Heavenly Diablo 

Walk a canyon, throw a buckeye

12/7-12/11

Save Mount Diablo, the East Bay's most dynamic wilderness-preservation and outdoor-awareness org, has two early-winter events of note this week. Today at 10 a.m., Carol Larson leads a leisurely Sierra Club hike through the mountainside's scenic Mitchell Canyon (some steep trails), starting at the canyon's Staging Area. Phone 925-691-6303 to reserve. Bring lunch. Rain cancels. Oh, and there's a $3 parking fee. For children as well as adults, there's a Saturday morning Chaparral Spring Restoration Project and Buckeye Throw. The moderate, two-to-three-hour loop hike winds through the Chaparral Spring property east of Clayton. Kids are invited to collect acorns and buckeyes on the trail, to be used to revegetate an eroded gully. The hike is sponsored by Save Mount Diablo and led by SMD boardmembers Burt Bassler and Frank Varenchik. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at 9:30 a.m. RSVP to smdinfo@save mountdiablo.org. Go to SaveMountDiablo.org for a full schedule of outdoor events.-- Kelly Vance

Tue 12/14

Go Coastal

Catch some Reyes

Just because a natural point of interest is nearby doesn't mean it can't be exotic, or at least worth a visit, to Bay Area hikers and flora-and-fauna fans. Take Marin County's Point Reyes National Seashore, home of world-class coastal forests, moors, and sandy beaches. Tuesday evening (7 p.m.) at REI Berkeley (1338 San Pablo Ave., 510-527-4140), photographers and writers Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin discuss their two books on Point Reyes, with handy tips on how to spot migrating whales, spy nesting ospreys, and sneak up on unsuspecting wildflowers.-- Kelly Vance

12/10-12/12

New Jersey Turnpike

Grumpy Warriors fans have been woofing on the team's "unlucky" retro jerseys (and how about those gaudy new orange ones?), as well as on the youngish team's ragged play. Supposedly they need luck. How about intestinal fortitude? But the Warriors have been scratching out wins a few at a time against the league's weakest teams, and if they can gain team maturity behind the likes of shooting guard Jason Richardson, reserve center Adonal Foyle, and power forward Troy Murphy, they may yet graduate into the upper registers of the Pacific Division. Leave it to Chris Mullen and Mike Montgomery. And don't forget Speedy Claxton. Friday night, Golden State takes on Grant Hill and the Orlando Magic (7:30 p.m.). Better wear the right jerseys. Then on Sunday (6 p.m.), Emeka Okafor, Keith Bogans, and the Charlotte Bobcats come to call. They're more our speed. The word is: Wait and see. It's a long season. Warriors.com-- Kelly Vance

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