I’d heard that I might be cut off from cellphone service when visiting Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park for the first time earlier this month, but didn’t quite believe it until I got there. Sure enough, my Verizon-powered iPhone showed No Service most of the time I was there, pretty much to my relief.
Yes, there was "VERY LIMITED" Wi-Fi in the lodges, but even there it was pretty tough to squeeze onto the shared network. And the lodge operators did their best to block out non-guests from interloping on their "sattelite [sic]" network.
Those really desperate to make phone calls even stooped to the level of using, gasp, pay phones! But alas, the phones were jammed with quarters and weren't working very well.
Of course none of this stopped me from using my iPhone for its real purpose: Taking photos. And perhaps sadly, not just of the wildlife and spectacular scenery, but of anything that had anything to do with networking/telephony.
How could I resist the old tyme display in the lobby of the fancy Many Glacier Hotel that included this mysterious, partially homemade telephone system used back in the day at the resort?
This weakness of mine for interspersing photos of bison and glaciers with network-related items even proved contagious: My wife pointed out this Mountain Bell brick, seen at a fallen police officer memorial in Great Falls, Mont.
Nevertheless, I was mainly able to stay in vacation mode during the trip and most of the way back to the east coast. I even bypassed Best Buy's treadmill charging stations for Internet access in the Minneapolis airport.
But on my final flight I did make the mistake of ferreting through the seat pocket in front of me and picking up the airline magazine. Staring back at me: Cover boy/Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Back to reality...