Ask a Staffer: Unplugged

June 18 2014, 8:40 AM

These days, working a day job means taking phone calls, tweeting, checking emails—all things that require us to be plugged in, all the time. At 5280, we know as good as anyone that finding the time and commitment to escape from our laptops, cell phones, and iPads can seem virtually impossible (pun intended). Yet: Anyone who has stayed up until 1 a.m. answering emails knows that unplugging from technology is necessary for our health—and sanity. Here, our staffers dish on how long they have been disconnected from the grid, and the best places to do so in Colorado.

Dave McKenna, art director
Disconnected: I’ve made it almost four days without cell service. I only got a true smart phone this year, so it'll be a bigger challenge to unplug this summer.
Unplugged in Colorado: Grove Campground, which is 12 miles from Lake George, Colorado. It's family friendly and the key draw for us is the tubing.

Sean Parsons, art & photo assistant 
Disconnected: I’ve been without technology for two weeks because I was on a boat.
Unplugged in Colorado: I feel unplugged at the top of a fourteener.

Luc Hatlestad, articles editor 
Disconnected: I’ve probably made it a week without my phone before, but I’m going to Burning Man for the first time in the fall and that will be the longest without technology.
Unplugged in Colorado: For me, it’s long drives. I’m not much of a mountain guy.

Chris Outcalt, assistant editor 
Disconnected: I’ve only been without a cell phone for a day or two.
Unplugged in Colorado: Lefthand Canyon up the Ceran St. Vrain trail. There’s a campsite next to the water where you lose cell phone service.

Daliah Singer, associate editor 
Disconnected: I made it one or two days while I was in Europe without a cell phone or laptop, but then I had to go to a coffee shop to check in.
Unplugged in Colorado: Anytime I’m skiing or camping.

Jessica Farmwald, copy chief 
Disconnected: I’ve only gone a couple hours at the gym without my phone.
Unplugged in Colorado: We took the Fall Creek Trail to Lake Constantine in the Holy Cross Wilderness, just outside Minturn. I was definitely cursing our friends who planned the trip—who told us it was a short, easy walk to the campsite—on the 4.5-mile hike in, but it was worth it when we got to the lake. It was so quiet and peaceful and felt great to escape the lights and noise and glowing screens of everyday life in the city.

Geoff Van Dyke, editorial director
Disconnected: The longest I’ve been without service is about 24 hours.
Unplugged in Colorado:  Last summer I took my boys camping in Guanella pass. It’s not that remote or disconnected, but I felt unplugged.

Lindsey B. Koehler, features editor 
Disconnected: I took a vacation to Antarctica for 18 days. When I got back I had 2,500 emails and 35 texts saying, "Where are you?" and "When do you get back from your trip?"
Unplugged in Colorado: The backcountry huts, like the 10th Mountain Division, are the only places where being unhooked in Colorado is really possible.

Jerilyn Forsythe, digital assistant editor
Disconnected: While awake? When I lost my cell phone earlier this year. Even then, I checked my email and social media whenever I was near a computer.
Unplugged in Colorado: Red Rocks—hiking or for a concert. I try not to take my phone with me.

—Image Courtesy of Shutterstock