Yesterday I had the opportunity to hike along about a mile of northern Lake Huron shoreline. I thoroughly enjoyed scrambling over the limestone cobble and boulders, noticing the plants I knew, but mainly looking for plants I didn’t know so I could learn them. I was just west of Cedarville, where the shoreline offers views of open Lake Huron but with the added visual interest of inlets and peninsulas and small islands.
I had my cell phone with me and did conduct a few brief business calls as I hiked. Cell phone? On a hike on Lake Huron shores? If I were to observe someone else doing that, I’d think ‘leave the cell phone at home, enjoy your hike!’ But it occurred to me that having my cell phone and being able to conduct those few, brief business calls is what made it possible for me to take the hour or so to do the hike (the hike was worked in between some other business I had in the area.)
So here’s my rationale (rationalization?). Let me know if it makes sense. If the cell phone makes it possible for you to be out there, take it along, but make sure it’s for brief, necessary calls (or to share your sense of wonder with someone you otherwise would have liked to have with you). If you can take the day off of business, by all means do so and clear your mind. Be sure to have some days like that. But if the choice is cell phone vs. not going, take the cell phone with you for a few, brief calls but keep the focus of your hike on where you are, not on the phone call. How’s that for a compromise between being connected and being in nature?
(I know of some lodge that use the fact that they are out of cell phone reach as a selling point for people to vacation there.)