The yellow mustard blossoms in vacant lots. The velvet green grass carpetting the hills. The pink confetti on the leafless branches. And the whiff of urine after eating the first asparagus. Ah. . . spring.
We went hiking on the Falls Trail on Mount Diablo on Monday. This being California where it rains in the winter and the landscape dries up in the summer like the before-stage of a hair conditioner ad, split ends, strawy, dessicated, it seeemed like a good time to see the falls of Mt. Diablo, when they would be at their most abundant. Puny compared to Niagara or Iguaza, but hey, how often do you get to see waterfalls in the backyard of your own metropolitan area?
The rain-fed lush green slopes of Mount Diablo on a February afternoon are what I imagine Scotland to be like. The lower reaches of the trail were muddy, just enough to bring back the childhood joys of squelching the mud with our hiking boots, without too much risk of slipping. Joe fantasized that there might be a pool of quicksand, to add some drama to our adventure.
There were several small falls. The best vantage point was occupied by a sad, burly man in a red T-shirt. On our way back, he was gone, so we took the spot and sat eating our PBH sandwich and looking down on two waterfalls below us, tumbling over the inner folds of the mountain. In the other direction you could see as far as Suisun Bay.
We were lucky, it alternated between overcast and sporadically sunny during out hike. Not until the last 1/4 mile did it start to drizzle. “Not a good time to be starting a hike,” said a woman wryly, walking in as we were walking out.