Surprise Trip Opportunity

In less than one day, I’ve been invited and have decided to head to Pikes Peak starting next Thursday to visit all the action happening at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year. My adventure will end the following Monday once the races are over. A blog post over the event will be hitting not long after so keep an eye out to see what the big deal about Pikes Peak is.

Until then or my next spontaneous decision, check out their website: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Mount Diablo


This weekend included a trip to the one and only Mount Diablo. There’s plenty of history with this mountain which can be found on the way up to the summit. Information about wildlife, the age of rocks during parts of the hike, and what the mountain has been used for can all be found. This is another hike I highly suggest since it can be as difficult or as easy as you would like. There are multiple points on the way to top to park and start the hike up. If you are not the hiking type, you can even drive all the way to the summit and get an amazing view of everything. Our group decided to start from the very bottom a mile away from the beginning of the trail and hike all the way to the summit.

During the start of the hike we were very poorly prepared. A few days before the hike, I did some research on the length of the hike and thought that the hike was 3 to 5 miles round trip. How wrong this was. It actually ended up being a 7 mile hike one way! Combine this with very small amounts of food and water and we ended up in a fairly bad situation about half way up once we realized the trail was much longer than we suspected. Also since the area is in a major drought, most of the water fountains were shutoff making water even more scarce. All of this however did not stop us since we knew we had to push on to reach the summit no matter how hard it ended up being. I enjoy a good challenge anyways.


One thing that made Mount Diablo different from Mission Peak was how the trails were actually trails rather than a fire road. In my opinion, this made the experience much more enjoyable since I actually felt like I was hiking. There was lots of variety as well. We went hiked through narrow paths which swept under masses of trees, climbed rocks, walked through areas that were completely burned from a fire, and strolled through fields of high grass.


Although the road that lead up to the summit had some good views of the surrounding area, I think the trail had a lot more views that were unique and can’t be seen when driving up or down the mountain. By hiking up, you also don’t have to pay attention to the bicyclists going up and down the mountain and can instead focus on the what’s around you.


The hike really started to increase in difficulty at around this point into it. We were all pretty dehydrated to the point where we were no longer sweating. I wasn’t sure when the next water point would be so I made sure I conserved my water for the moment I really needed it. In my opinion, it was the lack of food and nutrients that ended up making the hike pretty rough near the end. Once we were 5 minutes from the summit at a small camp, we actually ran into a group of people having a picnic. We seriously debated over seeing if we could buy their watermelon! We however pushed on for the last 5 minutes and we finally reached the summit!


After reaching the top, we seriously debated whether we could all hike back down without someone passing out so we decided to call an Uber to come and pick us up and drive us to the bottom where our car awaited. It was well worth the fee since we were able to see what the experience was like by car. It wasn’t as pleasant since we were all pretty car sick from all the swerving and weaving to narrowly miss cars. I’m sure being dehydrated played a part but it wasn’t fun leaving the control up to a driver who constantly crossed the middle line separating the traffic going up and down!

Here’s some other interesting pictures from the hike:

Back to planning once again. Along with some other hikes and visits to national parks, I already have planned to visit Laguna Seca Mazada Raceway to watch the FIM Superbike World Championship races during mid July. It should be an exciting time watching a live motorcycle race for the first time!

Mission Peak

This weekend was another successful adventure..

Instead of exploring a city or heading to the beach for a day, I decided to do some exploring by hiking. Last weekend I visited the Santa Cruz beach again for a work held event and ended up meeting a new friend that also goes to Ohio State. It’s true when they say you can find a Buckeye anywhere. We however started talking and I found out he actually grew up in the California Bay Area. After talking about Ohio State a bit, I asked for his opinion on places I should visit while I’m in California. He stated there was a pretty good hike to the top of Mission Peak that a lot of people take. After finding out he had actually never done the hike before, I decided to set up a group to hike up the trail the following weekend to see what Mission Peak was all about.

We ended up leaving at approximately 6pm on Saturday in hopes that we could reach the peak during sunset. After arriving at around 6:30, we proceeded to start the hike up. From the bottom, the peak is approximately 4 miles away with a 2100 foot elevation change. At the beginning, there wasn’t much to see other than a few cows wandering on the path. We however continued our way up in hopes of reaching a good scenic view point. After hiking up about 1/4th of the way, I turned around and was able to slightly see out above the San Jose area. I told the others to turn around to take a look and we ended up stopping to take our first pictures.


We continued up for another 20 minutes until we arrived at a small rest point that looks out over the path we just travelled. It was at this point you could really start seeing a large portion of the Bay Area.


About halfway up, we reached a group of rocks that we found made a nice viewpoint. The team decided to take a seat on the rocks and enjoy the view. This turned out to be one of my favorite pictures from the day.


The trail continued to snake up the mountain almost endlessly. For awhile, I wasn’t sure we would be able to reach the peak before sunset. I knew I would continue regardless though to reach the peak even if it was pitch dark. We however picked up the pace and reached the end of the well defined trail.


We were finally not far from the peak. We could actually just barely see the people gathered at the top. We continued on our way for another 10 minutes until we finally reached the top. I must say the view from the top is absolutely stunning during sunset. My phone was unable to capture the true scale and view we had. Here’s some of the pictures I did take at the top though. At the view top of the Mission Peak is a totem pole that people get a picture with to show they made it to the top.






After waiting until the sun fell behind hills we finally decided to should start our hike down past the more technical part of the trail before it started getting really dark. It ended up taking us a little over two hours to walk up and only a single hour to walk down. All in all, it was completely worth it and I would recommend the trail to anyone that is in the Bay Area. It is definitely one of the better hikes I’ve been on!

I’ve already started exploring what other hikes are around the Bay Area and found another mountain by the name of Mount Diablo. It supposedly has the second largest viewshed in the world! I will be taking pictures and documenting my experience up as usual. Until then, back to work!