Monday, April 1, 2013

Off the Road

A female acquaintance went hiking in an undeveloped area technically off-limits. Her phone didn't have much juice, but on impulse she took it along in case she wanted to take photos. She was having a good walk when she fell, breaking her femur. Alone with an almost-drained phone battery, she kept trying to call her family. Finally her son answered. He thought she was joking. Because, and only because, they'd trespassed on the place together not long before, the son was able to drive out and find her.

I said, "She didn't dial 911?" I was told that it did not occur to her to dial 911. I said, "But you can dial 911 even with a dead phone, or so I heard."

That is false. You can't dial 911 or anything else with a dead phone. The truth is, if there's juice in the phone you can dial 911 and any cellphone tower in range, even if you're not their customer, must connect your call. If there is no juice in the phone or no tower within range (as sometimes happens, even here) you can't reach 911 or anybody else.

So please leave a note or a phone message telling somebody where you are going. Hike with a buddy, or at least carry a phone with full battery power, and don't hike anywhere you don't want 911 to have to come find you.

Having said that, I now announce with pleasure that there's enough springtime daylight to take walks after supper. This photo was taken walking west on Doc Sargent Road at 7 p.m. At quarter to 8 it is still not totally dark. Oh wonderful April!

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