June 14, 2013

Chipmunk Adventure


Yesterday I drove up to a favorite hiking trail that is located between Rico and Telluride, about 52 miles from my house.  The trailhead starts at about 10,000’, and I would guess that I hiked up at least a thousand feet from there.  This is also a great place to go mushroom hunting in August.

On the drive up I was listening to some of the Coast to Coast AM podcasts.   One of them was the June 4th show with Penney Peirce, who specializes in intuitive development.  One thing she said really rang a note of truth with me.  She said that the reason why people are so addicted to texting and electronic social media such as Facebook is that those methods of communication raise their dopamine levels, which is one of the “feel good” brain chemicals.  Each time they receive a text or a post from Facebook, they get the feeling that “Somebody loves me!”  This increases their dopamine levels.  Therefore, the more interaction of this type one engages in, the better one feels.  This explains to me why people can get so addicted to those texts or posts that they feel the need to answer while driving down the highway or having dinner with a loved one.

This aha moment started a whole stream of consciousness going on other topics for the blog even before I got to the trail head.   Before I started hiking, I took time to write my thoughts down, and will write more in future posts.

On the way back, I drove almost 50 miles before having to stop at a stop sign.  There I am, waiting for a few cars to pass so that I can make a left hand turn, and up pops a little chipmunk at the lower edge of my windshield on the outside.  He had apparently ridden the whole way back wedged in the space between the hood and where the windshield wipers sit.   I bet he was freaked out big time! 

I made my turn and pulled over to get him off of there.  He didn’t want to go and kept going back and forth below the wipers.  I finally got him off by poking at him with my car keys.  Unfortunately, I took him from a moist sub alpine habitat to a dry and dusty pinon/juniper one.  Chipmunks are all over, so I assume that he will adapt. 

There must be a meaning to the chipmunk adventure.  Perhaps it is “take a chance, make a change, jump on board and hang on for a very wild ride”.  Sounds like life on planet Earth lately, doesn’t it! 

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