View of Mt. Diablo from within Ohlone Wilderness, from Summit Post. Rose Peak is higher than Diablo by a hair and it's actually the highest point in the Bay Area - but because it's so hard to get to and it's not prominent, all its thunder is stolen by Diablo, Hamilton, and Tam.
Today I did a niiiice one from the Ohlone Wilderness Trailhead in Sunol Preserve to Rose Peak. It had been a while since I'd been up there and I was embarrassed at having to ask hikers at one point which way the trail went! (After having run the Ohlone 50k 9 years ago.) Before I go back to SD, I will be getting up to Rose Peak from Del Valle too. Among the treats along the way on this gorgeous October Day in the north end of the Diablo Range: many turkeys, and the highlight, a bobcat chasing a ground squirrel, successfully. The poor guy struggled in its executioner's jaws for 30 seconds before giving up the ghost, during which time the bobcat stood stoically gazing forward, awaiting the inevitable. It was a big damn bobcat too; I actually reviewed videos of bobcats vs. mountain lions trotting (not full-out running) to make sure of what it was, since I couldn't get a clear view of the tail. In my search I encountered this fun video:
(BTW, you think this housecat is stupid? Try this one. Lichen has a higher IQ than him.) Oddly enough, doing an image search for Ohlone Wilderness, one of the first pics that came up was a mountain lion, not surprisingly. Here's a great article on mountain lions in the Bay Area, which mentions many places I've personally noticed evidence. Las Trampas is a good one. You can usually find the remains of kills down around Devil's Hole.
I've been around here for 3 weeks now, thanks to the kindness of Greg and Will who are letting my crash in their beautiful home, and it's brought some reflecting about San Diego vs. the Bay. I'll be honest and say that, like many Bay Area snobs, I haaaaated San Diego when I first moved there. At this point I like both places and sometimes I think it would be nice to be bi-metropolitan; after all I know one couple who spend the warm months in Vancouver BC and the winter months in San Diego (a way to cheat the world if ever there was one) but after all they're retired, and you can't really do that with a family, and my fate won't be in my own hands for a few more years. And I have to admit, during this visit up here, there are some things that are bugging me. Here's my own list:
|Things I Miss||Things I Don't Miss|
|Bay Area||wind, clear blue skies (no dust or humidity), fog rolling in, large stands of wild-growing chlorophyll higher than waist-level, everyone I talk to being really smart and accomplished, hashers who don't judge me for having a life outside of the hash||traffic, cold monsoons every February, poison oak, food prices, housing prices (and difficulty of finding at all; it's getting like New York), snobby artsy people who dress in annoying provocative fashion-forward ways and insist that you care, everyone I talk to trying to impress me by being really smart and accomplished|
|San Diego||real Mexican food, the microbrew scene, plentiful parking, no poison oak, canyon preserves right in the city, an ocean you can swim in without a wetsuit at least a couple months out of the year||hot summer days inland so you can't run more than a few miles from the coast for 5-6 months a year, no large preserves with trees near the city, the looming military presence, the power of developers and occult politics over protecting open space, drunk kids in PB|
Of note: Bay Area traffic is noticeably worse than just a few years ago. 280 used to be a Sunday drive/nature trail type of freeway, but now many mornings it's actually slow. And it's only going to get worse. And San Diego people, please don't complain to me that San Diego does in fact have traffic and poison oak. Relative to the Bay Area, to a first approximation San Diego has neither.