2/21/10, 6:00AM, Day 2: Sun up at 6AM. Oatmeal and coffee are the morning’s priorities. I break down my tent and fill up on water—not sure how long the creek will follow us up the mountain. By 7AM, Coop and Bigfoot wake and join me at the fire pit. Photo ops take up a few minutes after breakfast. Bigfoot tries out my poles out of curiosity. At 9AM it’s time to gear up. Coop and I part ways with Bigfoot and continue up the trail. Nice to be hiking on an actual trail. For the first hundred yards it’s hard-packed snow. After that, we’re off trail and following Bigfoot’s tracks from the previous day.
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
The mountains of North Carolina are a thing of beauty when viewed from afar. They are an even greater spectacle when you experience them up close. And when snow blankets the ground they are truly wondrous. Until they’re not.
This past weekend my buddy, Coop, and I set our sights on the Shining Rock Wilderness for our first winter backpacking trip. We monitored the location via webcam, checked the weather forecast daily, and packed the essentials we thought we’d need. We planned everything out meticulously, and fully expected a flawless trip that we’d remember for a lifetime.
So I’m running the other day minding my own business when out of nowhere my right arm is clipped by the side mirror of a Ford Escape. I looked at the car as if to say, “Hey! Yeah you! I’m on the curb of a two-lane road! Why don’t you move over? Don’t honk at me. Don’t curse at me. And above all, don’t hit me!”
To the guy who hit me and left, let’s think about this for a moment. You’re in a car. A big friggin’ machine with no give. I’m a human. A little bigger than a bread basket and easily broken by big friggin’ machines. Perhaps you were in a hurry or perhaps you are just a prick. Whatever the reason, you (and all drivers) should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians like me.
If you’re in disagreement I kindly direct you to North Carolina law 20-174D which states:
On a recent trip I took my iPhone conmigo with the intent of using local coffee shops, restobars, and other public locations to access the Interwebs. Upon arriving at my destination, I took a dump and hit up the WiFi. Hmm, all these SSIDs are password protected. I asked my host for the SSID and password. The former was far more complex than the latter. A-B-C-D-E-1-2-3-4-5. “For real?” “Si.” My investigation into the nature of the chosen algorithm turned up a reasonable answer, “It’s what the directions said to do when I set up the router.”
This business is not the only one at risk. When my wife and I arrived at our foreign apartment, I fired up WiFiFoFum, a WiFi scanner app that searches for 802.11 networks. Immediately, a WPA-protected network appeared. Please enter password. Sure, A-B-C-D-E-1-2-3-4-5. Bam! I’m connected. I checked my mail, some social sites, the news, downloaded a few apps, and even listened to the Bears/Vikings game via Pocket Tunes. But wait, there’s more! Wireless connectivity isn’t just limited to the SSID password.