A FEST WITHOUT THE ANIMAL OF HONOR: Can you throw a party for a very special guest who is not expected to attend? Actually, who definitely won't attend, having not been seen in a particular region for several decades? The answers are yes, of course, you should, absolutely, and definitely when the special guest is an iconic animal who once roamed a region but now does not. Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center at Big Basin Redwoods State Park reveals, by its very name, that it has strong ties to the bear community, a community which was prevelant with Grizzlies at one time. The bear was "once-abundant" around the Waddell Valley, says the rancho's site, and the outdoors-loving spot pauses to pay homage to the California Grizzly. The Grizzly Festival, which is on Saturday, Aug. 16, makes for a fun, family-focused day, but it also serves to give pause and remind we humans that many animals were at home in places they no longer reign (or are even seen or accounted for). And given our bearly connections here in the Golden State, a little Grizzly-style love is an important thing, indeed.
ON THE SCHEDULE: "Crafts and activities" that have a Grizzly-esque theme will be on the roster, as will a 2 p.m. "guided walk into the forest" where guests can "imagine what the forest might have been like with Grizzly Bears roaming around." Stories and other bearly doings will fill out the daytime fun. If you're an ursine buff and want to pay memory to a majestic animal that was last seen in the state in the 1920s, this is your gathering. Of course, the myth of the Grizzly and California lives on, quite strongly, and remains a robust search term online. Some people believe that these particular bears still roam, and some want to know how the California Grizzly became an extinct sub-species. More can be learned at Rancho del Oso's day of Grizzly learning.