Briones Regional Park

On Saturday, October 12th the East Bay Barefoot Hikers met for a barefoot hike along the Alhambra Creek and Diablo View trails..

Nine people took part including myself, my son Gareth (12), Fred, Phoebe, Peter and his wife Sandy, Debra, her son Eric (13) and Dan.

We met at the trailhead at around 4:30pm.

A late afternoon to early evening hike was a new experience for the East Bay Barefoot Hikers. Most of our hikes have been in the morning (a few in the afternoon). The light looked different and it was nice to know that I didn't have to worry about it getting too warm.

We set off through the woods, enjoying the cool leafy surfaces and the late afternoon sunlight in the clearings. I warned folks about a "steep bit" up ahead. There is one section where a series of hand-holds on tree roots are required ... as well as sensitive and sentient toes seeking out the best footing :-)

We made such good time around the hike loop, that I talked the group into making a side-trip attempt on Briones Peak (1483 ft.). It's certainly a steep hill, but I don't know if I would call it a peak. Once again, spectacular views were the reward. Mt. Diablo thrust up into the clouds behind the cities of Concord, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill that were laid out like a map below us. Over to the left in the delta we could see the "mothball" fleet. The last resting place for many second-world-war warships.

We lingered a little too long eating and enjoying the view and therefore had to contend with failing light on the return journey. I found that when I couldn't see the ground so well, I relied even more on the sensitivity of my feet to find good footing. The lights were coming on in the cities below in the gathering dusk. The last stretch to the parking lot was pretty dark (I gave my flashlight to Gareth). I remember more how it felt, than how it looked ... smooth ridges of packed dirt, getting just a little damp in the night air.

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