10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Picnic Shelter behind the Yachats Commons
By Jan Brown
Given the ever-shifting impact of Covid and the absolute need to keep the Peace Hike activities safe, the Yachats Trails Committee will again be changing the format to a combination of live and virtual experiences. There will be no indoor nor large group ceremony but there are a number of ways to manifest and celebrate peace throughout the day, both outdoors and within one’s home or shelter.
On New Year’s Day (weather dependent) in lieu of a single event, this year’s Yachats Trails Committee has composed a map of alternative trails that allow everyone to hike or walk where they are most comfortable. Committee members will be on hand to answer questions and provide maps and guidance at the Lions Picnic Shelter behind the Yachats Commons.
The Peace Hike traditionally honors the memory of a blind Native American (Coos) woman named Amanda who was forcibly taken away from her daughter and marched 80 miles with other captives all barefoot through the rocky terrain to the Alsea Sub-agency prison camp in what is now Yachats in 1864.
To truly understand the atrocities that Indigenous People in the area faced, watch a video narrated by Patricia Whereat Phillips, Miluk Coos and member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI)
(video can be viewed at end of post)
Cedar is a sacred tree for many tribes of the Pacific Northwest. On January 1, anyone interested in exploring Cedar in prayers is invited to take a Cedar sprig from a basket outside the Commons at the Lions Picnic Shelter or at the Bears’ Statue on the Amanda Trail. From there they can take the sprig and walk with it holding their vision of peace and what it means in one’s life.
While there is no formal ceremony at the Amanda Gathering Area, there will be two small ceremonial fires in which to place the Cedar sprigs – one near the picnic shelter and one at the Amanda Gathering Area for those who hike the Amanda Trail.
Amanda Trail will be open to the Gathering Area only that day. When hikers reach the Kittel driveway signs will instruct them to walk down the driveway to the green gate, turn left and walk down the new auxiliary road to the Gathering Area. Hikers will also have the opportunity to see the progress on the suspension bridge construction. (The auxiliary road will remain closed to the public both before and after New Year’s Day.)
This year’s Peace Hike button has been beautifully created by artist and illustrator, Nora Sherwood www.norasherwood.com Peace Hike buttons can be picked up at the Picnic Shelter or at the Amanda Gathering Area during the Peace Hike. If you have hiked or celebrated peace throughout the day, both outdoors and at home or shelter, you may pick up peace hike buttons at the Yachats Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center located at 2nd Street and Highway 101. Water, energy bars and delicious cookies prepared and generously donated by the Yachats Ladies Club will be available at the Picnic Shelter and Gathering Area.
The Yachats Trails Committee wishes you peace and good fortune during this time of many celebrations and in the year to come.
It is though the Tribes’ and community endeavors with the Amanda and Ya’Xaik Trails that many people have become aware of the need to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and to be more conscious of the need to treat people of all cultures throughout the world with honor, dignity and respect.