Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mount Diablo

A visit by car to Mount Diablo, 3,849 feet high, and standing high above the surrounding low hills and flat valleys. The view is fantastic on all sides, though it is said to be at its best in winter and early spring after a storm has cleared the air. 
Looking roughly southwest
The view towards the north

The summit beacon used to be used for navigation, but is now lit only to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day in December.
The view from Diablo Valley Overlook, looking to the west
One of the weird eroded rock formations of Rock City
Looking back to the summit

A day out in the car . . . there are lots of walking trails, but not a lot of shade and shelter. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is the life

We indulge in a lazy morning, as a few scraps of high cloud chalk their way across the constant blue.
We're running out of clothes so we put a wash on.  Harry goes out to buy a card adapter for his phone and comes back with large blueberry scones.
We have a leisurely coffee - with the scones, then we are off to meet the family at Heather Farm Pool in Walnut Creek. It's an easy journey by car, much shorter than our excursion by  bus and BART last Wednesday.
A good soaking is had by all, before Brian gathers the clan and they head for home.
Harry decides to get used to US driving again and we follow the Ygnacio Valley Way out of Walnut Creek, past Shadelands and into Concord, then over the hills to Pittsburg, which must be one of the ugliest places around - full of wind turbines, a power plant, and a neighbourhood of grotty looking houses. OK, maybe I exaggerate a little.
At all events we elect not to stop for lunch here. We find our way  back to the correct road, then join the Ca 24 which brings us back to Lafayette.

A large cup of tea later, we head out in search of easy eating, and after a stroll to test the taste of the main street we end up at an American diner with veg and polenta and fried egg. With fries on the side. The veg seems to be rather coarse kale, but the waiter is very friendly and we're  hungry.
We swill it all down with a coffee, pay the bill and walk back through the balmy streets. It feels rather like Spain on a late summer evening.
Lots of outdoor socialising and dining, adults and children, all pretty relaxed.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

after dinner

after dinner 
we play hangman and squares
then walk home
lit by the full moon
through redwoods and pines

busy highway crossed
traffic noise left behind
the evening still warm
the chirp of crickets
serenades our steps

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Lafayette Reservoir


The reservoir is twenty minutes walk away
let's say a mile or so 

Two tracks to choose from
a two-mile gentle stroll near the water
or a five-mile hike around the basin's rim.
This is not the rim of a wine glass
you'll coax no smooth sustained notes 
with a wet fingertip.
This is a roller-coaster of a walk -
downhill is the scary part.
It's vertical, she said. 
An exaggeration, just.