Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Collective

2017 whatIdid

As the year comes to an end, looking back its a fun way to take an account of what was done just for your own sake and yes thank everyone and everything including your own self for stepping up for that endurance or whatever was the need and demand of the time even among the most oppressing  noise at a times.

Yes, activity wise this year turned out to be more of solo, challenge your own self in different ways year & in a way feels great and would definitely like to do at least one trek a year that way. let's see.

Many first time things include canoeing, kayaking, outdoor rock climbing, sailing, first ski lessons, glacier walk, snowmobiling etc. One of the most interesting thing was nature walks with amazing group of individuals. Besides it was the year to meet some really great individuals and feel humbled.

Among many other hikes, snow/ water activities somethings done 2017 :-
Portugal coastal trek ,Vienna to Czech republic trek,Iceland hiking etc,Hawaii hiking,Women's adventure camp Mt. Hood , 3 half marathons Runs etc altogether, 100 miles summer challenge, 200 miles spring challenge,150 miles fall challenge, Reachthebeach bike ride, Emerald city bike ride, Many volunteer hours over weekend helping out planting, mulching, trail work etc . , Hours of early morning nature walks solo or with nice group of people, touching back to random sketches and some other things ....

May you all have Very Happy, Joyful New Year!!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Hawaii- Hiking

Well last of 2017 was hiking in Hawaii.

Dec: 23 to 31 - 2017
70+ miles of leg work....
Maui ,Hawaii

Yes, have to mention this:- had fabulous Christmas special "HighFitness" on friday 22nd to start off.
It was after long long time re-visited this island. After spending October, November & almost entire December in Seattle it was good break, some prior commitments n'ways. The first time trip which was way back was much in rush as some storm came in so visit to Haleakala got postponed till last day and had to catch flight at 7 / 8 in the evening, just rushed drive to the top and then crazy hike on sliding sands trail to one of the craters and back, I rem. one bottle water and one pear .... probably this was my first hike in USA as such or cable line trail was first in Seattle. Not exactly sure ... anyways. After hike drove to airport and flat out slept in plane. That's the last memory. Like any other tourist that time did helicopter ride, Hana drive ( which is different now), old luau, some boat adv. and ocean center, tropical garden, plantation tours etc....

Over past some years travel is totally different actually that might be the time when travelling started as such, most of the places visited were for strenuous activities trekking, hiking and some other crazy things.  This time around that's what continued. Never knew of some of the coastal or other trails in Maui and got real good chance and had fun exploring them.Weather turned out beautiful all throughout.

Remembered the hike to Twin falls and drive en route Lahaina, where they used to sell sugarcane juice and I rem telling the guy how its made back in India and we put lemon and ginger and salt in it, it was fun to see these days all these ingredients one can add and are provided. So many times driving on Hana road last time the thought was , why don't farmers sell their local produce here, during last trip there hardly was anyone and now one can get food and fruits etc. even road is in way much nicer condition.Best place to buy fruits were at Maui plantation, besides the coconut water seller in Lahaina (he has his own truck) has really amazing work ethics and makes sure you get real good stuff. Stroll under banyan tree and arts and crafts people have nice things. Lahaina is nice place for stroll, food and many shops around are nice. Some other malls are also good places to explore.

Early morning run along the ocean some 4/5 miles, pool time, make your own breakfast, pack lunch and hit the trails , back on beach or in pool.

Some trails explored:-

Walk down to blow hole [ I guess one hike has to be in heels, for those who know some things & background story this statement would make sense and for others just ignore, especially Greece Acrocorinth in 3 inch heels at 12 in the afternoon and yes it was very well executed not recommended though (some enthu photographer even has picture) ], Ohai trail : very peaceful walk along the ocean and informative at the same time (met one nice elderly couple and really glad could help them and am sure they had really great Christmas and doing well now).

House of sun :- Haleakala, This time around did sliding sands trail all the way to the base of crater the trail access last time we went to was closed to middle crater, gorgeous views and on sunny day while hiking in the afternoon make sure to carry enough water and some snacks, food etc. Since we didn't have tents or things to stay couldn't go for overnight treks.

The next day Halemau'u trail: weather was little rainy and cloudy in the morning, saw Nene birds, the zigzag walks and route to holua cabin is nice and almost all to yourself. The other side trail is mostly for mules to carry stuff to cabins.

After doing so many hikes and treks and things over time, didn't even feel were hiking at an elevation.

Hosmer grove, nice stroll in nature and eucalyptus trees smell amazing and refreshing. Nearby Lavender farm has nice garden grounds and lavender products.

Iao valley just the stroll around and Hawaii nature park near by, Kelia pond trail by ocean is nice.

Hana drive :- Surfing spot and delight to watch surfers, short walk to twin falls, Waikamoi nature trail,botanical gardens etc, number of waterfalls, lava tubes are interesting walk surprisingly no bats just some small crawling things on floor, the trail on lava rocks and black sand beach in Waianapanapa state park is really good , Kipahulu Haleakala national park trail to waterfalls is nice walk among bamboo, the trail has lots of Jamun trees en route and huge banyan trees, there are two water falls Mahiku and Waimoku and there is some small trail loop by ocean side later on to explore.

The Hana loop drive is nice and glad this time did almost everything on the drive and finished early.

Waihee ridge trail is interesting thing to do in wet conditions but the trail and views are really refreshing and beautiful and from my POV its more beautiful when cloudy with little drizzle. Waihee wetlands and coastal dunes is beautiful ocean side walk, Kapalua coastal trail, Wailea beach trail and many others are also nice walks with clean beautiful beaches to explore.

Covered as much in short trip, one day went exploring Lahaina and other towns and places and luau in evening. This was long due since Iceland but didn't get chance may be next time horseback riding
( nothing like that have done it before in hawaii and other places).

Overall saw different side of Maui apart from last times touristy stuff and loved it. Beautiful place to explore, its your choice what u want to do.

Just  got back on 31st night right in time to see the fireworks on Space needle and started new year Jan 1st 2018 with quick morning hike on "Chirico trail" .....

Bye Bye 2017 WELCOME 2018 !!

Maui 2017 Some Pics:
Pass : maui17

Instagram: Maui glimpses 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Holiday season :-

Wed 29 : Supporting a great cause and seeing them do amazing things is really something, in part glad to donate time and money both in terms of volunteering for trail work, planting etc and just some small monetary contributions over time since 2015.

Glad got to witness collective efforts and how far things have come and listening to experiences during the annual function over wednesday. Very nicely organized event, people, food everything was amazing. Last year missed it but this year I could , was glad to be part of it.

Just hikes etc : -- 

For past couple weekends, some snowshoe hikes, regular hikes  and lucky could get my first Ski lessons finally. All pictures in the above link are on instagram ( well my instagram account and facebook are not connected), some slide shows on instagram just hover over picture and you can see which one's are slideshows. Enjoy.

Dec 6 / 2017
Yay!! what was received in the mail today ....
Running through fall medal .... had finished long back, nice to see medal ...

Actually could have done one more long trek over past two months just didn't happen, some or the other things keep coming up and had signed up for somethings which had to be finished, n'ways. 

Dec 10:
Just one more to the season: Kendall lake snowshoe. Started kind of late in afternoon some 8 plus miles, maxx elevation some 4500,very freezing temps with blowing snow, dense fog and kind of white out. Beautiful though. More pics on insta. Since someone asked , layering (for top: base layer, thin fleece or warm layer on top, thin jacket  over it and have spare thick jacket in backpack and rain jacket & rain pants, For bottom: base layer and hiking pants or fleece lined hiking pants etc. ) One might feel inflated with all these clothing as everyone is different and each one will need less or more of them. You can easily take layers off / on as and when needed. As long as one is comfortable that's what matters. Enjoy!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fri 17 : 10k ---

After yesterdays dancing in the rain ,, not literally it was that kind of weather outside but we had indoors dance routine... Nice group of ladies.

Usually unless signed up for an event rather to put it correct wordings, on the day of event (mostly signup and run on the day of event that's it) or challenge never run as such, but today Fri 17 got reason enough as my regular instructor was missing for highfitness, so just did stair climb for 30 minutes and had nice impromptu 10k ( 6 miles), outside .... here is the glimpse.

Thanks to three ladies for taking picture.

Sat 18 / Sun 19 :----- Nice snow adv. and hiking post recollection of some memories from Mthood adv (august 20 /2017)...wild hike : -

Crystal mountain ..... first of the season snow on sat. and hiking little si. click on pics to zoom.
more on Instagram ....
Instagram:- hover over picture to see more slides

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fall 2017:-

Little si :- 7th oct
Entire October on purpose skipped posting things on Facebook, just got fed up for daily updates what workouts and what not. Everyone does it, I am not unique. Anyways..

Reverse walk / jog for mile : Oct: 6

Though these days intensity of them is relatively high, as against what used to be previously, it was real fun doing "Brooks reverse run for a mile thing" . Given the fact that had never even walked mile in reverse direction, it was kind of interesting thing to do and in high winds it was more fun. And thanks to them.

Had signed up for 150 miles Fall challenge and almost towards the end of it or may be done, medal will be sometime later.

Oct 13/14/21/28 : Helping hand:
amazing volunteering weekend: 

Instagram : 

 mrun:         have fun .

13.1 Miles - Running with Frankie half marathon
Nov. 2nd 2017

Well today was the only day possible to replace projam and tackle this. Feeling humble and happy could do that post yesterdays barbell strong weights thing and for last couple miles could feel the workout. Nway's, weather was really nice in the morning with some occasional drizzles and really glad finished right in time when real downpour started.

Right in time to avoid getting drenched....

Njoy !!

Well weekend got nice snow surprise, during beautiful walk found owl during daytime, pics on instagram and re-visitng your childhood hero was yet another cool thing.

Just to elaborate on that:

Book : "Talk (the type of sound made using tongue not the literal meaning) bahaddar faster fene"
Language: Marathi
Author: Bha. Ra. Bhagvat

Luckily came to know of this movie "talk bahaddar faster fene"and would have never missed it for anything. Was just browsing through new movie releases in Lincoln square and stumbled upon it, tickets were available and there it was. Growing up there was unknown attachment to this character. 
Everyone once in a while wants to become a detective, adventurous and what not and this book gave each one as a kid an opportunity to experience this. Wish they can make movies with all other stories. It was so much fun re-living and re-visiting your childhood again.

I think the relation with books was built while growing up, school library / outside library , many prizes won in school we used to get books as gifts (later it came to such a stage that teachers would ask which books you don't have and want), book reading hour, teachers telling and sharing stories and in vacations the special magazines used to come home "chandoba"etc etc.  Later it changed to re-reading prize books to british library to granthali to many other things and now with so many options with technology its even further interesting.

Every single story you read leaves a mark on your subconscious and some books share a special bond with you, the reason can be anything.
Happy reading !!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Reach the Beach bike ride

September: 30, 2017
Reach the Beach Bike Ride
American Lung Association:-

My first event with this org. was "rainier tower climb" it was way back.

It was equally crazy thing to do it as was impromptu sign up for this bike ride. There was link on one website about "reach the beach- WA" bike ride for American lung association. Mentioned that to my other half that I want to do this and he said OK I will do too and we signed up for different rides and for individual fundraising.

I was going to do 45 some miles, didn't even check from where to where it is and / or anything. All signed up as of 7/10 ,began fundraising and all was forgotten. The reason being I had too many things on plate, Vienna to Czech solo trek was just going to start with REI and nice group of individuals [and why not the other thing b'cause was not even invited for it (and any reasoning that is presented to justify this by anyone is nothing but garbage) and never even was helped when asked help for ever (I am in best of my shape, suckers! don't look for opportunity to spread lies) well there is much more to it. Never come to know of any functions or anything and not even aware what reasoning is given for all these years. Some people are beyond anything just no moral whatsoever, done dealing with kaikeyi, manthara's, duryodhan and shakuni. We have our own place in India.Nothing new , have said this before to. Well the cunning bitch, bogus doctor did all the conspiracy (no. of people in it ) and roaming everywhere as if she did nothing wrong. ---- (you asked for help, we refused, then u helped yourself successfully so we fell in hole we tried to dig for you -- and then we created u do as we say or else thing ) and after Diwali 2016 where I was tricked into going  to save my inlaws ass, they came to shows and hotels everyone wearing indian attire, got PNG gifts from us and made us eat in hotels for entire week. Its been 17 year, do hell with  you. Haha, for 17 years these people didn't even have my number. None even speaks. Putting the right perspective on things is important as no one bothers checking facts rather happy with gossip and hearsay. If you have never been given a chance state the facts , be happy about stating it] and then had women's adventure in mount hood. Besides all of a sudden came the Iceland hiking thing later on.  Besides this year was with different running events RUNNING EVENTS

Earlier this year in may memorial day weekend we did "emerald bike ride- small route" that was first time ever proper organized bike ride for me ( it was also equal impromptu sign up) with most ride being on highway with all traffic stopped for the ride. Funny part was, before this ride hardly did twice some Sammamish river trail small rides and two days before actual ride one round of small hill climb behind house just to know how to use gears. Could ride on the day and it was great experience and organization at the same time by cascade bicycle club.

After coming back from Iceland hiking etc trip, just realized this event is soon coming up and with all other fundraising formalities done, was set. Before this actual ride did twice Sammamish trail some 17 miles and out of guilt that I have not even sat on bike for long time or done any riding on road at all, went for two spin classes indoors in gym post Iceland trip.

Picked up packets for the ride and the actual day came, entire previous week was very intense for me even the day before the ride. Got up around 4 in the morning on the day of ride, we grabbed some bite and since my other half's ride was starting earlier from Lacey we had to leave early, he started around 6.30 or something and I went ahead to the starting point for my ride. Reached around 8 am and since my other half mentioned don't start until he comes waited, his initial arrival was supposed to be earlier but he came in little late & finally we started from my location.It was fun leading on.

Forecast was for some rain and winds. Didn't even realize when the first rest stop came.
Just before the first stop my water bottle just popped out from holder there was just minute stop to grab it.

First rest stop:- there was no need to stop but just went to grab a bite and it was nice to stop and thank volunteers and meet many other riders.

Second rest stop:- Just near from 2nd rest stop, my other half got flat tire and we stopped in road to fix it , it wouldn't get fixed so decided to walk to rest stop. which was just across the street.There too he took help from some nice family, while i was wandering around searching how to get this thing done quick as we were losing time. I never knew usually supported rides have trucks which fix your bikes and was glad to find one. The individual was so nice he fixed everything and then we left. In all this lost almost one hour.The guy even said I will make sure U reach the beach, so nice of him.

Third rest stop:- I think it had some cat. 5 hills to climb and at the top of second hill drank water, then met everyone at rest stop and left.

Final stretch was in winds and just crossed the finish line and showers came in.

Entire organization,setup, food, volunteers, riders were amazing. Had lot of fun riding with everyone. This was the first ever 45 miles for me and that too on road without ever practicing on road. Happy could do that. The bus ride to Elma was nice and back home, reached around 9.30. It was amazing to see no leg pain or any other, the next day went for high fitness. Humbled and happy could do that. My other half did 100 miles, it was after long time he did that, he had done some practice rides of 65 etc. miles.


Well had already posted this on Instagram!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Sept 1 - 11 2017

Hiking, walking, running, glacier exploring and things.

Usually this kind of thing is rare that in just two months period long trips happen.
Post Vienna to Czech trek which I did solo, with group but still there was nothing as such in mind or it was too soon even to think about it. 

But imagine the odds, my other half all of a sudden pings me from office "long weekend Iceland it is ok ??" Was like, is it for real? given he had taken 3 weeks break in India and usually... but anyways, I just questioned any idea about weather and said sounds good. By evening all I know flight bookings were all done, wow !! that was fast. After a while this was our driving around and doing things trip. Met friends and took guided adventures too.

Wanted to do things in Iceland since long, had in mind, but just didn't happen earlier. Had even seen organized hiking trips for the same.

Iceland : things in their most raw forms, volcanoes, glaciers, miles long ice fields, huge mountains,old lava flows, numerous waterfalls, most happy sheep, horses and people, great food.The place has very nice welcoming vibe. One can leave their things anywhere and just be fine ( the locals would say this is Iceland ).

Fishing, tourism, goat farming, aluminum smelting, renewable energy were some of the industries.Some roads in town are heated by pipes running down from volcanoes, even hot water in showers (one can smell Sulfur in some cases) Best use of natural resources. City walk was the nice introduction to the place.

Anyone can read about drive around ring road, golden circle and other things but in all this what matters is just being present in that moment.The smell, the weather, sudden cold spell, rain, drizzle, sunny day whatever it is, if u are like me it will stick with you and the memory will recreate it anytime U will see that picture.

Among many other things done this was the first time I had hiked up on glacier, past snow history of snowshoe walks and things was there but never on glaciers.

It was an awesome experience and kind of unplanned landed in private tour so had things only for ourselves.

 Apart from all glacier things,crevasses, moulin, water falls, walks, climbing up etc. one of the best moment was ( later to be described as glacier moved) We were standing in one place admiring some things and everyone knows how does calving sounds, so curiously we all started looking around as to where it happened ( I think we had seen something in open mountain face far away from us ), post that strong wind pressured sound just went below our feet and water started coming out or to say bubbling out from some spouts.This was even new for the guide and the later conclusion was glacier moved. How cool is that , three engineers (electrical, electronics, mechanical) stand on glacier two of them for the first time and make glacier move, hahaha :) just kidding. Whatever it was, it was the thing to remember.

Exploring the glaciers in really exploration team style ( calling it this way after wearing that suite , but glad it was there) was a thing.

Did number of hikes in around waterfalls, inside mountains, lakes, craters, geysers etc. It's always wise to be prepared for all weather conditions. So layering is the best way to enjoy. It can get very windy at the top of craters, as standing and walking opposing high winds is hard running in the same was fun. That's how landed up finishing two miles up the crater.

Super jeep adventure was really nice crossing rivers, hills etc.

Being soccer fan have to mention this, happened to run across Ukrainian media and soccer team in the same hotel. The players had match against Iceland the next day.

With some 80/ 85 miles on feet we headed back to place called home.For an outdoors enthusiast there is lot to do and definitely got the rough idea of the place. Return trip is for sure with the things I want to do. Hope that happens and soon.

And yes among many beautiful sunsets and things got to see Northern lights too ...

The only thing would be, given the amount of increase in tourism hopefully the place doesn't lose it's identity. Getting some examples from other countries and knowing the future problems it would be nice if steps are taken in advance to keep things as they are and may be permit systems are put in place earlier.

All individuals I have met were really nice and awesome, I think I need to create one post simply with everyone I have met on many trips.

Some glimpses : - these are just some low resolutions pics :- Iceland pics:

Monday, August 28, 2017

New next :

Had signed up for this challenge while back and finished loooooooooooong time back, was spread over some days , but doing along with all other things going on it was kind of .....
Finally the medal just arrived.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Women's Adventure:

Women's adventure camping:
Aug 17 to 21 -2017
Early morning 5 / 5.30ish

It was about time to claim the gift. With so many things going on, had totally forgotten about this for a while until it was time to go. This was the first time had ever done solo camping. Carrying / setting up the tent with many others.
Getting up really early in the morning, walking around in the fog, watching the night sky, stars in pitch darkness. Have seen this before so many times but every time it's really something.

  As per one's liking we always keep on doing couple things and some things even if you want to do or try out always get pushed back. I am sure this happens with most of us. It was a great chance to do / explore / try out things never done before.  Doing so many things one after another time just flies and one doesn't even realize that weekend is over making memories.

Rock climbing French's dome, kayaking, trail running, hiking
Too many details and unknowingly everyone tries to follow the footsteps. Just go with the flow. Most importantly have fun.

Taking in the views during wild hike Aug 20 2017
A thing to cherish!! Yes and the Solar eclipse, with so many people sharing so many things about it didn't want to fall in that mode of information overload or flooding everyone's mailboxes or Facebook feeds with it. It was amazing, had seen before but every time it's
great!! Pictures too ....

Glimpses:- things done 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Vienna To Czech republic hiking:

July 14- 25 2017
Covering 90 some miles hiking, exploring things etc.
It was fun mixed group and REI did great job.

As it has been a trend, things always happen at the last minute and it works out better. Probably too much time into planning and thinking is for some set of people or needed where its required like U have to have permits and all, but not for us. There goes too much waiting period. N'ways have done both kind of things but always in favor of last minute quick things.

This was first time exploring new country, first time solo kind travel for hiking and exploring other things (my other half had 3 weeks break in India so no vacation left for him.) Was in kind of dilemma whether to do this one or the other but all other logistics came together at last minute and decided to do this.

This was the first time traveling in this region. Navigating and traveling these days is way much easier given all the technology available at hands.Language can hardly become a barrier and if one has done train travel in Bombay, one can travel in any parts of other country easily. It's kind of cool experiment not to use technology and interact with locals for information, they are really helpful and one comes to know more. My cab driver in Vienna was kid doing summer job with his mom being teacher and dad a chef, probably he told more about things in Vienna. Using local transportation, walking around is yet another way. 
Most noticeable thing was people are really outdoors kind, biking being primary activity, river floats,
rafting etc. The bicycle routes in Czech are extensive and well maintained and marked. There are color coded different kind of trails, red, blue, green. Educational trails are very well marked and informative. Maintaining old forests, various restoration sites, man made lakes, fish farming, bee farming and hunting are couple other things. Cleanliness and good habits were a nice touch. It was so fun to meet lively, continuously smiling individual in the winery and he proudly sharing his wine shares with everyone.
Really happy go lucky kind of guy and wife has really good voice.

More than hikes I would call them walks in the forests, towns, different places and they could be more intense than they are. But it was good mix of culture, places, country side etc giving you an idea of what is out there. The glimpse into local life and culture in some days.

Visiting these countries and not remembering world wars and things which happened during that era is not possible. On and off one can see remains and cemeteries and untouched , unused equipments reminding you of the times. So far everything you saw in movies and when really being present there and walking through, was a different thing.

Flowers / potatoes / fruit stalls /Hanna pottery maker / nature museum
Getting up really early and having walk/ run early morning or using free time during lunch more efficiently, stroll before dinners and silent nights to watch calmness that falls in place and how the place looks are some more ways apart from regular schedules to do what you want to and explore and enjoy the place. If you are like me, not much into shopping category you will do more hiking around, finding new things and doing them. Walk up the castle towers, night walks in the city, wooden boat rides, doing smith job making coins, nails, visiting nearby area, quick running up the hill, early morning bird watch and many more things.
Finally it's you who decides how best shape you are in.

Well given that it was nice experience in new country!! Music, food, people , culture , history, castles add special touch and good set of fun loving people to do all these things with.

 Some Glimpses:

Monday, July 3, 2017

Roller skating :

Had done this in arena not many but just twice or so and given every time summer was busy with things outside attempt got pushed back, finally today was the day ... being holiday had real fun heavy weight lifting class in the gym and what followed later evening time was the attempt with roller skates, with all possible gear and poles to support. Funny, one has to stand in grass to take picture. Nice sunset and evening by the water. Beautiful day!!

Beautiful, fireworks and music was really good to mark 4th july

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Solo Hike -2

July 2: Bullitt fireplace trail:-
Well beautiful morning today, imagine getting up eating Idli -sambar , coffee for breakfast reading book in kind of cloudy nice weather. Lucky me, made it the earlier night so one gets to eat it next morning. These days mornings start with cloud cover which burns off later.

Initial route
Anyways , so far had never been to Squak mountain state park before, it just went back of the list. Well reached the place sometime around 11, not that many cars, there is no designated parking lot too where I parked ( not sure if there is some other entrance), just parked by the side of the road and there was one couple just getting down new to hiking and they were too doing this trail for the first time. Just walked with them for .1 / .2 some miles and headed ahead. The place really has jungle kind off feeling even the forest is thick, did see deers, birds, banana slugs, something rat like, squirrels, small garter snake etc. Well the trail is not bad, initially wider and in between gets steeper and thin with lots of brush around.


That's the end of signs place
Followed the signs for the fireplace trail, but at the end after the mentioned distance they just disappear,  there comes some area with different trees altogether and signs for other trails, saw people wandering around there, they too were trying to find fireplace if it existed. Just did run around the area on different section to see if there was anything and since this was first time on this trail decided to head back. Saw one runner, he mentioned he runs here quite a bit but has never seen fireplace. Will figure out next time. Overall nice trail, not that much traffic and dense forest, walking in my unexplored area for the first time, not exactly sure but may be walked around 4 /5 miles altogether.

When headed out there were far more cars parked outside. Well should / could have checked report for the trail, just forgot to do that. Nice experience though!