Satish Shrestha (सतिश श्रेष्ठ )

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Switched to blogspot

Posted by Satish Shrestha on August 19, 2011

I started moving my posts to blogspot. Find me here

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One more fun bike incident in Spokane

Posted by Satish Shrestha on July 15, 2011

(I couldn’t wait until I reach my house to write this, so i stopped at the Apple Store to recollect this incident i think was fun)

So I walked out of the Main Market and started riding my bike towards the riverfront park. Because Main street is one way that heads east, I was riding my bike towards west in the side walk . A well dressed old man with a walking cane, wearing a hipster hat (for the lack of right word) stopped right in front of me. I immediately thought i might have scared him riding the bike in the sidewalk. I was rather apprehensive. As I stopped, he gave me a wide smile with a thumb up! I reciprocated the smile and we departed. Gotta love the bike scene in Spokane!

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Unforgettable Climbing Fiasco

Posted by Satish Shrestha on June 12, 2011

It is the second day in the camp ground; sunny, warm and beautiful. Heather seeks people to go climb Aqualine route, a two pitch climb graded 5.9 in the east side of Banks Lake. It requires us to kayak to get to the rock face and start climbing from the kayak. I tell Heather that I don’t have much experience in kayaking. She convinces me that if I wait until I get better at it to try an adventure, I end up doing pretty much nothing. I concur. Trusting the company, Heather, Wyeth and I commence our journey in three kayaks to the middle of Banks Lake.

Map of the Lake and our Location. Click on image for better view.

After kayaking for about 20 minutes, we reach our destination- a spectacular rock wall about 150 ft high. I get off my kayak and start preparing my gear. Heather, an adroit climber, leads the climb as Wyeth belays her from the kayak. After completing the first pitch, Heather preps to belay Wyeth from the top. She tells me to check Wyeth’s gear and knots. The whole time I think that Wyeth is an experienced climber. Taking Heather’s suggestion into account, I keep my eyes on Wyeth’s knot. To my immense surprise, he doesn’t tie his figure eight knot right. I take the end of the rope and tie it for him. I start questioning myself if I should climb today or not. In the mean time, I try to get back to my kayak and I stumble as the waves generated by a motor boat sways my kayak. I am all soaked. As Wyeth climbs up, I am in charge of untangling the rope. The kayak is drifted away from the bottom of rock face and the rope is tangled in a paddle attached to the kayak. Fortunately, Jacki and John appear in a canoe. They attempt to help push the kayak towards me and untangle the rope. Again, a motor boat passes by us and the water gets very wavy. Jacki attempts to get off the canoe but stumbles. John, then, loses his paddle. Analyzing the situation, I shout to Heather that I am not sure if I want to climb today. But in order to clean up the carabiner, it was essential for me to climb. Making sure that Heather was on belay, I opt to climb. Because the kayak was drifted away, it is not possible for me to start climbing from the recommended starting point. Thus, I start traversing from the side next to the shore in order to avoid water. It was a fun traverse. After traversing about 12 feet, I finally reach the recommended starting point of the climb. As I get there, the waves get my rock shoes and it is partially wet. I ask the belayer to take some rope but the structure of rock face and the noise from motor boats passing by make it very difficult for me to communicate with the belayer. I shout “take” several times but my voice doesn’t reach Heather. My feet are unstable after holding on to a tiny ledge for some time. Finally my partially wet feet slips, I land on water and my rock shoes are all soaked. It makes it even harder to climb. But I do not want to give up yet. My toes are wet and are making spongy sound every time I put pressure on them. Jacki and John are a little away from the rock face and can see Heather. They communicate with Heather in my stead. I push myself to around fifteen feet up despite the wet slippery shoes. I try to convince my mind that it is possible to climb despite wet shoes. After taking rope off of the biner in first bolt, I keep pushing myself up. I need some slack and I shout. But my voice still doesn’t reach Heather. John, from his canoe, communicates with Heather and I get some slack. Because she can’t see or hear me, it is difficult on her part to know how much slack I need. Not getting enough slack to take off the rope from the biner, I opt to leave it there. Traversing towards the sharp edge of the rock I get a good hand hold and try to mantle myself up that hold. Unfortunately, my wet shoes give up on me and I slip. Then, I decide this is not the day for me. John passes on the information to Heather and she lowers me. That’s the end of the climb for me for the day. Ryan appears on another Kayak and help me unlock the kayak to get to the shore. Heather and Wyeth then go climb the second pitch as I lay my wet gears and shirt on the sun to dry. On the way back, I get some kayaking tutorial from Wyeth. At the end of the day, I reminisce the events and thank Heather, John, Jacki and Wyeth for their patience and company. I am more thankful to John and Jacki whose presence made my communication with top belayer possible. In retrospect, considering Wyeth’s better experience with kayaks, I think I should have been the second person to climb instead of third. Despite the fiasco, none of us is hurt. Though not quite satisfied as I couldn’t finish the climb, I think the whole experience was a great learning opportunity. If I get a chance, I will certainly attempt to climb that route again. Thanks to Petey for making all this possible.

Found this picture on google. Added texts for info

Here’s a picture taken from Petey’s camera

Heather leading the climb, Wyeth on belay

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$16 Short

Posted by Satish Shrestha on June 8, 2011

Catching a megabus at 1:30 in the morning from penn station NYC, I make it to Boston at 5:30 am. As soon as I walk out of South Station, a lady, probably in her late 20s, runs into me. She has an interesting story to share that early in the morning. With no introduction or whatsoever, she iterates her story as fast as she can. She tells me she is a good person not a “scumbag” and have been walking around seeking help since the evening of the previous day. She tells me she is 16 dollars short to board a bus to Burlington, Vermont. In a rather sympathetic manner, I tell her I will go buy her a ticket but won’t give her any cash. If her story is true and if she really needs help, there is no reason for me to not help her unless I actually I didn’t have $16 myself. Her expression, her story all appear fake to me and the fact that she can only accept cash, not a ticket, confirms my conjecture. I tell her once again that i wouldn’t mind buying her a ticket. She refuses my offer and I walk my way. The morning of my last day in Boston!

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Jogi Travelexperience: Day 5 (Mt. Biking in St. George, UT)

Posted by Satish Shrestha on March 17, 2011

March 15, 2011

After three consecutive days of skiing, my body was rather worn out. On the fourth day, I experienced mild fever and cold. Hence, I decided to skip skiing yesterday and instead stayed in the hostel to blow off steam. I felt quite weak the entire day and didn’t do much besides feeding and hydrating myself. For today, the fifth day, our plan was to drive down to St. George, UT and mountain bike in a canyon.

I woke up with immense enthusiasm and body was all charged up. We left Camelot Hostel in SLC at 5:30 AM and it took us around five hours to get to St. George. Red Rocks Bicycles was the first bike shop we went in to see if they rented mountain bike. They did, but they were all out today. The second bike shop we tried was Bicycles Unlimited. It was pretty elaborate bike shop and I was quite impressed with their services. I rented a Canondale dual suspension mountain bike for a day. Mark and I hit the road immedietely.  Instead of driving down to the canyon, we rode out bikes from the bike shop. After riding the bikes in the streets of St. George for almost over an hour, we arrived the gateway of the canyon. St. George has very wide bike lanes and I must say that it is one of the most bike friendly cities I’ve ridden a bike in. The weather was simply superb. Clear blue sky with plenty sunshine, temperature in the premise of lower seventies Fahrenheit ! It felt like Spokane in mid-summer.

Bear-Claw Poppy Trail is what we tried. It had a variety of difficulty levels and some of the parts of the trails were pretty intense. The rented bike was pretty cool but it did take some time to get used to it. Thus, I was being very cautious in every drops and bumps and started with easier sides. Gradually, I promoted to more difficult ones. Some of the drops were pretty scary as they were unexpectedly narrow and deep. I almost landed with my head at one point but my reflex action of leaning backwards avoided that accident. I stopped for a minute after that and hydrated myself. I was a little thrilled. The trail obviously is a gift of the nature. Nonetheless, people who fabricated it must be appreciated. Monstrous cliff on each side of the trail, wild flowers and cacti pretty much every where and random cloud shapes were very eye-pleasing. Time after time I would think that I must have been dreaming, for though I’ve always wanted to do all these things I had not quite planned them.

Beginning of the Bear Claw Poppy Trail

We were in the trail for a couple hours and we headed back to the city. St. George is a very neat city and it appeared that most people were quite affluent.  Almost over 80% of this city is occupied by the Mormons  (source:Wikipedia). The influence of Mormons was quite evident. After completing the mountain bike ride, we started our little quest for Polygamy Porter. Mark is quite obsessed with that beer. We stopped at Costco and walked through every isle in search of Polygamy Porter. We had no luck. Eventually, I asked one of the staffs at Costco for help. With wide smile in his face he asked me, “You are not from this state, are ya ?”. I said “no”. “Oh well…there’s only one bar in town and only one liquor store also. You could get some wines and beers at Walmart and Smith’s”. I was happy I didn’t tell him what exactly we were looking for. He gave us the direction and we headed to Smith’s. I came up with a quick hypothesis. A person with alcohol addiction problem should not spend time and money in a rehab. If he/she were to move down to St. George or any Mormon town, the problem would be at least mitigated if not totally resolved. Mark did find Polygamy porter at the Smith’s and he grabbed a whole case of them. The graphics in the case was ridiculous (see picture). Mark appreciated the beauty of the city like I did. But his conclusion was that he couldn’t be paid enough to live there. Don’t ask me why.

Pretty cool drop right between the boulders

Graphics in the case of Polygamy Porter

After refueling our cooler and food supplies, we headed to Vegas [“From the city where you can’t find a stinking beer to the Sin City!” -Mark Waters]. The view on each side of the highway was mind blowing. We were passing through Virgin Mountain range. It seemed like all those monstrous cliffs were silently speaking to me but I failed to communicate with them. I am not quite good at expressing this feeling, but I feel like hills, cliffs, mountains all are dynamic and animate. After around two and half hours of driving through the mountains, we entered Las Vegas. The city was visible around 30 miles away and the air in the city looked almost as polluted as in Los Angeles. It was quite densely shrouded by smug. Las Vegas is so much larger than I had envisioned. The main strip of the city is full of elaborate architectures. The billboards in the highway mostly pass information about casinos, adult stores and motels. One of the billboards that caught my attention was “Australia’s best export: Thunder Down Under”. The billboard displayed around 6 semi-naked guys and it just looked ridiculous. Las vegas is definitely a unique city or say the Sin city. But I guess I am not sinner enough to associate myself with this city in any way.

We headed down south towards the Red Rocks Canyon in Mojave desert. It was an adventure finding the campground and the venue. After helps from a friendly park staff and another bitchy park staff, we were able to find Phil, the person in charge of Red Rocks Rendezvous. Unfortunately, the camp ground will be open for us starting tomorrow only. Thus, we had to arrange some other sort of accommodation for tonight. We headed further south to find a camp ground. Again unfortunately, the camp ground was full. So we headed back north and decided to check out Bonnie Springs Ranch, a classic western hotel. The setting of the entire facility reminded me of western movies with cowboys, horses, guns and whatnot. It was like going back in time. Here I am in a hotel room, the furniture look antiquated, the TV must have been from the 60’s and I can see donkeys and canyon in the back yard. It can’t get any western than this, can it ?

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