Friday, June 29, 2012

How I burned my nose

Ever since I got an iphone, I am on the grid all the time.    This summer the iphone just got better.  I downloaded an altimeter ap and now I know just how high we are driving, biking, or hiking.  I don't even even need GPS or cell service to know why I am huffing and puffing.  This ap works in ASTER mode (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection) when GPS signals are too weak.  This very minute I am typing at 7,592 feet above sea level, ASTER mode says. 

I love technology.  I know how far I have hiked from my pedometer, which measures accurately to a tenth of a mile over two miles.  Not only do I know exactly how far I have hiked, I can download my hiking data to my computer and create all manner of charts and graphs.  

When I bike, I wear a heart rate monitor that tells me my low, high and average heart rate for the ride.  It confirms that when I am only moving 5 mph in Lo Lo gear going uphill  that my heart is about to beat right out of my chest.  The heart rate monitor justifies getting off the bike and walking to the top of the hill.  Good tool to have.

The other day I was hiking uphill for two miles, which is not much by Colorado standards, but to me it is monumental.  I moved over for three people to meet me on the path.  One of them got out his phone and said to his buddy, "Put your finger on the camera eye."  He had a heart rate ap that measured his pulse by resting his finger on the camera lens!  I whipped out my altimeter and shared our elevation.  And I need that heart rate ap!

This spring my trusty camera died, and I bemoaned its passing.  Such a familiar friend.  Now I can't even remember it, so enthralled am I with the next generation point and shoot.  I haven't even watched the informational cd that came with it.  I just turned it on and let it take over.  The automatic function switches from macro to landscape to portrait without any prompting.  It is so SMART.  And the panorama function eliminated the need to load five photos into photoshop and stitch them together. Maybe I could take better pictures if I watched the tutorial, but I doubt I'll ever be smarter than automatic.

Many times when an old friend dies, like the camera, things get better.  I am glad my old laptop died.  This new one weighs maybe three pounds.  Lighter is better.  And when Carl left his Garmain out in rain,  he replaced it with the next generation.  Illustrations point to the correct lane as you approach intersections.  It warns us of upcoming construction zones and suggests alternate routes around trouble spots to save time.  It tells us if we are speeding.  Or driving on water.

This spring my left eye cataract reduced my vision to a blur.  Boy was this ever a good thing!  Now I have a multi-focal lens in my left eye, and the only time I use glasses is to work on my computer.  A few years ago I would not have had the multi-focal upgrade option.   I LOVE my bionic eye. It has taken over completely for my less than perfect right eye. 

So, with all this technology available, how did I burn my nose? It happened when I went off the grid.  Strawberry Park Hot Springs, north of Steamboat a few miles, is located in a canyon off the grid.  There's no electricity in the entire canyon except that produced by generators or solar power.  The pools are heated by 140 degree water coming out of springs on the hillside, water the Ute Indians bathed in long before a man developed the springs to their current level in the early 80's.  The owner kept them quite natural, with stone dams capturing hot water, and cool water from the creek mixing in to create temperatures ranging from frigid trout habitat to 108 degrees.

I was in one of the hotter pools, feeling like I was about to boil inside, and I made my way to the creek water spilling over a small dam to catch some cool.  I could feel the cool at the edges as I approached and plunged my face into it.  Ouch!  The edges were cool, the center was boiling hot.  A dam is not a mixer tap.

My nose is peeling like a sunburn, and in a few days, when it is no longer tender, I might get a high tech facial to finish peeling off the layers.  I stand humbled in the face of low technology.

1 comment:

Mia said...

Driving on water, nice. I would love to have a panorama function on my camera, that is cool. Strawberry Park Hot Springs looks lovely!