Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A weekend of random driving around

People think I'm too ambitious and I have no real reason to deny it. But aspiring to do a road trip across the US when I've never driven before in this country (or anywhere else, at least not significantly) is hard core validation of high ambition, if not craziness. But what the hell! Of course, I'm crazy. So is Arun, for he actually trusted me with his car!

I have my road test coming up this week. So all of last weekend and yesterday, I spent most of my free time, or rather procrastinated studying for my midterms, behind the wheel under Arun's able (muttering under my breath: sometimes annoying) guidance. It was like learning how to dance. I had to learn hand-eye-foot-brain coordination. And also racing heart-clammy toes-sweating palms-grated teeth coordination among other things... Just exaggerating! I think I did fine. After all, doing 75mph can be pretty daunting when all you know is a past life where you had to show your deep reverence by driving slower than cud-chewing cows on the road. Jokes apart, Arun is a great teacher. He is unfazed no matter what I do or how dangerously close I am to the gigantic trucks cruising along the highway.

Our aimless wandering took us to Ricketts Glen State Park. The drive was fun and full of winding roads. But we picked the worst time of the year to go to a place where the main attractions are waterfalls. We made things even worse by reaching there in the evening when every trail was closed, some for the day, some for all of winter. Not for us those beautiful shimmering cascades, not for us the tingle of warm water flowing over dangling feet. It's almost as if we revel in the snow covered emptiness with no sight of human beings for miles. But at Ricketts Glen there were a few other brave souls outside wooden cottages lighting barbecue fires, warming up for what promised to be a freezing night.

There's something between us and sunsets. Just like in Valley Forge,we drove up to a clearing just in time to catch the setting sun. Arun got a few good shots. In reality the sun looked rather trembly, as if it was drunk and swaying. The picture looks like the sun underwater. Or like color slowly dispersing in a watercolor painting...

The clearing was actually a frozen lake under half a foot of snow. The undisturbed fresh powdery snow was a wonderful sight. It was fun to throw some of it at a protesting Arun. But once he scraped the snow to show me the ice beneath, I kept imagining scenarios where the ice gave way and I drowned. What a pity it would be to die such a premature death, that too by drowning (Ah! Chilling!), and when I'm so close to having my dream life after school...

It's great that we've stopped lazing weekends away. Maybe it has finally dawned on me that I simply have to move my ass if I have to see places here before I move halfway across the world.


Nandini Vishwanath said...

Hehe @ your last line :) I love the bench (if that's one!) pic!

Jegu said...

Before the winter goes, you have to see the places which brings you closer to your dream life.!!!

buddy said...

nothing beats a weekend spent randomly driving around!

narendra shenoy said...

Enjoyed this! And reminded of a joke.

There is an art to capturing polar bears. Each Inuit village has a different technique and there is considerable competition between villages in how effective their techniques really are. The most famous village of all had a technique that worked nearly all of the time. The technique stayed a secret until one old gentleman finally told the leaders of the other villages.

"The technique," he said, "is to make a large hole in the ice. Then, you must surround the hole with fresh peas. They must be fresh. Canned ones will not work. After this, you wait. When the bear comes up to take a pea, you kick him in the ice hole."

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures! You guys sure have a lot of fun, and it's really nice reading you :)

btw, your latest post, I can't comment. I hit comment and a completely blank white page shows up. :|

Good luck on your cross-country drive! two days left eh? :)