I used to head out into a secluded spot in the Interior to get away from civilization – a place where technology couldn’t touch us.
And then, as the years passed, it became a place where we could easily allow technology to pass us by.
Now it has become a place where we can still avoid technology, if we try.
But it’s practically impossible.
For years, for instance, it was a safe haven from cellphones – a place where addicts had no choice but to dry out.
There was a spot where you could get out an emergency call, if really, truly necessary.
You had to go up the road about seven kilometres, turn right on an old logging road. About a kilometre further, on a flat space near a switchback, there was a place – a point, really – with five-bar service. Clear as a bell.
Everyone on the lake knew about it.
I have no idea how anyone found it.
Pokemon Go players, eat your hearts out.
The area of coverage was about the size of a normal bathroom – in the midst of a wilderness covering hundreds of square miles.
Perfect reception inside the bathroom, and then… nothing.
I can’t resist pacing while talking on the phone.
My chances of completing even a short conversation were tenuous, at best.
Step out of the bathroom – just one step too far – and service was lost instantly.
Today, cell service practically floods that side of the mountain.
But the lake itself remains in a cell shadow.
Nevertheless, someone has unlocked another secret patch of service.
Beside the makeshift firepit at the lakeshore, we have about four rough-hewn steps down to the water.
On one side of those steps, someone has added an old cast iron stair rail.
Apparently, on the bottom step, hold the curled end of the iron rail, lean out, and reach your cellphone as far as you can over the water, point it at a spot almost up to the top of the mountain midway between the old cabin across the lake and the bay that meanders off into the marsh, and you can sometimes get two bars of service – maybe even three, if you’re lucky – for up to a minute at a time.
Like I said, it’s practically impossible to avoid technology up here.