Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mt. Diablo

High in the hills of Northern California exists a place in the clouds(well maybe just that day).  In 1998, we drove the solitary roads to the top of Mt. Diablo.  On the day we went, it was misty and cold.  While Northern California becomes even more crowded with more and more and more people, there are several places that are preserved in which suburbia, the city, and construction SHALL NOT PASS!  What a beautiful part of our country, but it sucks living there!  Too many people.  In fact, you can see the physical lines of where city and nature meet and it's not pretty.  But thankfully they've preserved sites like these from human encroachment.  Urbanites LOVE the Bay Area. Me...not so much.  Desert boy at heart.  However that doesn't mean you can't appreciate other areas around the country or world. On a break from artsy fartsy photo shoots, the garden, and birds pics, I'll give you a trip back in time to a place that hasn't changed much except extending its acreage and preserve area. Today I take you to Mt. Diablo in Northern California outside of the Bay Area!
Okay...not sure what I'm doing here, but I'm pretty sure that it's not okay to do this.  Oh to be young and stupid again...well I don't ever want to be that naive.  Maybe it's okay to hang out in that hole.  There wasn't a sign that said I couldn't....but still, I wouldn't do it today.
Mount Diablo is sacred to many California Native American peoples; according to Miwok mythology and Ohlone mythology, it was the point of creation. Prior to European entry, the creation narrative varied among surrounding local groups. In one surviving narrative fragment, Mount Diablo and Reed's Peak were surrounded by water; from these two islands the creator Coyote and his assistant Eagle-man made Indian people and the world. In another, Molok the Condor brought forth his grandson Wek-Wek the Falcon Hero, from within the mountain. 
If you've never been through this part of the country, you'll be amazed at the beauty from the rolling green(or yellow) hills to get here.  There were times that I thought I was driving through Italy.  This is also an excellent place for birding(although I wasn't into this activity back then....just the hiking).  But if you'd like to escape "The City"(aka San Francisco), this is a great trip.  Although there are a million things to do in the Bay Area, this place usually is overlooked for other locals like the wine country near Napa, Mt. Tam on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, Hwy 1, Santa Cruz, or some of the preserves around the San Francisco Bay.  If you've been to the Bay Area a million times or lived there(like I had),  this is a really nice and relaxed day trip.  You'll really enjoy the hillside landscape and views.  So don't be lured into those tourist traps.....rent a car and drive over the hills of Oakland and go East!  That's where it's at:)  More tomorrow....

13 comments:

Ragged Robin said...

Fascinating post Chris - looks an interesting place to visit and I love the first photo with the building shrouded in mist!

Gaelyn said...

Guess I didn't go east when I lived south of the Bay.

TexWisGirl said...

it looks pretty and lush.

Magpie said...

Really a beautiful area.

tracy said...

Where was this post two years ago when I visited San Francisco? :-) Aw heck, at least we made it to Napa. Interesting history...did the Native Americans name it Mt Diablo? Because that is kind of an odd name for the place of creation from a Christian perspective.

Desert Dweller said...

Everything you say is right, at least in this desert rat's mind. Never been to the East Bay to visit, just drive, so next visit, it's Mt Diablo and then the Ruth Bancroft Garden. There are nice open spaces they preserved there, that I've driven near or flown over.

The creator coyote...cool, unless you prefer roadrunners or rabbits! Just right for a desert person to feel more comfortable with all that stuff hiding the sun.

ShySongbird said...

You certainly have visited some interesting places over the years Chris, this one sounds fascinating!

I loved all the cacti on the previous post. The hot, vivid colours are just beautiful.

Gillian Olson said...

Interesting place, love the first one, so mysterious.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Chris, I laughed at your comment about being young and foolish.... WELL---I'm here to tell you that you are still YOUNG... Foolish? I don't know!!!! ha.... BUT--when you get my age, you then can say that you are OLD.... ha

Mt. Diablo looks like a neat place. I may never get there, so it's fun to see it through your eyes.
Betsy

Thérèse said...

It sounds like an excellent spot to keep in mind for the next trip...

Rohrerbot said...

No...they didn't name it that.....that would the Spaniards:) This place was encountered by an 1806 expedition of Spanish soldiers from San Francisco Presidio who marched into the area to do battle with the local Indians. In the midst of the fighting, a shaman clad in striking plumage appeared on the mountain. The Spaniards were convinced they saw El Diablo—The Devil—and quickly retreated. And there's the origin of the name:)

Rohrerbot said...

I think roadrunner would be my answer:)

Kalantikan said...

I know what diablo means, i think it is Spanish? We have this word too meaning devil. I wonder why that mountain is called such, but your first photo looks like it is one!