I just returned from a week touring and exploring Yellowstone National Park. While enjoying the absolutely stunning scenery, discovering astounding geological features, and spotting wild animals, there was an unexpected benefit—lack of connectivity (with its demands for immediate action) to the outside world.
The moment one goes through the historic 1872 arch at the north entrance of the park, it is apparent that this is a special place for the preservation of wilderness (one of the park's founding tenets).
The roads are single lane in each direction, and the speed limit never goes over 45 mph. There are no traffic lights (like Martha's Vineyard, but without any pretensions). And while there are many people at the popular attractions, everyone is laid back enjoying the experience.
Thus it turns out that when one woman was able to talk on a cell phone (albeit near the boundary of the park where a signal was more likely (there is also 911 emergency service in many areas)) the occurrence, at least to me, was a rude, unwelcome intrusion into this natural oasis.
Along the lines of maintaining the wilderness and its experience, "Reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone National Park, televisions, radios, air conditioning and Internet hook-ups are not available at in-park lodging locations."
But that is not to say any technology was not needed or appreciated by me. It turns out that after taking well over 500 pictures with my digital camera, the sometimes hot, humid, and sulfurous environment took its toll, with error messages cropping up on its display. Because we stayed just outside the park, I was able to contact the camera manufacturer via cell phone and Internet to mitigate, if not completely solve, the problem for the remainder of our visit.
All in all, every American, and foreign visitors, too, owe it to themselves to visit such natural spaces preserved for all to wonder at and enjoy.
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