Monday, June 30, 2008

Rock City On Mount Diablo

Anybody remember that Saxon song, "Rock City?"

So we went hiking in Rock City, on Mount Diablo. This is a wonderful area and unfortunately, our experience was spoiled somewhat by the brush fires that have been happening just south of the Bay Area. This forced the gnats to seek moisture and when they weren't flying into your mouth or ears, they would fly into your eyeballs.

Check out this Jimmy Durante-like formation. "Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are..."

Some of these sandstone formations have taken on almost a lunar-like quality, though of course you have some vegetation to dissuade you of that association. Here below is all the pertinent information about the "Wind Caves" and how old the formations are-

Some of the formations are grouped close together and some are a hundred feet away.

I climbed this Jabba The Hut-looking hill and did you ever have a hill wink at you?...

...well I did. I climbed this one right below, as well. The beauty of Rock City is that you don't need climbing gear at all, just a good pair of sneakers with a reasonable amount of grip. The handholds and footholds are easy to find and the sandstone is forgiving enough that it doesn't cut into your fingers, as evident by these footprints.

I wonder if Dana married him or her...

Without any perspective, this tunnel looks bigger than it is. It's actually fairly small, a German shepard would bump its head on the roof.

You can just visualize how a section of this rock just split, eroded and crumbled away one day. We'll be back up here, probably after the second rain of the season and next time, we'll bringing insect repellent.


Blogger James said...

Interesting rock formations. No Indian ruins in the vicinity.

Nice Saxon reference, by the way.

Tue Jul 01, 02:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


As far as I know, Californian Native Americans didn't erect any permanent structures, though watch somebody prove me wrong with an adobe somewhere in the state.

As far as "Mount Diablo?" You'll dig this tale...

Like many other isolated peaks, Mt. Diablo is steeped in lore - much of it involving the mountain's name. The reference to "diablo" or "devil", can be traced back to 1804 or 1805, when a Spanish military expedition visited the area in search of runaway mission Indians. At a willow thicket near present-day Buchanan Field, the soldiers encountered a Village of Chupcan people and surrounded it. But night came, and evidently all the Indians escaped, unseen. Angry and confused, the Spanish called the site "Monte del Diablo", or "Thicket of the Devil". Later, English-speaking newcomers mistakenly assumed the word "monte" to mean "mountain", and applied the title to this prominent east bay peak. A linguistic accident thus gave California its Devil Mountain.

The thicket in particular as now near Buchannon Air Field and the version of that tale that I've heard the most often, was that the Devil himself scared off the pursuing Rancheros.

"Nice Saxon reference, by the way."

Thanks, the first time I was up there, I had that song running through my head.

Tue Jul 01, 07:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Quin Browne said...

i love rocks in the mountains, my dad used to tell us the geology of the areas we were in..

i miss that.

Tue Jul 01, 08:05:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


Then, you'd really get a kick out of Yosemite. We're talking prehistoric formations and it's easy to see where the glaciers moved everything.

Tue Jul 01, 07:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jewgirl said...

Very lunar. I've never hiked there. Hmm... Stunning.

Fri Jul 04, 11:36:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...


You have to check it out, especially the summit, where you can see from Livermore, and past the Berkeley Hills.

Fri Jul 04, 10:22:00 PM PDT  

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