Kj: The bus picked us up bright and early about 6:00am and dropped us off about 15min later, at the South Kaibab Trailhead. We stopped for a few minutes and read the posted signs about the history of the trail and a few animals that are in the area. After that, we saw a bathroom and decided we had all better use it prior to starting our hike. We knew that it was a long way down and probably not many formal opportunities after that.
Standing inline waiting to use the restroom, I noticed a very strange device that I hadn’t seen in quite a long – a pay phone! I pointed it out to those in our group with astonishment. How long has it been since you have actually seen or used a pay phone? I never thought about the fact that we were hiking into the Grand Canyon and we would not have any cellphone reception, no bars, and no apps that require service would fully work.
Looking lively, I pulled my cell phone from my pocket many times on the trip in order to take photos of the beautiful landscape and to document the memories with our family on this journey.
No joke, selfie deaths are on the rise at National Parks. Be alert, don’t be a statistic. Use common sense and the buddy system to grab a few pics but live to enjoy them in years to come.
I am not sure, when we actually lost cell service but if I were to guess, it was definitely within the first 30-45min of our hike. Several miles more into the journey down to Phantom Ranch, we passed a RED phone, and I took a picture of it thinking that is our only way to get help if someone gets hurt. Which true story, we did have a few in our party trailing behind us that had to use that emergency RED phone. (More to come on that in a different post.)
I was also disappointed because I was relying on my cell phone to keep track of how far I hiked, how long I was taking, etc…Sadly, my battery died long before I made it to the canyon floor.
Learning from that experience, I decided to buy a Suunto Traverse watch. I chose a watch because I wear one everyday so it will be natural for me. It arrived yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to try it out. However, the watch seems to have everything that I am looking for to track my journey. I will update you more once I have used it a few times.
Technology can be a great way to savor and monitor your numbers on the trek. It really depends on what’s most important to you. Could be distance, steps, heart-rate, time, etc. Take the time to think about what your goals are, what is your intention and how technology can help serve your aim prior to hiking the GC!!
Pj: 28,714 steps on the down and 29,132 on the up days for GC 2017 on the Fitbit Charge HR. That’s about 15miles on my feet per day roughly even through the hikes themselves were 9 and 8 miles respectively. The device registered 328 floors on the way up, which I think significantly underrepresented the elevation change/gain on this hike.
Fitbit has been an awesome platform for social encouragement and visually representing daily outputs in steps, floors, and track resting heart rate.
There are other platforms from Garmin, Polar, Apple watch, etc. Find one that meets your needs.
I also made use of MapMyRide last Sat for a 27mile ride through local state park in 2:25 hours:mins. with 1700ft elevation gain. Not winning any race stages with that pace. Nonetheless, it felt great to spin the wheels outdoors and work on a base level of endurance.
Have you ever wondered how the ancient Greeks constructed the Acropolis of Athens with none of the modern technology the we enjoy even in a cellphone? Yet, the skill, precision, and craftsmanship evident is dizzying. They understood perspective no less than that of the Renaissance genius Leonardo DaVinci. Their motivation was wedded to striving for the lofty ideals of truth, beauty, and goodness! The historical record leaves little doubt the depth of devotion towards this trinity.
In our post-modern world, the sources of motivation can be shrouded in personal wishes and fall short of these noble prime movers. But there is Hope. In this Information Age, creators such as Steve Jobs have pointed to a world where technology is woven through with beauty and elegance of design. Where technology could assist in being truthful with attention to the numbers. “They don’t lie.” Tech also has the ability to support the search and striving for the Good at any level of magnification.
For those thinking about making serious life changes, find your motivation where your heart is. Mine happens to be with a close friend who is in hospice care with cancer. After feeling helpless to make an impact on my friends health, I, on the one hand am searching for acceptance and serenity, and on the other to what I can change which is my own questionable health. I, like so many at times, have taken my health for granted. However, over the past several months, I have been moved to rethink nutrition and exercise. It helps when your younger brother is a Strength & Conditioning Coach at a power -5 conference university. He suggested I try Whole30 and Wow! what a difference it has made in my weight, health, energy! At my latest monthly (not daily) weigh-in, my digital scale thought I was a guest! Love that!
Measure, count, record, study, learn from experience, use the tools of today to become that which you seek. Become your Self, to be yourself, so you can be with another, for our humanity is held in relationship.
John Muir, that mystic of the mountains, once said, “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything in the universe.”