27 March, 2021

Rifle Falls State Park and the Grand Mesa

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This is  part 2 of our trip to Colorado National Monument. While returning from Colorado National monument, we drived through Grand Mesa, the largest flattop mountain in the world.

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We stayed in Grand Junction to cover Colorado National Monument.

Accommodations near Colorado National Monument:

Grand Mesa, an area covering 500 miles of area, which is the largest flattop mountain in the world can be reached by Grand Mesa scenic byway near Grand Junction. 

This scenic byway of 63 miles passes through the beautiful scenery of national forests, wildlife, and lakes. Grand Mesa is at an elevation of 10,000 ft above sea level.

The scenery changes dramatically from Grand Junction to Grand Mesa. We cross through these large formations of volcanic ash , as elevation increases, we pass through lakes, forests, and at last snowy mountain after crossing powderhorn ski resort. 

We took a restroom break at Grand Mesa Visitor center and the kids played snowball fight. 

In Summer, there might be good trails for hiking here. But, due to the bad weather, we couldn't hike.

The views while descending from Grand Mesa are equally interesting. 

We drove to Glenwood Springs and stopped for a quick lunch at Qdoba which is just on the highway.

These are some views of Glenwood Springs. Read this travelogue on Glenwood Springs to know about the places to visit. 

Glenwood Springs is a nice place to stay a night. Glenwood springs adventure park and hot springs are great. The hike to Hanging lake is beautiful(only through permit).

Accommodations near Glenwood Springs:

Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle falls state park is one of the beautiful Colorado State parks and can be reached via I 70 W and Co Rd 226 from Glenwood springs and is around 28 miles. This frozen lake seemed beautiful on the way to Rifle falls.

Rifle Falls is a busy area in summer, but since we visited in December, we got the parking quickly. The entrance fee is $8 per vehicle.

This 80-foot triple waterfall is half frozen in December. It looked like a winter wonderland there. There is a short hike around the falls which is a bit slippery with snow, but the beauty of the place is more than what we expected.

A view from the top of the falls:

Even though the weather is super cold and a deterrent, we couldn't get enough of the falls. The scenery felt surreal and relaxing. 

Thus, we ended our 2 day trip to Colorado National Monument and Rifle falls. We returned to Colorado springs by night.

Bonus Tip:

Rifle Mountain Park and Ice caves are around 5 miles from Rifle fall state park. There are 4 ice caves in the park formed during December and February. So, for an adventure, don't miss visiting Ice caves.

By the way, we spotted this bridal veil falls from I 70 near Idaho springs. The frozen fall is fantastic right?

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am trying to complete blogging my travelogues for the past few months. The next travelogue will be about our Albuquerque trip. So, stay tuned!

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Until next time,

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22 March, 2021

One Year through the Pandemic #MondayMusings

 It's been more than one year that I traveled on a business trip on March 1st. The Pandemic has just started while we were returning and no one guessed then, how much damage it will cause to the world. 

We might have attended office just a week or more and we didn't see our colleagues directly after that. Working from home, Managing kids' online learning setups, coordinating with their homework, meetings, my office work, cooking - it was a lot to take in suddenly. 

What's changed after the pandemic?

After 1 year, the world changed a lot. We even got a vaccine and I got the first dose as well. We all settled in working from home, managing zillion tasks effortlessly. Kids got used to playing at home, learning online, got used to spending time without meeting their friends. I think, everyone suffered and I feel, kids have seen a new world due to covid at home. Around 10 days ago, kids played in the playground heartily after a long time.

Is it over yet?

It's not over yet. Everyone should get vaccinated. We don't even know the side effects or efficiency of vaccines yet, or if we have to take it every year like a flu vaccine. Kids didn't get an approved vaccine, but still, we are gearing up to send them to school for the upcoming school year. It's a bit scary and of course, not over yet. We are not sure about the second wave. 

Impact on our Society

Many businesses got losses. Many people lost their jobs. Many died, many got sick and many survived. It's a mix of emotions really. Here in the USA, we are hopeful that everyone will get vaccinated by American Independence day(July 4th). Things have already started to get normal. 

What the Pandemic taught us?

  • Nothing is more important in life than our family's health and love. 

  • Every Cloud has a silver lining.

  • The world needs kindness more than money.

  • We should have an attitude of Gratitude.

  • We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. 

What do you feel about 2020 and Covid? Do you feel hopeful now?

Do let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at everydaygyaan.com.

Also, linking this to Anita's Inspire me Monday weekly linkup. 

18 March, 2021

Exploring Colorado National Monument with kids

 We visited Colorado National Monument which is near Grand Junction, Colorado in last winter. It was a trip during Covid and so we had to take a lot of precautions from selecting the clean place to stay, avoiding outside food, using sanitizer, reducing the use of public toilets, wearing masks during hikes, and blah blah. 

We chose Hilton hotels this time as well as we are comfortable and trust their safety procedures and cleaning. We took a suite and even cooked quick one-pot meals on an instant pot. Hilton provides a to-go breakfast which is manageable during covid. We wore masks for all hikes and used sanitizer for restroom breaks and carried Clorox wipes as well. 

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If you ever visit Western Colorado, don't miss this gem- Grand Junction Colorado National Monument.

This 31 square miles national monument site boasts deep canyons, red rocks, sandstone towers, and a beautiful landscape.

As per the National Park service,

Colorado National Monument is a part of the Colorado Plateau which is a vast land of relatively horizontal rock layers situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin of Nevada. This land is deeply etched and dissected by the incredible canyons of the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Since we visited in the winter, there are very few visitors. Anyways, this is not the most populated park-like Arches and Rocky mountain national park. So, it's good to visit year-round.

The entrance fee is $20 per vehicle for a seven-day pass. 

What to do in Colorado National Monument?

You can bike/ hike and also cover a scenic drive. 

There are 2 entrances to the park -east and west. We entered through West Entrance,  which is more scenic than the other side.

The 23-mile Rimrock scenic drive is a must for anyone. The scenic drive has many overlooks which are accessible within a 1-mile walk. This seemed fantastic about the park when visiting with kids.

Our favorite overlooks on the drive are :

Red rock canyon overlook, 
fallen rock overlook, 
ute canyon overlook, 
highland view overlook, 
Balanced Rock at the west entrance near Fruita, 
book cliffs view(one of the best views) near west entrance,
 Independence monument view near the west entrance after Otto's trail, 
Grand view and
Coke ovens view

The first view of the park going up is this.

This has information about how the park formed due to an earthquake at the Redlands fault. Then, we pass through the tunnels.

Next, we get a glimpse of Balanced rock. There is a small trail to go near the rock.

Balanced Rock

Fruita Canyon View is our favorite view. Photos cannot make justice to the beauty of the canyon. 

Fruita Canyon View

The visitor center was not open due to Covid. 
Canyon rim trail from the visitor center is an easy 1-mile hike. We did this quick trail and it was a good introduction to the park.

The next family-friendly trail is the Window rock trail. It is a 0.5-mile round trip. Window rock is not very clearly visible until you bend from the overlook, but the view of the canyon is amazing.

Window Rock

Book Cliffs view near Window rock trail is one of the best views of the park. Canyon rim trail from visitor center connects to the book cliffs view. But, we can also reach that view through the window rock trail. Our kids enjoyed this trial.

Otto's trail an easy 0.7 mile out and back trail which gives a great view of the Independence monument. 

The Independence monument view is the main attraction. It is a 450-foot high sandstone tower. This was climbed by John Otto for the first time in 1911. He hoisted the American flag on June 11th to celebrate Flag day and from then, he made ascent every Independence day to hoist the American flag to celebrate Independence day.

Independence Monument

After stopping by the grand view, we hiked the coke ovens trail. These rocks which look like big ovens are unique to watch. It's an easy 0.9 mile out and back trail.

Coke ovens

If you observed, most of the trails so far are family-friendly hikes which we loved most about the park.

See, what we found on the road near the east entrance.

A few more trails that are worth hiking: Serpent trail and Devil's kitchen trail near East entrance. 

As the name suggests, the Serpent trail has 50 switchbacks in 2 miles. Isn't that amazing?

Devil's kitchen trail is 1.6 miles out and back trail that features a river as well. We couldn't do that due to lack of time.

Wrap up your day by driving back to Grand junction to relax. 
Some great restaurants around Grand Junction:
  • MI RANCHITO taco shop
  • ENSTROM candies
  • Fiesta gaudalajara 
  • El tapatio mexican
  • Alpine oven pie co
So, that's about exploring the Colorado National monument in one day with kids.  

Bonus Tip:

If you have one more day in Grand Junction, you can cover the Black Canyon of Gunnison, near Montrose. 

Have you ever visited this monument? Please share your experience in the comments. If not, do you love to visit? 

Until next time,

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15 March, 2021

From the Inside by Thanvi Voruganti - Release Blitz




Date Published: March 15, 2021

This book of poems is about thoughts, feelings, and emotions we all experience, struggle with, and that have been brought to the forefront by this current pandemic. Losing loved ones, our freedom, and everything taken for granted in our daily lives; while facing sadness, anger, grief, and loneliness, has taught us the importance of our love for nature, gratitude, happiness, cherished memories, and relationships. No feeling or emotion is too small or negligible. Acknowledging and expressing them is my voice from the inside.

About The Author

Thanvi Voruganti is an exuberant ten-year-old living with her parents, Deepika and Mahender in Chandler, AZ. She loves writing short stories and thoughtful poetry and is an avid reader who loves fantasy, fiction, and playing board games. Thanvi however, is no athlete and prefers sitting curled up with an interesting book in her hands. Thanvi is very affable, quiet, and a profound thinker.

Contact Links





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Until next time,

12 March, 2021

The Long Road Home by Sapna Bhog - Book Spot Light



Losing the boy she loved nearly destroyed MEHAK KHANNA. But letting him in a second time can be more dangerous for her. Rishi Sehgal has left a steady stream of broken hearts in his wake and if Mehak is not careful then she may just end up becoming the next victim of his dashing charisma. But Rishi is everywhere with his charm, his wit, and that devastating smile. Now Mehak has to fight a daily battle to not fall for him again.
RISHI SEHGAL has never forgotten Mehak, the girl who broke his heart when he was very young. Thanks to her, he has his rules—no relationships, no staying the night, and no promises. But all his hard rules fly right out of the window when Mehak returns into his life. Now Rishi has to decide if he can open his heart to Mehak a second time. 
Some things, however, are written in the stars and sometimes you have to move beyond the past and choose to believe in love.
However, what destroyed their relationship the first time will once again test their love. Will they survive a second test, especially with Mehak’s life on the line? Will Rishi and Mehak learn that true love is worth fighting for?
Find out more in this tale of young love and second chances.

Book Links:

Book Trailer:

Meet Mehak Khanna from The Long Road Home

Calm, poised, a woman of few words and a complete introvert, MEHAK KHANNA, works as the Director of Graphic Design in QubeCore. Her corkscrew curls are a cause of dissent between her mother and her, but Mehak is done with going for hair straightening treatments ever again in life. Her one experience was a disaster which she’s happy never repeating. 

At 29, Mehak has only one aim in life which is to succeed at her job. Her work is her religion and her life is set on the right path or so she thinks, until a chance meeting at her workplace with Rishi Sehgal changes everything. He’s the first boy she ever loved and who crushed her heart so many years ago. 
But this time around being with him feels different. He seems changed and the more she meets him, the more she realizes that maybe she ought to forget and forgive.

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers. So do give her a shout on

Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

Until next time, 

05 March, 2021

Rtu Vidya: Ancient Science behind Menstrual Practices by Sinu Joseph - [Book Review]

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Book Details:

Title: Rtu Vidya: Ancient Science behind Menstrual Practices

Author: Sinu Joseph

Genre: Non-Fiction, Women's health

Publisher: Notion Press

Print Length : 388 pages


The book Ṛtu Vidyā emerged in search of answers to questions asked by adolescent girls and women in India during the author’s interactions with them as part of Menstrual Health workshops, conducted over a span of a decade across rural India. In an attempt to decode menstrual practices, the author undertook a journey across India and studied various indigenous knowledge systems such as Ṣaḍ-Darśana, Āyurved, Tantra, Cakra, Yōg, Āgama Śāstra, Jyotiṣa Śāstra, and several sub-texts from these categories. As a result, the book goes beyond just describing cultural practices and takes a deep dive into explaining the scientific and logical reasoning behind the origin of these practices.

This book is for all Indian women who have unanswered questions pertaining to menstrual practices, for menstrual researchers who will find a treasure trove of potential areas for research pertaining to menstrual health, for sportswomen to discover the ancient techniques that worked in sync with women’s periods and not against it, and also for the feminist who assumes that cultural practices around menstruation are a taboo that needs to be done away with.

The correct understanding of the science behind menstrual practices, as given in this book, will help women prevent menstrual difficulties, develop a positive attitude toward menstruation, and learn to work in sync with nature’s cycles.

Ṛtu (pronounced as ruthu) is one of the terms for menstruation in Sanskrit. Vidyā means knowledge. Ṛtu Vidyā is the author’s attempt to bring together various indigenous knowledge systems that provide information about the science of menstruation, which is relevant even to this day.

Purchase Link:

Amazon Paperback


My Review:

I rarely buy books nowadays, as I get a lot of books for review ànd I won't get enough time to read books from references and my wishlists.

This book came highly recommended by a fellow bookstagrammer Maya and I feel this book is a treasure trove. Thanks, Maya for your suggestion. 
I immediately bought the Kindle version on Amazon after reading Maya's review.

This book clarified most of my doubts about the importance of the menstrual cycle on women's health, the reason behind the rituals, and the mysteries behind the Indian traditions around menstruation. This book is a recommended read for every woman, especially to the parents of a girl child.

Some important information that helped me are the basics about Ayurveda concepts, the different types of dosas, and the diet-related to those dosas. This helped me understand my body better, types of menstrual problems and symptoms to watch out for in the future, and practices to avoid menstrual problems. I am grateful to the author Sinu for explaining these complex practices and principles in a simple way.

I felt the author might have added a chapter on modern-day menstrual problems and some practical solutions to incorporate ancient practices these days. I couldn't get an answer for a few questions like why there is a tradition of taking hair wash on the first and 3rd day of periods and its importance. 

I really appreciate that the author has mentioned all sources of research information and articles. This will help in learning more about those topics.

Some Excerpts from the book:

Āyurved stresses on the individual’s ability to shape his/her health based on his/her thought process. It is agreed in modern medicine as well that stress negatively impacts the physical well-being, resulting in psychosomatic disorders (diseases of the mind that affect the body).

Thousands of years ago, seers of Āyurved defined a healthy menstrual discharge very clearly. 
According to the above verses from Caraka Saṃhita, ārtava (menstrual flow) is said to be healthy if it has the following features: 
niṣpiccha – free from sliminess of discharge; dāhārti – (free from) burning sensation and pain; 
pañcarātrānubandhi – lasts for five nights; na ati bahu na aplam – flow is neither too heavy nor too scanty; 
guñjā phala sa varṇam – the color of menstrual discharge is like the gunja fruit (rosary pea/abrus precatorius); 
padma alaktata sannibham – or (the color) is similar to the lotus or Indragopa insect (trombidium).

My Rating: 5/5

I would recommend this book to all women and if you think of it, it's a good gifting option for this Women's day!

Until next time, 

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