The River-A Cell Phones Nemesis

In 2015 I stepped into the smartphone world. Since I already had other Apple products, it seemed like a natural progression to continue with another product. I purchased an iPhone 6 and began my education in Smartphone technology.

I love adventure. I like to explore parts of my world that are sometimes hard to get to. I love the Southwest. I really like Zion National Park. I am so fortunate to have good friends that live outside the park. There is a section of the park called the Subway. From the top down one needs ropes and knowledge that there is rappeling into cold river water, more than once.

The Subway from the Bottom Up

One can also hike the Subway from the bottom up. This trail also presents its own set of challenges. There really is no trail, it is a set of social trails that progresses down a steep slope to the river. Then you follow the river for three miles to arrive at the beginning of the subway. It is not an easy hike. It is a great visual hike.

In 2017 I hiked the Subway from the bottom up. I just arrived at the Subway part of the hike, when I fell off a log into the river along with my day pack that held my iPhone 6. Oh no, what was I to do. The phone was wet and I was a long way from help. I dried the phone off the best I could and continued with my hike. Nine hours later I returned to my friends exhausted and happy. I took my phone apart, yep you could do that, and dried it out. The next day it worked although it had developed a dark side. The right upper side of the phone was black, it worked and so I kept it for a few more years until the dark side began to cover more of the screen. I decided to upgrade to an iPhone 8.

I was happily using my new phone with no issues until…..I met another River. 2021-I was kayaking on the Provo River near Utah Lake in the state of Utah. It is a very silty river and a beautiful place to kayak. I stopped to fix something on my kayak and before I could stop it my phone in its waterproof container disappeared into the river. That river is definitely deeper than it looked. I tried for over an hour to rescue my iPhone 8 without success. Each time I tried to reach it with my kayak paddle the silt would stir up and I would lose sight of it. Other kayakers tried their hand at rescuing it, without success. I had to admit defeat and off I went to the Verizon Store to ask for help. I also called a good friend, Melissa, to mourn my loss. It is good to have friends.

First Photo from my iPhone 12

My iPhone 12 stayed with me until two weeks ago when I met another river up close and personal. On my current trip to the east coast of the United States, I spent three weeks with friends in Florida. We camped and biked and kayaked on the rivers and springs of northern Florida. The last river was the Juniper River. It was a quick, shallow river through a beautiful area. There were alligators, one giant one, and one rapid.

As you may know, I am a photographer. After I am safely on the water I often take my cell phone out of its waterproof case so I can take photos. After successfully managing the rapid, I got caught in an eddy. As I tried to push off the kayak tipped and there went cell phone number three. I got wet, it got wet and the kayak had its first experience of flipping. I worried about my cell phone. My friend Missy was concerned about my camera that was safely inside a dry bag. I kept thinking about that giant alligator up the river. Needless to say, I got out of that river in record time.

Initially, the phone worked fine and I thought all was good. The next morning the phone would not wake up. Oh sigh. Once again the river won. I am now an owner of an iPhone 14.

First Photo on the iPhone 14

When one does not lead a dull life these things happen. When one leads any kind of life these things happen. I feel personally responsible for my phone so I have mourned the passing of each one. I have to talk myself out of deciding I am a bad phone owner and recognize that these things happen not just to me but to many others as well. I am sure we all have phone stories to tell.

In three weeks I am flying to the Amazon in Brazil for two weeks. Oh no, another river! A mighty river. Hopefully, I will be able to keep hold of my new phone so the river does not take it away. No matter what me and my phone will venture south to enjoy an adventure on the Amazon.

Today I am grateful for coming clean and admitting to my cell phone debacle. I have always wanted to be truthful in these blog posts. I want to show my humanity. Today I am grateful for truth and for revealing my humanness.

Today I am grateful.

Florida On My Mind

A week ago I arrived in Florida. I have never spent much time in this state. I am enjoying exploring a new area of the United States. with good friends. I have moved out of my rig for a few weeks to visit with Missy and Dan. I have a bed and my own private refrigerator. Mostly though I have company. I am enjoying that to the utmost.

2017 was the last year Missy and I met in person. I stay west and she stays east in this very large country. We have “zoomed”, texted, and talked on the phone. Oh, and there has also been the occasional e-mail. In this modern world, there are many ways to stay in touch and maintain long-distance friendships. Yet, there is still nothing better than being physically present with a friend.

And…I have my own personal tour guide showing me Florida. We have camped at Myakka State Park, biked (rather hot and hard mountain biking through sand), and walked. Still in the plans are kayaking and more. I am enjoying getting to know this state.

Myakka State Park

The other great joy of being with Missy is that we are both photographers so we are exploring the natural places in this part of the state, the southwest area of Florida with our cameras. It is fun to be with another photographer. It helps me to learn and grow in this craft that I enjoy so much. Missy, being a professional photographer, has much wisdom to share. Click Here to view her website. Her photos are amazing. She also sells Photo Art. Yes indeed, I have a lot to learn from her.

Tiki

The main attraction is a new addition to their household. A week ago Missy and Dan adopted a Ringed Neck Parrot. Tiki is the fascination of the house. We laugh at its antics and celebrate each new step it takes. Any time we are around Tiki the cell phone cameras get busy taking photos. It is no different than having a new baby in the house. Who knew a bird could be so entertaining. And oh my what a pretty bird it is, blues and greens dominate with a pretty red beak.

Endurance-The act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress.

Englewood and the surrounding areas were hit hard by Hurricane Ian. This area remains in recovery mode. My friends and Missy’s parents’ houses were damaged in the storm, although not as bad as others in the community where they live. It is interesting to be here and see the damage that was done. Nature is powerful. It is also interesting to experience the endurance of people. Slowly people are rebuilding. Some have sold their homes. Some are removing the damaged units and replacing them with new homes. Some are repairing. People have lost a lot yet they endure and come back stronger.

After the devastation occurred people in this community showed their caring for each other. They helped each other out. Missy’s brother arrived from Maine to help get his parent’s house back up and in running order. Other people in the community, locally have offered services, supplies, and more. Organizations arrived to offer food, all three meals, while people were without services and busy cleaning up. Others arrived offering drinks. In diversity, the best sides of others often come forward. Humankind wants to help others. I believe that is an inherent trait.

I will remain here for at least another week before I begin the slow trek north to the mid-Atlantic states. It is good for my soul to finally see my east coast family after four years away due to Covid.

Today I am thankful for my friends who love me from a distance and close up. Today I am thankful for friendships that endure. Today I am thankful.