Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Hill Station called Blacksburg

I never thought I would fall in love with the mountains.

When I was a kid, my family would make a trip about once a year. The first such trip was to Digha - a sea-beach. The trip was short - 2 days - but I was enraptured by the sea. There was something about the sea that immediately got me hooked. Moreover I was the only kid in the group - and I could get away from the elders and feel free when I was in the sea.

But we used to go to hills very often. I did not enjoy going to hills. Oh yes - it was beautiful and all that. But we would end up sitting in the car all day traveling - stay at a place with a beautiful view for a night - and then travel again next day to another beautiful sight. There were brief occasions when I could actually wander around in the mountains - never too far from the watchful eyes of accompanying parent or relative - but still I enjoyed those brief moments. The accompanying elder would take the well trodded trail while I would head into little more adventurous terrain. Alas! These moments were too short and far apart - and all in all, I did not enjoy the mountains as much as I enjoyed the sea.

And then three years ago, I came to Virginia. More precisely - Blacksburg, Virginia. Bang in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mountains everywhere. East - West - North - South - mountains on all sides. But for most of my first one and a half years here, these mountains remained out of reach - my travels were limited to the campus, grocery store etc. Trips out of Blacksburg were mostly taken by Interstate 81. And when on these Interstates, I never got the true feel of the mountains. These roads do not wind around mountains like true mountain roads do - they just bulldoze through them.

But these mountains kept calling out to me. I remember that while taking breaks from work, I used to enjoy a particularly good view of the mountains from one end of my office building in Torgersen Hall. Over the year, I saw the hills changing color - the Greens of Summer and Spring, to the Reds and Oranges of Autumns, to the Greys of Winter - I kept on staring at the wonderful mountains. Alas - from afar!

And then things started changing. I bought a bike. Started going out into the countryside. I started exploring trails. Soon after, I got a car. Now the world opened up rapidly. Random drives led me to the most wonderful of places. One particularly memorable day was when I spotted a trailhead while driving - and ended up exploring that trail by foot for around two hours.

I realized I was hooked. I now had full access to the mountains. What I had experienced as a child was not the proper way to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. To enjoy mountains one does not (I believe) need to go to a famous point and see a beautiful sight. Rather one should get lost in the vast expanses of the mountains - and then he will begin to truly feel their true beauty.

3 comments:

Cane-an said...

Hi Kriti,
Long time no blog. Got busy eh? How have you been doing?

felicity said...

Some places have no glitz no glamour, and yet they bewitch us with their charms. Burg is one of them.

kriti said...

@cane-an:
ya got busy with the research in the last year. thought it was time to start again.

@felicity:
true true