Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back Creek Trail, Mt. Diablo

 On Saturday we set out to hike one of our favorite and most challenging local hikes - Back Creek Trail, up Mt. Diablo, out of Mitchell Canyon.  Brian and I ran this loop earlier in the year, it's a 13.1 loop out our front door, to the park, around the loop, and back home.  It is challenging, with 2,500 ft of climbing, and an equal amount of descent.  We took two friends from our congregation, and the kids, started in the park, which shortened the mileage down to 8, but still with the 2500 ft. It would definitely be the hardest hike the kids had attempted, and the longest.  It was a nice cool day, though, and they were excited to have friends along, so we hoped that would be enough to keep them moving along the way.
First we went in service though, Myles thought he was special because he picked his outfit out to match Papa's.

Pretty sure by the end I'd feel like relaxing, too!

Myles blew us away on this hike, he never complained about anything, even when we knew he was getting tired.

The first bit is flat....

Then you turn right and head up the Mt.

We had worked our way up that canyon...

You can see that tan land way back down there, that is the flat part we started out on.

You know when you start to see the stairs you are almost at the top...somewhere in here we stopped and stood still and quiet and enjoyed a nice cool rain shower!

Here I was in between two groups of us, alone, with my Hawaiian music playing on Pandora on my phone, getting sprinkled on by a Mt. shower....maybe my favorite 10 minutes of the entire hike!

Here is Sophie and Kiasa reaching the top after about 3 hours of climbing!

Myles climbed like a champ and had energy left at the top.

The skies near the top of the Mt were much darker than the blue skies we had when we started. It was cooler, windier, and sprinkling every now and then.

That is Eagle Peak in the background, we debated taking that trail, but were unsure of the trail that we would descend, with the kids we didn't want to bite off more than we could handle.

So we took the main Mitchell Canyon trail down, a nice wide fire road that we've been down many times before. That's Eagle Peak in front of Brian.

Eagle Peak's pretty, huh?  I can't wait to hike down it w/o the kido' just drops off on all sides, the trial down has to be a kick!

And that is Mitchell Canyon, we work our way down to it, and then all the way out of it.

You know when you are flipping over rocks and stumps trying to find something interesting for your kids...but you're always just a little bit afraid of what you may find...I flipped over a log with my foot and found this guy. At first, he had his head pulled into a triangle, and I thought for sure I had narrowly missed a rattle snake bite...but after a few seconds, his head narrowed back down and he did not start rattling.

Thank goodness it was just a gopher snake! Brian got a long branch and got him to move so we could see the full length and tail.  They are such a pretty snake, and at first glance always give me a scare.  We recently learned of their wiley ways, imitating rattlers by changing the shape of their head, and vibrating their tails in the underbrush when threatened. Pretty smart.

Once we got lower off the Mt, the skies were more sunny again.  This picture amazed me because the sun had set behind a hill, and the rays were shooting up into the clouds instead of down from the clouds, like a reverse sun ray.

Eventually (5 hours after we started) we made it back home for the best dinner around, sausages and smores.

And Jasena's music (who, fyi, had gotten a bug bite at some point on the hike and would later end up at the Dr due to an allergic reaction)

The kid's had a day off (I think I needed a rest day more than they did, actually), but on Monday headed out for a 5 miler w/me. Partially in Lime Ridge, and partially on Ygnacio Canal Loop trail.

I watched this lizard while the kids played in a dried up pond for a few minutes.

My two running partners, who I will greatly miss when school starts!


  1. Rain? Great pictures and I love that The Boy did so well! Excellent day!

    1. Excellent indeed! The rain was surreal, and welcomed! It smelled so good. It did make me wonder how often it rains up there when we are all down below enjoying sunshine!