Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hiking Black Diamond in a Storm


You may recall that my last trip out to the Black Diamond Regional Preserve area was on a very foggy afternoon upon which I was able to get some really cool pictures of the foggy old ghost town of Somersville and some shots of the Rose Hill Cemetery trail in the fog as well...


Yesterday afternoons weather was even more extreme than that as the wind howled through the canyons bending the trees atop of the steep grades that rise almost straight up in many parts of the trails...

My wife and I were out on the trails of the Hazel Atlas Mine and the Greathouse Visitor Center and up to the Eureka Slope Mine also... Visibility on the trail was surprisingly clear  considering what a blustery day it was...

On my last visit the visibility was very low and there were no vistas at all other than a foggy recollection of the sites you would usually see ... Yesterday however I was able to get some great far off shots of the Rose hill cemetery from all over the trail going off trail as well into a moss covered canyon crevasse that   looked and felt like we had just entered a scene from a Jurrassic Park movie...


Truly an awsome place to hit the trails and see the unique Mountainous Hills and Valleys of this Mt.Diablo foothills region... If you enjoy hiking in the Diablo foothills and have never been out to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve then you have been missing some of the best of the best foothills trails in the bay to hike around in...  Full of  historic facts, old mines and famous sites to see...



.All the way 360 degrees around the Mountain its foothills are filled with beautiful vistas incredible wildlife and Trails that go on for ever but this particular region is a special little hidden canyon corridor of the mountain allowing much wildlife to access the Mountain and all of its foothills... Wildlife corridors such as the Black Diamond foothills are an important part of our local wildlife ecosystem here in the Diablo Valley as well as the entire East bay...For instance a Mountain Lion will roam as much as 20 miles  in one night but will be roaming in this corridor and all its connectivity to the Mountain and the surrounding foothills... 

Infact with out Wildlife corridors like the Black Diamond Foothills the Mt. Diablo Mountain Lion would not be able to survive...On my last visit I did speak to a local hiker from Antioch who told me that he had an encounter with a Cougar on the Chaparral loop trail last year and that he stood tall and spoke loudly to the cat who had the high ground across the ravine and eventually disappeared into the chaparral...  There are warning signs at the trail head alerting hikers to the presence of Mountain Lions though I have not seen  one yet  myself, I know they have seen me ... Although yesterday while hiking well off trail in this very Jurassic looking moss covered  ravine my wife did get a bit nervous on me and since she has been correct in the past with her funny feelings of wild animals being around us I decided to listen to her and we went back onto the trail and up to the Eureka Slope Mine...

Even in a storm this place and its many stories of historical fact and also legend is a really cool place to spend a few hours getting away from it all and just hike around in some really cool historical countryside ....

5 comments:

Anna, The Lemon Lady said...

Smokey,
Awesome pictures! This will inspire my family to hike here soon. Keep up the great photography. Anna

Anonymous said...

The most dangerous creature I've seen out there is a small rattle snake.

lp

Smokey said...

True they are dangerous but the Cougars are in that canyon regularly and just because you dont see them they still see you ...If you clik the link about Mountain lions on Mt. Diablo in this story you will see that Black Diamond is an Important part of their existence here ...A fact that has been documented by animal biologists ... They are there!

Anna, The Lemon Lady said...

I like the part that you decided to listen to your wife. :) Made me chuckle.

Smokey said...

Once while hiking along the Yuba in Sierra City my wife said she felt like something was on the hillside in the brush next to the river there and I kept saying "OK just one more cast" ...We did have our big Dog with us who is in fact named Bear and he was concerned about the hillside as well...Later that night we saw a large Black Bear coming up that same trail we were just on so Ive learned to trust her instincts about the stuff like that...lol...