When we contemplated moving to CA, we thought about just how much we would be able to do here.
Museum after museum, outdoor...everything, activities for the kids, the family...we knew it wouldn't end. After perusing all of our options, we have realized that we finally found "our" family activity: hiking.
We always enjoyed hiking in Iceland, but it was never anything terribly strenuous. We would wander around parks (well, large random outdoor spaces on the outskirts of Reykjavik), traverse massive lava fields, and attempt to crawl behind waterfalls. For whatever reason, most of our hikes did not involve steep or windy mountains. We instead enjoyed walking long distances on sometimes uneven terrain (just as much of a workout)!
While we have found our local climbing area, we want to be sure we are not forgetting to explore other areas (though our hiking hills are quite large). We love Las Trampas, but didn't want to ignore other close by and possibly, fantastic opportunities.
Enter: Mt. Diablo State park. Who could miss the signs on on I-680? We finally decided today was the day, and meandered up the road to the park. We meandered, meandered, and meandered. It may be only 3.1 miles, but had to be (short of Colonia Tovar) the longest 3.1 miles we ever drove.
It was made even longer (sorry, Cait) by a repeat of events that took place on the way back from Colonia Tovar with Auntie Shannon. Poor Cait was never fond of strawberries, but that windy, hilly, car hugs the curve of the road, well, road, guaranteed that she never be Senorita Las Fresas...maybe Senorita no se gusta las fresas porque....well, you figure it out...we stopped counting after six stops along the road.
After a brief stop, we forged ahead with the windows wide open and made every desperate attempt to avoid the bikers that covered the road like ants on a piece of half-eaten candy, dropped on the hot, summer sidewalk and left for good. We finally made it to the entrance (and actually had cash), and continued the windy drive. The second sojourn only lasted a few minutes before plentiful parking and picnic spaces appeared.
We parked with the rest of the world, and hopped out to enjoy the picnic basket goodies (bolani, cilantro/basil pesto, mint-garlic sauce, leftover pizza), most of which had been procured at the Danville Farmers market that morning. Kelsey devoured almost everything, Cait picked at pizza, and Peter and I became instant fans
of everything bolani-related. Oh, and yes, everyone's favorite toddler loved the spinach bolani (but did you actually think otherwise)?
After lunch, I strapped Nicholas into the Ergo, and off we went. We found a natural rock slide (later to be conquered by Kelsey), a tiny, hidden cave (which inexplicably scared the pants off Caitlin), and a mini-mountain to climb (well, 3 of us). It was a lovely day, and we once again (despite the drive in) were glad we persevered to see what nature had on her plate that day? Our rating: 5 stars and a must-see if you are ever in the area.