Pre Prelude : I know this post is a laate one. Actually we came back from Nigara two days back :) But I started writing this post even before that.. Completing it just now :)
Prelude: I am totally exuberant. Reason: I am going to NIAGARA... But then without a post on my first road trip in USA this wouldn’t do justice… right?
Yes I know it has been a couple of months since my last road trip. I was too lazy to blog about it. It was Spring break ’09 and many of my friends here went to Tennessee, break and I wasn’t able to be a part of it due to some ineluctable circumstances. And then it all happened on the spur of the moment.
On March 26th, we (Arun and I) rented a tatty yellow Chevy Aveo. Practiced the whole night. Thanks Ganesh to have squeezed in some time for us in your bottleneck GA schedule ;). On March 27th, Friday got the Illinois drivers license. The hoopla created to get a driver’s license was rubbled J and Arun was totally ‘driven’ for a road trip now. We decided to go on a road trip on our way back and extended the rental agreement for two more days. I came back and crashed on 26th night. Arun got a GPS and pooled in Madhan for the trip.
It was 28th morning and to our surprise we hit the road by 6 J Arun had a ‘so called’ plan (see picture below). It was a bunch of addresses written in a piece of paper. We entered the Miller beach’s address in the GPS and were off Chicago right away… We took very minimal dresses and eatables. Our breakfast that morning was bread… not toasted.. not with jam or butter… JUST BREAD J. It was an hour or so drive to the Miller beach…
It was windy. No, ‘stormy’ would be a better word to use. Except for me, the other two were held to earth with the down jacket they were wearing ;) – ‘that’ stormy. The whole beach was just for us.. J. Since there were no bajji kadai, meen varuval or masala poori to spend time on, we left that place very soon after few snaps here and there L
Then we decided to go to Grand heaven. Reason: “Peru nalla irukku da”. There we could see shopping place, place to dock the boats, few boats and a railway station set-up. If you have read the last sentence carefully, I said – “we could see”… yes we were able to see the shopping place from outside. It wasn’t open; place to dock boats without boats; and boats without people. It was like as if we were in a post apocalyptic deserted town place retaining all its beauty! Whatae!!
It was noon by then and we (to be utterly honest – “I”) wanted to have Indian food as if it were ages since we last had something Indian. The GPS directed us to a place some 10 miles away.
--- after “some 10 miles away”’s travel –
It was dainty to see “Indian Gourmet – Saturdays and Sundays – Buffet $12”. All the joy lasted until we saw this in the door of that restaurant “Closed Permanently”… SCREW RECESSION!! McD came to our rescue.
Geography Trivia: There is a place in Indiana named “Santa Clause” – Pretty Cool J
American Trivia: People in America will accept that Jesus is fake. They will die if we tell there is no Santa Clause!
Then we headed to Grand Heaven State park. It was amazing!! Seriously.. The whole place was ‘Manirathnam’ish. Mild breeze. Chill air. Serene beauty! (Disclaimer: I am not telling “Sherin beauty”. I know she is an attu. Serene: Calm)
And it was here we almost spent the entire evening J - reason – I locked the car keeping the keys inside. He he… But then it turned out to be the reason which made us sleep inside the car at night instead of booking a room and all – to compensate the extra charges by the enterprise car rental guys. And sleeping in the car made the entire trip most memorable J So thanks to me! :D Had I not done that silly thing we could’ve never said this – “Semma trip da/di! Plan pannave illa… apdiye ponom.. suthinom.. night kooda car kullaye paduthutom theriyuma!!” :D When the reason is not told it becomes a mercurial adventure :DWhere were we??? Oh yes.. the G.H.State park.. We spent the evening in that place which also had a ‘light-house-kind-of-thing’. It was majestic with its rustic beauty. Later after that trip I happened to see the same place in a photograph.. “Justu missu!!” :D See pictures below.
Later that evening, we went to a local trail place which was looking just like the place from “Vettayadu Vilayadu” where Kamal finds the buried corpses. There again we were the only people in that beach!! Don’t know why… I found that place spooky! J
That night we had dinner again at McD, burnt some songs in couple of CDs for the next day’s trip; had our laptops fully charged. McD la thorathatha koraya velila vanthom ; only to find it was raining cats and dogs L We planned on sleeping outside McDs but it would be too obvious. So we thought of sleeping at Walgreens :D With the new pillow and socks that we bought that evening we had a cozy sleep; until it snowed!!
It was a god-sent snow, seriously for the following reasons
- We wouldn’t have woke up J
- The 2nd day would have ended up being monotonous...
We woke at around 7-8 in the morning, went to our home (that’s how we call McD since then), brushed with “Colgate tooth powder” J , had our face washed, drank coffee, freshly brewed, kept ready on the table; then left McD. ( Ithelam engayo panna mathiriye irukka? Veetlathan J )
We started our day with P.J.Hoffmaster state park. It was HUGE – really and it was overwhelmingly picturesque with the ‘just-now-fallen’ snow! It was like what you see in ‘Puthu vellai mazhai’ song except the high profound romance in that song J We had a trail path which just looked like stairway to heaven. And yes it was!
Then it was another amazing area of sand sloping down to the water of the Michigan lake (‘beach’ndrathaa than apdi suthi suthi ezhuthirikken! J ). Until then I have never seen a shore covered with SNOW instead of just sand. I am not sure if I will see such a beach again!! And yes, this beach was again just for three of us.
It was noon and we had to eat. But we were zealous about the climate. So we planned a short visit to the road side park located nearby. There Madhan tried a stunt only resulting in a bruise on his cheek. It gave us some of the best pics taken in the trip.
Then we went to KFC and bought 2 chicken buckets. McD engala kovama paatha mathiri oru feeling :D But then its ok, veetla sollikalam nu, we again seeked the GPS’ help for our next destination. I don’t remember the name of that beach but again it was Manirathnamish J JUST AMAZING.. The sea/lake was roaring with high waves and the wind was piercing our bones. It was there; Madhan took off his down jacket and wanted me to take a video of him doing all stuff – like running around, jumping and swinging etc… Naanum pannen… with a running commetry :) But there occurred a smaaal technical defect. Intha record button, record button nu onnu irukku… onnuthan.. atha press pannanumaam… payapulla atha mothave solla koodatha :D So all the breathless stunts by Madhan went vain.
Then again we did not want our trip to end.. so we started to one last place… but antha edathukku poga valiye therla :) kadaisi varaikkum… But things have to end.. The 2 day epic journey ended like a smooth crescendo fading out at the end of the song… The first day was like we were totally lost and we roamed like nomads.. the second day was like we were living in “Evano oruvan vaasikkiraan” song.. I don’t know how Madhan and Arun felt. But this is what I felt. That’s because of the climate and the places we went on that day… Innum konja thooram pona oru medical camp… anga Shalini oru tent la treatment kuduthutu irukka mathiri oru feeling… Innum konjam overa poi busa lam niruthi paatha Madhavana ye kandu pudichudalam pola irunthuchu… Yevano oruvan paata 15 hrs ketute iruntha epdi irukkum? It was that beautiful. Except for the feelings part of that song, the beauty was retained in every mile we travelled…
So finally whats with this trip? Why this trip? There is nothing like a reason for this trip and the two days of nomadic life (though nomads dint have a yello Chevy J ).. There are some poems that don’t rhyme… some stories don’t have clear beginning, middle or an end.. Life is about – not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what is going to happen next!!
Post-Lude: People who read this post must surely know by now, I am a great fan of Manirathnam.. yes I am! Especially for the music and the cinematography in his movie.. ( athellam seri ippo en da atha solra? nu kekrathu enakku kekuthu.. chumma thagaval!! )