26 January 2012

Connectedness

Having evaded the cell phone wave all these many years, in preparing for a semester in China I ran out of ever taller trees. Being out-of-touch while I was hanging out in the Pintler Wilderness, which we can see from our home, for a week was something Mrs Rover could abide (though not without a little grumbling). But 6,500 miles away for 5 months? OK: hello iPhone.

It's not like I'm a total Luddite. I joined the digital camera revolution 6 years ago, happy to be able to shoot hundreds of photographs on a single outing without feeling guilty about all those toxic chemicals going down the drain. The ability to crop, enhance, and electronically publish digital photographs has genuinely enhanced my life (and, I hope, the readers of this blog).

When daughter Emily bought me an iPod a few years ago, I was initially bemused. Oh, it was nice to plug into the car radio on long trips, but I wasn't going to become one of those insular people sporting ear buds... Well, my iPod -- loaded with podcasts from Hardcore History and This American Life, as well as 1,000 or so tunes ranging from Dylan to The Decemberists -- is now a frequent companion on my 1.5 mile walk to school and 2-hour morning skis. The inductive ear hooks are especially nice with my hearing aids--yet another electronic device that I depend upon.

Three years ago, I stumbled into an elk hidey hole like no other. Problem was, though in an area that I frequent 3 or 4 times each year, I was never able to find the place again. Problem solved: I now carry a GPS (courtesy of one of our local pawnshops). The machine has also proved invaluable for finding the most direct route to the truck or nearest trailhead when dark is coming on and I've got several miles to go and maybe a dead elk to come back for.

I do still have days when I bag a peak or go fishing without these tools (ah, except for the camera...):

Still, I think, where will it all end? Probably with me blogging about it.

8 comments:

BLD in MT said...

I can't imagine not having the digital camera at the ready. I too feel it has enhanced my life.

As to your adoption of the phone, it sounds like if there was a good reason you found it. Its not as if you're signed up for life, right!?

I've considered buying a GPS unit for the backcountry, but have been overwhelmed by the options and often mixed reviews when I've attempted to look into them. Do you have any brands, features, tips that might be of use to someone who is in the market?

Arija said...

Nice one!. Doesn't your iphone have GPS???
I insist my Prof carry a mobile with GPS in case he goes to far or becomes confused so I can go and bag him again. I have one too but a very basic one in case of accidents etc.

I never thought I would become so addicted to my computer or the internet . . . the times they are a'changin'.

Terry Scoville said...

It took me until 2001 to get a computer and a few years later to get a cell phone. I do carry the phone when I hunt for emergency although I have it turned off. The digital camera soon thereafter again, and has been a lot of fun especially for blogging too. I have a Rhino Hcx 530 GPS and love it and hunt deer, elk, bear w/out it. My cell phone is just that and nothing more, not even texting is an option because of it's age. I am not interested in blogging via smartphone from the field. I still choose to be 100% present with myself and my surroundings when I'm in the field. The world of hunting and the internet are 2 extremely different worlds for me and I am happy to keep them separate, to some degree. Your trip to China sounds like a common sense reason to acquire a cell phone, can't fault the Mrs. on that request.

Terry Scoville said...

I meant to say that I wouldn't hunt deer, elk, bear w/out my Garmin Rhino GPS. Duh!

sandy said...

Yes, my husband went from I won't to where is it? at about the same speed.

secret agent woman said...

My iPhone has GPS and of course, the iPod feature, so all those in one device. And even a digital camera, for that matter, although I still love my Canon.

troutbirder said...

Funny! As a fellow semi-Luddite I can relate. My list began with cells phone for emergencies, calling ahead for reservations, then digital was a given and lately the Garmin GPS for navigating thrus the big cities. Blogging is it though......
I', hopping you can blog it up a bit when in The Middle Kingdom. I'm not sure I'll ever get there myself. :)

Janie said...

We do get used to our gadgets. I love my GPS, but my cell phone is practically from the dark ages. I guess I need to upgrade.