The team: Syd and Linda Smith, Kai Weidman, Cecil Anison, Kelly Maas, Landa Roubillard, Steve Eckert, Chris Prendergast, Firoozeh Verplanke, and co-leader and reporter Aaron Schuman. What happened to our leader? Nancy Fitzsimmons has a hurt leg, and while she can't hike right now, she can pedal, so she biked up the paved road to the summit with Brunonians Tom Driscoll and Dave Ress.
We climbed the north side, up Mitchell Canyon. From the vacant ranger station at the end of Mitchell Canyon Road, we went up Coulter Pine Trail, Eagle Peak Trail, over the top of Eagle Peak (2369'), through Murchio Gap, up Meridian Ridge, to Prospector's Gap, and up North Peak Trail past Devil's Pulpit and Devil's Elbow to the summit, the high point of Contra Costa County.
Nancy promised to meet us at the summit with brownies. She and her bicycle crew arrived at noon, but it was frigid and windy, so they didn't linger. The hikers arrived at one p.m. We choked down our frozen PB&J in the summit hut, wishing for the taste of Nancy's brownies. From the summit we could see the snow covered Sierra Nevada.
We returned via the Falls Trail, hoping to enjoy a view of the Donner Creek waterfall with a gusher or at least a trickle. It rained hard last Thursday, but that wasn't enough. The falls were dry. We completed our loop down Conner Canyon Trail, Back Creek Trail, and Coulter Pine Trail.