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Message #4003 of 4034  *NEW*
7th part of my vacation - Mt. Diablo
4/15/08, 8:32am

On Saturday March 29th I headed out of San Francisco and over the Bay Bridge to the East Bay and the northern entrance to Mt. Diablo State Park. I was hoping to meet 4wheelbob out there for a hike but turns out he had to work :p So instead I headed up myself and paid my campground fee at the entrance gate so I didn't have to pay a day use fee and from there I went up to Juniper Campground. I found a great spot with fantastic views of the surrounding vast green rolling hills. Once I set up my tent I was off to the summit. I parked at the wide turnout known as the Devil's Elbow and from here hiked the last 500' or so up to the summit of Mt. Diablo. You can drive to the summit but I wanted to do at least a little bit of a hike to feel like I accomplished something! There is a nice visitor center at the top of this very significant landmark. Look on any USGS quad map for California and even some for Oregon and Nevada and it will say "Mt. Diablo Meridian". Mt. Diablo provided a base reference point for which much of the west coast area was mapped. From the top of Mt. Diablo you can see a very large amount of California. The only mountain in the world that is reported to have longer-ranging views is Mt. Kilamanjoro in Africa.

I then headed down to the Mary Bowerman or Fire Interpretive Trail and scrambled up the prominent chert outcropping known as the Devils Pulpit. Here the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the views were spectacular! The wildflowers were also blooming in this area and I saw Indian Warrior, Brewer's Rock Cress, Wild Mustard, and several others. I then found a use trail cutting back down to where I had parked and I headed back to the campground for an early dinner.

While I was making dinner something flying through the air about scared the crap out of me as it flew right above my table! It was a hang glider! Crazy people... lol

After dinner I took a stroll up the Juniper Trail to Moses Rock Ridge to take in the sunset views. The evening started to turn very cold so I hiked back down and snuggled down in my warm sleeping bag for the night.

In the morning I awoke to fog everywhere below me, sunshine above. I packed up and drove down to the west entrance of the park where I saw several deer grazing. I then headed on to I-5 where I headed south for home, not without a stop at the California Poppy Reserve to see the poppies. Stay tuned for those pics

More photos here http://www.tarol.com/diablo.html

The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com

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