Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2017

The dust cloud - Timberline trail, Oregon

Timberline trail around Mt. Hood was beautiful in all respect. Fording rivers, beautiful lush green of the Mt. Hood National Forest, crossing across steep ravines, ethereal mist and fluctuating temperatures from searing highs to freezing lows.

One thing, however, that I did not expect and cherish on this trail was the dusty nature  of this trail. And it was not just a small stretch that was dusty, but rather almost 50 to 60 percent of the trail that left behind a cloud of dust as we plodded along. The sandy and dusty nature definitely was not the most enjoyable part, but it could not dent our enthusiasm or mar the serenity of the overall experience.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tan, dust and masala chai - Bollywood Theater, Portland

As an outdoorsy soul, I usually don't shoot or find share-worthy close up portraits. Even more so in an urban setting. However, this one is an exception.

It has a strong backcountry story associated after a 40 mile hike on the Timberline trail around the magnificent Mt. Hood, Oregon. The disheveled, dusty hair and the unkempt stubble definitely has a lot to say. But, in this moment it's all about enjoying  masala chai for him - the simmering hot cup of tea infused with flavors of aromatic indian spices, at Bollywood Theatre, Portland.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Highpoint on Timberline trail, Oregon

Day 4 and final day on Timberline trail, Mt. Hood, Oregon. We crossed the highpoint at around 7000+feet, gazing at the majestic massif of Mt. Hood on our right and the sweeping vistas on our left.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eden Cove, Timberline Trail - Cold, damp and beautiful

It was cold, damp and beautiful. We shivered as we prepared the morning cup of tea, huddling and almost touching the hot pot on the very noisy primus stove. Anyone who owns a primus knows how noisy it can be, yet this time it was not able to break the serene silence of the place. The fog was pervasive and persistent, refusing to let the warmth of the rays pass through. We played for time. Yet, we wanted it to be forever. 

Eden Cove, Day 3 of the Timberline trail, Oregon.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Outdoor activities in the year 2016

So, it's been a long time coming. Almost a year now since I wrote anything about my outdoor escapades. Well, I haven't had much in the first half of the year 2016, but the second half has been amazing.

After the Rudra climb however, I did one more traditional-style rock climb on the wall of Prabalgad. It was a virgin route over a vertical face of approx 200+ feet of crumbling rocks. The crack was shallow and difficult to protect in the upper sections. I stopped around 50 feet short of the summit due to extremely loose rocks and fading light. Had to cut a around 15 feet of rope to sling a chockstone and rap back to the highest anchor point before wrapping up the attempt.

The Prabalgad wall was my second virgin climb in 2 months. First one was a few weeks back near Tryamabeskhwar. That one was successfully completed without any bolts or aid moves. The Prabalgad climb was significantly more challenging than the other one on two accounts - the moves and poor rock quality.



On the penultimate pitch, I aided a 5.11a-ish move on a suspect placement, and then followed it up with a couple more aid moves to pull on to a ledge, both in the realms of .10d/11a.That was the one and only aid sequence I have done and on suspect placements. It was nerve-wracking and hence memorable. I am a free climber, and to do aid moves on suspect placements was a unnerving to say the least.

Anyway, after the Prabal climb I could not do much rock climbs. I did a couple of hikes but nothing much to talk about.

In July, I flew to US and then happened the Canada trip. We hikes more than 100 miles during our 2-week stay in Banff and Jasper National Parks. Beautiful is an understatement. And so is splendid. I'll let the pictures explain it - www.mowgliandpanda.com/banff

After the Canada trip I came back to Florida and just pumped plastic. I think I got stronger than I was earlier. Regaining of the lost endurance is still work in progress. All in all, the Edge Rock Gym in Jacksonville is a blessing in the otherwise flat lands of Florida. It helps me to keep climbing. Systematic training schedule is still being worked out and not yet kicked off completely. But the schedule is on and the start is just fine. Hope to continue and stick with the planned schedule. Availability of the gym and bouldering walls actually is a detriment to stick to hangboarding regimen, which was my only option back home when I was in India.

I hope to do an outdoor trip to Tennessee or North Carolina and climb some actual rocks, which I have not done since a month. Last I did was some climbs at Lost wall in Georgia, where I repeated a few traditional style routes up to 5.8/9.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Konkan bike trip 2016

A 920+ kms ride through the rough and smooth of coastal Maharashtra.

This has been one of the most cherished road trip I have done along the coastal Maharashtra. Reasons for this are many, but first and foremost would be the fact that it was completely unplanned right from the moment when we set from my house and right through the trip until we decided to return back 4 days later. None of it was planned - the destinations, the route, the accommodation etc etc. This was truly as 'take it in your stride as it comes' road trip and the experience it offered has been really enjoyable to say the least.

Along our 920+ kms 4 day sojourn on the two wheels from Kalyan to Ratnagiri & back, we touched upon a lot of major tourist areas dotting the Konkan tourist map; stopping at some and waving on the go at some others!

The route we took looked something like this -

Kalyan - Mangaon - Diveagar - Mahad - Ratnagiri - Ganpatipule - Jaigad - Hedvi - Velneshwar - Guhagar - Anjanwel - Dabhol - Dapoli - Mahad - Pachad - Mahad - Kalyan

Now, I know a lot of it is winding and through some not so good roads, but that's what the entire trip was all about - unplanned melodies, with some of them not being so melodious ; -)

Sunset at Diveagar beach

Baskya buruj at Ratnafurga fort, Ratnagiri

Ratnadurga fort, Ratnagiri

Thiba palace, Ratnagiri

Thiba palace, Ratnagiri

Thiba palace, Ratnagiri

Thiba palace, Ratnagiri

Thiba palace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Lokmanya Tilak's birthplace, Ratnagiri

Aare beach, Ratnagiri

Ganpatipule beach

Ganpatipule beach

Somewhere along the ride

And another somewhere, something near Jaigad

Jindal school near Jaigad

Ferrying across the Jaigad creek

Ferrying across Dabhol creek

Aade beach

Aade beach

Narrow lanes and the omnipresent ST

Guhagar beach

Words of wisdom at Guhagar beach

Between Dapoli and Mahad

Romancing the roads .. beautiful stretch of road between Dapoli and Mahad. Most of this stretch is in poor state though!

And yet another ferry across yet another estuary

Happy feet, tired backs!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The colors of San Francisco

If you are in the San Francisco for a week or more and really want to experience the city at leisure forget cars and take any of the public transit services (BART, MUNI), or better rent a bike, or even better walk!

There is nothing like walking the streets of San Francisco untethered and unrushed, soaking in the vibrance and liveliness of the colorful city. I had the luxury of staying in the city for more than two weeks and of all the touristy things I did, walking gave me the most unadulterated experience.

I must have walked more than 50 miles on the streets of San Francisco in my two visits there so far. I wish I had my camera lugging around in each of those miles, but for my laziness. However, my mobile did more than a handy job of filling in the void on many occasions. Here are some of those moments.

Tea tasting and Dimsum at Chinatown









Some murals in the city - Balmy alley, Harisson street, Clarion, Mission district.












A few cityscapes from near Pier 1.The walk along the Embarcadero is one of the best walks you can do in the city.