Journey: 52 Hikes and more

Archive for the month “April, 2010”

Hike 27 – Getting the Devil off my back on Mt. Diablo’s Summit, February 13, 2010

I took a bite of my sandwich.  Ouch!  My jaws hurt.  They felt like they were caught in the middle of a fist-fight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.  Ali was smashing the left side of my face and Tyson the right.  And my legs felt like they had been run over by a fleet of Porsche 911s.

Granted, the Ali-Tyson fight part was unlikely to happen, and the Porsche part was not true either, but that could have happened.  What is indisputable is that my jaws really hurt.

Hours before all this, I woke up without the aid of alarm clocks.  It was nearly 5 AM.  Refreshed after a peaceful nights sleep, I was feeling good enough to hike and looking forward to flexing my legs.  But since I had been sick the last few weeks, I did not have too much time to plan a hike, so I decided to take on the familiar Mt. Diablo summit.

Since I live under Mt. Diablo’s shadow, it constantly nudges me and challenges me.  Therefore, each year I have no choice but to climb it multiple times.  Also, I like to climb it as early in the year as possible to “get the monkey off my back” for a few months at least.  It’s some strange mental issue for me that psychologists would surely love to explore at my expense.

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Hike 26 – A Pleasant Ridge Marks the Halfway Point, February 7, 2010

With great anticipation, I had been looking forward to this hike.  There were three main reasons for it:

  1. This was Hike #26; the halfway point of my goal to hike 52 times within a year.  Even though I was five weeks behind schedule, this was still a significant landmark in my project.
  2. I could use this as an opportunity to reflect back on the last twenty-six hikes and hopefully come up with some insights; something profound, pearls of wisdom perhaps, or at a minimum, a list of favorite hikes.
  3. Finally and most importantly, I was hoping to have my wife join me on this one.  Having her along on a hike to mark the mid-point of this endeavor would be especially nice.  I would not be able do this without her encouragement and support.

Our plan was to go on a short city walk together; a ramble through North Beach with some interesting stairways of San Francisco tossed in for variety.  However, our plans fizzled out because she was sick and in no condition for any kind of physical activity.  Besides, I was not feeling too good myself, having contracted the same virus from her a few days before.

So the evening before, I searched for reasonable hikes close to home.  Nothing too challenging, but with enough options to expand or contract the length easily without having to backtrack too much.  Something with a series of loops would be perfect so that I could easily control the length based on how the day went.  A hike along the ridge in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Additionally, this was SuperBowl (or SuperBore, if like me, you too are not a football follower; for the record, I’m a hockey fan) weekend so I expected very few people on the trail.  I expected most people to be partying or getting ready to party with no inclination to hike this weekend.

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