Go ‘Round the Mountain' at Mount Diablo

The New Year's Eve Eve event is a bracing way to face 2017.

DECEMBER DEEP BREATH: Much ado is made about the last day of the year, from what parties we should attend to what we should eat to what we should drink to the gussy-up outfits we'll wear to get into the full festive swing of things. This is all aces, if that's how you like greeting a fresh year, with glitter and bubbly and balloons and such. But less consideration is given to taking a deep breath in the days ahead of the calendar turning over, of connecting with your thoughts and goals and what just happened and what you hope shall go down in the twelve months to come. That's where the second to last day of the December comes in, the penultimate day, the moment when we connect with nature, our minds, and some contemplation before the big ball drops and fancy bottles of brew are uncorked. Finding your slice of nature is as simple as walking outside, but if you feel up to a more major hike, one that'll last about 6 hours and cover some interesting ground, look to...

MOUNT DIABLO, which will be circled by a group of hikers on Friday, Dec. 30. It's the Round the Mountain hike, an outing that will find participants going around the impressive peak. It's a guided hike, with a "(s)teady, relaxed pace," and some 7.5 miles in all (so not a quick jaunt, do note). Layers are best, and water is key, and getting to know Murchio Gap and Devil's Elbow along the way will lend Diablo devotees some deeper knowledge of the area. Even if you can't jump into quite the sizable strut on a weekday ahead of New Year's Eve, consider committing to one of Save Mount Diablo's guided hikes in 2017. Being under the sky, and admiring trees, flowers, and scampering critters, has a way of helping even the busiest of minds flow toward a more meditative, feel-good state.

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