By Jennifer Leevan
On Monday, October 15th, I awoke just after sunrise and drew open my curtains. Staring out across a small lake of the Mohonk Mountain House, with fog rising from the waters just like steam from a pot of soup, I am at peace with the world and with myself.
I thought that an entire day without technology might set my head spinning and leave me bored and frustrated. I thought, even if I am in one of the most beautiful parts of New York State, I’ll still want to check my Facebook. But it turned out that I was perfectly happy to walk through the woods and just take in Nature with my boyfriend, Jeremy, who obliged me by also observing a day without technology with the exception of our photo-op. We strolled around the lake, and we took time to appreciate each other in conversation without the interference of our cell phones.
After our morning walk and rowboat excursion, we stumbled across an opening in the rock-face, which curled around the lake. Next to the crack in the rocks we saw a sign that read, “Labyrinth.” Upon further examination we discovered that the sign was directing us towards an exciting and challenging rock scramble. However, what should have taken us roughly forty-five minutes but instead took us almost three hours. Our destination was the lookout tower at the top of the mountain, which overlooked the lake, and mountain house which we were staying in. Although we followed each and every little red arrow along the rocks, we somehow split onto a different scramble trail and ended up on a very challenging adventure. Over rocks, under rocks, through tight crevices and up narrow ravines, the second portion of our journey sent us through such segments as “Fat-Man’s Misery,” and “The Lemon Squeeze.” The former involved essentially blowing out all the air in your body before shimmying through a narrow junction between two boulders, and the latter involved climbing up a nearly one hundred foot long wall along a ladder which ended just under ten feet before the top. Needless to say, we were out of breath and very hungry once we reached the top. But the view… the view was magnificent. Instead of summiting at the lookout tower, we ended our rise on a plateau, which overlooked not only the lake and house but also six states! Neither of us knew what to say, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around us. Suffice to say, we didn’t long for our cell phones so that we could “Instagram” a small portion of what we saw to our nearest-and-dearest.
On our way down the mountain we stopped at every clearing and anywhere where we could just stand and take in deep breaths of clean air. It was an amazing day and it truly reminded me that while technology is certainly an integral part of daily life, it is not the most beautiful, the most creative, or the most intriguing and exciting thing out there. What people need is not new, “fresh” apps, it’s more fresh air and time away from technology.