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Date Sent:      March 14, 2007
Subject:           Pinnacles update - Mount Diablo Summit - Trail Dogs
From:               John Bondon
LOTS of newsworthy items to report this week.

First of all an update on our upcoming Pinnacles trip hike. All information is now posted on the website, including a new PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file you can download and print describing Pinnacles and our proposed hikes in greater detail. Suggestions for lodging and what to pack are also included in the document. The PDF file is available online at http://hiking.bondon.com/INFO/Pinnacles.pdf . Participants are also asked to download, complete, and bring with them the optional Emergency Form, which will be collected and stored in the event a hiker suffers a medical or similar emergency. Disclosure of confidential personal data is completely voluntary and not required to participate in this event. All forms will be either returned or destroyed after the trip.

The Pinnacles trip will take place the weekend of March 31st and April 1st. You are on your own for arranging transportation, food, and lodging. We will meet at the Visitor Center to begin our hikes. These hikes are NOT recommended for anyone with a fear of heights or tiny spaces. (Refer to the PDF file for more information.)

I have setup a new email list specifically for those interested in joining us at Pinnacles. I will be sending future updates and last minute announcements via the Pinnacles list. Those subscribed to it are also encouraged to use the list to arrange carpools, coordinate camp sites or similar lodging logistics, and just overall exchange of emails, questions, and ideas regarding the upcoming trip.

Special thanks to Helene for leading last Sunday's hike up Mount Diablo. We now have not one, but two more Mount Diablo hikes to offer in the next 2 weeks. First this Saturday, Robert leads a hike starting at 7AM from Regency Drive up to the Summit and back. The following Saturday (in 2 weeks), Helene will lead a similar hike, also starting from Regency Drive. Says Helene of the upcoming Mount Diablo Summit via Juniper Camp hike: "Join us for a Summit hike that's a little easier on the knees than my original plan. I scouted the original hike on Saturday, March 11, and found Mitchell Canyon just a little painful on the downhill. Back Creek Trail is much gentler, although occasionally slippery, and much closer to our end point.".

Next Sunday, Andrew will lead a hike once again at Shell Ridge (Howe Homestead Park) hike. "This is a relatively easy hike through rolling hills. No steep ones. I leave my land phone at 9:15. 925-484-4205.".

This Sunday, March 18th, we have a very special treat. Members of the East Bay Trail Dogs will lead us on a very special hike, a brand new trail recently completed by the Trail Dogs that is not yet open to the public. East Bay Trail Dogs are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that designs, builds, maintains and repairs hiking trails in public lands throughout the East Bay area. The group always welcomes donations of the monetary variety, of course, but they also are looking for new members to volunteer their time and energy to help build and maintain local trails. What better way to learn what this group does than to take a tour of a trail they themselves built?! Come drive out Marsh Creek Road about 20-30 minutes east of the town of Clayton (2.2 miles past Regency Drive) and join us this Sunday at 9AM for the Chaparral Spring hike. We will be hiking the trails built in Save Mt. Diablos Chaparral Spring property as well as parts of East Bay Regional Park Districts Clayton Ranch.

You'll find more details about each of these upcoming hikes, including directions, posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website at http://hiking.bondon.com.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,

John




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