Mid-Week Rides: Mt. Diablo
Dec 19, 2012
Pictures start here.
So, as I do my best to stall for a later, read warmer start, the Captain shows up 15 minutes early. I put on a fresh pot of coffee and he smokes the pipe. We depart for breakfast at 9:30 and 40F for breakfast at Christie’s in Burlingame and I meander the scenic way through Hillsborough (a clear delaying tactic and mentioned by His Captaincy) then linger through breakfast. It’s up to 48F as we cross the bridge eastbound toward Mt. Diablo. There is no ice and it continues to warm as we pass through light East Bay traffic and begin to climb the lofty peak to it’s 3049’ summit. OK, it’s just a foothill, but on a clear day you get a great view!
As we view Ranger Friendly greets us with a question and a comment. The question is “did we pay?” Yes we did at a self pay stand. Those of us not 62 paid the extra buck which strikes me as being too honest, but the Captain has no patience for allowing youngsters to cheat the Park Service! The Ranger’s comment is “ya shouldda been here yesterday.” The view is hazy today, but evidently a North wind blew the gunk out yesterday and it was crystal clear. Hell, this is the first time in several visits where I’ve seen anything but fog and drizzle so it’s all good.
Then down the hillock to coffee at a trendy little place across the street from the Clayton Jail. You didn’t know Clayton had a jail? – well join the Midweek riders where we learn things like this! We depart Clayton via Marsh Road to Vasco, and a short freeway jaunt home. Afternoon temps in the 50s made for a pleasant return.
The Captain’s Version
Tuesday’s Midweek Ride to the top of Mt. Diablo (3849’ Elev.) started cold - frost everywhere locally. We took a leisurely trip through Hillsborough (read ‘ultra-rich’) on our way to Christie’s Cafe in Burlingame where Bob, the big spender, paid for parking. After a great meal it was off for the San Mateo-Hayward Bay Bridge and Crow Canyon Road to and through Blackhawk. Picture #1 is Bob on the bridge with our destination on the horizon behind his helmet. Note the new motorcycle.
The road into the State Park (the mountain is primarily a State Park), was in great shape with 15 MPH turns, one after another. We paid at the ‘iron ranger’ for access (good thing too, we were later ‘checked’), and climbed to the top. Temperature was mild, and regrettably, with no wind. The inversion layer in the atmosphere obscured the view, but we could see the snowcapped tops of the Sierra, even Half Dome in Yosemite. We left the mountain top at 12:30 PM. Photographs were difficult to take and most have been trashed.
We descended the mountain for the other entrance (Concord) and took Ygnacio Valley Road to Clayton Valley Road. We stopped in Clayton for a cup’o jo at a place called, ‘The Cup’o Jo’. We weren’t in too big a hurry to get home - we didn’t want to hit the bridge until after 3 PM when we could cross for free as our motorcycles are ‘HOV’s (high occupancy vehicles), saving $9. in the process. We left Clayton after a stroll through town, taking in some historical sites in the process, via Marsh Creek Road which we took to Vasco Road and back out to IS#580 and eventually back across the bridge for home.
Short ride as rides go, only about 130 miles R/T. We recognize this ride must be done again, but only when we have sufficient wind. The views were great, but could be much better given better weather conditions. wwwobble’s newly redesigned ARD (anti-rain device) worked flawlessly (his last version got ‘wet’).