Let Sleeping Giants Lie

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There is nothing like a hike on a perfect fall day with your Best Guy to make you smile. Really smile. Like with all your teeth sparkling.

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Yesterday we took a ride to Sleeping Giant State Park, in Hamden, Connecticut, for a lovely walk in the woods. I hadn’t hiked The Giant in years. Years. I was excited. Many, many, moons ago my friends and I would hike it every chance we got. In high school. On breaks from college. Even thru that ‘After College What The Hell Am I Doing With My Life’ transition period.

We hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.

And perched our cameras on rocks, hit the self timer button and scrambled back in a panic trying to get the perfect shot in the nick of time. Inevitably the picture would get taken 100 times- until we ran out of film. We’d always get that one great shot. Genuine smiles. Memories captured. Real, life-long friends in the making. It was such a wonderful time. I think we even knew it then. I have lots of fond memories hiking Sleepy G, and I took great delight giving My Lobster years of scoop. 20141013-202013-73213381.jpg

He and I hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.
And took selfies with our iPhones.

Same. But different. The views haven’t changed. They’re still beautiful. The trails haven’t changed either. We hiked the toughest one, over the Giant’s chin, a route I have climbed too many times to count. I thought the people there hadn’t changed either, but sadly, I was wrong. There were groups of 2 or 3 or 4 friends, all slowly ambling up to The Castle. 20141013-202018-73218262.jpg

We bumped into the Day Walkers on our way down from the Tower, towards the end of our hike. Only instead of chatting and laughing, they were glued to their iPhones. Updating their Facebook status. Instagramming. Tweeting. Commenting. “Liking.” Creeping. Texting. Checking email. Googling. Match.com-ing. Yelping. 20141013-202014-73214713.jpg

You fucking name it.

They did everything. Except hike, chat and laugh with the actual human being beside them. It made the both of us sad. Why bother being outside? So you can post that you were? I felt like saying something to one of The Texting Dead who walked into me because she wasn’t paying attention. But I figured what was the point? What was I going to yell?20141013-202019-73219825.jpg

Hey you! You in the yoga pants, reeking of Thierry Mulger’s, Angel perfume, put down your goddamn phone! Make eye contact with your girlfriends! And use your words! It’s a beautiful day! Look around, Fool! There is so much beauty! AND YOU’RE MISSING IT!

Yeah.
No.

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I let it go. It wouldn’t have made a difference. It saddened the both of us. All ages, all clinging to their smart phones. Like lifelines. It’s rampant. How do you tell your own Sleeping Giant stories years later if you’re tethered to your iPhone? Do you tell it in retweets? Can you text it in emoji? Are you minimally taking pictures? At least then, after you’ve photoshopped them, you can say: Damn. That was sure pretty. Huh. Funny, I don’t even remember this. And maybe then it will occur to you. So many beautiful memories to be had. So much life to live! Only it’s not as thrilling when you’re peering at a screen.

Shut down. Log off. Unplug.

You’re missing so much.

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47 thoughts on “Let Sleeping Giants Lie

  1. I see this all the time. The saddest thing is watching parents with their kids. The kid is in the stroller or on a bike with training wheels and dad is chatting with someone more important on their fucking phone.
    Kids say the dandest things, they ask questions, they laugh. These idiots are missing all of that. I still recall a walk in the woods our young family took 15 years ago. We took a few photos with our film camera and I have great memories of walking, talking and laughing.
    Put down your phone and live your life. It will be so much more interesting than the life you are recording for posterity.

    • Here was the worst part: we were wrapping up our beautiful 2 hour hike. Happy. Sweaty. Smiley. We pass a woman who is sitting on a rock, looking at her phone. Kid is 20 feet away. LOOK AT ME MOM! LOOK AT ME! ISNT THIS COOL?!?! Mom yells back something about replying to an email without looking up and tells him to JUST SIT DOWN AND USE YOUR PHONE FOR A MINUTE. I NEED TO REST.

      Are you fucking kidding me?

      True. Story. Of course it prompted a classic Colby and Tim Rant. I actually thought he was going to say something. Such a shame. 😦

      • I know it’s habit and hard not to be connected all the time. I know it.
        My youngest is a freshman in college. I know how quickly those moments pass. I didn’t have a cell phone untill my youngest was 5, and it was just a phone. So, we did not have the same distractions that ypu get with a smart phone.
        These people are going to have major regrets when they see junior receiving his college degree but can’t recall having a conversation with him when he was 5.
        The worse thing in life is regrets.
        I’m on the same page with you 100%.There isn’t room here to go into drivers on their phones! Thats an entirely too long blog post!

      • Agreed! And that text and drive piece is more like a novel!!!! It’s about awareness. The “shit. I need to put it down and connect with a human being” moment. It’s one thing to be distracted. Being oblivious is a while other issue. πŸ™‚

  2. I think we used to run Sleeping Giant when I was in college. Thanks for the memory. I understand your frustration and I think this falls into the category of what my Mother used to call
    ” Going to Hell in a Hand Basket.”

  3. Soooo gorgeous. And yeah, I’m plugged in a lot, but old enough to remember being an adult without a cell phone, and it’s refreshing to just leave the GD phone in the car and soak in the view. Even if it was a bunch of dirt, would probably be better than a stupid email.

  4. Ummmmm Colby … you should have whipped out your cellphone smasher aka “da sledge hammer” on those cellphone users lol. No one seems to know how to observe the natural beauty of this world anymore, they miss so much because there senses are buried in a cellphone. That place looks amazing chica!!! I’m glad you are blessed with it πŸ™‚ I hope to go visit some caverns this fall up in northern Florida

    • I should have run up to them with “Knife Hands” and smacked them out! It’s such a pretty spot. Love that we’re not too far from it! Head North Runner Boy!!! Is it “chilly” yet down there? πŸ™‚

      • Chilly bahahaha I wish! We were still pushing low 90’s just the other day. A front coming through today that’s supposed to drop the highs to … wait … the mid 80’s … UGH! Let me borrow the teleport and I’ll be up north in a heartbeat ha lol πŸ™‚

      • Oh man. You can’t catch a break. Hopefully heading down your way in January. Figure that’s when it will be below zero with 3 feet of snow. Heelllloooo South Flaaahrida! πŸ™‚

        Hang in there!!

  5. That place looks beautiful. I am really yearning to see some fall foliage but it doesn’t really exist where I live. When I was traveling I didn’t have internet access on my phone, and I LOVED it. No one could contact me and I was always present wherever I was. And most of the time, everyone around me was on their phones even if we were in front of something incredibly beautiful and historical. I wanted to hit the phones out of their hands!

    • Lily, it’s super pretty. And not far from us at all. I love traveling for that reason—no WIFI! I can remember hanging out in Italy in a beautiful piazza and watching people buried in their phones. SO WRONG!!! πŸ™‚

  6. I hear ya on the why bother looking at your phone on a hike. If I want to watch a screen, I will stay home in my PJ’s and turn on Bravo. More comfortable.

    I do feel I need to speak up for moms everywhere on cell phones (though probably not the fool in Sleeping Giant Park, and definitely no one who is driving). When I was young, I would go play in the backyard or neighborhood for hours without my mom watching my every move. When I was really little, she plunked me in a playpen with some toys and went about her life. That was when she called and made appointments, did stuff around the house and caught up with friends and family and perhaps even reconnected with her brain. That ain’t happening anymore, at least for moms of little ones. At least until they are a certain age, we attend EVERY playground visit, watch EVERY practice, witness EVERY pump on the swing and observe EVERY dig in the dirt. Sometimes a gal just has to schedule a dentist appointment, ya know? And you know I am a really hands on mom who does tons of stuff with my kids – I even have those goddamn burn scars from churro making to prove it – but I’ll say it: sometimes when they were younger and I had to be a part of every single activity, I got tired of watching. And watching. And watching. And Candyland. And I know it goes fast and all, but my parents didn’t watch my every somersault and I survived. Our kids grow up with SO much watching that I have told my kids on occasion that they should be doing things because they like them, not because they want an audience. Every activity cannot be a performance piece.

    I’m a big fan of unplugging. I’m not that connected to my phone unless something is going on and I know a call or text will be coming through. Half the time I can’t put my hands on the stupid thing anyway. When we aren’t already busy with activities, we have “screenless sunday” in my house where everything with a screen goes night-night and my kids get to figure out how to entertain themselves without the benefit of pixels and spend quality time fighting with each other like I did with my siblings in the 70’s. Good Times.

  7. They must have some serious skills- if I was on my phone like that on a trail I would walk right off it. Or run into a tree. Both are highly likely. I do take my phone with me though, one for safety- even though I usually lose signal, and second for pictures. I admit to being a photo fiend. πŸ™‚ But everyone really does need to unplug more- I saying this feeling hypocritical- I need to put my phone down more too.

    • I think we all do. Let’s face it. We’re bloggers. We’re word pressed and twittered up to our ears. But on a hike on a beautiful day with friends? Not a chance. The sheer number of people on their phones— from teens to folks in their 60s was staggering. Unplug! Shut down! At least for a few hours. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh, and this reminds me of a funny bit that Louis CK does – about how you go to a school concert and almost no one is watching the performance directly – everyone is watching through the screen of their IPad or IPhone while they tape it. So they kinda sacrifice actually watching the live performance so they will have a video. Many are going through life the same way….
    And I’m jealous of your hike. I’ve been in a hiking mood lately. Must be all the foliage.

  9. THANK YOU. Few things irk me more than seeing someone glued to their phone when they’re out in nature- or even anywhere in public really. Yea take a picture or two, but the hashtag #latergram exists for a reason, right? πŸ™‚

    • You are welcome! It really gets me too! I think it pissed my Other Half off more than it did me! And I’ve been known to rant from time to time! Such a pretty spot. Too bad they missed it. πŸ™‚

  10. Bang, I like this! It is hard not to get bummed by people and their social me(me, me)dia addictions. I know some people that are horrendous and some might think I am bad but I will say, dropping the phone in favor of conversation is not an issue and I turn that shit off when I am outside exploring. My rule is no phones at dinner, the only caveat is if you are sharing a story as a group and need to share something on that phone, just make it quick. Thanks for this, heading to Yosemite on Sunday and unplugging in favor of good old fashion trails and paper pages in the sun!

    • OHHHHH YOSEMITE! So jealous!!!! Hike the Half Dome! Love it there. So, so beautiful! I’m with you. I mean really. As bloggers, social media is kinda our thang BUT…Outside, exploring, hiking with friends, dinner….unplug. Fo. Shizzle.

      Have fun Dominick!! πŸ™‚

  11. No offense, but spending the day in the forest with a dude sounds a little gay.
    Also, it sounds like you were focused on the girls as much as they were on their phones. Juss sayin. πŸ˜‰ Ha, seriously, awesome pics! Also, what did you do with the selfies? I mean, where do you put them if you don’t have instagram??? πŸ™‚

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