Saturday, June 15, 2013

Did you miss me? Staying "in touch" can be harder than you think!

Wow, are we ever dependent on the internet and cell coverage these days, huh?  When you can’t use either one, for almost three weeks (yikes!) it’s almost painful!  That’s what happened to us.

I don’t know if it’s true of all, or most National Parks, but it sure turned out to be so with the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks - no WiFi or Cell connections anywhere in, or even close to the parks!  Major withdrawal, I confess!  At our first park, the Grand Tetons, it got to be our afternoon entertainment, when new folks would arrive and try to make a call.  As we sat with our neighbors, drinking a glass of wine, we would watch them pull out their phones, try a call, walk around trying to get a signal, then after several attempts they would come over and ask us if we had any luck with our cells, was it just them, or was there no coverage at all?  When we gave them the bad news, you could just see the color drain from their faces.  That’s when we would say, “pull up a chair and have a glass of wine, there’s nothing else you can do about  it!”  You get a mixed feeling of total isolation that gives you permission not to check in with anyone, and really missing conversations with loved ones.

But, by week two, and Park two, it wasn’t fun any longer.  No WiFi to blog, to check the weather, to make reservations, to check e mail, to contact friends and family, ugh.  No cell coverage to talk with our family and friends, to share our excitement of the days activities with - nothing.  We really felt cut off from the world.  One day we were able to get two bars on my cell while we were up at the Yellowstone Lodge and I quickly made a couple of calls, and was able to get through to one friend, one sister and had to leave a message to one son and a “missed call” to the other, before the service faded out again!  Darn...

I've laughed at my two sisters who don’t use either, and now have to laugh at myself for being so dependent on both of them!  Of course, living the kind of nomad life we lead now, how could we not?  It’s not been so long since the “old ways” that I’d forgotten how to manage without, so I was able to find a “land line” and use 800 numbers to make our much needed reservations, and I went ahead and typed up my blogs on “pages” that I just pasted onto it once we got a WiFi connection.  We were at one of the stores here in the park the other day and the power was out.  The two folks running the store just got out the old charge card machine and forms and kept right on running their business.  When we congratulated them for their steadfastness, they shared that an earlier customer said that they were up at one of the other stores and when the power went out (it was a bad storm through the whole park) they just said “sorry, store closed, no power”.  That’s the difference between people who knew how to do business before there were computers to do it for you, and young people who never have! 

Anyway, all this is to say, we are back on line, and happy about it!  So, I will be posting several blogs and tons of pictures, one right after another!  Thanks for understanding and missing me (you did, didn’t you?)

...on the road again, in Wyoming...Marie

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