national parks

What the heck do kids learn outdoors?

For fun they played in snow
In pain they cried in snow
The contrast taught them a lesson which they don’t realize now

Take your kids to the great outdoors and face the elements, let them handle the inconveniences and they will quickly stop crying and start thinking solutions.

You can’t give them anything better as a parent… Anything.
what the heck do kids learn outdoors?

Categories: california, entertainment, family, fathering, fun, hike, kids, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, winter | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiking the half-dome cables in yosemite

Put a hard deadline by which you should summit and if you don’t reach by that time, turn back.

This is the top rule when you are hiking particularly when the routes/summits are strenuous, dangerous, long and lonely.  And thats one rule that prevented me to turn back from the foot of the cables 😦 I was very sad and missed the peak only by a mere 400 meters but I now have a better understanding of this ruthless trail, of the lacunae in my planning and my very own limitations. Of course, I will work on these points and surely go again. I will carry more than 4L of water, no extra wait, will eat more and try to avoid muscle cramps, next time.

Cables on Half-dome is no doubt one of the best and strenuous hikes I did in the last many years. Its a hiker’s paradise with stunning views, steep granite and a thorough mental challenge.  A grueling 16 mile hike with limited access to water, the staircase with huge steps along side the Nevada and Vernal Falls, the never ending John Muir trail, the risky slopes on the sub-dome all would only make it more beautiful if you ask me 🙂

Parking Tip:

Trailhead parking is usually sufficient for day/night hikers but there are few slots at the Happy Isle too (closed when we were there). And if these two are overflowing, then the nearby Curry Village parking (now Halfdome village) is huge enough for a thousand cars.
Cables on half-dome:
cables on half-dome

Trail Map:

View from the sub-dome:
view from the sub-dome

Nevada and Vernal Falls:
nevada fallsvernal falls

A granite bargain:
a granite bargain


John Muir trail:
John Muir Trail to halfdome

Try this all out. You would love it.

Thanks for reading.

Categories: 2016, california, hike, my, national parks, national parks, outdoors, sun, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Trails Challenge souvenir

Yey! Thats like hiking 52+ miles in different state parks mostly in East Bay though 🙂 … so far.

2016 Trails Challenge

Categories: 2016, california, health, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, state parks, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel log: Journey to the HOTTEST place ever recorded on the Earth

The HOTTEST place ever recorded on the Earth;
The LOWEST elevation below sea level in the entire Western Hemisphere;
The DRIEST place in the Western Hemisphere;
The TALLEST place in all of the lower US states;
The LARGEST National Park in the USA;

It may sound like crazy that I wanted to visit these places but the privilege of a Californian is to be able to cover them all in a day or two, so why not on a long weekend?  🙂 Yes, I am talking about the famous “Death Valley National Park” which is the largest (in fact larger than Yellowstone, yes, yes).  I never thought it would be so beautiful even though exhausting and dehydrating. We drove through the heart of the valley, its all a dry and barren land with extreme temperature and aridity but God made it “hellafa” beauty, I vouch.

  • Furnace Creek and Stovepipe are aptly named 🙂
  • Badwater Basin is a bold beauty and drains all the water out of you. It was 109°F (43ºC) when we were there
  • Natural Bridge intrigues you sure
  • Mesquite Dunes mesmerizes you
  • the “Death Valley Scenic Highway” is certainly scenic with multiple stops for water and pictures 🙂
  • Mount Whitney stands tall and makes all this rain shadow region what it is
  • Family trek to the Lone Pine Lake at 10k

And we didn’t actually get time to visit many other places like Zebriskie point, Devil’s cornfield, Ubehebe crater and Eurake Dunes etc.. Next time 🙂

Trip tips:   Carry lots and lots of water with you, sun screen, cooling glasses, hat, umbrella and whatever else that can protect you from the scorching sun and dehydration.

My Kids tried to breach the 10k elevation mark but had to turn back at 9153 due to bad weather. It still was a 4 mile hike on the slopes of Mount Whitney. We got two new friends and the 3 year old “Ashrita” was the most energetic:

Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level

Bumblebee’s “Off road” to the “Natural Bridge”:
"off road" to the "Natural Bridge"

“Salt Carpet” at the Badwater Basin
"Salt Carpet" welcomes you

“Natural Bridge” — It was cut thru by flowing water, once upon a time 🙂
Natural Bridge, Death Valley National Park

“Mesquite Dunes” — a desert in the heart of “redwood” state

Another 1200 miles in the log.. um..and special thanks to Manoj and Punnami for accompanying us.

thanks for reading.

Categories: 2016, california, car, family, hike, kids, my, national parks, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, summer, sun, trails challenge, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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