zyzyly (zyzyly) wrote,

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57141--the devil's mountain

After a post the other day, elainegrey mentioned Mt. Diablo in a comment. There was a big fire up there last fall. Although Mt. Diablo is about 2 hours from where I live, I can see it on clear days. When I lived live in the East Bay as a kid, I used to camp up there. I don't think I have been up to the top since I was a teenager.

Anyway, elainegrey mentioned it, and I started thinking about it. I had an unformed plan to go out and shoot some wildflower pictures today while Malida studied, but no real destination. Before I went to sleep, I thought about going up to Diablo. I set the clock for 5:30 am.

I got up and was on the road by 6. It was raining a little, and I thought about turning back to wait for another day, but decided to see what a rainy day would show me. I stopped along highway 80 to take some pictures of cows just in case.

I got up there at about 8:30. It was drizzling a little, but not bad enough to keep me away. There is an interpretive trail just below the summit that winds through the fire area. Hikers are encouraged to take pictures at specific spots and post them, so that the recovery can be documented.

I think this is a great idea. I didn't submit any pictures because it was just too foggy, but next time I will go up on a sunny day.

fire trail

Here's the trail, with fire damage on either side. Even with the wetness, it still has a fire smell to it.

charred leaves

Some charred leaves. There was a lot of damage on this side of the mountain, but even the damage has a story to tell. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem.


I think the recent rains have really helped bring back some green. I saw signs of new growth everywhere. The mountain gets really dry in the summer, to the point where they will close it to minimize the possibility of fire. It sits in the middle of a huge urban area and any fire could be disastrous.

It was a lot of fun being out there. Today they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the California State Park system, and the 40th anniversary of the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association. There were all sorts of events just getting started as I was coming down the mountain, but I got what I came for.

As I was driving out the north gate road, I came across this beautiful scene just as the sun was trying to peek through. I took a pano with my iPhone.


I definitely have to get back up there again soon.

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