As Spanish soldiers pursued Native American villagers nearly 200 years ago, the locals would often elude capture by disappearing into the mountainside of what is now northern California. One hill in the East Bay region, an area home to dozens of different tribes, was particularly vexing for the Spanish, and they took to calling the hill “thicket of the devil.”

From that nickname eventually came a fitting name for Mount Diablo, or so the story goes. I could definitely see the appeal of the mountain as a hideout on Saturday as I and my hiking colleagues headed upward on our latest adventure. During much of the day, I feared I too wouldn’t emerge.

Last winter, a friend had organized a series of hikes around Mount Diablo, Morgan Territory, Brushy Peak and some of the other areas once considered sacred land by the Native American tribes who were the main residents. Thanks to life intervening, I managed to miss the entire series last year, so when the chance came up to summit Mount Diablo buy online cheap viagra last weekend, I was eager to check it out. The area is full of trails, and it’s got all kinds of mystique to it. (And not just because Grizzly Adams lived there. Truly.) We began with a climb up to the north peak of the mountain, an extremely difficult ascent of nearly a half mile in elevation in less than three miles. Add in numerous switchbacks and some places where the ground was a bit tricky to get solid footing, and our ascent to the peak was punishing. No, that’s probably too soft a word. Devilish, maybe.

Anyway, having scaled one peak, we headed down the other side of the peak to get to the base of the actual Mount Diablo summit, elevation of about 3,900 feet. When you have a large mountain ahead of you to climb, starting with a steep downhill trail is a

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bit discouraging. But we soon reached the base of the actual summit trail, which is a fairly doable 1-mile trek upward. Too bad that we didn’t take the actual trail and instead headed straight up the mountain, not really following a path except guided by the notion that the best route to the top of the mountain might be climbing straight up. Not one of my wisest moves, but I like levitra how long to work to think of these trail exploits as a chance to leave my logic-fueled PowerPoint-addled brain alone.

Atop the peak were lots of people – and cars. I had no buy viagra online idea that you could drive to the Diablo summit. Several of the motorists looked a bit amused to see us crawling out of the woods and hopping the fence of the parking lot. Wishful thinking aside, the top of the state park has a nice observation deck, visitors center and other basics. I’m told that on a clear day you can see the Sierras. It was fairly clear but not enough but we could make out a few notable sights way in the distance. The top of the mountain on a mid-November day in northern California is a bit windy though so we headed down a different route to the bottom – a not too brief 6-mile trek that was punctuated by short sprints (kind of easier to run when you’re walking steeply downhill) – and arrived back in a pleasant Clayton neighborhood just as it got dark.

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