Last week was another local day trip and surprisingly to somewhere I’ve never been.
Mount Diablo is always present in the landscape. You can see it from Mount Tamalpais, from downtown San Francisco, and from a wide radius beyond the East Bay Hills. When I was rideshare driver (ugh), I had the opportunity a few times to go up to the mountain, but for one reason or another, did not go further than the base. I love to look at mountains from afar.
My friend S. and I headed up to Mount Diablo last week – we went in via the north entrance which is one road that winds its way up to the summit of the mountain. Along the way there were ranches and open grassland landscape with oak trees, a lot of picnic tables hidden in the nooks and crannies of the hills, and a couple of campgrounds which, surprisingly, had no campers, anywhere.
We spent some time at the top, getting wind blown, and looking at the dioramas with local critters and plants in the museum at the summit.
It was on the way down though, on the road to the south entrance, where we found one of the most interesting spots – Rock City. The landscape in this section of the park is not like the rest of the open-grassland, rolling-hill landscape that dominates the mountain. This small area is dominated by rocks and boulders and caves, much of it made up of sandstone. As we learned in the museum at the summit, Mount Diablo was once under the ocean and over a long period of time and shifting plate tectonics, created itself into the mountain it is today. The place even has a feeling of water, even though there is no water there.
We found this place towards the end of the day, so we need to go back to see the rest of the trail.
Images are up, under the California Gallery here on the site and on Alamy.