Summer Solstice Saunter

Commune with our nearest star while enjoying Mount Diablo State Park.

SUN WORSHIPER: You don't have to look to far for the sun, even though, spoiler alert, it exists quite far from us. It is a symbol that carries loads of meaning for we earthlings, and whether it is drawn as a circle with emanating lines (the classic illustration of our youth) or with sunglasses and a smile (as seen on beach towels), we recognize our nearest star. But one of the best ways to commune with our sun, save a rocket trip to its surface — seriously, do not do that — is to find a slice of nature to enjoy right around the longest day of the year. That's the summer solstice, a day full of early risings, and special ceremonies, for loads of people who call this watery planet home. You can find your slice of nature a couple of days ahead of June 20 by joining the Summer Solstice Saunter at Mount Diablo State Park. The date of the hike? It's...

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, which is technically summer's eve eve (June 20, as mentioned, is the longest day in 2016). A group'll meet up in the twilight hour to "hop, skip, and jump from ponds to meadows to hillsides..." while keeping an eye out for local Diablo denizens, furry and scaly and scurrying beasties alike. So what does "twilight hours" mean? It's 6:30 in the evening. So what does "hop, skip, and jump" mean? The Summer Solstice Saunter is described as a moderate hike of four miles (and not on uniformly flat land, so take the elevation change into consideration). You'll meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, which is approximately 92,900,000 miles from the sun, give or take (as is earth itself). But just because we're at a notably great distance from the star doesn't mean we can carve out a few hours to ponder it in all of its epicness. Whether that means stretching out on a beach towel bearing its sunglasses-wearing visage, or enjoying a nature-nice hike just before the solstice, is up to you, star people.

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