Through Thick and Thin

Downtown Louisville has a character of its own. It's quiet and peaceful for the most part although lately, it seems to be more like that slumbering giant, slowly being shaken awake. The city comes to life once the sun takes a more westward turn. Until then, its quirkiness is on display for those who choose to walk through its quiet streets and alleys. One thing that can't be doubted though, is that we are a welcoming lot. So welcoming that sometimes we put our couches outside the house.

welcoming in downtown Louisville
Drive-by shooting

While I don't have any couches in my frontyard for a weary runner, bicyclist or walker to put their feet up for a while, a welcome to my home is usually in the form of idli-sambar-chutney, instead of the ubiquitous pohe. And, I have to wonder why that is the case when pohe (po-hay) is a rice dish that can be served at any time of the day or for that matter, for any occasion! Someone drops in for tea, make pohe. Too exhausted to make dinner? Make pohe. Diwali feast? Yes, pohe have to be on the menu. That well-groomed green-card-equipped engineer from the US dropping by to see if you are pretty enough to marry? Your mother insists you must make pohe. Or, she makes pohe and passes it off as your doing, while the prospective groom watches closely as you walk across the room without tripping, to confirm that you have no limp and that you are not blind.

How to Fry Batata Vadas Without Getting Your Hands Dirty

I am a serious believer in God made hands before man made cutlery. I use my hands a lot when I cook: to mix, to scoop, to feel. As can be evidenced here.

Fork it

Even so, I do stop to listen when friends like Jen show me how to keep my hands clean and make deep fried goodies, like batata vada.

Rest-of-the-world Chhole

Some of us - not me or anyone in my lazy family - hiked 15 miles across the Continental Divide last weekend along the Pawnee Pass Trail to Monarch Lake via the Cascade Creek Trail through some of the most beautiful and most remote parts of Colorado. According to their report, the high country meadows were bursting with colorful wildflowers. Only in my dreams can I think of hiking 15 miles in one day, going up 2000ft, coming down 4200ft and then camping near Grand Lake for two days. We took the easier route and drove to the top of our world in Colorado on US Highway 34, the highest paved continuous highway in the US, also known as the Trail Ridge Road. We've never ventured beyond the Alpine Center and I have to wonder why! As soon as we turned the corner from the Alpine Center, we saw a herd of elk grazing at 11,700ft.

Herd of elk

No Pleasure Too Small

Sometimes, it's a good thing to live in a rugged state like Colorado and not have one of those monstrous SUVs. Our little ten-year-old Honda CRV has AWD and does reasonably well on the mountain roads but when a dirt road suddenly dissolves into a stream with a sandy bed?

Road, stream or both?

Well, there is usually only one thing to do: back up, park on the side of the road in a designated spot and hike the rest of the way to the trailhead on a trail lined with surprises.

Abandoned in Hesse Townsite