Supermassive Black Hole
Somewhere locked deep inside the Rocky Mountains is the answer to your Blackberry blues. The Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch is a family owned resort, home to more than 50,000 acres of alpine meadows and virginal forests. With an average 360 days of sunshine in Colorado each year, the summer season proves to be the most popular and guests are advised to bring a sturdy pair of jeans, cowboy boots and suntan lotion to the Wild West. On taking leave from the traffic jams, tube delays and mundane chores of everyday life, visitors to the Black Mountain Ranch may also be curious to discover why this ‘Black Hole’ resort is popular for what it doesn’t provide.
Unlike most other holiday resorts, there are no televisions at Black Mountain and the internet connection is so pre-historic it dates back to the 1990s. By relieving visitors of their addiction to cyberspace, the Rocky Mountains evoke the writings of the great American explorer Henry David Thorea.
With so many people in possession of a smartphone, there is now a huge social pressure to be always on call. It never used to be like this and sometimes it is necessary to switch off and appreciate the great outdoors instead. All things are wild and free at Black Mountain and living high up in the Rocky Mountains no one can make or receive that previously ‘urgent call’.
Such is our reliance on the internet it is unsurprising that the most deadly addiction afflicting mankind today is cyberspace. ‘Likes’ have become forms of social approval and endlessly refreshing your Facebook account in hope of a little red splash, a modern sign of love and affection, can make or break your day. Addictions can reach terrifying levels if they go unchecked and in South Korea they have been forced to introduce the world’s first anti-web boot camp.
That might look pretty extreme to Western eyes, but cellular-weary businessmen in the US are checking into ‘black hole’ resorts to cleanse themselves of their internet obsession. As a gentler alternative to the South Korean boot camps, the Black Mountain Ranch is a wonderful place to go camping. With excellent ranching facilities available, cowboy fans will be in their element and so will lovers of traditional American food, especially after a day hiking in the high aspen woods.
After enjoying a week on horseback in the Rocky Mountains, missing a news cycle on Twitter will no longer seem important. And nor will that joyless email from your highly strung boss. For the luxury of the twenty-first century is the ability to switch off from the relentless demands of the internet. As one of the greatest ironies of the internet revolution is that many people are now switching back to traditional values of silence and nature.
And if the draconian measures implemented in South Korea sound too severe to wean you off Blackberry Messenger. Then a week-long vacation with no signal in Colorado might just be the respite you need. Following in the mighty footsteps of one of America’s greatest humanist writers, Henry David Thorea, one should remember it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Daniel Agnew is an observational writer, blogger and feature columnist from southern Aberdeenshire, and via Glasgow, is now living in South Hackney. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Andalucia, Loch Lomond, Venice and Cesky Krumlov. Always longing to visit more places, I secretly long to write a literary travelogue and embrace the art of photography.
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