I've been meaning to drill down into the history of our local Indians. If I learned about the Coastal Miwok while in grade school, I've not been able to retain any of it. As we get ready to embark on a long roadtrip from Wyoming to South Dakota, I've been researching the many stops along our route where we can visit points of interest in relation to American Indians. That said, I randomly came across information this past week for the Big Time Festival, while exploring hiking trails in the Point Reyes National Seashore. The timing of the event coincided perfectly with our upcoming summer plans, and so we took a couple hours and checked it out.
The Kule Loklo site is a short half-mile walk from the Bear Valley Visitors Center. We just discovered the center recently, and were amazed at how much it had to offer. It never seizes to amaze me just how much there is to explore here, in our own backyard.
Along the walk to Kule Loklo, the kids kept themselves entertained exploring the terrain. The boys love to look in holes and lift rocks and logs in hopes of finding lizards and snakes. Beanie Love prefers to skip around, daydream and experiment with plant textures and touch.
When we reached our destination, we were immediately greeted by an older volunteer who was eager to teach us all about bull roarers - wind turn sticks used in Indian ceremonies. The boys loved it. Tiny Buns is always swinging stuff over his head, so to do it and have it make a cool sound too, just put him over the moon.
The highlight of this little festival, at least for the kids, was the crafts. We made necklaces of abalone and beads, while listening to a member of the Miwok tribe tell a wonderful story about how man came to be. We hand-drilled into soap stone, making beads that we then polished and strung-up into another necklace. We observed basket weaving, explored huts and the sweat lodges, and even got to watch some traditional dance ceremonies.
Don't be fooled by her shy expression - she loved every minute of it!
After the festival, we made the short drive to The Farm House Restaurant in Olema where we indulged in a late lunch of organic, local fare. West Marin never disappoints. :)