I finally hiked Mount Diablo, which I’ve been seeing all my life, as it’s the highest peak in the Bay Area at 3,849 feet elevation. I did it in a big way, with the guidance of long distance hiking expert, Scott “Shroomer” Williams and some of his hiking buddies. We did nearly 3,000 feet elevation gain in four miles on the way up to the summit, and back down—my ears actually popped at one point! This was the ultimate Camino training hike, and I now can see why it’s called Devil Mountain. Scott said there is nothing this tough on the Camino (thank goodness!) and that people train for Everest on these trails. Below is my account of hiking with Shroomer.
The Tuesday Training series continues with an awesome hike at Tilden Regional Park – Wildcat Canyon. This hike was organized by the East Bay Hiking and Yoga Club founder Tamara, who leads weekly hikes in the Berkeley hills. I’ve led a few community yoga sessions with this club at the Berkeley Rose Garden and Codornices Park after shorter hikes, so I was excited when Tamara suggested this longer 8-9 mile loop. Peregrina friend Cathy Seitchik Diaz joined us since she planned to be in the East Bay to watch the Super Bowl with family later that day. We met at Inspiration Point at 9:30 am and Tamara led us on a wonderful 8.75 mile loop in Tilden-Wildcat Canyon Park . It was a crisp, clear winter day and the hills were green thanks to our El Niño winter.
We had a few #PilgrimStrong moments, like hopping a cattle gate and trudging through some mud – but we are stronger for it and we made it home by kickoff! 🙂
I’ve been doing a lot of training hikes in the last few months to prepare for my upcoming Camino, so today begins a new series, Training Tuesdays. This is where the tread meets the trail.
But first, why all this training? Here are my reasons:
- To build physical endurance. I’ll be walking 10-15 miles a day to cover the last 100 +/- miles of the Camino Portugues. I walk an average of 4-5 miles on a typical weekday, so I’ve added longer hikes on weekends.
- To test my gear. Backpack, shoes, clothes, and iPhone Apps. By now, most of these items have been fully tested and trail approved. I’m happy with my Sirrus backpack, and reviews for everything else will be shared soon.
- To learn from others. Throughout this series I’ll share the helpful hints of the wise pilgrims and experienced thru-hikers I’ve had the pleasure of blazing a trail with.
- To explore Bay Area trails. I’ve lived here all my life and never got around to hiking Mt. Diablo or Mt. Tam, two of the highest peaks in the area. Thanks to the Camino, I’m familiar with these parks and a few more.
Oh, how the Camino provides. I have a lot to catch up on, so here’s a hike that I organized with peregrina friend Cathy Seitchik Diaz in January.