I am the alpha and the omega
December 28, 2004
Dean's Law of the District of Columbia
Washington is a much better place if you are asking questions rather than answering them.

North-East USA Trip - II

The above law seems appropriately titled for what I am going to experience. Coincidence, I guess.

Thursday to Sunday of the last week was spent in going to and being in Detroit, about 500 miles from where I was currently. Given me, I would have rather flown to that place. But not my uncle - he prefers to drive there, even though it takes 9 hours. Last year, they had actually driven all the way to Grand Canyon from Maryland. Thats way away.

I spent the time navigating - figuring out which exit to take, and then finally going to my uncles place. Quite a maze. Its easy to get lost without a map, I would say. And if you miss an exit, the next one is about 30 miles away, and its no easy task to go back again.

On the way, went to the SV Temple at PittsBurgh. Having managed to reach in time, just before closing, I got a view of Balaji, a replica of the one in TTD.

A total of nine hours of drive, through the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, I was in Detroit, amidst the bountiful and beautiful snow which I was seeing for the first time. Luckily, the roads had been properly salted allowing snow to melt more easily and driving conditions safer. It was too late to do anything at that time, apart from a cool nap.

12 hours later was when I took this snap below, from the balcony of the apartment. The amount of snow just amazed me. In all its crystalline niceties, it was really pretty, cold and icy.

Snow rite in the balcony, and the open grounds beyond

Later on on the day, went to the Henry Ford museum.

The Henry Ford museum - Americas Greatest History Attraction

You must apologise me for that picture. This was the best I could get with a near 0 Centigrade weather and wearing thick gloves and bad lighting.
What I had expected more was lots of cars and details about car manufacturing. What I had got in return for the 13$ I had paid was a window into history. Too much history, in fact. So much so, that after a three hour walk of the place, I had just finished half of the museum. And my back started paining from carrying a big tripod all the way around. The museum closes at five, and I decently voluteered to leave it, rather than be kicked out.

Just kidding.

Atleast this massive 2-8-0 Consolidation with a huge Ice-Breaker attached in front (thanx to British Columbia Railway) seems to know its way around history.

A huge Ice breaker and the Consolidation.

Next day, my desire for skiing and my firm insistence on it, helped me go to the Pine Knob Ski Resort. Even though I wasnt prepared for it at all - no cold weather clothes, no ice jackets, no thermal wear. Nothing. Apart from my big eskimo jacket purchase 4 months ago in Austin. Luckily the rental there had everything, including a ski instructor who taught us the basics for one hour. And then we were on our own.

The Pine Knob Ski resort. I skiid on the beginners hill in the right.

Skiing, as seen on TV, is much more difficult than it looks. Firstly, it is very difficult to move. Imagine having 3 foot long feet, and trying to move, when every feet you move forward, you move two backward, if the feet are not angled properly; all the while trying to make sure that the feet do not cross over one another. Once you reach the top, or in my case, climb for 20 metres, you ski downhill, hoping that the skis dont behave like drunkards, each trying to go its own sober way, and finally trying to stop when you are moving at 20 miles per hour, with nothing to hold on to. All in a biting cold of around 0 centigrade, resulting in a constant leakage of brain fluid (as Calvin from puts it). And all the while praying that you dont fall down, because if you do, its very difficult to get up to.

Still, its amazing fun, and a good work out too. But make sure that you do tone your leg muscles before going, otherwise you mite end up having an excruciatingly painful nite that nite. Thank God I didnt.

Skiing requires a lot of practice. The balancing part is very difficult. Its like learning to cycle all over again.
I hope to do it again sometime soon, if it ever snows somewhere near Austin. Unlikely though.

Posted by satosphere at 10:25 PM


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