Those who get it, need read no further. The rest is a story how I came to realize that the time spent here taps into the same energy that could otherwise be used for photography. I just took two round trips to the mountains. Over this summer I will take several more of these trips. It's where my heart and soul live, so when I am there... I am happy, alert and alive. I see things more clearly when I am up there and I can tie my thoughts together better (compared to when I am home immersed in my usual routine). I've resisted getting into smartphone technology but a couple weeks ago finally caved-in and got one. Normally, cell coverage in the mountains is spotty, but Verizon works very well at Huntington Lake. It's really weird to be in the mountains, and be online. I didn't control my online time on the first of my two trips, it didn't directly interfere with my photography. The cold and snow took care of that (OM-4 froze up and it took two and a half pairs of batteries to get it going again). Wonderful late season storm. So I used plenty of energy last Sunday to catch some of what I saw onto 35mm TMY-2 film, (though I wished I had TMAX-100 or was shooting 120 or 4x5 instead because I would appreciate the greater detail). But in the downtime I could connect and catch up with everybody. And that was fun. But I would never have noticed it except for what happened on the way home. I drove back alone, having dropped my son off at camp where he's counselor-in-training (thus the "several" trips coming up - last week was staff training, he goes back in a couple weeks)... It's a five hour drive from the mountains to home. That's if you drive non-stop which I never do. I usually add an hour for various planned stops, but I wasn't careful last weekend and added a few hours to the drive. I stopped at various places and picked up the phone and checked-in online. Then I continued to drive. Rest stops should leave you feeling rested. But these kinds of rest stops did nothing to give me rest. I continued on as tired as when I stopped. So it took me 8 hours to get home and I got home tired. Determined not to make the same mistake, I consciously curtailed my online presence yesterday. But I had no urgent need to get home quickly so I allocated 8 hours for the drive home. Instead of going down hill with stops... I went up hill. Kaiser pass had just opened and I was there. So my son and I drove up over that pass stopping occasionally for photography. Kaiser Pass road is a very special place. If you love backpacking but have limited mobility, driving this road can make you feel like you are backpacking. There are plenty of intimate forest scenes available within a short walk from the car. Normally when I am on this road, I am with friends and have a goal to reach the trail head for real backpacking. There is a time commitment to catch the ferry. But today was the first time I got to just stop wherever I wanted and get out and explore creeks and rocks that I've always driven past. It was on these little excursions yesterday that I realized what I was doing. When I go backpacking with friends, I will stop and take pictures. My friends will stop and rest. Done with my shooting, I repack (I'm pretty good at unpacking and packing the camera) and move on. But I never rested. I keep going to the next irresistible scene and once again drop the pack, grab the gear and explore the scene... repack and move on. At the end of a long day backpacking, my friends will have stopped as much as me, but I never really got any rest. It's how I operate, and my endurance and will-power "just works that way". The rest of the drive yesterday, with technology disconnected, I took real rest stops and they felt different. I felt more rested. It was a better drive. Public Service Announcement: Don't go online during rest stops if you are driving. Turn off and really rest. What I realized in these past two weeks is that I can spend the same time over a long restless day alternating between work and photography. Or I can spend a similar restless day alternating between work and being online. It takes the same energy.