In a blog a few days ago I mentioned camping in a tent on Grandfather Mtn (NC) when a fierce hurricane blew through. I was fooling around online last night, and actually found my trip report for that trip, which was posted to a mailing list for the Appalachian Trail. The hurricane occurred in Sep. 1996, and it was named “Fran”. I had taken an early retirement and buyout at the end of August that year, and was getting ready to try a thru-hike of the A.T. the following March.
Reading that trip report encouraged me to go back and read through some of the A.T. mailing list’s archived posts, and it was like re-connecting with old friends. Some I couldn’t even picture in my mind, but many of the posters were so familiar. At that time, there was a real bias against folks who would even think of carrying a cell phone on a wilderness trek, and most people didn’t even own one. I certainly didn’t.
I still don’t like to be at a campsite or walking a trail and have someone go by with a phone connected to their ear! What bugs me the most is walking around a store such as Costco or the grocery, and come up to someone who is talking, you think he or she is talking to you, so you ask them to repeat or even answer to what you think they are saying. It turns out they have some stupid hands free device that you can’t even see. Those may be ok while driving, but they sure are a nuisance when walking around in a public place.
With regard to the A.T. mailing list, I have joined and unsubscribed numerous times over the years, quitting for a while when two guys get into a huge flame war over something stupid. Funny, but the women never seem to do that. As technology goes, most hikers today wouldn’t think of setting foot on any trail without a phone, computer, and of course, a GPS. I think anyone who can’t find their way from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail without a GPS shouldn’t be there to begin with. But by now I’m sure all my readers know my feelings about technology. All devices are ok in their proper place, but I don’t think “proper place” applies to every square inch of the planet. Sometimes I just want to get away from it all for a while.
On another note, I think this is going to be a killer-hot day today. At 9:30 it’s already 75, and going up to 3 digits. Normally the breeze is still cool and blowing, but I may have to crank on the A/C today. By 5 p.m. it’s 100 and going up to 102; tomorrow’s high will be 104! I am SOOOOOO sick of Sacramento summer!