Mount Diablo, California by Andrew Tower

Mount Diablo has been on my list for some time now. We've mountain biked below it on a hot summer day when I thought my skin was going to melt off. (I thought the weather was supposed to be freaking temperate around here!) Anyway, I'm into both the journey and the destination despite platitudes that would lend you to believe one was more important to the other. This translates into me wanting to be on peaks. The peaks around SF are not large peaks, but if there's a higher place to be on a hike, I'm going to the higher place.

Mount Diablo's top clocks in at 3,848 making it something like the eighth highest peak in the Bay Area. Which means as of this moment I have seven other freaking peaks I didn't know about that I need to go get on top of. Yes! 

Some other facts about Mount Diablo that I pilfered from Wikipedia:

  • Mount Diablo offers one of the best viewsheds anywhere. (That means you can see a ton of stuff from the top!) 
  • On the right day you can see Sentinel Dome in Yosemite 
  • You can see eight bridges from the summit. (Wow! Bridges!) 
  • According to the Miwok and Ohlone mythologies, this was the point of creation before the Euros came over here and brought knee-barring, espresso and smallpox.
  • The name came about when some Chupcan natives escaped some Spanish soldiers and disappeared into a willow thicket. Since they were good at hiding and the Spanish were clearly deficient in hide and seek skills, they wrote it off and called it Monte del Diablo (thicket of the devil) which, through a series of misinterpretations and misunderstandings became the name of the mountain. 
  • A modern-times idiot has tried to rename it multiple times because the name diablo offends his beliefs. He though Mount Reagan was a more suitable replacement. It's still called Mount Diablo Obviously. 

Here are some photos! 

Crested Butte, Colorado by Andrew Tower

Val's parents have a house in Crested Butte, Colorado, so we try to take advantage of that privilege as often as we can. We'll hit the slopes once or twice when we go, but more often than not we end up snowshoeing or cross country skiing. It's cheaper, a nice little workout, and we get to see a little of the backcountry that we wouldn't be able to drive to otherwise. 

We did two I hadn't had the pleasure of skiing before, Washington Gulch and Slate River. Washington Gulch follows a small valley on the west side of Snodgrass and weaves over small rolling hills toward Gothic Mountain. It was the perfect reintroduction to shuffling slowly across the snow on our first day in town. To cap off the rest other days we were there, which included day-drinking at Montanya (RUMRUMRUMRUM!) and me assenting to various wedding planning decisions like cake flavors, dinner options, and flower colors, we headed up the Slate River valley to take in some mountain air and try to get in some final mountain views. 

Then we left and it was sad.