As I mentioned in the last post, we are staying at Grapevine Campground and do not have any cell signal or internet. The first day we arrived at our campground, before we even set up the RV, we asked the couple in the other RV – Mike and Isabelle – what they did. They had a landline strung to their RV and were using satellite internet. But they also live here six months out of the year and come back every year.
Tom had checked into satellite internet and it is very expensive. I’m not willing to shell out the big bucks required for it. A resident in one of the apartments told us that we could get a cell signal if we traveled to mile marker 25 on the road that leads to the campground (we live at mile marker 33).
We were skeptical – what was so special about mile marker 25? – so we drove to it after we got the RV set up. Sure enough, just as he said, we had cell service at mile marker 25. If you move 50 feet away from it, the service disappears, but right at the marker we had two or three bars of something less than 3G service but good enough to send some texts (no pictures) and make a few phone calls. It seems that mile marker 25 is lined up with the valleys and canyons just right that it gets a weak signal from the closest cell tower.
Mike and Isabelle also told us that we were allowed to use the computers at work if we went in early or stayed late. So far we have not been able to do this because the computers at Scotty’s Castle have been down. We are also still waiting for our employee logins – welcome to working for the government!
We have done a little exploring in the area and, aside from mile marker 25, there really is no cell service in the northern 60 miles of Death Valley. We drove 45 miles to Beatty and had no cell signal until we were almost up to the town limits. We did, however, have very good 4G LTE service in Beatty. Right now it looks as though we will be making weekly trips to Beatty to be able to update the blog and make some phone calls.
We are adjusting to life without a cell signal, but it isn’t easy. Reaching for our cell phones when we have a thought or a question is habitual. When we watched OSU clobber Oregon (Go Buckeyes!) we wanted to text people so bad – but we refrained. We would have had to drive 8 miles to mile marker 25 – and it was after midnight Ohio time. We order lots of things through Amazon.com and I now have a list of things to buy when we have a cell signal again. Mostly we have to stop thinking “information right now” and practice patience.
We used to live without immediate access to everything. Back in the day . . . Maybe we can get used to doing it again.