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Date Sent:      July 06, 2007
Subject:           Castle Rock (Walnut Creek)
From:               John Bondon
Sorry for the late hour of this email... getting this out a bit later than I would like. Special thanks to Andrew and Howard for leading last weekend's MORGAN TERRITORY hike. Andrew called it a "gem" of a hike, "13 hikers on another beautiful day. It will soon change. 9.1 miles and ~1,500' of elevation gain.". Sorry I missed it.

Briones rattlesnake encounter

In my email last week, I shared a photo I received from Judith of a turkey that she captured with her camera phone. On that same hike, Mars had an encounter of his own, but his encounter was with a rattlesnake! He submitted the following photo to me, along with these comments: this is the rattler I nearly stepped on ... he was stretched out length-wise across the road and sunning himself. Was asleep, didn't even know I was there for a moment,, I didn't know if it was alive til his tongue flickered out. Then, he censed my heat signature in that moment and woke up, coiled back a bit and figured Id give way as he decided to move along off the road. By the time I got to my wits, reached for my camera and got that slow diggy to warm up and fire a shot,, he was about to leave the road for the brush. This guy was a thick one." (Hint: Click the picture to get a better view.) Thanks for the pic, Mars!

YES! there is a hike this weekend! As a matter of fact, the next couple of weekends I'll be leading hikes and it will feel GREAT to get back out there on the trails! Since temperatures are expected to be so hot this weekend (90s!), we'll do a short stint at Castle Rock in Walnut Creek this Sunday, most of it hopefully in the shade! The following Sunday will be an exploratory hike on the Dutra Loop Trail. I've only hiked a very small portion of this proposed hike, so I'm not that familar with it myself yet. From what I've seen so far, the trails don't seem to be clearly marked, so we'll take an explorer mentality and figure it out as we go.

You'll find more details about each of these upcoming hikes posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,


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