A Good Excuse To Switch-off

During my digital detox weekend, in addition to switching my iPhone off, I wanted to get away from my computer. Turning off my iPhone meant saying goodbye to Instagram, Snapchat, and Pokemon Go. But it also meant no more listening to podcasts when I’m commuting, no maps to figure out where I’m going, and no tracker to tell when the next bus or BART will be arriving. I got home late Friday night, popped out my SIM card, and went to bed.

For Saturday, I had loosely arranged to meet my boyfriend in the morning and then do some hiking. He lives in Berkeley and I live in San Francisco, so the weekend commute by Muni and BART usually takes 1.5 hours to get there. I sent him some text messages to let him know that I was heading his way, and then I took off. Here’s where things got a little rough. I sent the text messages from the Punkt. MP01, but my boyfriend didn’t get them. Strangely, he got one later that day, but throughout the weekend he only received a few of the messages I sent. Fortunately, phone calls still worked, so I was able to give him a call and clear up our plans.

After an early lunch we drove to Point Reyes National Seashore. I’d never been to Alamere Falls before, but it’s well-known for being a “tidefall” - a waterfall that flows down directly into the ocean. We relied on a book of maps and hikes to get there. We spent the afternoon on a 8.5 mile hike to the falls. Alamere Falls is lovely and so is the journey. You pass ocean cliffs, coastal lakes, and walk through a quiet forest. To get down to the beach from the top of the waterfalls, I scrambled down a steep rock face. After a long day hiking, we stopped for some seafood before heading home.

On Sunday, I went to a nearby farmers market, but I also wanted to visit something in San Francisco that I hadn’t seen before. I decided to try and find two of the city's mosaic staircases. San Francisco is full of staircases, and some have been decorated with tile mosaics. I was looking for the Hidden Garden Steps and the 16th Ave Mosaic Stairs in the Sunset neighbourhood. They’re both beautiful and quite steep, with great views of the city, the ocean, and Golden Gate Bridge. I took in the views, rested a bit, and then headed back to the Haight-Ashbury for the afternoon.

Overall I had a very relaxing weekend. However I did have a hard time with only a few of my text messages apparently being received by my boyfriend. I also realized that with the Punkt. MP01 phone, I don’t get enough cell signal in my apartment to send or receive calls. When I use my iPhone, everything goes through wifi to make this easier. I struggled to have one call, but the connection was too poor, so I spent a quiet weekend almost free from phone calls as well.

I was very thankful to have an excuse for this brief weekend reprieve, because after the weekend ended I was back into work. In fact, so many things have been going on, that my nights and weekends are once again full, I’m getting pretty tired, and now I’m ill after spending the weekend traveling for work.

Erin Jo Richey

Twitter: @erinjo
Instagram: @erinjo

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