Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Leaving home for nearby vistas

Saturday was a positively gorgeous day here, warm and sunny, gentle breezes blowing. Spirit, our friend from the northeast (yes that's his given name), had come back that morning from Harbin Springs. We tried to tempt him our way but he went off to San Francisco. It was pretty late by the time we got in gear and as we live in an area where there is so much to do, so many places to go it can become paralyzing to make a decision. Like a scenic tarot we consulted the deck of Bay Area Backroads cards to find an adventure that wasn't too far away.

Off to Mount Diablo State Park we went. A few times, as we drove towards the visitor center, we pulled off into the turn outs to let cars pass, though I cannot see any reason for rushing u
p or down these roads. First the road is very narrow and the total absence of guardrails demands a respect of the road and speed limits. Second, and the point of the travel, the vistas are beautiful. We parked in the lower parking lot and took the tiny trail up to the very top, both of use noting how out of shape we felt. I continue to marvel at the flora that is beyond my identification skills out here. There was a small layer of haze on the horizon making it hard to make out any of the bay area bridges (there are about seven in the area). I will only bore you with a few photos:

No idea what this cutaway is, why it's there. Anyone?

The observation tower is really cool, love the stone construction. Plus the gift store sells ice cream pops and ice cream sandwiches, which given the easily over 80 degree temperatures was a nice unexpected bonus.

The drive back down was so much faster, it surprised us. We decided to drive into Walnut Creek, where we happened on a sidewalk art show. This happened to me once before, I must have some odd psychic connection to this thing. I guess I'm a bit of a snob or something but none of the paintings did a thing for me. There were two photographers who's work we both really like but unfortunately I only remember the name of one of the artists - Keith Liang. Very evocative stuff. The painters however all paled in comparison to Greg and Janet's work. Okay, true they are my dear, dear friends but objectively (well as objective as one can be about art) they are amazing artists, as well as human beings anyone would be honoured to know.

It was really lovely to get out of the house and it not be about walking Wyatt. Adventures have been far and few between in part because, well have seen the gas prices around here? OMG! Seriously it's crazy. I realize here in the US we have some of the cheapest gas and many argue that it should be higher to deter driving for environmental reasons and such. I really agree except there are not enough infrastructures in many places, including here, for adequate public transportation to accommodate the shift from independent drivers to mass transit. Wait, was I talking about oil? No, I remember, leaving the house more often. It was really a good thing for us, the couple, to do something different, not ordinary and everyday. We are going to try to do some more things like this. Hopefully between the joint efforts of human residents of Casa de Cedar, there will soon be more cash with which to fund more trips.


Breena Ronan said...

That photo looks like a mine. If you google Mt. Diablo and mining you'll find some info about the history of mining there. (I love visual puzzles.)

heather said...

we went to mt diablo park once when my mom was visiting. we spent some time near some wind caves, next to a mossy grove. very pretty. but best of all was pearl. for some reason she was so excited about that place, she ran everywhere, ran up ALL the rocks, even if she had to immediately come right back down because of the incline. cracked us up!

glad you got out for a nice little jaunt!