Random images from my flickr stream...



The drive that drives me sane !

It was a simple plan... lets leave when we can after we get up when we can and get ready in whatever time it takes... so we wake up at 9ish, get ready in 4 hours :D (there was a lot of catching up to do) and finally managed to leave around 1... the beauty of the entire plan being that we knew it was a day dedicated to driving and food and conversations and we did not really have a place to reach ! truly a journey being more important than the destination...

Atlanta airport on the evening I reached

the GPS has been giving me some trouble lately (I guess needs and update or something) though it brought us back home alright after the movies on Friday... It decided not to work for the first half hour or so, and then was kind enough to give us directions to the mountains just right!

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This part of the drive was not so hilly, but green... full of it...

We were headed towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and drove through 3 states, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee to reach the Clingmans Dome which is the highest peak in the Great Smokies at 6643 ft above sea level. To add an icing on the cake, there is an observatory which is build at the peak to get a 360 degree view from the top... very beautiful view, but makes it very artificial in my opinion.

This was by far one of the greenest drives I have been on... Tall trees both sides of the road all the way, mountains full of greens and shades of it... beautiful!

We took just one pitstop on this 4 hour drive, and I cannot express in words how it felt to drive on the mountains, especially when the roads were wide, and very smooth.

It would be a shame to drive around in the US and not see Harley all around... The owner of this one was kind enough to let me take a picture at the Gas Station...

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This part was all hills and curves...

The drive was especially very rejuvenating after we turned from Cherokee. Its a small town in North Carolina, and can be compared to a Katra before Vaishno Devi or Parmanu before Shimla or Bhowali before Nainital... has a lot of motels, restaurants, gift shops and a small river runs through it, which seemed to be a very popular picnic spot.. there were families enjoying the water, playing around in the stream, tubing, grilling and just being there !!! Nice...

Like I said... Harley and more of it...

Randomly stopped a few miles after Cherokee to enjoy the view... Dense forest, the sound of water flowing, lush green trees, couldn't be more beautiful

The Pontiac GT enjoying her break...

Mamu ki gaadi passing by while I was taking pictures...Mamus get the most powerful cars in the US... India learn !

Like I said before, green and more green... And these leaves would turn into paintings in fall!

A glimpse of where I was driving...

Another hour or so took us to the Clingmans Dome. There is something that happens to me when I drive uphill on curvy roads... I don't really know what, but there is something that happens.. I feel at ease, and am very comfortable... Good for another few months before I have to get out of my base again!

And some more bikes... men and women... on bikes... Jai ho Harley ki... there are more brands, but HD is by far the MOST Popular!

Count the concentric circle and know the age of the tree this block came from.. What is your answer?

Smoky mountains = thick forest all around... What fun it would be to camp and hike around in this area... There are many options and you can spend days walking around the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park....

At the top of Clingmans Dome, there is a cement structure which takes you to a high platform so that you can get a 360 degree view from the peak!

This is the eastern side view...Can only imagine how this would look at sunrise...

This is the North View...

And the western view, just on the border of North Caroline and Tennessee...

On our way down we wanted to take this trail, but did not because it looked too deserted and we were afraid that there would be bears waiting for us :P

A picture from behind the glass door of the rest room :)

After a .5 mile hike up to the peak from the parking lot, and back, we were understandably hungry and we had home made Gobhi Aalu, and Shahi Tofu with brown bread for our dinner ! Yumm!

Read more about the Smokies on this board... that half a mile of climb is good enough to remind you of the fact that you have not been working out :P

A few other not so high peaks...

The view from the parking lot after were returned...

We left the dome peak around 1930 hours and this time around the GPS decide to give up on us, the good part, however, was that we remembered the roads we had taken and were ok without driving the entire distance without directions from the GPS and we did! sweet !

Took two breaks, one in Cherokee where we went to a shop to see if there was some memoir that I could carry... I like this name Cherokee, probably because this Jeep brand has been something that I have been admiring for a very long time... I have said this to myself many times in the past, I am going to be in a Cherokee one day... did not realize that it was going to be, Cherokee the town, and not the jeep :)

The man on the left is ready for a small performance near the shop in Cherokee that sells Indian memorabilia... Indian has a different meaning here... not us Indians :) Moccasins if you were wondering are shoes made of leather which were originally worn by hunters. They are super soft and super quiet and helped the hunters walk long distances very quietly...

Our second stop was around 2130 hours, when we were passing through a town and realised that the Independence Day fireworks had started... just parked the car at the curb and enjoyed the fireworks for about 30 minutes before we took the road again... and reached Alpharetta around 2330 hours... 5 hours from Clingmans Dome to Alpharetta with two 30 minute breaks, a distance of about 180 miles, and atleast 60 miles in the hills... Not bad at all... oh, and not getting lost :) The Pontiac GT ran very very well on the entire trip as well, though I felt that the breaking was not as smooth as it should be downhill.

Fireworks in a small town on our way back!!! I can only imagine how the fireworks would have been in large cities around the US if they were so grand in a small town...

Total distance about 360 miles, total trip time about 11 hours, driving time close to about 8 hours, good car, good weather... what a day!

Today is another day and its already about 1030 hours, no plans nothing. And looks like its going to be another journey that matters!

Like I said, Sunday was a lazy day...The first half of the day was spent watching RF struggle against Andy Roddick... Poor Andy was playing to keep RF from winning the match and was not playing to win it.

The view from the flight window... This is Chicago! Did I mention that I upgraded my ticket to a Business Class... enjoyed the seat and the view both...

p.s. this post was written on Sunday, 5th of July.

And one highlight of the trip was this video... I think this is very funny... Have heard it many times now, and I am still laughing about it...


  1. prashant the photographs are AWESOME....i particularly liked the ones of the trees and mountains...i mean they are regular trees but your photos made them look fab...i too was working with trees...so really appreciate your compositiomn...teaches me a lot :)

    the sound of the bikes..the deep gurgule...creates such an adrenalin rush...and then the black leather jackets..and bandanas!!..and you cant help but stare and follow them as they go by ...jus wish that the men did not have so much facial hair :P

    so you are going up in the world eh...business class :P....way to go...and even further...

    you went to indian (red) land...they fascinate me :))...i too was there ..but in another lifetime ;)

    the video :P ...your voice has merriment in it...lovely :D

  2. Thanks for taking us along on this wonderful trip. Drive pe bahut majja aaya.:)

    The pictures are really beautiful. I am mountain person.

    Call it obssession, fascination or my deep love for mountains...I'm in a different mood..i'm a different person when around mountains. It is a wonderful feeling..err..very similar to being in love. Pahad mere main wapas jaan daal detay hain.

    Video to shuru honey se pehlay hi khatam ho jata hai..hehehe...funny hai.

    Bahut Khush ho gayi yeh post padh ke aur pictures dekh kay...aah!
    Thank you :)

  3. I think I've repeated it a zillion times, and I am doing it yet again, the pictures are awesome!! :)
    And I like the way you've tried to explain about that small town comparing it to the Indian places, makes more sense to us, people who've never ventured out of India.. :D
    I especially liked that picture that has a close up of the leaves and the one you've taken from the inside of the restroom!!

  4. abe kitna ghoomoge yaar.. pair hain ya chakkar :P im J !! and u did not realize it was my bday that u were celebrating with those fire crackers !

  5. wow!!! the pictures were awesome ..waise to u are champ, but when you do automobile photography, the photos turn out so surreal, so umm...i mean i saw that bike pic and found it so awwwesome, so beautiful!!!!!

    n i think i have fallen in love with the off-white Pontiac GT :D:D. will be googling it..:))

  6. @ iya.. belated happy birthday,fellow crab:)) it seems we both have our birthdays in the same week!

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  8. the mountains..the greens took my breath away for a moment! I admire your fascination for measuring roads capturing what all comes your way....making me almost living it !! Thanks for sharing

  9. Nice pictures Prashant :-) And yes very funny video. Enjoy Madi!

  10. Kya baat hai... "Busyness" class :P
    The view from the top is really something. I absolutely loved some of the pics (as usual).

  11. Some of the pictures are really nice. The sky looks awesome! :)

  12. Awesome pictures, as always!
    That video is hilarious!

    I especially like the picture of the Pontiac GT surrounded by all those dense green, lush trees...looks like a scene out of a "car" fairy tale! :)

    And happy b'day Iya, it was my brother's b'day as well on July 4rth!

  13. Lovely pics as always..more matter to read than to see this time, unlike your other posts..
    Loved the "Breaking of Dawn" waali picture, The Pontiac GT, greenery..woods,open skiesssss..mountains,fireworks and chappals..all of themm..

    Oh yeah..belated budday wises to Iya,Jas's brother,wishes galore n to MEEEEEEEEE!!
    God Bless us all

  14. Awesome Pic Prashat .. you definately take us ina differnt world with your pics ....

  15. Birthday greetings to Wishes Galore and Vaishali!

  16. thank you jas and vaishali:))
    belated birthday wishes to you too vaishali!!

  17. some pictures are happy
    i like them a lot

    which car did you drive?

  18. hehehhe
    video [audio] mast hai

  19. tumne pontiac GT chalayi ya nahin???

    yea this was the peak i had been to...trekking is fun there.. loved tht mountains waali pic. and those roads in the moutains..awesome!

    video mast hai :D

  20. @ Joy
    :) thanks you the so muchs :)

    business class because the upgrade was not too expensive, and I was like what the heck! i deserve it :P

    thank you for the comment on the photos... it was so green and happy that it just reflected in the photographs :)

    and the harleys, the sound is something that can take you to a different world !!! umm... love it !

    the situation at the video was absolutely hilarious :D couldn't help but laugh :D


    @ Swati
    you are welcome !!!

    I wonder why you don't go actually ! I think anyone who lives in Delhi should be banned from expressing inability to travel to the hills! its probably the easiest from there !!!

    yea, not sure if you got the point in the video though ! it was not about the video finishing quick !

    thanks :)


    @ Sam
    :) don't every stop saying that either :) it helps me continue :)

    India is the best, and after every trip I take, I feel that there is more in India which relates to life than anywhere else... outside everything is a li'il over disciplined and planned... no fun that way!

    thanks :)


    @ Shivi
    main !!! pata nahin kitna ghoomunga !!! bahut saara.... bahut hi zyada saara :)

    J? na re... please nahin :)

    and happy belated birthday :) I am glad the entire US celebrates it well :)


    @ Wishes Galore
    thanks !

    i like some of the pictures that I have taken of bikes too :)

    GT was good... very powerful very smooth!


    @ Reetika
    thanks !

    they took my breath away too :) i am glad that came out of the pictures !!!

    good that when i live it, i can make someone feel close to it too... makes it all the more worth it !

    thanks for writing!

    @ Shweta
    :) hehee

    will do! you take care too dear!

    @ Subbu
    hehehe... bhai :) it was a cheap upgrade :) but worth it... seat bahut mast thi ! do ghante achche beete!

    good, you liked the pictures :)

    @ Richa
    the sky is brilliant most of the time here... but nothing, absolutely nothing beats the sky in Ladakh :)

    thanks !!!

    :) i am glad you liked the pictures

    @ vaishali
    thanks ! it keeps changing depending on how much time I have... there are times when i write first and then put the pictures, which is when there is more text... and the others, I have just the pictures !

    @ Meenakshi
    thanks !!! glad you feel that way

    @ Burf
    thanks bro..

    I was driving the Pontiac GT
    @ Geet
    ye kaisa sawal hua? wo hi to chala raha thaa main!

    Drove it for about 450 miles in 2 days!

    You traveled to this place from the North side of the park... I checked it out! If I had more time, I might have arranged for a camp and hike, but never mind :) it was the mountains I wanted to go to ! :)

    mission accomplished :)

  21. @Prashant: Haanji, I got the point :) tabhi to funny laga.