Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nomadic Settling

I cam to the realization not long ago that I have been a true nomad. My ten weeks here in Pennsylvania constitute the only time this year I have been in the same zip code for more than three weeks. That is pretty remarkable feat...and mildly exhausting!

Things here are going well. I have settled into our schedule. The leaves are changing here and the nights becoming crisp. While it is a little sooner than I would like, it is absolutely breathtaking. I had missed that in Charleston last fall. A week or so ago, we had an amazing group out--all special needs. I had so much fun with them. That school clearly has things figured out because even with the diverse set of needs, the students are respectful and brilliant!

Last weekend I attempted one of my major goals with being on land: backpacking. I found the perfect weekend trail, managed to lighten my packload from last time, arranged with a coworker to check-in. He was even more protective than my own parents. I was to call upon arrival at the trailhead, arrival at a campsite, climbing in the tent, waking in the morning, lunch, arrival at the campsite...

All was going well. It was an incredibly chilly night and my sore throat developed into a full-blown cold, but I awoke eager to continue my hike, having fought all my mental battles during the night. Then my cell wouldn't turn back on. I thought maybe it was too chilly and put it in my pocket. While cooking breakfast and packing up camp, I checked it regularly. No luck. I seriously considered forgetting about it and continuing my trek. Prudence, however, won out in the end. With a heavy heart I headed back to the trailhead, praying it was just the battery, which I could charge at the car.

No such luck, as the man at the Verizon store assured me the phone was fully dead. Cause of death: unknown (freezing perhaps?). I know turning around was the right decision in this case. Hiking alone without any means of communication can be risky anyway, but willfully skipping out on check-ins is simply wrong. Still, the irony of a wilderness backpacking trip being ruined by technology failure is not lost on me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last weekend I with a small group of friends back packing in the Allegheny National Forest. It was beautiful and peaceful. I imagine alone it would be a great opportunity for 'finding sserenity'. We enjoyed roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and some good old fashioned Bailey's and hot cocoa.