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The bygone days of Grizzlies in Cazadero

As the daylight lengthens, the abundant Redwoods outside of my cozy cyber-hut cast new shadow. The intermittent patter of raindrops is pleasant. Just no heavy wind or power outages, please.

Officially spring has begun with the Equinox on 3/20. Trees, plants and flowers proliferate along our winding roads; some planted deliberately and others willing “volunteers.” Edible wild mushrooms and other tasty natural offerings entice.

After one year of COVID-19 enforced the changes there is positive movement towards the resumption of currently regulated or banned practices. I am a fervent believer in science and do hope that many of you have received one or two vaccine jabs. Please do continue to wear face coverings and practice smart social distancing. Of course, handwashing is always recommended.

The return of in-school learning and ‘regular’ commerce in a health manner will be beneficial for all. Please do continue to shop and eat locally whenever. Many businesses have shut their doors and others have reinvented their business model. You can always count on Cazadero Supply for a vast assortment of items for your garden, household and vehicle projects.

Many of the businesses in Duncans mills are operated by Cazaderans, including the General Store. Gold

Coast Coffee & Bakery offers freshly ground and roasted coffee on-site, delicious pizza, scones, pastries and coffee drinks, tea, smoothers and other wood burningoven specialties. Cape Fear Café serves a Southern-inspired menu. Toys and Treats, located by the post office, has yummy truffles, a variety of other candies and interesting games and décor items.

The Duncans Mills Tea Shop tempts with unique blends and related giftware.

The Cazadero General Store has tasty sandwiches, wines and other locallyproduced foods. Local celebrations of Passover and Easter offer both actual and virtual events. Check the calendar section for all events.

During the past 150 years, Cazadero has had many faces, as a tribal territory of the Pomos, hunter’s paradise, lumberman’s Redwood source, railroad’s farthest point, the counter-culture’s last hiding place and the winemaker’s perfect spot. But the most last force of Nature, through thousands of years was the California Grizzly Bear. The Pomo Indians and the Grizzly occupied the meadows the oak forests of Cazadero.

They killed one another occasionally; mostly they ignored each other and hoped for peace. The Russians of Fort Ross noted many bears, especially in the meadows at Austin Creek’s junction with the Russian River. The bears often grazed on the clover there.

When the ranchers brought their cattle here, the bears found it easier to kill cattle than to hunt for wild food. Bear meat became food for the loggers. Their Chinese cooks called Grizzlies “hairy pork.” Bear skins became bedding and rugs. Bears were used for fights with bulls. By 1880 the Grizzy was gone from Cazadero. Ironically, this extinct animal is on the California state flag.

I wish a very Happy Birthday and anniversary to all April celebrants!

Celebrate and eat cake! Enjoy spring, drive carefully and call me at 632-5545 with info for your Cazadero Column.

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