Mount Diablo - Our First Date

I had barely landed in the US, in March of 2008, after being gone for a year and was excited to be back. Feeling quite ambitious and not wanting to seem like a wimp, I happily agreed to go out with Aaron when he proposed that we go hiking in Mt. Diablo. Since this was my first time in San Francisco and the Bay Area, I was eager to see more of it than I had from my airplane window.

We packed our backpacks with water and snacks, and set out. We didn't even need the radio to fill in any awkward gaps—we chatted away to our hearts' content. It was light, easy, funny, and comfortable to talk to Aaron and I took in all the sights as we drove. I love road trips and was thrilled to be going out with someone who liked them as much as I did.  Of course, this being the Bay Area, we had other things to occupy our attention as well. Such as, a peace protest.

We continued on our journey when suddenly, I breathed in so deeply, it almost startled Aaron. When he looked over me, I was gazing out the window with my mouth open, looking at the first image of Mount Diablo. I had never seen such a green mountain in all my life!

Aaron laughed and informed me that I should save my breath right then as I would be quite breathless once we got to the top. There were green rolling hills as far as the eye could see! It was beautiful and lush and seemed to go on forever.  We started driving up the mountain and unable to stand it any longer, we decided to stop the car and get out to soak in all the beauty around us, including some of its residents.

Aaron thought I was silly to want to take pictures of cows but he is from Nebraska and had probably seen his fair share of cows. I had seen mine too in India, where you cannot miss them, but I had not seen such "fluffy" cows (if that is even the term used for them). So, we got out and stretched our legs and enjoyed the 360-degree view of gorgeous greenery.

And, of course, I had to have some pictures of our first date on Mount Diablo :)  Yes, that is my hair and I didn't have a pony hidden in my hoodie!

Once we finished posing for pictures, Aaron suggested a hike. You remember, earlier in the post, when I said I loved road trips? I do. I failed to mention that I don't like them when they are attached to a hike. First of all, I was still jet lagged. Second, I had not exercised for a year. Third, hiking is not my favorite activity. I think Aaron was just testing me out to see if I liked the same things he did. Not to be outdone, I agreed.

Not even halfway into a mile of the hike, my legs basically threatened to leave me on the side of the mountain and go back to the car on their own. All vanity vanished in an instant and I began to show Aaron a side of me he had never seen. The whiny side. I complained and huffed and nearly cried as I begged him to stop. One would think I had hiked up fifteen miles already and it was only half a mile. Poor Aaron! He was barely getting warmed up and I was ready to quit! I also thought that he would never take me out on a date again (thankfully, he did). So, he obliged and when we had hiked up to a parking lot, he let me stop.

It was a fun day to be outside in the gorgeous weather, and five years later, Aaron still asks me to go on a hike. Only once, did I get tricked into it when I accidentally hiked Old Rag in the Shenandoah Mountains.  How does one accidentally hike up the most rugged mountain, you ask? Find out HERE.

I loved our first date together. It was fun to spend time with Aaron and just be myself :)


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