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.
Rae

You should choose as your life's work whatever feels the most like play.
-Harvey Oxenhorn