November 1, 2013
With heavy morning fog plaguing the Bay Area last week, especially along the coast and my favored Mt. Tamalpais, I opted for a visit to Mt. Diablo. I tend to hike there in the spring when temperatures are mild, the hills are green and wildflowers bloom. I avoid it like the plague in the summer when the heat is intolerable and everything is baked except for the rattlesnakes. Last week I hiked from the Junction Ranger Station to the summit on a gorgeous morning. The drive in was spectacular as the remains of low lying fog still hugged the hillsides and the sun was breaking through. It made for some very photo friendly scenes along Mt. Diablo Road. Later, on the hiking trail, I hiked through about a mile of barren, scarred landscape. Shortly after the big Yosemite fire this summer, there was a 3,000 acre wildfire on the drought dry slopes of Mt. Diablo. Although the devastation was sad to see and the damage got closer to the summit than I thought from listening to the news reports in September, there was a stark beauty to it. I look forward to hiking the same trails in the spring to see how the land recovers. But Mt. Diablo is big and most of the park was untouched. As always, kudos to all our firefighters who had such a busy summer.