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30. Mt. Diablo (04/20/97)

Hikers (4): Eugene, Melik, Peter, Russ
Distance: 14 miles
Rating: 4 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Mt. Diablo State Park near Clayton

Write-up by Peter

After having recovered from Big Henry, we headed back to the East Bay to conquer the Devil Mountain. We had a smaller group than on our last visit (see Hike #16), but everyone had been on the trail before, so we didn't have to worry about anyone getting lost.

We each walked along at our own pace. Rusty was up ahead, with Melik close behind. I stayed back with Eugene for a while, but then we got got separated as Eugene started to slow down. We all regrouped up at Deer Flat, then forged ahead for the final couple of miles up to the summit.

It was a nice clear day, so there was a great view from the top. The San Francisco skyline could be seen off in the distance. As usual, there were carloads of people at the top, so we didn't stick around too long.

Eugene was grumbling that his legs were hurting, so he took the same route back down. Rusty, Melik, and myself took the longer and steeper route back through Donner Canyon. Rusty usually slows down on the downhills, and Melik was not going very fast either. Pretty soon, I found myself all alone out in front (an unusual situation, to say the least).

After overcoming the initial shock of being out in front, I picked up the pace and finished the trail a good 20 minutes before the other two. Eugene stumbled in a few minutes later.

All in all, a good day's hike. The post-hike highlights consisted of Melik trying to jump up on a little wall and cracking his shin on the cement barrier and me trying to throw a beer bottle into a garbage can, hitting the rim, and ending up with broken glass all over the place. What a couple of klutzes! A fitting end to the 30th INCH hike.

Highest point in Contra Costa county
Eugene's 10th leaf

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