opening lines in Karen Grays
A Family Guide to Point Reyes, give you a sense that
her book is not your typical "hiking guide."
And its 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 Childrens 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
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":
Whats 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 days adventure, or curled up on
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 Childrens Corner with author Gray,
storyteller Rovetta, and contributors Evens and Brayton
in Tobys Feed Barn, Sunday June 9 at 11 a.m.
Buy the Book