Srikanth Perinkulam

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Category: Adventure / Travel (page 1 of 5)

Weeknote 01 – Memories, Liberty and freedom

A glimpse of the past week and the few articles, podcasts, tools, videos and music that captivated my attention:

Convincing their parents last minute, Divyaa and Raaghuv drove up to Maryland with us. The kids had a ball of a time in the last row of the Sienna. We stopped over at Durham for the night and met Uncle Lou the next day for breakfast. Of course also visited Fuqua school of Business. Rajesh graduated from here and we so wished he was alive to show us around this campus. A gentle reminder to check-in with everyone near and dear every once in a while…

Meena and I took the kids Skiing at Liberty on Thursday night. This has become more of a tradition now at year-end(beginning). A first for Raaghuv and Divyaa though. Just before we left, the boys decided to take on the Lower blue streak, and I joined them. Absolutely reminded me of my first day at skiing! Need to work on that nuanced braking!

Oh and of course, Happy New Year! Last year I chose to be a bit more free, a privilege I am so glad I had and thankful for. Looking forward to what we chart in 2020.

Listening to: Memories

Interesting podcasts this week:

The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota
Episode 216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil

Interesting tools this week:

OBS Studio: Video recording and live-streaming

Interesting reads this week:

Why more kids are learning — and enjoying — yoga: While yoga has become a fad now in the western world, I’d go further out to expand it to any activity that gets them out of a ‘controlled’ space. My dream classroom would be one out in the open with minimal teacher intervention.

Why the French Don’t Show Excitement: While I like the idea of “on est bien, là”, I’ll probably have a tough time getting that perceived cold shoulder in response.

‘For five years we dreaded every meal’: my infant son’s struggle with food: They’re just so many things that could go wrong…I’m so thankful Meena and Shasta are doing terrific.

Don’t just criticise the police. They’re constrained: As the world’s largest democracy comes to grips with the weight of the existence of more than a billion people, more so now as the youth are engaging and reacting to state and national politics, It’s key that funding and training is adequately increased to maintain law and order. And then there’s corruption to deal with…

Rightfully so! There are two beaches with the same name on both coasts of the peninsular region.

The one in Trivandrum is way better than the one I biked to on the east coast. Kerala is bestowed with some really good scenic places. I did a long backpacking trip several years ago. Some of my best memories of exploring that state!

Nawab land

Just back from an impromptu trip to Lucknow! Miss V got a few days off school, so we decided to fly north to visit Manni’s parents. Absolutely floored by the  city of the Nawabs and its numerous parks. Oh, but so hot and humid! While the prime intent was to spend time with Mama and Mami, we did get to hop around the city quite a bit and also indulge in the gastronomic pilgrimage!

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For Good, For Now

Meena, Shasta and I moved back to India from the US a few days back with bags and no baggage! With most of my family in the states, this was one tough decision to take and it has been on our minds for the last three to four years. Our 2018 vacation in Uganda solidified our resolve to enter the Foreign Service and work towards a more holistic life that involved sustainable travel. During one of those long car rides, we decided it was time and planned to ‘initiate exit procedures’ right after our vacation. Just as we were finalizing things back in the US, we’d realized that we would be having Shasta that year and decided to push the move to next year. Come 2019, once we had Shasta’s paperwork in place and she was ready to fly, we head back to Uganda to spend a few months there with Meena’s father and finally made our way to India with a short stay in Dubai. Read more

Baseline Road Trail

A beautiful 6 mile hike/walk near Miss Bama’s home. Shasta slept through most of it in the carrier and Dhruv had a ball of a time! So glad we fit this in. Probably one of our longest walks in Florida. The march of dimes event happens here every year.

Skiing at Liberty

Sneaked in a day at Liberty at the very end of the skiing season. Was so totally worth it!

Meena didn’t get around taking the slopes since Shasta was pretty much tethered to her. Kids and I had a blast! Last time we were here [Dec 2017] I barely made it down the hill. This time around, I followed Nik’s strategy of letting gravity do it’s job and maneuvering only when I had to. Totally see how this could be addictive!

River ridge trail

Shasta’s first visit to Patapsco state park. Sharath, Meena, Shasta and I planned to head out together initially. Was pretty breezy and cold. Shasta initially was showing signs of queasiness, so Meena suggested Sharath and I head out while she’d stroll closer to the car.

Started out on the downhill and entered the woods around the corner. Meena joined with Shasta as we were heading back covering about three miles. A wonderful, refreshing day out!

We head out to Hot Pot later that evening. Delicious food and some real good time with the whole family!

Serpentine Trail

An impromptu and beautiful 2 mile hike with Sharath near the Soldier’s delight Natural Environment area. Winter storm Gaia wasn’t as severe as they projected it to be (in this area).

This is definitely one of those trails that I would love to get back to on a full moon night!

Gun Powder Falls Hike

Had my eyes on this trial ever since I saw the ‘Gun powder falls state park’ sign on I95. Drove over for about 30mins with Sharath to get here this afternoon.

Pretty surprised not to find many folks on this trail. The weather was just right and this short 5 mile round trip hike was precisely what we needed to close out 2018. The short stream crossing at the end of the trail was an added bonus!

Liberty Dam Hike

A bright December weekend calls for a quick hike with the brothers! Here for the third time this year, and it still mesmerizes me!

Billy on the Potomac

I’ve had my eyes on the Billy goat trail for a while now. With a beautiful foggy forecast, this Sunday was a great day to head to the woods.  We reached the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historic park  in about an hour’s time, only to realise that the Billy Goat section A and B trails were closed due to flooding!

Having come this far, we decided to explore rest of the park. The short hike to Great Falls via the locks was insanely beautiful! So glad we decided to head this way!

After that, we head all the way down the parking lot to hike the Ford mine trail. The trail runs parallel to the C&O canal for about a mile or so and loops back to the parking lot crossing several streams and small waterfalls. Though not quite comparable to the BG section A hike that I had visualized, this was a pretty decent hike.

This region totally calls for a revisit!

Honnold attempt

A short morning hike to the Liberty Dam near home. Scouted a shorter trail but ended up hiking on a proper road up to the Dam. 3.6 miles round trip and a quick scrambling attempt on a rock face with N at the end.

Got back here via the trail the subsequent weekend. The trail was pretty picturesque. Winding by the North Patapsco river and eventually terminating at a beautiful vantage point right near the foot of the dam, this dirt trail made it totally worth coming back here again. A branch off this trail also seemed to lead back to the parking lot at the top. Will likely get back here while putting in some mileage for trail runs.

Acadia

Photo taken at: Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Last November we drove to Acadia and had a terrific experience there with the Labrador cold front.Being off-season, there was sparsely any crowd and we had most of the park just for ourselves.  Those three days were the most relaxed days we spent together in a while.

Earlier this month, we revisited Acadia, this time with family. The park was very crowded and we had to rise up pretty early to have access to some quiet zones. Nevertheless, it was a just great being back there. Drove around the park loop, hiked up the bubbles, and visited Schoodic peninsula and Bar Island. Stayed at an RV camp park in Ellsworth.

Nothing to beat some good quality time with family, outdoors!

Mt. Moosilauke Backpacking

Photo taken at: Mount Moosilauke

First backpacking trip in recent years. Had a 27 pound backpack on and felt every ounce of it on my spine as we hiked up Moosilauke on Day 1. With a thunder shower forecast for the weekend, we had one person drop out from the team just the night before the trip. After the initial meet at the Appalachian Trailhead on NH-25A, eight of us packed in two cars head towards the Beaver Brook Trailhead at Kinsman Notch on  NH 112. Started the hike at around 09:30hrs up the Beaver Brook trail.

Wasn’t quite feeling too well as we made the initial push. With about 3000 ft of elevation gain in the first two miles, I already had some serious second thoughts on this trip. Decided to take it slow on the way up and take a call once I reach the summit.  Plan B was to make my way back to Beaver Brook shelter and rest there while the rest of the team traverses the Appalachian trail and make their way down south towards the Gilmans corner AT trailhead on NH 25A.

Skirting around Mt. Blue we reached the Mt. Moosilauke summit at around 13:30hrs. Lucked out on the weather and had some beautiful 360 degree views. Some pretty good views of Franconia notch, Mt. Washington and several other peaks! Eventually decided to head below tree line and make our way down on the AT towards Jefferson Shelter. Incessant rain and the steep down gradient took a good toll on the knees. Reached the shelter at around 17:15 dripping wet. Setup the tent in the rain and was totally knocked out in a few minutes.

Met Chief and Doc – two septuagenarians, one with Parkinsons and the other a veteran who’ve been hiking the AT together every year for the last 40 years! Some great trail talk and we leave the next day morning south bound. My knees weren’t doing that great and I decided to bail out once we reach NH 25C, about 5 miles from the shelter. Urged the rest of the team to continue on the trail for the next five miles. After about a 3 mile downhill run on route 25C, an elderly gentleman stops by the side and agrees to shuttle me to the start point. Hitchhiked for the first time ever in the U.S and was an interesting car ride! A french teacher in a school in NYC who’s settled in Warren. His wife runs a shop up in Loon Mountain and someday when I get there, I’ll make sure to check and connect the dots. Quickly change in the car and rush back on the trail north bound to meet the rest of the team. They apparently met a trail angel who was serving hot omelettes and muffins!

A great weekend in the whites. I should get back to this sometime soon once I square out a few things.

Mount Garfield Hike

Photo taken at: Mount Garfield

First hike with the AMC. Four hours climb up to the summit with icy conditions in the last 1000ft. Microspikes saved the day! Under tree line pretty much all the way till the end. The peak does open up to a 360 degree view. Could spot quite a few other 4000 footers from the top. Franconia Ridge looked pretty tiny from here! A quick 2.5 hour hike got us back to the trailhead. Good pace, good work-out and first ‘technical’ winter/early spring hike!