Weekend off the net

So I did that have a life thing and was offline for 48 hours. Even with a Treo, it can feel like withdrawal to stop reading blogs, checking all my email accounts, posting links and so on…but hey, it felt really good–and I had a chance to explore a part of California I’ve never really visited, though I have passed through it–El Dorado County.
What can I say about an area so far from urban sprawl that there are no shopping malls, no ex-plexes with big box stores, no shiny new restaurants with hand made goat cheese? El Dorado would have been dusty if it wasn’t pouring, and most of the restaurants we came too were of the BBQ pork and melted cheese on your omlet persuasion (a refreshing change from the close-in Bay area).
Seriously, sitting in the diner drinking coffee Sunday morning, after 36 hours of tooling around the backroads, I thought alot about what it would be like to live in such a small town, the kind of place where everybody was likely to know your business and if you were different–well, they all knew it, but you’d still stand out.
I remembered back to the old days, pre my life online, where I wanted to be a poet and live in the country and have a big garden and write poems and essays. My inspiration was Gary Snyder and his life in Grass Valley and Nevada City (his postal address was Star Route), and Marge Piercy, who lived on Cape Cod year round (or so I imagined). Driving through the little towns this weekend, I faced that fact that even with a high speed internet connection, I was far too urban (or maybe even suburban) a person to ever be happy in such a quiet region.
And yet, it was a wonderful weekend…for me, getting away is always a chance to not only see new things and have new experiences, it’s a way to compare what I have with what I’ve imagined–and to learn from it.

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