Hiking and technology
Dear Editor:Sometimes I just have to laugh when technology mixes with recreation.After battling the tired, stressed-out hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers, I tried to make plans to finally enjoy skiing some of this great snow we’ve been getting recently when I discovered that I had left my cell phone in a friend’s car during our own mini-shopping spree (I hadn’t been using my cheap little belt clip.) Despite not having the phone I was finally able to link up with another friend for some outdoor recreation. By the time we connected, though, it was too late to go skiing, so we decided to hike Smuggler instead.I slogged and sweated up the road, trying to keep up with my friend and her very energetic dog, Tess. I was thinking that I was being somewhat chivalrous by taking the heavier, choppier half of the trail when she casually mentioned that she was a former two-time national martial arts champion. I was beginning to rue having found my phone when we stopped just below the middle dumps for a breather, then decided to turn back; I think she felt sorry for me.On the way down we ran into a woman in what looked to be a chic Bogner outfit and three almost identically dressed women in black Lycra outdoor attire. Almost as soon as Ms. Bogner passed us she turned around horrified, screaming, “Oh my God. Where’s my BlackBerry? Has anyone seen my BlackBerry?”The three clones responded, almost in unison, “Hey, it’s right here. It’s right here in this little snow bank.” Instead of graciously accepting her thanks, one of them … or maybe all of them … added snidely, “You know, you really should buy a better holster. Yeah, you need the right holster.”A little farther down we happened upon another very fit-looking woman who was an athletic trainer at one of the local gyms. She also had a little dog tagging along and soon struck up a conversation with my friend about various dog trainers and kennels in the valley. I was just glad that I didn’t have to talk because I was still trying to catch my breath and was actually concentrating on the concept of getting a better belt clip for my own cell phone.Back at the car I realized that I had learned some valuable lessons on this hike: It’s good to know ahead of time if you’re going to be exercising with a world-class athlete; if you’re going anywhere with a PDA or a cell phone, make sure that, it’s firmly attached to your person with the “right” holster (preferably one that it matches your outfit); and some local kennel actually allows you to go online and watch your dog frolicking while you’re toiling away at work or suffering through some miserable vacation. I love technology.Rich PearceAspen
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