still plenty of history around. At the corner of Sir Francis
Drake Boulevard and Highway 1, the Olema Inn and restaurant
dates to the area's original Spanish land grantee, Rafael
Garcia, who opened the establishment on July 4, 1876 (his
son later gambled it away).
These days Olema has a few shops, two
restaurants, a lodge, several bed and breakfasts, a large
campground, and a large retreat for the Vedanta Society
(a percursor to Hinduism). Also, the Bear Valley Visitor
Center, a quarter-mile from town on Bear Valley Road,
provides a standard starting point for a visit to the
federal park. Inside the center are exhibits and books
for sale. Outside are picnic tables, a Morgan horse ranch,
and Kule Loklo, a reconstructed Miwok village.
The short Earthquake trail, which is wheelchair
accessible, loops out from the visitor center parking
lot to a large rupture in the ground left from the 1906
earthquake. Lore has it that during the great quake, a
cow in the Olema Valley fell into a crevasse. What is
known for sure is that the "San Francisco Earthquake"
was centered in Olema. Indeed, Olema Valley and Tomales
Bay continuing north sit uneasily atop the San Andreas
Fault, where the earth's North American Plate and Pacific
Plate argue with each other and occasionally come to blows.
west from the visitor center is the Bear Valley Trail,
with it's leasurely climb to Divide Meadow and slow drop
to Arch Rock at the riotous Pacific Ocean.