Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Road to Diablo

Distant waterways
All lead to the Bay

For a third of a century the Flaneur had regarded 
mysterious Mount Diablo but only from afar.

Over hill over dale
Under valley under vale

 These velvet-green foothills
Roll away on our trail

The bonny Spring trees of Contra Costa

The landscape all spledid
As we gain our elevation

Tower at the summit,
Fire swept through one recent year
Leaving it looking somewhat blasted

It's not as rough-hewn indoors

A cozy nature study
Tucked away on a mountain

The Mountain conceptualized

It is an isolated upthrust peak of 3,849 feet (1,173 m), visible from most of the San Francisco Bay Area. Mount Diablo appears from many angles to be a double pyramid and includes many subsidiary peaks, the largest and closest of which is the other half of the double pyramid, North Peak, nearly as high in elevation at 3,557 feet (1,084 m) and about one mile northeast of the main summit.

The conventional view is that the peak derives its name from the 1805 escape of several Native Americans from the Spanish in a nearby willow thicket. The natives seemed to disappear, and the Spanish soldiers thus gave the area the name "Monte del Diablo", meaning "thicket of the devil." Monte was later misinterpreted by English speakers as mount or mountain.
General Vallejo in an 1850 report to the California State legislature, gave this much romanticized story of the derivation of the name of Mount Diablo from its Spanish to Anglo form, related to the mountain and an evil spirit.

The name Monte del Diablo (‘Mount of the Devil’) appears on the "Plano topográfico de la Misión de San José" about 1824, where there was an Indian settlement at the approximate site of the present town of Concord {Pacheco}. On August 24, 1828, the name was applied to the Monte del Diablo land grant for which Salvio Pacheco had petitioned in 1827.
One attribute that makes the name Mount Diablo appropriate is that the mountain glows red at sunset.


The topography of Mount Diablo suggests
An ancient negro alien with a mustache
(bottom rhombus forms his shoulder)

Look around, round, round

The next peak on this ridge

In the direction of San Francisco and the ocean

Astonishing to be here, so high up
 Under a gentle winter breeze

As high as you get,
There's often something higher than you

Hazy today but when it's clear
You can see Sierra Nevada from here

A tower signals our descent

Down again, down again
 Though the twisty oak trees

Over hill over dale
Under fang and under nail,

You only arrive once
At the end of your trail
15 February 2015

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