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.
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. Also here are some tips on The Ultimate Checklist of Campervan Essentials to make your camping experience more enjoyable.
In the morning, it was cool enough to go hiking. So I put on my cat socks, and then we hiked!
Look at this uphill climb!
And obviously, if you go camping with me, there will always be a good meal planned.
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…
And then this:
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!
We 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!
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!
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?