Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Well...I'm slacking (again).

The (unfortunate) but inevitable end of the summer has brought me to a date I have been looking forward to for months. On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, I will be embarking on a three-week odyssey hiking trip across the majority of the Western United States.

The reason for the trip is simple - it's vacation time and I want to do something different. That, and a good friend of mine has a chunk of time off, so we figured a road trip was the best thing to fill in the gaps.

So, on the 17th, I set out from Sarnia and will head to Notre Dame, Indiana. From there, on the morning of the 18th, we head west - and what happens after that, no one knows. Our path involves hitting as many great hikes as possible at as many amazing places as possible - and the order (as shown in the image below) goes like this:

A) Aspen, Colorado
B) Grand Canyon, Arizona
C) Las Vegas, Nevada (ok, there's not too much hiking happening there)
D) Yosemite National Park, California
E) Lake Tahoe, Californa
F) Park City, Utah

It is certainly not an unambitious trip, but what fun is a road trip if you don't take a few chances?

More or less, the point of the trip is to spend three weeks wreaking havoc on the trails and mountains of the Western US, have a boat-load of laughs and try to remember a time when people enjoyed things without having to be plugged in 24/7.

As I get ready to head out on this trip I can already feel my apprehension growing. I have no doubt that the Team will hold down the fort, but I am actually uptight about "unplugging"! I know, I know -I should relish the opportunity to turn the cell off and not worry about things for a few weeks. I think that is the first realization that has come from a trip I haven't even left for yet - that I (and I'm sure many people in the world) am so COMPLETELY dependent being 'connected'.

I don't know if it's funny - or just plain sad! - that I am mildly worried about this. Whether it is the office phone, cell phone, email, messenger, Facebook, Twitter, the blog (that I am ironically using to tell you all of this) or any other mode of connectivity, it honestly makes me wonder what we did before the internet was as big a part of our lives as it's become. I mean, we are only talking about mainstream internet usage for the past, what, 10-12 years?! Yet, you would think that we were just shaping the wheel and doing nothing more than grunting as of 1995.

Thankfully, we did a lot more before the Information Age, and I am beginning to see that it is not only a wanted break - but a needed one. Being outside as much as possible, not worrying about the number of bars on my phone is something that I'm looking forward to - and maybe we should all remember to do every now and then.