Sunday, April 18, 2010

Around the Corner and Through the Woods, Is That a Cell Phone Tower I see....?

This is the week. This is the week I start my hike. Time sure seems to be ticking by awfully fast.

I've made it to California, my jumping off point for my hikes. I came loaded with tons of strawberry leather and dehydrated ground beef I've been cooking up all month. I've come with supplies and spares for stuff that my mom will need to send to me along the trail.

I'm going to get a hair cut. I'm thinking of doing the bald thing again, seeing how well it worked for my Florida hike. =) One thing I can say about my baldness--it doesn't last long!

And if you saw some pigs flying outside of your window, you weren't seeing things. They really were there. Because, yes, folks, I have officially become the Last Person On Earth to buy a cell phone. For those who know me, this probably sounds like delusional crazy talk coming from me. I never imagined a day when I would ever utter those words, but it's true. I bought a cell phone.

It's one of those pre-paid deals, and I only plan to use it for the duration of my hike. At the end of the hike, I'll tuck in a drawer never to see the light of day again--at least not until the next long distance hike I do. It's not a fancy phone. It doesn't take photos, it can--in theory--do text messaging, but I didn't turn that option on. It was the cheapest phone I could find at the store, and it was small and light, and that's what I wanted.

Most of the trail, I probably won't get any cell phone coverage, but that's okay. It's not in the backcountry where the cell phone would be of most use. Trail towns and road crossings where I'm trying to meet people is where the phone will thrive. No more looking for payphones! Well, that's not strictly true--I will still look for payphones in order to use my PocketMail device, but at least I can talk to people on my cell while uploading my blog entries with PocketMail at the same time! And when Amanda and I are trying to meet at some random road crossing, I can call and say, "I'm here, but where are you?!" It also has voicemail, so if Amanda needs to leave me a message, she now has an easy way to do so.

So, for this hike, I will be more connected than ever. I have to make sure I don't get too addicted to the convenience of a cell phone, though. I do plan to give it up when the hike is over and my need for it largely disappears.

For those keeping up with my tooth extractions.... I'm eating pretty normally nowadays. I sometimes forget about the two gaping holes in my mouth, though, until I start to brush my teeth and run the brush over them. Yow! Still a little tender there.... But it's healing well and doesn't hurt at all as long as I don't do something stupid like poke it with a toothbrush.


Unknown said...

Hey Now, Ryan!

Were I relying on my cell phone as you will be on your hike, I'd rethink the texting option. Sometimes I have been able to send/receive texts when I did not have enough "bars" to make or receive a call.

I've noticed this phenomenon in very rural areas (Skowhegan-Jackman, ME) and, too, while backpacking the A-T in CT and Mass.

Enjoy your hike!

Okie Dog said...

I would second that notion of Confederate, doesn't hurt to have an extra help along a long and lonely trail.
Be safe and connected!

Ezmerelda of AQ and LbNA said...

Texting is very convenient. Maybe you should reconsider that. Be safe and have fun!

MamaMir said...

Are you going to post your phone number?

Anonymous said...

Throw that thing away as soon as your hike is over!! And do what I do, turn it off so no one can bother you. Turn it on when you need to use it or when you want to check messages. Peace and quiet is something you can not put a price on.

Enjoy your hike and the peace that comes with it.

DC Stones

Okie Dog said...

I just read that story about Trevor Thomas. He says he hopes to complete his trek by November. Surely you won't be gone that long????

Anonymous said...

You can't be the Last Person on Earth without a cell phone. I don't have one and am still holding out.

Anonymous said...

How do you charge a cell phone on a trail? Plug into a squirrel? They have plenty of energy...

I've had good luck with reception with my pay-as-you-go-phone. Made Sis mad one time we were in booney-ville and her fancy phone wouldn't call out, but mine worked just fine!

Good luck on your trek! Come back in one piece with lots of stories!

Cookie Cutter

Anonymous said...

Hey... how come Tim Carroll, Adam Bradley and Trevor Thomas (if I got those names straight) are getting all the press?

Will there be an article about Ryan Carpenter hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or do just us lucky blog readers get to know about it?

Praying you'll be safe and have a wonderful adventure.

(thanks for re-enabling Anonymous)

Anonymous said...

Amongst our friends, we often feel like the only ones in the world who don't own cell phones. Then we hear the complaints, and decide to continue to hold out. You're not the only one. Once off the trail hide the thing!

Anonymous said...

addicted to my phone/music/picture/texting/computer in pocket. Not having one is like not breathing, Ryan!! Teehee! I hiked to Apache Peak which joins up to the PCT outside of mountain center/Idyllwild, CA. Last weekend and thought of you! We got our permits for MT. Whitney-yahoo! My 1st attempt at Whitney for my 40th birthday. :) Good luck, have fun!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Good for you!
I have a cell phone, very old and without texting abilities. The only reason I have it is to call 911. Now if only I would remember to take it with me when I leave the house.

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers