In part three of the trip recap, I’ll start with the observation that there was cell phone reception in the mountains – and this was in quite a remote part of western Colorado. My father said that 5 to 10 years ago there was no cell reception in that particular area, then two or three years ago they could get reception if they stood on a high point. This year they could get reception right in the tent. It is another sign of the expansion of technology.
Cell towers are popping up all over the world. There are very few spots where you cannot get reception. Even in countries many people would consider very under-developed have expansive cell networks. It is a relatively cheap communication infrastructure. The last places on earth without cell phone coverage are the large deserts and sparsely populated mountain and arctic areas.
When I go out into the wilderness I do not carry a cell phone. Crazy, I know. I do it out of principle. I am out there to get away from civilization, not be tethered to it. I suppose when I lose some of my youthful vigor (and naivete),
I might consider carry more safety devices like a cell phone. For the time being, knowing that I don’t have a phone on me keeps me sharp out in the wilderness. It (no cell phone rule) more accurately replicates the historical feel of exploration around the planet. The funny thing is, when I didn’t arrive Friday evening as scheduled, the fellows at the hunting camp called my wife! Egads! They said I didn’t arrive before dark and of course she became worried. This necessitated my calling her the next day to let her know I was fine. So much for no cell phone calls in the wilderness.
Some of the pictures I have included today are of the general scenery in the Routt National Forest. For people who have not been to Colorado, you might be surprised at how arid it is. Colorado is only green in the Spring and high in the mountains. Otherwise it is closer to desert than a lush temperate zone. The pictures I took are at an elevation around 7,000 to 8,000 feet. Once you get up to 9,000 feet then the trees are mostly conifers, and above 10,000 to 11,000 feet is the typical tree line.
To close this blog entry, here is the latest CPC Winter Outlook. It is about the same as last month except for the area where there is a greater chance of cooler weather this winter (the Dakotas and northern plains) has shrunk a bit. Wisconsin is in the “equal chances” category for temp and precipitation. I am still hedging toward colder and more snowy than last winter because we have a La Nina pattern in the Pacific ocean.
La Nina does not guarantee a tough winter, but the most recent handful of La Nina winters have been colder and more snowy than average.
Have a nice weekend! Meteorologist Justin Loew
This post was written by jloew on October 22, 2010