Srikanth Perinkulam

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Listening

Morning muses with the little munchkin perched on top of her stack of books. Babbling, pointing, standing and now slowly trying to walk; this soon to be 11 brat is growing way too fast!

Philip, You could take practicing your compassion several levels over by driving in Indian traffic. Trust me, I’ve tried doing what your friend suggested several times and finally chose a better solution – let my wife drive. She’s either transcended to zen mode or got way too numbed down with the incessant honking and haphazard, needless lane shifting. And when I really have to drive or am able to get an eye-contact, I’ve started throwing flying kisses at strangers. It works a charm for that nano-second. Helps me keep calm and drive-on!

Tit for Tat | Radiolab | WNYC Studios

Another good one from radiolab! Real-life prisoner’s dilemma situation playing out in WW1.

Rightfully so! There are two beaches with the same name on both coasts of the peninsular region.

The one in Trivandrum is way better than the one I biked to on the east coast. Kerala is bestowed with some really good scenic places. I did a long backpacking trip several years ago. Some of my best memories of exploring that state!

Billy on the Potomac

I’ve had my eyes on the Billy goat trail for a while now. With a beautiful foggy forecast, this Sunday was a great day to head to the woods.  We reached the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historic park  in about an hour’s time, only to realise that the Billy Goat section A and B trails were closed due to flooding!

Having come this far, we decided to explore rest of the park. The short hike to Great Falls via the locks was insanely beautiful! So glad we decided to head this way!

After that, we head all the way down the parking lot to hike the Ford mine trail. The trail runs parallel to the C&O canal for about a mile or so and loops back to the parking lot crossing several streams and small waterfalls. Though not quite comparable to the BG section A hike that I had visualized, this was a pretty decent hike.

This region totally calls for a revisit!

Honnold attempt

A short morning hike to the Liberty Dam near home. Scouted a shorter trail but ended up hiking on a proper road up to the Dam. 3.6 miles round trip and a quick scrambling attempt on a rock face with N at the end.

Got back here via the trail the subsequent weekend. The trail was pretty picturesque. Winding by the North Patapsco river and eventually terminating at a beautiful vantage point right near the foot of the dam, this dirt trail made it totally worth coming back here again. A branch off this trail also seemed to lead back to the parking lot at the top. Will likely get back here while putting in some mileage for trail runs.

Acadia

Photo taken at: Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Last November we drove to Acadia and had a terrific experience there with the Labrador cold front.Being off-season, there was sparsely any crowd and we had most of the park just for ourselves.  Those three days were the most relaxed days we spent together in a while.

Earlier this month, we revisited Acadia, this time with family. The park was very crowded and we had to rise up pretty early to have access to some quiet zones. Nevertheless, it was a just great being back there. Drove around the park loop, hiked up the bubbles, and visited Schoodic peninsula and Bar Island. Stayed at an RV camp park in Ellsworth.

Nothing to beat some good quality time with family, outdoors!

Mt. Moosilauke Backpacking

Photo taken at: Mount Moosilauke

First backpacking trip in recent years. Had a 27 pound backpack on and felt every ounce of it on my spine as we hiked up Moosilauke on Day 1. With a thunder shower forecast for the weekend, we had one person drop out from the team just the night before the trip. After the initial meet at the Appalachian Trailhead on NH-25A, eight of us packed in two cars head towards the Beaver Brook Trailhead at Kinsman Notch on  NH 112. Started the hike at around 09:30hrs up the Beaver Brook trail.

Wasn’t quite feeling too well as we made the initial push. With about 3000 ft of elevation gain in the first two miles, I already had some serious second thoughts on this trip. Decided to take it slow on the way up and take a call once I reach the summit.  Plan B was to make my way back to Beaver Brook shelter and rest there while the rest of the team traverses the Appalachian trail and make their way down south towards the Gilmans corner AT trailhead on NH 25A.

Skirting around Mt. Blue we reached the Mt. Moosilauke summit at around 13:30hrs. Lucked out on the weather and had some beautiful 360 degree views. Some pretty good views of Franconia notch, Mt. Washington and several other peaks! Eventually decided to head below tree line and make our way down on the AT towards Jefferson Shelter. Incessant rain and the steep down gradient took a good toll on the knees. Reached the shelter at around 17:15 dripping wet. Setup the tent in the rain and was totally knocked out in a few minutes.

Met Chief and Doc – two septuagenarians, one with Parkinsons and the other a veteran who’ve been hiking the AT together every year for the last 40 years! Some great trail talk and we leave the next day morning south bound. My knees weren’t doing that great and I decided to bail out once we reach NH 25C, about 5 miles from the shelter. Urged the rest of the team to continue on the trail for the next five miles. After about a 3 mile downhill run on route 25C, an elderly gentleman stops by the side and agrees to shuttle me to the start point. Hitchhiked for the first time ever in the U.S and was an interesting car ride! A french teacher in a school in NYC who’s settled in Warren. His wife runs a shop up in Loon Mountain and someday when I get there, I’ll make sure to check and connect the dots. Quickly change in the car and rush back on the trail north bound to meet the rest of the team. They apparently met a trail angel who was serving hot omelettes and muffins!

A great weekend in the whites. I should get back to this sometime soon once I square out a few things.

Kayaking in Walden Pond

Photo taken at: Walden Pond State Reservation

Absolutely spell-bound. This is one place I would love to go back to!

 

3 on the Charles!

Photo taken at: Charles River, Newton, Massachusetts

  1. That sums it all up. Psyched!

 

Mount Garfield Hike

Photo taken at: Mount Garfield

First hike with the AMC. Four hours climb up to the summit with icy conditions in the last 1000ft. Microspikes saved the day! Under tree line pretty much all the way till the end. The peak does open up to a 360 degree view. Could spot quite a few other 4000 footers from the top. Franconia Ridge looked pretty tiny from here! A quick 2.5 hour hike got us back to the trailhead. Good pace, good work-out and first ‘technical’ winter/early spring hike!

 

AMC Embers SLT

Photo taken at: Camp Lyndon

Appalachian Mountain Club, Spring Leadership Training – 2018

The sky captain’s school

As we enter Lugazi on route A109 towards Jinja, Google Maps suggests we take an unpaved dirt road on the left. The red slushy path meanders through small shops and houses and an eerie sense of awareness creeps in as villagers notice the Toyota Rav4 rolling into their ‘area’. I read last night that the 10km stretch to the Griffin falls camp area would be dirt roads winding through sugar-cane plantations. Last night’s rain and the incessant drizzle seem to have worsened the roads. Thankfully, the Rav4 handled the conditions insanely well.

A few kilometers in, direction signs to the camp lead us to the camp site. Looks like we’re the only two folks who’d be zip-lining today. Setup by Aaron Blanchard a US Peace Corps volunteer in 2014, the Mabira forest canopy super skyway is a phenomenal way to explore one of Central Uganda’s rainforests. After a short 15 minute walk in the woods from the campsite, the ‘Sky Captains’ guide you up a ~40 ft tree from where you zip-line across the forest on five zips with the last one being a controlled repel between two 115 foot trees across the river Musamya. I’ve zip-lined a few times before, but never in a forest this high. Richard and Gerald – Our Sky captains did a terrific job showing us around and securely navigating us on the trees. Once off the zip system, Gerald led us to Griffin falls and then back to the campsite.

River Musamya is heavily polluted by the Sugar factories upstream. Mabira forest by itself is on the cusp of heavy deforestation. The Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) – Jointly owned by the Government of Uganda and The Mehta Group apparently planned to clear one-third of the forest area to create sugarcane plantations in 2007. With resistance from local non-profits and environment groups the government is seemingly caving in. Very recently, it announced to buy-out the mabira forest residents. With all things environmental, politics and business we’d never really know where this balance is going to tilt.

On our way back, a guy from a village asked us to pull-over and checked if we could give him a ride to Lugazi. We were neutral but politely said we couldn’t. One of those times where you never really know what’s the right thing to do in a foreign place…Also, there apparently has been an underlying racial tension against Asians here since the Mehta group is an Indian firm and the Chinese too do seem to have a strong presence in the Sugar business.

On the drive back to Kampala, It struck me why I really like travelling or doing things outdoors. It’s just not about the activity that you end up doing, It’s the broader awareness that you get when you’re exposed to the framework that has led to the creation of that event.

Bear’s view

Photo taken at: Bear Mountain State Park

First hike of the year/season! Quite a lot of post-holing but was absolutely worth it! I ran the Bear mountain half a few years back. This hike brought back some good memories of that treacherous run!

 

The Drowning Machine

I’ve always been fascinated by water and the raw power that nature subtly dissolves in it. Having recently procured a Kayak and with plans to use it to the most this summer, this brilliant short from the Dirtbag Diaries couldn’t be more timely!

Podcast: The Dirtbag Diaries: The Shorts–The Drowning Machine

“I was disoriented beneath the cold water. I kicked toward the surface, but the force of the water held me down. I twisted and hung underwater for a moment. A thought passed through my head–this is what it feels like to drown,” writes Dan Gingold. Dan and three friends planned to raft the Musconetcong River into the larfer Delaware River over three days. With the river running high with spring rains and little prior recon, their mellow trip became more than they bargained for as they navigated multiple dams.