new year's day hike - stewartville loop

January 1, 2012
Black Diamond Mines, Contra Costa County
Hikers: Cathy, Laura, Noreen
Distance: 9 miles approx.

We just love this area - even though the majority of the hike is done on wide fire-like roads (we love our single track) we will make an exception here. This area is rich with history, once the site of the largest coal-mining complex in California; made even more interesting after reading The Green Age of Asher Witherow, a historical novel which is actually set in the adjacent Nortonville.

Hike in the fog or coffee house...

...nothing stops us!


This tree was awesome!

It's branches were braided like.

So much for the clearing.

Come on sun - break through!

More of these cool spiked berry (?) things
that stick to leaves.

The birds on the tip of the tree looked like
they were giving kisses - we're sure they
more than likely feeding.

Close-up of one of the holes in the above picture.

Swallow nests.


A detour to Prospect Tunnel

with flash...

Flashlight only.

Star Mine
Bummer we could not go in.

Wild Women Weeing!

We love finding benches after a long haul up!
Lunch time!

Had to take a little detour...
too fun/silly to pass up!

These birds have the longest beaks.

Same birds as above.

Old pieces of wood. Part of old railroad?

Part of an old railroad tie stake?

The start of our long, on the edge hike up!

You can see the trail cut into the side of this hill at the top.

That is Mt. Diablo in the background.

Same cool braided tree in the sun!

This is the trail (7.6 miles) we followed  with
 a detour to Prospect Tunnel 

We were about four miles in before
I turned on the Garmin - dammit.
We actually ended up doing 9 miles
 according to Noreen's counter.

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