Saturday, December 31, 2005

A journey into the US - Yosemite - 21st - 24th Dec

Right now writing about the complete trip seems so huge a task - so many events to write about, so many moments that needs mention in the blog. All that with a want to make it as short as possible. But as every long journey starts with a first step so be with this blog.

The Explorers

So finally - Nitin - Phantom, Bhatele - Hatele, Ankit, Himanshu(Replacement for Yash till San Francisco) and I started for the journey on 21st Dec. I and nitin were registered drivers for the car - Chrysler Sebring Sedan. A standard luxary car. We were to drop Himanshu and pick Yash from San Francisco. I had boasted that I can drive for long time so was given the steering from the start. Before going into the 'gory' details as himanshu puts it, lemme first write the the moments that shall remain eternal.

1. 21st Dec - 28th Dec: Covering a total distance of ~1700 miles - more than the distance from Delhi to Kanyakumari was a feat very few people would think to undertake back in India. I dont usually give it to the Americams but the system of freeways and highways, and the quality of roads in America demands appreciation.

2. 23rd Dec - 3:00pm: The highpoint of the journey was when we lost our way in Yosemite trying to follow the trail to the Yosemite falls and ended waking up and down on rocks meant for water in rainy season. Thick forests on both sides made it immpossible to conquer the slopes, but our leader Ankit was motivated enough to overcome any hard knocks. Finally after a detour of 2 hours we found the trail but then it was too late to go to the top of the Yosemite Falls. The mighty falls, 6th highest in the world with the height of around 2500 feets shall call us again.

3. 23rd Dec - 8:00 pm: Two more things were added to my First Time list - Ice Skating and Corss-Country Skiing. After coming from the trek to Yosemite Falls, Ice skating was just the perfect thing to do. The feeling of floating freely on ice is something that cant be expressed with words. Beautiful girls with perfect figures dancing on ice as if they were born for this noble task. The background score of 'Hallelaiuh' giving it the romantic feel . Cool misty atmosphere, with the thrill of doing something for the first time - I mean Ice Skating. Ah! the thought itself makes me dreamy (It feels so feminine to write all this but I have to do justice to the ambiance, and show that IITians can also respond well to nature)

4. 24th Dec: Though I have done downhill Skiing in Auli, never had a chance to do cross-country. Its more or less similar but there are basic differences. Cross country, as the name suggests, is meant for longer distances. Downhill has both toes and ankles locked, but cross country has ankles free for easier traversing uphill. It was good, but for fun lovers i think downhill will be more interesting. More over the snow was hard and crystallike - so it made it more difficult to learn and much more painful to fall. An interesting thing happened here - When Bhatele was given his ski shoes, gods curse the attendant, she gave him a blue ones. Blue color! Doesnt she know that Bhatele does not like them! naah! He wanted some different color but was shy to ask for them. So the conversation went -
Someone else - "he needs some different color shoes do you have them?"
Theresa - "sorry we dont have pink?"
Theresa - "Do you really want some different color?"
Bhatele - "umm, unn, uhh! yesh i dont like blue, you have any other? I want purple" Yippie!
Every one - "Yippie" Bhatele got his colors.
Later she was the one who have us an hours lesson.

View From Badger Pass

5. 25th Dec: Mariposa Grove - the place of 2000 year old trees (yeah its not 200 years). Known as giant sequoia trees - they grow taller the first 300 hundred years and then keep on adding bulk to them. Most probably the trees were around 200 ft (wikipedia says 200-300 feet) and had a diameter of 15 feets. Thats like 4 Hall 1 rooms put together at the base and 15-20 rooms on the top of it. We had no plans of going there but we met some Americans on our way and they suggested us the place. God bless them.

The Americans who helped us.

21st Dec 2005 - Wednesday
10:00 am: started our jounrey from San Diego with me Driving.
1:00 pm: crossed Los Angles and stopped for lunch at Taco Bell.
5:00 pm: stopped for Evening Snacks at McDonalds - around 300 miles from San Diego. Changed driving seats. Nitin took over from me (though I did not want to switch ;-))
8:00 pm: finding our way through San Jose, missing exits and turns, we had to drop Himanshu there.
9:30 pm: 500 miles away from home we stayed at Yash's sisters place. A massive and well kept house. Very friendly and caring hosts. Good food. Good company. What else does one need.

22nd Dec 2005 - Thursday
10:00 am: Left for Stanford to meet Mridul, Harsh and Sidc. Though Yash was not legally allowed to drive he took on the drivers seat. Stanford was beautiful. We did not see much of it but the feel was good.
12:00 pm: Doing brunch at Quiznos we headed for Yosemite, another 300 miles from San Francisco. I took on ther drivers seat.
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Inching forward in the heavy San Francisco Traffic.
3:00 pm: around 150 miles from San Fransico we stopped for coffee. Yash also found a friend at a Asian Egg Roll Outlet. Pathetic Rolls indeed. Nitin came on the drivers seat.
7:00 pm: We reached Yosemite. A single breath of fresh air was enogh to wash away any dirt of the cities. Sporadic snow made it more touching.

23rd Dec 2005 - Friday
10:00 am: Good morning Yosemite
12:00 pm: On our hike to Yosemite Falls. Though we were not able to reach the top of the falls because of the detour we took, the view of falls from mid way was enchanting enough. I wonder when will I have the next chance to reach the top. Anyone ready to join me again?
5:30 pm: Back from the Hike. Lunch at Food Court.
7:00 pm: Ice Skating amongst beutiful girls at Curry Village (the place where we stayed in Heated Camps)
10:00 pm: Exhausted from the day - retirement time, saw a movie - Gol Maal on Yash's desktop oh! people call it a Laptop but its Dell you see!.
12:00 pm: Sweet Dreams.

24th Dec 2005 - Saturday
8:00 am: Had to get up early for Cross Country Skiing.
11:00 am: Started our drive to Badger Pass 30 miles from Curry Village.
12:00 am: We were on our skis trying to balance and move.
1:15 am: Theresa gave us the Skiing lessons.
5:00 pm: Drive back to Curry Village with Dal Chawal at Food Court. Well they dont call it that - its called lentil soup without salt, and rice to be taken seperately, having Amru food for 5 days makes you innovative enough to find something close to indian food. Yash and I enjoyed it to the fullest.
8:00 pm: '29' session (thank god they dont call it '69' ;-))- Both the Lucknow wasis were together - Ankit and Yash and I was team with Bhatele initially and later on Nitin. We lost Bad time - The game went on till 1 am over few sips of alcoholic beverages and the final difference was of 21 points with Yash and Ankit having 6 Red Hearts.
1:00 pm: Retreat



At 8:05 PM, Blogger Abhishek Porwal said...

Its amazing what you can do once you enter america.


At 10:14 PM, Blogger Harshat Pant said...

Daddu I envy you for this....
Tried to make ti up by visiting the wild-life sanctuary and ofcourse bhangarh....but someday I shall have my revenge!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Ankush Garg said...

Nicely documented. Enjoyed reading it.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Nitin Gupta said...

zaraa photos ki sankhya badao... aur agla kab aa raha hai?


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