The official Olympics are over, but the staff at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont is staging a less formal one, featuring events that predate even the original competitions between ancient Greek city-states.
It's the Stone Age Olympics and Knap-In, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Visitors ages 8 and older can compete in dart and rabbit stick throwing, matchless fire starting, and other skills dating back to prehistoric times.
The knap-in has nothing to do with sleep. People skilled in the craft will show how to knap (shape by chipping) rocks into Stone Age tools. Coyote Hills naturalist Dino Labiste is the organizer. Dino also will host a series of programs in October on how to make fire, cordage and flint tools.
Coyote Hills is an appropriate venue for the Stone Age Olympics, because it is the site of a Native American village that was inhabited for 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. The visitor center contains artifacts and displays highlighting Native American culture.
The Olympics and Knap-In will be at the Dairy Glen campsite. When you drive on the park road that leads to the visitor center, you'll see signs pointing to the Old Quarry parking lot and Dairy Glen. To reach Dairy Glen, start from the Old Quarry parking lot and walk about eight minutes toward the Bay along the Bayview Trail.
Coyote Hills is located at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway, just north of Highway 84 in Fremont. There's a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; admission to the Stone Age Olympics is free. For information, call 510-544-3220.
LEARN ABOUT TARANTULAS: Tarantulas, those hairy, leggy spiders active this time of year, are the focus of a program scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Sunol Regional Wilderness led by Melissa Tarnowski. Designed for ages 5 and older, the program is a chance to meet a tarantula up close and personal.
Sunol Wilderness is located on Geary Road off Calaveras Road five miles south of Interstate 680 in southern Alameda County. Melissa's program is free of charge, but registration is required. For information or registration, call 888-327-2757. Select option 2 and refer to program 30181.
HIKE LAS TRAMPAS: The Wednesday Walkers, an informal group of hikers who explore a different regional park almost weekly, will take on Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in San Ramon on Sept. 26.
This will be a short but strenuous three-mile hike along Las Trampas Ridge. It starts at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot at the north end of Bollinger Canyon Road off Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon. The leader is naturalist Chris Garcia. I've walked this route often myself. It's steep, but the payoff is great views of Mt. Diablo and the San Ramon Valley.
For more information on this and other Wednesday Walks, call 510-544-3282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activ- ities. Email him at ned- email@example.com.