• 11-25-2008
    Nocturnal Toads on Peak Trail at Mission Peak Reg'l Preserve
    I rode Mission Peak Regional Preserve last night, starting at nightfall, for about two hours. On my way back down Peak Trail I came upon something I'd never seen before: a toad. I managed to avoid it, which was fortunate, because it had no inclination to move to safety. A half-mile later I saw a second toad. So I'm posting this heads-up, and in future night rides I'll be watching carefully for them. I would not like to run one over.

    Also seen up there last night: the rise of Mars in the east. No matter that Mission Peak is a tragic sacrifice area whose wildlife and plantlife subsist at a fraction of their potential diversity, there's usually something interesting to see, be it Mars or two toads. And at a minimum, it's an excellent workout ride.
  • 11-25-2008
    I say we have mtbr full-moon rides over there whenever possible!

    Mission peak was my very first mtb ride. I haven't been back since. haha.
  • 11-27-2008
    Two weeks ago on my standard Wednesday night ride, which also happened to include a full moon, there were hundreds of these toads out. I wasn't sure if it was the rain of the prior days, or the moon, but they were out in full force. This was on the trail leading past the first antenna and all the way to the second set on southern end of the peak. There were sections where they were pretty thick. They were coming out of what I always though were gopher holes and just milling about. I figured it was mating time.
    It is pretty cool to see such things. I've really taken a liking to riding there at night.
  • 11-28-2008
    To recover from a Black Friday ordeal at Fry's Electronics that began at 4:15 this morning, an experience I will never forget, about 9:00 a.m. I rode up to the top levels of Mission Peak, where it was sunny and spectacular, the latter because the whole Bay Area and beyond was blanketed in fog. I climbed up through cold fog and gloom and emerged into sunlight in the last 200 feet. The Bay Area lay below a dense white cloud deck except for Mts. Diablo, Hamilton, Umunhum, and Loma Prieta, and a few other less-known peaks east of Milpitas. Most amazing was that a thick tongue of fog, coming from the north, was pouring through the gap between Mt. Diablo and North Peak, the second peak on Mt. Diablo. It looked like the Mendenhall Glacier outside Juneau. A second tongue of dense fog was swirling over Mission Peak from the east, backing up like a sandbank just below the pinnacle and then cascading down the front like a waterfall. Really amazing.