Tag Archive | Quest

Ski Day #4 Of 2018 (At Gunstock, New Hampshire) — February 1, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be ENFORCED.

The fourth & last Thursday of the Alton Central School (ACS) 2018 Ski Program — and given that it is ‘sponsored by them’ (so to speak) back at Gunstock, in Gilford. It was luckily, and to my intense relief, nowhere as cold as last week — and it was brutal last week. It was warmer BUT it was a miserable day as you can easily tell from the picture. No blue skies. No sun. Just dark, dreary grey clouds and pelting snow showers in the morning. We, however, prevailed.

The kids are amazingly resilient and buoyant. They were just glad that it wasn’t cold. They enjoyed themselves. We even went to the Summit — three times with the kids.

Since I continue to ski while the kids have their 1-hour, compulsory lesson, I probably skied a tad more than they did.

It snowed, lightly, all morning. Kind of got covered in light snow while sitting on the chair lifts. Also made the skiing surface a slightly slick and choppy. So, it wasn’t the best of skiing. Soft, fresh snow — and NO, NO, it was NOT powder. I don’t think we have had powder in New Hampshire in a long while.

Well, it is done. As far as I know there were no major (or for that even minor) mishaps. That is always a relief. I was trying to work it out today, sitting on a ski lift. This was probably the sixth or seventh year that I have champorened ski parties — this, however, the first in the U.S. They rest were all in Italy, way back, with British school kids. Skiing in the alps is a whole nother kettle of fish.

This was more skiing than I have done in a decade. Not sure whether I will go out again this winter. If I do, I will sure let you know.

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by Anura Guruge

Ski Day #3 Of 2018 (At Gunstock, New Hampshire) — January 25, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be ENFORCED.

Third Thursday of the Alton Central School (ACS) 2018 Ski Program — and we were back at Gunstock. This took fortitude. It was BITTERLY cold, bloody cold. Much colder than last Thursday, and it had been cold then.

The forecast had called for 19°F (-7°C). When we were leaving at 1:45pm, with the Sun close to its peak, the Quest thermometer read 17°F (-8°C). It had been much colder in the morning.

When I got there at 7:50 in the morning, I was but the 4th vehicle in the visitor car park! I knew we were in for a challenging day. Other than the kids there weren’t many others around. Some of the kids stayed back too. This had some benefits. Zero lines and EMPTY, totally empty runs. I used the ‘Tiger Claw’ lift which serves mainly ‘intermediate’ and ‘expert’ terrains and much of the day I was the ONLY rider. Suffice to say I had the slopes to myself as some of the pictures testify.

The kids were cautioned against going to the Summit because of the cold — the long ride up being the main issue. Teischan took that to heart. She stayed on the lower slopes all day. I ventured further out once I had gauged the piste.

Gunstock, belying expectations, had done a VERY GOOD job grooming. I only encountered exposed ice on one slope — i.e., ‘Smith’ — and that is their widest slope. As such the 3 – 4 bare ice patches were easy to easy and easy to avoid. The rest of the slopes/trails were hard packed, but groomed piste. It was semi-hard, technical skiing BUT I enjoyed it. The skiing was fast and that always pleases me.

The kids did good. I skied more than I expected and more than most of the kids! That was not expected. Didn’t ski as much as the last two ski days, BUT you had to be there to appreciate how cold it was.

Well, another ski day done and dusted.

We were all glad when it ended — uneventfully.

One more day left and we are all hoping that it will be WARMER.


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by Anura Guruge

Non-Fatal Car Crash At ‘Acadia National Park’ July 7, 2017 — 7 In Honda Odyssey, Minor Injuries.

by Anura Guruge

From the oustanding ‘Mount Desert ISLANDER

Anura Guruge Acadia National Park July 7 2017 car crash Honda Odyssey

Click to ENLARGE, but use LINK above to access original from ‘Mount Desert Islander’

Click to ENLARGE.

Anura Guruge Acadia Park accident map

Where the accident happened, 0.5 miles south of the entrance to Cadillac Mountain Road. Van was heading northbound towards Bar Harbor.

We had been there just 10-days earlier — in a 7-seater van, in our case a Nissan Quest as opposed to a Honda Odyssey.

I feel for them. Great testimonial Honda that they plunged 30′ feet down an embankment and only the 60-old driver suffered any injuries and even those were slight. Good job they didn’t hurt or kill anyone. Falling asleep at the wheel — just after noon! Possible that they got up early that morning to drive up from Boxborough, Mass., and that he was tired. Not good.

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by Anura Guruge

New Hampshire 2017 Topless Season Started Today, April 27.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

April is coming to an end, and the 1969 MGB, with its antique plate, is due for its bi-annual inspection. [For those of you are not familiar with the NH ‘Antique Number Plates’ for vehicles over 20 years old, they only need to be inspected every other year — but ALL inspections have to be done by May of that year. Kind of cute. This is to ensure that these cars don’t have to be driven during the winter just so that you can get them to a garage for inspection. So they give you till the end of April.]

I have an appointment with ‘B-Boys‘ in Barnstead, on Friday, April 28, 2017 for the inspection. So had to make sure it would start etc. It did start, with the aid of a jumper (our our Nissan Quest) after some cajoling. Always amazes me that it starts after the long winter hibernation.

The XJS also needed a jump to get it going. Took it for a long ride (35 minutes) TOPLESS. It was good. But, I had Devanee follow me, all the way, in the van — just in case! That is NOT good.

But, topless season, in New Hampshire, is now officially started.

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by Anura Guruge

Radio On ‘Nissan Quest SV’ 2015/2016 Disappointingly Anemic!

by Anura Guruge


The Nissan Quest SV minivan we bought, from ‘Somersworth Nissan‘, was would have to be categorized as an impulse buy. I had never even heard of the name “Quest” in terms of minivans. I was looking for a Nissan Pathfinder having driven 1,500+ miles on a rented one when we went to Yosemite. But Deanna and Tesichan had their hearts set on a minivan and this was to be Deanna’s vehicle rather than mine. So it was only fair that she got to chose. We didn’t do much of a test drive and Deanna drove throughout.

Looking back I now realize that during the test drive the radio was on the Sirius Demo channel. That sounded OK. And that is also the case with CDs. CDs sound fine. Not great, but definitely acceptable.

Not so with FM radio — at least with the major central New Hampshire stations. It is very tinny, underpowered and staticky. The radio on my 2002 Jaguar XJ8 is better — and that is saying something given the 14-year difference in technology. One of the problems, from what I can see, are that the front speakers are lame and badly positioned. They are mounted in the footwell so to speak and do not do a good job projecting the sound upwards. They would have been better off with 4 smaller speakers — 2 mounted higher up, either on top of the dash or on the door.

So be warned. If you are in the market for a Nissan Quest — check the radio and make sure that it meets YOUR requirements.

No we will not countenance an aftermarket upgrade. I guess that would be possible — for the right price. We will just live with it.

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by Anura Guruge

CA Route 130 The ONLY Way To Go From San Francisco To Yosemite.

by Anura Guruge


Route 130 from San Jose across Mount Hamilton to Patterson (CA) just off Interstate 5. From Wikipedia. Click to ENLARGE.


Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_130

Wikipedia entry for Route 130.
Click to ENLARGE and read here.


Google Maps view of some of the route. Click to ENLARGE. You can see the twists and turns.

I have so far been lucky enough to drive this amazingly scenic and exhilarating route thrice; once West-to-East in 1992 and in both directions in April of this year — coming back East-to-West thanks to Teischan, who like I loved it, and insisted that we come back on it.

To me this is the ONLY way to go to Yosemite from the San Francisco area. Just sets you up, so nicely for what is to come.

I used to go to San Jose often during 1992 to 2000. I would always see this beautiful observatory (the ‘Lick‘), with iconic white domes, way up on the hills. I wanted to go there. That is how I found Route 130. Then in September 1992, after delivering a 3-day seminar for Cisco in San Jose, we were going to drive to Yosemite for a vacation. I chose to use 130 given that I was already in San Jose and the route started just there. Loved it. I was driving a rental Lincoln Continental that time. I did make the mistake of setting off without a full tank of gas. That was a mistake. Though end-to-end, San Jose to Patterson is only around 54 miles, all the hairpin bends and the steep climbs — 4 of them — does a job on your fuel economy, especially in a big, heavy V8 like the Lincoln. In April I was driving a rental, fairly new 4WD Nissan Pathfinder. I filled up with gas on Alum Rock Avenue just before setting off.

Driving the Pathfinder on 130 was an absolute joy. That was why I wanted to get one — though we ended up, instead, with a Nissan Quest.

Every car manufacturer should use this route as a way to showcase their cars. I would love to drive it again, at least one, before I die — ideally in a Jag.

West-to-East, the first half, up to the Observatory is absolutely picturesque. You also get to see some expensive, multi-million dollar mansions. The second half, especially the last 20 miles is tranquil beyond description. Mainly flat pastoral land, horses, small streams, lots of greenery — extremely peaceful and quiet.

You really have to drive it. Weekends, as we found out, tend to be a tad crowded, though it is not bad. Lots of cyclists, motorbikes and even joggers. But we came back mid-week, on a Thursday. Hardly met anybody! Beautiful.

This piece from “motorcycleroads.us” sums it up nicely.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. (Use above link to access original.)


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by Anura Guruge

We Bought A ‘Nissan Quest’ From ‘Somersworth Nissan’ On Sunday, May 29, 2016.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Taken with my Fuji X-E2s.

Fuji X-E2s image Anura Guruge

Fuji X-E2s image Anura Guruge
Fuji X-E2s image Anura Guruge

This to be fair has to be classed as a somewhat impetuous, impulsive purchase (something that I have been known to do when it comes to large-ticket purchases). We sure did not set out on Sunday to buy a Nissan Quest, a minivan or for that matter any vehicle. I would also have to confess I had never (really) heard of the ‘Quest’. I actually had to ask the salesman as to what minivans Nissan had!

We had been looking for a Nissan Pathfinder. In April, when we were in California, we had rented a Pathfinder, from Budget. We drove close to 1,700 miles and I loved the performance and handling of that SUV. For a year we had talked about getting another 7-seater vehicle to replace our 2002 Chrysler van in June 2016 — when it was next due for its inspection. I was getting fed up paying the increasingly expensive repair bills. I thought we were going to get a Pathfinder. On Sunday morning I confirmed that with Deanna. Yes, we were going to lease a Pathfinder.

On Sunday we were once again headed towards Portsmouth. We were passing ‘Somersworth Nissan‘ and stopped to feel out the lease prices. We looked at a Pathfinder and got lease prices. They were not as attractive as I had wished. Then Deanna and Tesichan started talking about getting a minivan. The salesman volunteered that they had a very tempting ‘dealership rental’ Quest with 4,000 miles. Deanna wanted to look. That one with 4,000 miles had been sold. Then they had this one with 2,400 miles! 2015 with 2,400 miles.

 Deanna took it for a test drive. She and Teischan loved it. Devanee and I would still have preferred a Pathfinder. We spent 90 minutes thrashing out a price. In my old age I no longer try to beat salesman down as much as I can. I prefer to go for a win-win deal, even if I leave some money on the table. We finally agreed on a price with the Finance VP. The they offered us 100,000 miles, 7 year bumper-to-bumper coverage. That jacked up the price a bit — Nissan’s typically only having 100,000/7 year power-train warranties. Anywho … we ended up driving it home without parting with a cent. No money changed hands. I insisted that it be strictly ‘zero-down’ in every way. Second ‘zero-down’ purchase in the last 4 years. I like them. First payment on June 28.

It is nice enough. Devanee thinks it has 16 cupholders. That might be right. It is not ultra-fancy but it is nice enough.

Impressed with the folks at Somersworth Nissan. They were very decent and if they screwed us they did it very discreetly without flaunting it. I hope it was win-win. The salesman told me he made $60 on the sale. Well that is more than I got.

I will keep you posted.

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by Anura Guruge

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