May 16th, 2009
Walnut Creek, CA to Mt. Diablo
9 Hours, 22 miles
Temperatures: 90-98 Degrees F.
BPLer's Gathering of Gear Geeks
Infront of Jay's House in Walnut Creek 7am
Jeremy in Green Shirt, Giovanna left of Jeremy, Michael in Orange Shirt, Jay's son in Blue Shirt, Jay to the far right with Dark Blue Sleeves
The trail head was conveniently located two blocks from Jay's home and lead up to a ridge. Looking back, in the distance the cluster of taller buildings is located close to the Walnut Creek BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Electric Train Station. Intersections of Highway 24 and Highway 680.
Jay's wife and son
Like Every Good Trip, The Trail Goes Up and Up....
Cameron in the foreground with white shirt
We are going there
Mt. Diablo in the Distance
Brown and Green, the turning of the hills
For a few brief months the hills becomes a beautiful rolling green wave of green grass, which quickly turns to the more familiar brown from the scorching heat
Jay leads with Aaron in the rear
Actually, on the whole trip, I was the one lagging behind bringing up the rear
A Closer View of Mt. Diablo
Moving Fast on the Fire Road
Despite getting an early start at 7:30 am, the temperatures were quickly rising into the 80's F.
View of the Hills
Jay takes us off the fire road onto a single track trail as a tiny shortcut
The Fire Roads and Surrounding Trails are frequently used by trail runners and local dayhikers/dog walkers.
Striking Out across the Hills
Hills for Cow
Traditionally, ranchers have used this land for grazing, but as time as passed, money has been raised for the East Bay Regional Park system to buy the surround lands of Mt. Diablo. Cattle still graze and are frequent passerby's on the trail
Hills and Horses
There are quite a few people who own horses in the area and use the fire trails to ride
Jeremy's Crazy Feet: Vibram FiveFingers KSO Multisport Shoes
Jeremy takes a moment to try out a new pair of shoes with little arch support in an attempt to strenghten his feet and aleviate foot problems while backpacking in trail runners
Close of the the Crazy Feet
Jay takes a moment to show Giovanna how he uses hiking poles on the trail
Jeremy's Ready to Go with his New Feet
The Winding Road
View West of the Trail
Looking Back Where we came from
Water Break after Aaron and Micheal Rejoin Us from Trail Running
Jeremy in Green on the Left, Aaron in Blue Shirt, Micheal in Orange, and Cameron in the White Shirt
Note: Aaron and Michael are Ultra Runners. Aaron will be attempting to complete the 165 Mile Tahoe Rim Trail in late June in under 60 hours solo and unsupported. Michael has completed the 220 miles John Muir Trail Unsupported in 4.5 days.
Human Female- Giovanna
Contrary to popular belief, human females do exist and are not in the realm of unicorns and the Loch Nest Monster. Next week, I will be posting photos of Big Foot.
Keeping a Fast Pace
Honestly, this was the fastest pace that I have ever hiked in a group before and it was a struggle for me to keep up with the heat getting into the 90's. Being out of shapes does not help either.
More Green Hills
Kicking My Butt
This hill just seemed to go up and up
Had to take a few breaks to catch my breath
Why is this fresh air and sunlight good for me?
View from the Top of the Hill
Taking a Break So I Won't Die
Left to Right: Cameron takes a break with his trusty Ti Mug, Giovanna, Aaron on the Rock, Jay obscured infront of Aaron, and Micheal to the Right
Note: Everyone else was doing fine on the hike, despite the fast pace. I was the only one really sucking wind from being out of shape.
GoLite Parasol for the Lady held by gentleman Michael
Actually, I have to say that Micheal was a very thoughtful person. Despite his ability to run endless miles, as we neared the summit of Mt. Diablo he lagged back with me to make sure that I did not go face down into the dirt
Taking a Picture as an Excuse to Catch My Breath
Looking West, back the way we came to show the elevation gain
Trail Meets Road
Often the trail would cut across the paved road that allows smart people to drive in air conditioned vehicles from the bottom to the top to take in the view vs. cooking in the 90 plus degrees F heat. I guess I should be lucky that it is a dry heat. We don't have much humidity as other parts of the country.
Thank God for Air Conditioning!
Okay, there are a bunch of photos that I should have taken to document making it to the top, but I boinked out just did not have the energy or will to pull my camera out.
We are enjoying lunch at the top of Mt. Diablo inside the park visitor center where Jeremy was nice enough or concerned that I would keel over dead and bought me a bottle of gatoraide.
Made it to the top by about 12:30pm
5 Hours to the Top
Jeremy Putting His Feet On
Given that this was the first time that Jeremy was using these on the trail for any length of time, he was wearing these new "shoes" for only a few miles at a time to get used to them and not injure himself.
Happy to Have Made It
Left to Right: Michael, Giovanna, Jay, Aaron, Jeremy, Tony, Cameron
Observation Deck with flashing beacon for planes at night
Oddly, the floor of the observation deck was covered in small flying insects that we could not avoid stepping on. Fortunately, they did not bother us.
North East View from Mt. Diablo with the Delta in the Distance that empties out into the San Francisco Bay. In the distance, you can see an open rock quarry and to the right of the quarry is the small town of Clayton that I grew up in
South Eastern View
Looking Over the Parking Lot
North Western View
Cameron at the Top
Standing in Line for the Water Fountain
Aaron, Jeremy, and Giovanna tanking up on water before heading down
The top of Mt. Diablo is a bit of a zoo. You have visitors that have driven up, bicyclist, and day hikers
Jay Waiting to Go
Your History Lesson for the Day
View of the Second Parking Lot as we leave the Observation Point and head back home
Using my new Canon SD880IS Digital Elph for the first time
Moving from S230 3.2 Megapixel to 10 Megapixel camera with 4x Zoom
Photos of Flowers have been Cropped and Enlarged with Photoshop Elements 7.0
California Golden Poppy, State Flower
Path of Flowers
Not the Yellow Brick Road
Going Back a Different Way
Fuzzy Thing on the Side of the Trail
Loving the Parasol
Giovanna really enjoyed the shade and the freedom of not having to wear a sweaty and hot hat to protect her head from the heat
Trap for Light Weight Backpackers
Just bait with Cuben Fiber or Titanium
Trap for feral pigs, have never seen one in all of my years living here
A Spot of Water by the Trail
Actually, this is a dry trail in late Spring thru Fall
I carried 4 L of water for the whole trip, but could have gotten away with 2 L of water and refilled at the top
Marching Along in the Shade of the Trees
Getting Towards the End
Passing the Cattle Gate in Style
Going Up at Steep Green Gully
Butt Kicker, Starting to Boink out Again
Call for an Emergency Order of Pizza
Funny thing, as Jay was calling his wife to order pizza so that it would be waiting for us, Jay commented to his wife that it was not too hot. To which Cameron cried out in the background as if he was dying, "God it is soooo hot! It is sooo hot!"
Returning to Jay's House Our Families Joined Us
Where we were treated by Jay to pizza, cold drinks, and ice cream drumsticks (ice cream cone with chocolate coating covering the single scoop of ice cream, individually wrapped/packaged). Some people were disappointed that they were not actually chicken drum sticks/legs. Cameron supplied his own home brew of beer to cool us off.
Really enjoyed kicking back at Jay's House. Kids went crazy going on Jay's zip line and playing in the sprinklers and spraying each other with the garden hose to beat the heat.
Great Trip and Thank you Jay for putting this together and giving us a wonder and relaxing meal at the end!
Ridge Above Jay's House Early Morning Shot