Oct 26, 2009
I've often heard people lament the loss of 'survival skills.' It's a theme often explored, from the film Fight Club to the book Emergency! I can see the benefit of being able to 'rough it,' but I'll tell you right now: I'm not one of those people.
I enjoy convenience. I like having technology that works. I don't need that gritty nature feel.
This all stems from the weekend trip my wide and I just took to Point Arena, California. We stayed at the Coast Guard Historic Inn, a bed and breakfast about 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean. The Inn itself was run by a very nice couple who brought us fantastic breakfasts the two mornings we were there. They were welcoming, made dinner reservations for us and pointed us to some great sights. All in all, a great stay.
The boathouse we stayed in was very small.
Some would call that cozy.
The cellular service was non-existent.
Some would call this a welcome break from the constant connectivity of the modern world.
There was no TV.
Some would no doubt love a break from the 'boob tube.'
The boathouse was a landmark, so it had no fans, and minimal heat.
Some might enjoy this more rustic setting.
As the boathouse was largely unchanged from when it was built, insects were everywhere.
Some could see this as being in touch with the natural world.
All of those 'Some' statements, well none of those apply to me. Luckily I had 2 laptops with me, one to provide noise to sleep to and another to watch movies on. Even my wife, who loved the setting, agreed it was nice to WATCH something other than the ocean.
Make no mistake, the ocean was beautiful. The other folks staying at the B&B were nice, and our dog loved being on a trip with us. We really did have some great moments there, and I'm not sorry we went at all.
The problem is, and always will be, that these secluded getaways have so much baggage. Let me run down what I mean.
We stopped in a coffee shop to get some hot chocolate for my wife, and the hippie yokels were so busy having a discussion about some local BS that we waited a good 10 minutes for them to tell us the hot chocolate machine was out. Great, thanks for that. Yet another reason you ain't ever gonna find me living in a small town.
The drive there and back were experiences in hell on earth. The roads are windy, right near cliffs and sometimes so narrow I genuinely worried that we might have an accident. On top of that, my wife gets very carsick and the turns were not helpful.
Anything you'd want to buy was more expensive, seeing as how the whole town is about 500 people. It's just north of being a pure tourist trap, but there's just not enough town to support that.
Hey, don't get me wrong. If you're into that 'go see nature, be one with the land, rough it like they used to, who needs toilets that work' kinda thing, enjoy baby! But as for me, I'm happy being dependent on certain assumed variables. When the nuke hits, or the quake shakes, or whatever apocalyptic scenario you like lands, I'll guess I'll be cattle feed. Maybe, maybe not.
I do watch all the Mad Max flicks quite regularly, so maybe some necessary survival skills are lying dormant. Perhaps one day I'll find out.