Washington

Hiking Big Four Ice Caves in Washington

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It is better not to venture into the caves. Don’t be coaxed or cajoled into entering the caves, even if for a bet, an adventurous picture of you inside the cave, or to impress your friends into believing how brave you are. Accidents and deaths are not unheard of.

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Dekha 1 khwab to…Seattle Tulip Festival

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We visited Tulip festival first time in April 2002, and after that it was a yearly to do event. I didn’t knew about Tulip festival till my friend Amit asked me if we are interesting to go there coming weekend. I said yes, I was having office provided rental car that time, and pretty excited for a long drive. But my friend shattred my dream saying that he will take his car as I am not not an experienced driver in United States, I argued for some time without any luck. Anyway, it was a sunny day, not very common in Seattle, we took I-5 North towards Vancouver, I-5 connects West side of Canada and Mexico, passing through Washington, Oregon and California states. We were 3 families and it took about 2 hours of drive as I-5 is crowded, seems that everybody was driving towards Tulips. We took Exit 231 for Tulips, and I think it was wrong exit or it was much closer to Tulip fields.
Prasad, one of the other friend, took the charge as guide as he was supposed to be knowledgable about different Tulip fields. There are multiple Tulip fields, and you can see different colors of Tulip flowers like red, yellow, orange, white, magenta, some mixed color Tulips. We entered the first field, and it was the WOW moment, a Kodak moment, “Dekha 1 khwab to ye silsile…” moment. As it was a sunny day, place was crowded, everybody was taking pictures, we also settled ourselv and took few pictures. I didn’t had a any camera that time, so I was completely dependent on my friends.

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Day trip to Mount St. Helens, Washington (USA)

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I’ve always had a fascination for volcanoes. The sheer power exuded by nature in it’s form kept me awed and humbled whenever I watched volcanoes erupting on TV channels. Living in Seattle provided a wonderful opportunity to explore the volcanic mountains of the Pacific North West (like Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Mount St. Helens). The most interesting amongst these is Mount St. Helens that last erupted in 1980 (5.1 on Richter scale), scooping off the head of the mountain in the process and making it “the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States.”As quoted in the wikipedia, “The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.”

You can visit either the north face of the Helens or the South face (you can’t do both in a day). I have been told that the north face has the best view of the crater (and is closer to Seattle as well). The southern face has interesting points like Ape Caves, but I am yet to visit it.

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Edmonton to Seattle USA

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Seattle has a sea shore. Cruise ships proceed from there. It has islands and ferry left every half an hour. Lots of population resides on islands.  Seattle is famous for Boeing factory. Microsoft has head office in Seattle, Bill Gate and other staffs sits there. Total population is less than seven lakh. Green lake park popular among runners, contains a 4.3km trail circling the lake. We were there. Local white people greet us with smiles and waving hands.  We also visited to Indian Restaurant, Food was so spicy, but sweet gulab jamun and kheer was there. Mexican cook was working there. Mexico is also famous for spicy food . In Canada food is normally not spicy.

Weather was windy. There was big merry go round. Some people walking there. On roads there was traffic but not much hustle and bustle. I miss my India here as lots of kids, young couple are present every tourist places there.

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Revisiting Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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How lucky one can be when one gets to time their conference trips with one of their favorite festivals happening concurrently at a different city, in fact, a different country? Once the conference dates in Vancouver was decided, I waited with bated breath for the official announcement of the dates for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, about 70 miles and 1 hour 10 minutes drive north of Seattle on I-90 (Exits 230, plus minus one). The tulip festival has been my favorite things to visit in Seattle, and every year, I waited for Spring to arrive, heralding a trip to the daffodil and tulip fields.

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“Fall”ing in Love

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One of the many abstract joys of traveling is discovering your fascination for specific things you learn to seek in your journeys. For example, I have an amazing fascination for sunrises and sunsets I never knew of before. I have difficulty waking up for my 9 am classes, but I will have no difficulty waking up at 5 on a cold, wintry morning to take a walk by the sea, hearing the waves roar and the birdies fly by as the sun comes up and says hi. Similarly, I have a fascination for trains.

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Of Dawns and Dusks

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I woke up late and had to be content watching it from the room of my hotel instead of heading to the beach. The second day, the sun was partially shrouded by clouds, and though I had a wonderful experience watching it rise, I was not able to get any good shots of it. I tried watching the sunset from a sand dune, but this time too, the sun had long disappeared in the thick clouds even before it was time for it to set.

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Starry Nights

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We eventually fell asleep for a short while, watching the meteor shower. However, someone had diligently set the alarm clock at 4 am. We promptly woke up (me glad that I had not become the late night dinner for some animal), packed our sleeping bags, drove down to the camp to dismantle our tents, and then drove for another hour or so to catch the first rays of the sunrise kissing Mount Rainier. If the sight of meteor shower was not Heavenly enough, this was another Heavenly sight, the face of the mountain glowing bright orange with the first rays of the sun.

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