Driving home last night on 580 East and was just coming up on Seminary Road exit when I see a red SUV stopped in the break down lane. Not unusual, not at all. What was unusual enough about this for me to call 911?
A woman walking away from it. Still not that strange, right.
How about a woman with two toddlers and a baby in a stroller!
I thought how fucking stupid can you be? All it will take is a second for one of those kids to dart out into traffic or someone taking their eyes off the road to change the radio station and plow right into all of you!
Nicolaus Copernicus has been reburied. When the guy died out of favor with the all powerful Catholic church he was buried in an unmarked grave in a church that nobody really was certain of where is was. Which leads me to ask, how did they know who to dig up and move?
Last Saturday's hike was at Briones Regional Park in Orinda. I gotta to admit, this is not one of my favorite hikes so far. It was pretty, but just not as pretty as some others, I guess.
In this park the cows were back on the trail. At one point my hiking buddy Susan had to shoo them off the path. They moved, but they really looked like they did it because they wanted to, not because of her.
One part of the trail was The Ivan Dickson Memorial Loop Trail. As I passed the little signs I could not help but wonder who was Ivan Dickson? So I took to my favorite research tool, the internet, to find out.
Ivan Dickson was a lifelong member of the Berkeley Hiking Club and was one of their first presidents in the 1920s. Ivan was a hiker - he hiked well into his 80's and averaged about 10 - 20 miles a day, mostly in the East Bay Regional Park District. He did not need any special equipment; he hiked in his wing tips or loafers and would have a nutritious breakfast of doughnuts before starting out. Lived in the same house for 70 years and had a watch repair shop on Shattuck Avenue. He did not own a car, or TV or even a refrigerator. The people that knew him thought him an eccentric poor person. However, when he died in 1993 at the age of 95 he left a ton of cash to the East Bay Regional Park District to "take good care of the trails". Thank you Ivan.
About the only wild flowers left are the ever present poppies and lupine. Still beautiful, but I fear they will be gone soon.
So last weeks hike was at Muir Beach. It was a beautiful crystal clear day and we started up
Along the trail we saw this little things that looked like what I thought aspargus would look like.
We went up and I saw these steps, lots of steps that went up the side of the mountain and for a minute I thought - no, we are not going that way - then we turned a corner and walked right at them and then went up them. Steps are hard!
This is looking down at the beach at Tennessee Valley, our very first hike. I can remember looking up at the hills on that hike and being happy we were not going up there. Well, those days are gone, if there is a hill we climb it. This hike took us thru the Green Gulch Buddhist Zen Center. I can walk thru their gardens on the way back to the beach. The gardens are really beautiful and full of very quite people and they have a really nice bathroom.
We needed to ask directions at one point and imagine someone whispering to you and then make it softer. "go down the path, open the gate, make sure to close the gate behind you, then walk thru the gardens to another gate. go out that gate and make sure to close it behind you. then go thru the horse pasture, making sure to close the gates behind you and you will be at the beach"
This was a beautiful hike, the sky was extremely blue, it was difficult to tell where the sky ended and the water began. I did keep the map to this one, I'll be doing it again.
This weeks hike was Mount Diablo and it is the Devil's Mountain! It was six and half hours of mostly torture, yes torture. It started out just beautifully, look at this picture from the top - yes top of the mountain. We started at the top and went down, down, down
We made it to a place called Rock City for lunch. It is a collection of sandstone rocks that pop out of the ground in one location in the park. There were stairs
There was a fountain, well maybe not a fountain, but it would be a nice one, huh?
There was one formation that looked like Half Dome and I tried to convince my hiking partners that we should go there and take pictures, it has steps and cables and maybe we could convince those not in the know that we had in fact climbed Half Dome. They thought about it for a minute, but decided honesty is the best policy.
The wildflowers were just at their peak. California poppies covered the hillsides along with lupin, daisies and a beautiful ground cover that had beautiful little coral flowers mixed in with small green leaves. It was beautiful, really beautiful.
And then we looked back from where we had come and I realized I gotta go back up that?
And I did! For almost four hours! Up and up and up. Every time I made it to the top of one segment I wondered if I could do it. Our nature guy told us at the begining of the hike that there were rattle snakes on the mountain, but don't worry because you won't die from a bite, you will be a bit uncomfortable for awhile, but you would live. I thought of this on the way up and decided I would rather be bit by a rattle snake then go one step further. At least then I could sit down and wait for a ride. But I kept going and going and going and did finally make it to the top.
For all my previous hikes I have kept the maps because I plan to go back and do them again. This map? I gave it to a runner who was lost cause there is no way I will ever do this particular hike again, so I don't need the damn map.
I look at Mt. Diablo every day, it looks beautiful from a distance and I think that is about as close as I will get for awhile.
Just did not make time to publish about last weeks hike, so here it is. We did a six hour hike of Montara Mountain down in Pacifica. The short story?
Up the mountain, visit the south peak, visit the north peak, visit the south peak, partway down the other side of the mountain, back up what we just went down and then back down the other side to the starting point. The longer story...
This is a beautiful tree in the parking area. There are picnic tables and lots of wildflowers.
This was part of the trail. We went up and came back down placing one foot in front of the other. Those that were blessed with longer legs could straddle this, me not so much.
I wish my camera got better pictures of the wildflowers. There were beautiful wild iris' all over the mountain.
This was one of two rusted old cars we saw on the trail. I wondered how they got there and more interesting to me was why could they then not go back down.
Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well, it was! It was a very clear day and you could see up and down the coast for miles. I could pick out the little airport in Moss Beach and tearily wished I was at the Moss Beach Distillery curled up with a nice thick blanket and a cup of something warm watching the whales go by.
But no, I was on top of a mountain! Who would have ever thought it? Come on admit it, you are surprised.
All in all this was was a wonderful hike and I would do it again.