Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Posts Tagged ‘National park

Presidio – An escape from within

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Officers quarters at Presidio, fog covered Golden Gate bridge in the backround

Officers quarters at Presidio, fog covered Golden Gate bridge in the backround

For me, San Francisco is a pretty city with great food. But, the traffic gets on my nerves. Before our household got a GPS assistant, going to the city invariably meant an argument – about taking the one way only turn, and not finding a parking that cost less than the meal. Now, at least we avoid taking the wrong turn and if we do, we are not pathetically lost.

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Written by Som

October 14, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Biodiversity park in Delhi

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Yamuna Biodiversity Park

Yamuna Biodiversity Park

Any green space in the naturally arid Delhi is always welcome. The Biodiversity park is an artificial wetland created to attract and study migrating birds. It is spread over an area of approximately 450 acres near Wazirabad village in North Delhi.

Park authorities are still learning to cope with visitors and may not necessarily be too helpful. But most scientists love to talk about their work. So if you find one of the field researchers, ask him or her about their work, and enjoy a guided tour.

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Written by locomotoring

August 18, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Winter camping in a desert park

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Bow Willow Campsite at Anza-Borrego

Bow Willow Campsite at Anza-Borrego

It is raining cats and dogs today. Winters of Northern California typically bring cold rain and dark cloud covered skies. Good for water table but not good for the soul. My thoughts turn to Anza-Borrego desert state park, the largest of California’s state parks and a perfect escape from rain drenched winters. A couple of winters ago, we camped at the Bow Willow campgrounds. We are intermediate campers – we can do without the comfort of hot showers for a day or two but do need a chemical toilet. Bow Will was perfect – clear skies, not too cold, no bugs, hiking trails nearby.

I still remember that for dinner we had Trader Joe’s Lentil Rice Biryani heated on our camp stoves. Last night we had Chicken Biryani Dum Pukht style and while my Biryani is infinitely better on a culinary scale, there is something special about campside food. Is it the appetite built up from all day hiking, the fresh air enhancing the aroma of food, the effort of getting dinner ready in an unfamiliar setting, or sitting down for dinner without the TV?

Written by Som

March 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Elephant seals of Ano Nuevo

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Papa and baby elephant seal

Papa and baby elephant seal

December to March – they arrive, they mate, they have babies.

Elephant seals are big, brown, and blubbery. If you come to Ano Nuevo Beach – a small state park on the California coastline  between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz – you will see hundreds of them. Blue sea, choppy waves, rocky waterfront, sandy coastline and what looks like large brown blubbery sacks littered all around. Males weigh 5000 lbs, females 4000 and newborns about 100. Maybe they are called elephant seals because they are elephantine versions of seals, or maybe it is because of the trunk the males have for a nose. Harems of alpha males number in hundreds. Sounds more exciting than seventy two virgins, eh?

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Written by Som

March 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Vegas, gateway to getaway

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Chihuly exhibit at Bellagio

Chihuly exhibit at Bellagio

I live in San Francisco and Vegas is my favorite gateway to a getaway. I like Vegas – it is hard to not be amused by this crazy city. But what I love lies within 4-6 hours driving distance from Vegas. So … I get into Vegas, enjoy a night of neon excess and then I get out.

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Soaring above Grand Canyon

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Small aircraft flight between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

Small aircraft flight between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

After the rafting trip through Grand Canyon, this was utterly lame and I am ashamed to admit that I loved every minute of it.  The helicopter trip cost as much as a dinner at the French Laundry but it was far easier to get a reservation. The only part that I didn’t like was waking up at 3 in the morning in Las Vagas – it essentially meant not going to bed at all.

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Written by Som

February 19, 2009 at 4:29 am

Hoodoos of Bryce on a chilly autumn day

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Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce

Bottom of Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce

I am not at all in favor of visiting national parks from the comfort of my car seat, but I came close enough that day. It was freezing –  I live in San Francisco Bay Area and anything below fifties is freezing for me. Cold wind was biting chunks off me – my nose, my ears ….

A little about Bryce for those who are not familiar – it is situated on a high plateau in Southern’s Utah, 5 or so hours drive from Las Vegas. The limestone rock formations, called the “hoodoos”,  are caused by rain and ice eroding away the relatively soft rock. A  large collection of hoodoos form a basin called the amphitheater and it is most definitely one of the few destinations worth visiting.

I am glad that we decided to walk the Navajo Loop Trail. It would be a strenuous hike if it were longer but it was less than 2 miles and offered a great opportunity to watch these rocks from a distance as well as close up. Besides, it was the only time that trip when I took my hands out of my pocket to hold the camera.

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Written by Som

February 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm