Friday, November 4, 2016

Notes From The Appalachian Trail Part 4: The Storm Warning

It seems like that a big part of backpacking is preparing for the trip. It's a little spooky, thinking that every single little thing you are going to need has to fit on your back. I heard many stories of people throwing stuff out on the AT because the pack was too heavy....I never really felt that way. My feelings were different, there were some things I wish I had brought along and didn't. I could really have used that weather app on my phone.
My brother and I see life differently. He told me that cellphones don't work on the trail and mostly folks look down on you for bringing electronics along into the wilderness. I took him at face value, but I'm starting to think that just perhaps he wanted four days of no support calls for his business...I write this because it seems that everybody else had phones that worked, and many were listening to music while they walked. One guy my age that was doing a 400 mile section, played us some of his favorite music on a bluetooth speaker while he cooked supper at a shelter.
I could have used that phone....because, the single piece of high tech electronics I brought along was my watch. This gleaming techno marvel could do just about everything. It knew where we were, the time, our pace, when the sun was setting and tons of other stuff that I have yet to figure out, but it did one thing that scared me more than the thought of a creepy clown hiding up in the mountains..

I found on the second day of our trip that I could record our hiking experience and find out how we were doing towards making it to the next camping place. Believe it or not, that is a big deal, making sure you are making the proper progress if you want to camp before dark. So, while we were in a little valley, picking crabapples and reading signs that said "Flash Flood Area", my watch suddenly emitted a siren sound and started flashing "STORM WARNING!" across the screen. It did this about five times before I could start running for higher ground. Paul and Chase looked at me blankly as the sky was clear and blue.
No storm ever came...maybe I need to read that instruction manual after all.

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