Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Week Without The Internet

        You'd think we went on a wilderness camping vacation...last thursday a faller dropped a tree on an important transmission line near Chester resulting in a twelve hour power outage. Frontier, our internet provider decided to upgrade along with it's reboot and subsequently blew out most of the older modems. Hey, this wasn't actually a tragedy...slightly inconvenient but not horrible. Not being connected (intentionally) to any microwaves was cleansing.
       Chester sits at the halfway point of the PCT and hosts an impressive variety of hikers who are either starting their trek in Chester, Ca. or refueling for he second half of their summer adventure. I have hiked several 100 mile stretches of the Pacific Crest and I never had the desire to text, call or fb anyone. I didn't want music or financial news or tweeting gossip. In fact, I imagined that I was free of civilizations' ability to keep track of me...even though my campfires would have been easily spotted by satellites, I didn't think anyone would be concerned with my whereabouts.
         The PCT hikers of this century are glad to be on the grid and complain when they find a canyon or hollow that blocks their signal. One senior hiker shared a story, "I hiked all day recently and hadn't seen a soul. The first person I saw that evening was sitting on a rock watching the sunset and I thought Great, someone to talk to and camp with. I said Hi, she nodded without looking at me and said, "Not now." She was typing on her phone. I walked into the twilight instead of camping, realizing I'd just encountered a Zombie."

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