Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back To The Castle



 Last year My wife and i enjoyed a hike through Pine Canyon along the Little Yosemite trail quite a few times ...  The one hike in particular that stands out last season for me on this trail was the time she and I got way out on this trail on a very blustery day and actually got a ride back to our vehicle by the ranger on a very cool 4wd electric Polaris !  ... We headed out on the trail in just a light mist carrying our plastic ponchos with us and a light lunch  ...It was just beautiful to see this part of the Diablo Foothills trails so green and lush during a late February winters storm ... The skies were very grey and it was about 1:30 in the afternoon ...I remember that the wind was howling above us through the very tall trees many of which are very large very old oaks ... Along with the pines that whistled through the valley  as we hiked under their canopy along the now swollen Pine Creek ...About half way down the trail you begin to see some beautiful views of the tall rocky peaks standing tall above the trees ... Some of them shoot straight up from the valley floor giving the illusion that they are much more giant than they are ... That is why this trail is called The Little Yosemite Trail ... Correctly named for it's small scale  likeness ... At this point along the trail however , the rain did pick up quite a bit and we both put on our ponchos ... It was so beautiful out though that we kept on going along the trail finally ending up at the Mt.Diablo State park entrance way out on the East Bay Parks borders ... That is when we had a Ranger who had passed us earlier on the trail in his off road vehicle stop on his way back in and offer us a ride  which we gracious;y excepted ... And as I said before , he gave us a ride all the way back to our vehicle out in the parking lot which was very far from the state parks border ... We enjoyed this winters stormy hike so much that we allowed it to inspire us to go ahead and head on up to strawberry that weekend for some serious family Snow Days ! Which you can clik HERE to see as well ...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From The Summit



Ok Folks , Here we go ! Our first entry of the new year ......For those of you that have never been to the top of Mt. Diablo here are some shots that attempt to show you  the vast views  you can expect to see from the top... As you can see from this shot here , you don't really even need to get out of the car to enjoy the views though I really recommend that you do ...It has been said that More territory can be seen in a 360 degree radius from only one other peak on the planet ... Making Mt.Diablo
the second most far-seeing view of any peak in the world, beaten to first place by no less an adversary than Mount Kilimanjaro. The state park that surrounds the peak seems much more remote than it is, and while the hiking trails are amazing, biking adds a whole different spin..However one of my favorite things about climbing to the summit of Mt.Diablo are the incredible distances and vistas that you can see the sun setting in ... 

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Return Of Smokeys Mountain !

Hello everyone !  In case you have been wondering I have been on an extended Vacation from writing or should I say trying to write the Smokey's Mountain blog ... However rest assured that in 2011 I will be out on the trail again sharing adventures and getting you those amazing shots that you are accustomed to here on Smokey's Mountain ... This year I will most likely be exploring more of the eastern side of the mountain such as the Black Diamond hills and The Round Valley as well as the Delta Shore lines that look back at our mountain with incredible vantages that are only to be seen from the water ... You see this year I have relocated my home to the shores of the San Joaquin River ... I now live in a beautiful home here in Antioch which is why my stories will include a bit more of this area this year ...Looking forward to exploring and sharing with you all this New Year ...Yours Truly ,,, Smokey ...