We have been wanting to go camping again this summer, but with our few free weekends it appeared that all the campsites were already booked by people who plan farther ahead than we do. We lucked out, though, and found an option over on Mt. Diablo in the East Bay which was a location we hadn’t actually been to yet. Perfect! We both ended up being off work that Friday so we were able to drive up early in the afternoon and choose our favorite site at the campground. We got a great one with a clear view of the sky, privacy, and lots of space.
Almost immediately upon arriving we met a very nonchalant raccoon who decided to go through all of our food and see if there was anything good. We chased him off once, but he kept coming around. He ended up being a staple for the weekend. We also saw a mother raccoon with two babies following her around and a couple gray foxes looking for mice. That one raccoon, though, he hung around quite a bit. He was cute and not at all aggressive, but once he figured out the zipper on the cooler we had some trouble.
On Saturday we had intended to take a trail a mile or two from the campsite up to the summit of Mt. Diablo. Unfortunately we somehow got headed on the wrong trail and ended up going 6 miles in a loop around the peak. It was pretty grueling. There was little to no shade or relief from the incredibly strong sun, and there was so much steep uphill without the assistance of switchbacks. We were quite sore the day after all that climbing. Glad we brought books to read and games to play to relax at the campsite.
The moon was almost completely full that night and so bright it was like walking around in daylight. We staked out on the edge of the campground to watch the sun set over the valley and then the moon rise up. It did make it hard to appreciate the stars, but we literally did not require headlamps to walk around camp, and it seemed almost like someone shining a spotlight into our tent. Crazy. I’d like to go back sometime during a new moon to see how the stars are different then.
Sunday morning we just broke camp early and headed out. We stopped off to check out some rock formations on our drive out of the park, and then grabbed Rita’s on the way home. It was a really cool getaway spot only an hour and a half away, and would definitely be worth going back to.