Camping at Mt. Diablo

This past weekend I went camping at Mt. Diablo, northeast of Danville. It’s only a 40 minute drive from my house, and it’s a great way to relax and getaway from the city (close enough that we still had phone reception, whew!). Our friends stayed for Friday night, and then MG and I had a nice romantic night to ourselves on Saturday.

Our CampsiteOur campsite

Me

We stayed at the Juniper campgrounds, and though there were showers and clean toilets, I do not recommend this campsite for September. Why? Because it was very hot and dry! The afternoon temperatures range from mid 80’s to mid 90’s, so you’re stuck in the shade (some campsites are shadeless so get there early to reserve a spot with a big tree). When you’re in the shade, be prepared to get attacked by flies, swarming around your face, crawling on your arms and legs, and trying to get into your shorts… Ugh… Basically it’s so hot you’re stuck in your tent to avoid flies. Once you embrace the flies and let them have their way (not in your shorts), then you’re really able to enjoy camping.

In the morning, it was cool enough to go hiking. So I put on my cat socks, and then we hiked!

Cat socks
Thanks for the socks mommy!

Hiking trail
Look at this uphill climb!

Hiking View
Hiking View

Handsome
My handsome husband

Summit
At the summit of Mt. Diablo

And obviously, if you go camping with me, there will always be a good meal planned.

Cooking

Food

Yum!

Camping food!

The gang

At dawn, the animals all come out. You decide whether it’s a good or bad thing after I tell you about the wildlife.

We saw a coyote and a fox. We also saw a bat flying around the camp. And we made friends with this little guy, who was creeping about 1 foot away from me and stole my Wavy Ranch chips. He then told his raccoon friends to come over to our camp to feast…

Racoon

And then this:

TarantulasDo you see it?

TARANTULAS! A ranger let us know that there is a tarantula migration going on at Mt. Diablo… As you drive towards the camp grounds, they are crossing the road. It’s really cool to see these guys out in the wild, but after seeing these creepy crawlies, paranoia overcomes you. Which is scarier? Having one crawl onto you at night or stepping on one and hearing all it’s crunchiness… Thankfully none of this happened but you can’t help but wonder things like this when you see these big boys! So all the wildlife, what do you think, good or bad?

Once it gets dark, one of my favorite things about camping happens – the campfire!

CampfireWe had to use Duraflame log so it wasn’t as good as a real campfire. Since the mountain was so dry, wood fires were banned for the weekend so this had to do.

And yes, roasting marshmallows are on the top of the camping favorites list too!

Roasting marshmallows

On Saturday, MG and I played Monopoly Deal all day. We didn’t know what else to do… What do people usually do during the day while camping? Any suggestions?

In the evening, we watched the sun set across the Bay Area, and it was beautiful!

Sunset

Married

Shadows

As you can see, this was a memorable camping trip. I especially loved the evening when it cooled down to the 70s, and the bugs are gone. At night, it’s warm enough if you have a tent with a mesh top, that’s all you need, no outer shell. With the mesh, you’re able to fall asleep with trees and stars as your view, and that alone makes this campsite worth it, just maybe not in September.

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

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Reserve a campsite at Mt. Diablo here

  

Weekend Picnic

My college roommate Sarah is in town! What better way to remember our college days than to go drink, obviously grown up style now…

I threw a picnic party with some close friends. We spent the afternoon at Concannon Vineyard, picnicking on the lawn. Lots of food, lots of drinks, and more importantly lots of great conversation and laughs.

The wine tasting room charges a $10 fee to taste the reserve selection. I was not going to taste since I already went the weekend before, however, after sweet talking an older employee, I somehow ended up with a glass and a full flight! Free for me (and does that mean I can still charm older men?)!

I ended up buying the Cabernet Sauvignon (highly recommended), so in the end I guess he won and I spent some $$$!

Here are a few fun pictures of the venue, the food, and the gang. I love these guys!

Picnic FoodIn our tummies:  ham and turkey sweet rolls, pigs in a blanket, chocolate chip brownies, cheeses, and caprese sticks.

We also had strawberries, cherries, watermelon, chips & salsa, guacamole, and Reese’s Pieces cookies (not pictured but definitely in our stomachs).

What are your favorite foods to bring on a picnic?

FriendsMe and my Sarhair

Picnic 2

Picnic Gang

What did you do this past weekend?  And do you have any recommendations for picnic spots in the Bay Area?

Love, Jay

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venue: www.concannonvineyard.com
photography: myself and www.estop22.com