Friday, May 20, 2005

Brown County National Park

On 14th of May, our colleague Sajil dropped Jonah, Seb and me at the Denver Airport. Our flight was uneventful. We reached Indianapolis at around 6pm. Our colleagues who work at Indianapolis office, Raghu (BJ) and Sushanth came to receive us at the airport. Sushanth’s parents were in the US so, they came along too. We checked in at our hotel very close to the office. After having dinner at an Indian restaurant, we shopped for some grocery before heading back to the hotel.

On 15th of May, we went to BJ and Sushanth's house and together, we drove to Brown county national park. This place was unbelievably green. Very bright and beautiful. We had a great time trying different trails around the park. Lovely place. These pictures will speak more.

















For lunch, we had some tasty chapati’s and rice cooked by Sushant’s mother, at the park. In the evening, we headed back to their apartment and had some delicious south indian food, again prepared by Sushanth’s mother. It was like being back at home. 

Our week went by very nicely, with lot of work at the test lab. We also had three day training and I got to meet a lot of people. The dinners in th evening with the group was fun. We also tried some local Indian restaurants like Udupi cafe and Taj of India. Long weekend is approaching and I am all excited about the trip to Naigra  falls that we have planned. 

Picture Credits - Jonah


Friday, May 13, 2005

Conflicts

The first 15 days of May was busy. I had a lot of work at office with my current project. Outside of work, I would go to Sai Mart and chat with my dear friend Nagendra. During one of the visits, he told me that there was a robbery at his shop the previous night. Someone had broken the glass and carried away the cash box. He also briefed me of a similar theft on his bank account. The culprit is now behind bars for three years. Slowly, the other side of the developed nation has begun to surface. After all, not everything is always rosy. 

Sundar and I enjoy a walk in the cottonwood creek park. During one such walks, he mentioned to a me about his experience at a New Life church he visited in the US. The visiting speaker, a pastor, was narrating his experience in India. He had apparently visited a slum in Chennai and thus had lot of bad opinion about India in general. He talked about how people were extremely poor, how parents threw their kids away into trash and on the contrary, how lucky they were to be living in the US. That was very embarrassing for the indians because generalising an experience is always wrong. The pastor went a step ahead and identified the root cause for all this chaos - Hinduism, the religion. This experience has made me more proud of my own religion and country. At least, we do not show disrespect to other religions and traditions. We do not promote that as a religion. 

At times, I drove alone in the town and driving is always a liberating experience. Tomorrow, Jonah, Seb and I are to leave to Indianapolis. We will be working there for a month. I am super excited to be in a new place. 

Monday, May 2, 2005

Sandia Peak, Albuquerque

Next morning (May 1st), we unwillingly bid farewell to the canyons and headed towards Albuquerque. 

Drive: Williams to Albuquerque.
Start: 8:15 Am (Arizona time)
Destination: Sandia Peak, NM.
Distance: 360 Miles
Expected Time: 5 hrs 11 Mins
Reached: 3:00 Pm (Colorado time) ie 2:00 pm Arizona time
Actual Time taken: 5 hrs 45 mins


At the small town of Albuquerque,  we took the cable car to the Sundia peak. It was interesting to see a lot of snow up on this mountain, in midst of a dessert. The view from the top was great.











 
We also wanted to visit a Meteor crater but then for some reason thought this would be a similar site and thus almost reached till the entrance and decided to head back.



The drive back was fun. It was snowing very badly in Colorado.






Drive: Sadia Peak to Colorado springs
Start: 5:00 Pm
Destination: Home
Distance: 385.98 Miles
Expected Time: 5 hr 30 mins
Reached: 11:00 PM
Actual Time taken: 6 Hrs. (Bad road condition, snow)


Saturday, April 30, 2005

Grand Canyon

On a Friday evening (29th April) at around 6 PM, Seb, Jonah, Sundar and our manager from India Suresh, drove out of Colorado Springs, heading towards the Grand Canyon. Earlier that week, I had booked our stay at the Best western Hotel in Williams. 

Suresh drove most the of the way. Seb, Sundar and I, at the back seat played - "Tom Dick and Harry", "Hang man" to kill time. At around 8:30 PM, we stopped for dinner near Springer, New Mexico. The town was so small that it had no good restaurants open at that time. So, we headed back to a truck stop we had noticed earlier on the way. Settled in for what ever was available. Otherwise, the drive was uneventful. We took turns to drive and reached Grand Canyon at around 6 in the morning. 

Drive: Colorado Springs to Grand Canyon, Arizona.
Start: 6:00 PM
Distance: 796 Miles
Expected Time: 11 Hrs 20 Mins
Reached at 6:00 AM.
Actual time taken - 12 hrs.


We decided to drive directly to the canyon to watch the sun rise. The view from there was magical. As the orange sun rose up on the sky, it unveiled to us the vastness of this canyon. One could easily and happily get lost in them. It was enormous and gorgeous. It was also interesting to note that when we were driving to the canyons we mostly had flat land, but when we got to the viewing point it was a sudden dip of several thousands of meters. That was an incredible feeling. It was like the opposite of climbing a mountain, if you know what I mean. 





On our way back, an incident happened that remains till date as a joke among us. Seb was driving and four ravens flew across and one was hit by our car and probably killed. Well, that part was sad but then we bullied Seb for killing one of the only four ravens in Grand Canyon. 

When we arrived at the hotel we requested to check in but the receptionist told us that it was not yet time. But our watches showed that it was past 8:00 AM. So, we argued. We realised only then that we were on a different time zone. We had some breakfast and then checked into the rooms. Nevertheless, our disappointment with the delay, that was specially displayed by our manager got us two king size rooms for the same price. 

After lunch at a Pizza hut, we headed to the Canyon again. We took several trails to viewpoints like Yaki point, Navoja point and desert view to get some glimpse of this magnificent natural structure. 















We wanted to walk down the canyon, so we tried walking down on Kaibab trail, which apparently was not the trail we were looking for. Someone guided us to a trail next to Bright Angle lodge. So we drove till there and went on a short hike down the canyon. However, we could not walk all the way down, it would take us more than 8 hours and normally is a two day trek with a halt at the base. Convincing myself that someday I would return to do it, we returned back as it was getting dark already.