Secondary Consequences

Disaster struck a couple of days before I was to leave India to return to the USA.  There was an ambush of the military in the state of Kashmir that resulted in the death of a large number of Indian soldiers.  These kinds of events happen every once in a while due ongoing conflict in the state. These incidents are serious enough to create an international crisis, with two nuclear armed forces facing each other, eyeball to eyeball, across a disputed border.  Wars have been fought between India and Pakistan in the past because of this situation, and border incidents happen with frightening regularity.

My flight back from Delhi to Washington DC was happening a couple of days after the incident in Kashmir, and the flight path was about to closely follow the great circle route, the path that had taken me close to the North Pole on the way in to India.  This path took the aircraft, an Air India Boeing 777-300ER jetliner, over Pakistan, the “enemy” in this case.   I was not sure what was going to happen to my flight back home.  Fortunately, things went as planned.  The flight took the expected path in spite of the tension between the countries.

The retaliation for the ambush of the military in Kashmir finally happened just a few days ago.  This time, in response to the retaliation, the government of Pakistan appears to have shut down its airspace to all commercial traffic (not just that from India).  I wondered what would happen to the flights between Washington DC and Delhi.  I checked out Flightaware.  This is what I saw regarding the flight that took off from IAD to DEL on Wednesday (2/27/2019).Screenshot_2019-02-28 Air India (AI) #104 ✈ 27-Feb-2019 ✈ KIAD - DEL VIDP ✈ FlightAwareThe flight actually took a longer route than was normal, adding about a couple of hours to what was already a long flight, and it did not fly the great circle route, the route that would had taken the least time.   As is obvious from the last section of this flight, this route was taken to avoid flying over Pakistan.

On the other hand, the inbound flight from DEL to IAD, one that had been flown by the same aircraft just prior to this, had followed the expected route.Screenshot_2019-02-28 Air India (AI) #103 ✈ 27-Feb-2019 ✈ DEL VIDP - KIAD ✈ FlightAwareThe situation had changed between the flight heading out of Delhi to Washington DC and its return back to Delhi.

Conflicts have all kinds of consequences, and this was one of them.  It could not have been nice for the people on the flight.  Peace, y’all!

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

This looks like a very broad category to me.  I have so many pictures that cover so many different aspects of H2O!  I remember the early morning scenes with the mist and fog over the river, reflections of the fall colors over the waters of a lake, the beauty of snow and ice of winter, the sea at sunrise or sunrise from a beach, the storms with the heavy rains and even flooding, and even the pollution of the H2O caused by humanity.  And that is not a complete list….

But this time I am going back to my recently completed bike ride from Pittsburgh, PA, to Whites Ferry in Maryland to address the theme.  It seems to be a good fit, because the ride, for the most part, took place beside rivers.  ( Read on and you might also get a short lesson in geography!) The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail that we followed from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, essentially followed some of the tributaries of the Ohio River (which itself is a tributary of the great Mississippi that empties itself in the Gulf of Mexico).  From Cumberland onward, we rode the C&O Canal towpath which runs along the Potomac river. This river runs east, the opposite direction to the rivers we rode beside up to that point, and it empties into the Chesapeake Bay and the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  The Potomac and the Ohio and its tributaries flow into two distinct watershed areas on the two different sides of the Eastern Continental Divide and the Appalachian mountains that we rode over.

The Ohio river forms in Pittsburgh at the confluence of Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers and flows in a northwesterly direction out of the city.  We began our trip by riding upstream along the Monongahela river  (in a southeasterly direction).  We crossed the river over a former railroad bridge at one point.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got to McKeesport, PA, where the Youghiogheny River joins the Monongahela.  From then onward it was further upstream and continuing southeasterly along the Yough. The skies were clear on the first day. We crossed under the Banning Railroad bridge.  (I found a video of this bridge in use in 2011.  I don’t know if it is still in use.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The river was extremely muddy on the morning of the second day of the ride due to overnight rain.  You can see the mud from the abandoned railroad bridge below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sediment had cleared up by the time we crossed the Ohiopyle low bridge over the Yough into Ohiopyle, PA.


The Casselman River meets up with the Yough at Confluence, PA, and from that point on the GAP followed the Casselman on its way upstream. It was misty early in the day when we left Confluence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is view of the town of Confluence from a bridge over the Casselman.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The skies had cleared by the time we got to Rockwood, PA.  The Casselman river looked more like a gentle stream at this point.


We crossed the Eastern Continental Divide on the GAP and descended into Cumberland, MD. The rest of the ride up to the final destination of Whites Ferry followed the C&O canal along the Potomac river. This was what the canal looked like in the area near Lock 75.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a section near Hancock.


The Paw Paw tunnel burrowed under a mountain to allow the canal a more direct route  that avoided the bends in a meandering section of the river.


We saw many aqueducts over the canal along the way. The remains of the Licking Creek Aqueduct are shown below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The river itself was quite peaceful for the most part.



We also saw a couple of dams that were used to supply water from the river to the canal.


And there there were some other H2O related experiences during the trip that I remember. This picture was taken on a pedestrian bridge over the Casselman river in Confluence early in the morning.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The following picture is of the house at Fallingwater built by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The house is built over a waterfall.  You can take steps down from your living room directly to the water that flowed under the house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe red waterfall shown below is the acid mine drainage (AMD) from a former mine along a section of the GAP closer to Pittsburgh.  We did (and continue to do) a lot of damage to our environment!


We experienced H2O everywhere during our trip (and hopefully H2O is also seen in all of the pictures I selected for this blog!).  And I should not fail to mention that without large quantities of H2O to drink, we would not have survived the long hot days during our bicycle ride!