>Gary Fultz on…The Steak or the Sizzle? Picture truth #7

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Steaks with a Mesquite or Cajun rub in the middle of the wilderness

I know the smell and sizzle carried half a mile because that’s how far away the teenagers were when they came running. All to be eaten with black beans, rice, fresh onion,peppers, hot sauce, with fresh fish in an avocado burrito shell. This is as close as I hope to get to a Hungary pack of wolves in human form.
I was on the lookout for vampire teeth showing their true nature. I heard thunder in the distance but there were no clouds. I realized it was stomachs rumbling three stages past the mumbling stage.
I looked at the sun and it hadn’t moved much since they raided the extra granola bars and jerky. I was guessing the smell and the sizzle of the steaks would not satisfy this bunch.
No fantasies of the five adults eating the steaks while the teens watched–would come true today.

 First on the scene….steaksteak...steak!

Leverage is often used as a business term. I used it! “No one gets a steak till we get a stack of firewood waist high” I said. Poof…there it was.
“No one gets a steak till the onions and peppers are chopped and the burrito shells are laid out”
No poof but bingedy – bang – clash “where’s the band aids?are the steaks done yet? why am I dizzy? Pause to inhale. “why am I growing fangs?”

    I gave God thanks for the food with my eyes open and prayed the big fish would bite.

    Isn’t it odd that it’s easy to spend a lot of time, energy, and money to devour good food, yet satisfied with the smell and sizzle only, of great spiritual food?
    We settle for going to church or a concert for the smell and sizzle of spiritual food and often don’t take the time, energy, or money to just get alone with God in his word (as recorded in the Bible). Pray, fast, Listen to the holy Spirit speaking to us, and finally obeying what God wants us to say and do. Jesus told His disciples who were urging him to eat some food; “I have food that you know nothing about” Then to clarify he said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:32-34). Read what Frank Aragon says on this in his devotional.
    I know how demanding my stomach is. It can rumble with the best of them. I often let everyone around the campfire do a little taste testing as the food is about ready over the open fire. It good, It’s fun, and it would be down right mean to the body if that’s all we did. Let’s not be “taste testers” for our soul. Are you content with the sizzle? How bad do you want the steak?
    What helps you the most in your food for the soul? Make your comments below… recipe sharing is a good thing!

“Come meet with Me” The sights, the sounds, the sizzle
Gary D

   
   

>The Rocks Cry Out Picture Truth Series #6 By Gary Fultz

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Famous-landscape and I was There!
I took this picture a couple hundred yards from elk camp. 
Son Tim in the steep mountain timber

Not much has changed from when the movie “true Grit” starring John Wayne, was made. The trees have changed. Some are new and some are gone. The rock looks to be the same as well as the rock tower in the backdrop. 
 
  Those rocks are more famous than most of us will ever be. In fact a good trivia question would be…”Who shot John Wayne off his horse from behind that rock in the movie True Grit?” I’m not telling. You have to look it up if you don’t know and want to know! There’s a remake of the movie anyway.
  Many of you who watch movies have seen the twin peaks and chimney rock from other angles and never thought “I wonder where this was taken?” It’s all just backdrop to the real action right?
  So what are we seeing here? To the movie buff, rocks with some great history and stories. To the landscape photographer, a perfect rock in the fore ground and background to give the mountain scene an added rugged context in all it’s beauty. To the hunter it’s a good place to hide and watch the valley below for game. Maybe that’s what the mountain lion tracks nearby were suggesting. It’s a great place to lie in wait for the hunt!
  We so much want to give meaning to our own lives don’t we? I know I do!
  I stood in the same place as Robert Devalle when he shot from behind that rock. That made me feel so good I wanted to tell somebody!
Look closer though and I see just normal rocks that are wearing down with the elements and time. They are not going anywhere. Change is slow for now. They are just a bunch of rocks that majestically line the landscape. Or is there more to it than that?
  Jesus saw the rocks as ready to cry out in praise and worship if his disciples were silenced (Luke 19: 37-40). They were being loud! Too loud for the Pharisees who demanded Jesus quiet down those obnoxious disciples!
Maybe Whole Mountains will cry out

 A friend of mine wants to put a big boulder in front of our church with a message on it “If you don’t, I will”. I think every church should have a big rock out front. When the children or strangers ask what this rock is for, everyone should be able to tell them.

  Someday whole mountains of rock may roar out in worship to our creator if we do not.
Could it be that they litter the hills and valleys, stand guard in the peaks, and strategically lie everywhere for the signal? How sad if God finds our heart a rock and the rocks more fit for worship.
Elk Camp…The rocks won’t cry out around this bunch
Your comments are appreciated below and on my face book page
Check out COFA Christian Outdoors Fellowship of America
Have a buffalo Burger (When going by the COFA hunting area) at the True Grit Cafe
If you want to learn more about blogging Check Out Kristen Lambs advice on Blogging
I follow a good friends blogs and video messages from  Leary Gates. Sign up- it’s worth it!
Another good read is Gary Millers Outdoor Truths  We are spending some time together soon.
More to come on who are you? The steak or just the sizzle?

Gary D

>Firestarters of the Soul by Gary Fultz Picture Truth # 5

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Watching the snow fall outside my window stirs the desire in me to go winter camping!
     I’m serious; it can be an unbelievable great time. Some of you would start planning and packing if I invited you on the next outing! For others the very idea glances off their brain like a bug on a windshield in a Nascar race.
     I can assure you that snowshoeing on the lakes is completely safe as most of the ice is 2 to 3 feet thick (except where the water is moving underneath and tends to keep the ice very thin).
     I could tell you that the snow is so bright that you can travel at night through the woods by moonlight and not get lost (unless the clouds move in and it’s so dark that by flashlight you will still get lost).
     Our adventure proved that even in 3 feet of fluffy snow, snowshoes stay high enough to get you and your gear sled safely through the unmarked trails…most of the time.
Mark, another Firestarter
There are some dangers to be aware of while winter camping. Some dangers are actually more subtle. Did you know that every breath of air you take has very little to no moisture in below freezing temperatures? There is a high percentage of moisture in every breath of air you exhale. This means you dehydrate fast just by breathing cold air!
     Did you know that when you settle by a nice cozy fire… your body quits making heat for itself and begins to rely on external heat? It only feels good till you walk away no matter how warmed you were. Then if you climb into your super high technology sleeping bag that’s supposed to keep you warm, you could die in your sleep. Your great sleeping bag is the temperature of the great outdoors until your body heat replaces all the cold that the bag is now storing. If your body has shut down by the fire it won’t start up by climbing into a super cold sleeping bag.
I know people who claim to be spiritual. They look like good Christian people and do all the right things. I would suggest to you that only going to church and listening to the right music is like sitting by the fire. 
    Life is as dangerous as winter camping. Unless the fire burns within because we walk and talk and worship our great God daily, we shut down. 
Firestarters of the Soul
 
I took this long shot picture of my friend Brad snowshoeing and pulling a sled full of gear. He is as rugged as the rocks behind him. His sense of adventure in winter camping and his walk with Jesus is attractive. He is a good guy to have in camp and he will probably out-fish you.

     Somehow it got dark before we found the hidden trout lake in the wilderness. The sun went down and the clouds rolled in and there was no trail or markings other than a spot on the wilderness map. Our compasses went every direction because of the iron in the rocks. Somewhere on a hillside in the very dark woods, in three feet of snow, the four of us made camp. We built a fire, cooked a gourmet supper over it (steaks, potatoes, vegetables, peppers, and …wow did we eat). We ran in the deep snow to super heat our bodies, climbed into our bags, and had a great nights sleep under the stars. We were prepared and we would find the lake in the morning.

     Are there any good guys in your camp? Do you have friends or a group of people who are not content to let you just sit by the fire spiritually in your walk with God? Are you trying to live life alone and relying on your own perceptions and inner compass? I wouldn’t consider winter camping alone. Some do but it’s too risky for me.
     I would suggest that Life is much harder and the stakes are too high not to have good people around to keep us walking with God. People who love us enough to be motivated to keep our marriage healthy, mentor our kids, and pass on healthy legacies to the next generation. We all need someone to get us away from the fire and make us run in the snow. Those encouragers of developing our own walk with God… Fire-starters of the soul.

Tell us how you stay close to God and Grow. What is the hardest part of your spiritual journey? Do you have any firestarter people in your life?
Gary D

>Sowing your wild oats? Picture Truth Series #4 by Gary Fultz

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A sea of weed seeds ready to sow
The bulldozing strip was perfect. I stood in a sea of white weeds while deer hunting last November in wool pants. I spent a whole evening, after hunting, picking out all the various types of weed seeds that stick to the wool.
Like the dandelion, these seeds get blown by the wind and try to plant themselves wherever they land. The old saying “nothing planted, nothing harvested” is not totally true. The real truth is that we would have to do quite a bit of work (or quite a bit of spraying) to get rid of these weeds. The soil is now quite full of weed seeds for years to come. It is one thing to let a weed grow; quite another to let it go to seed. Even if we wanted a simple mixed crop of grasses and legumes for the deer, we would be fighting weeds for years until the crop could choke the weeds out.
Crop farmers know that seed bed preparation is absolutely important; one must understand it, and get it right. You might as well not plant anything if there has been no preparation, and your soil is full of weeds and weed seeds. The weeds you can take care of; the seeds are another matter.
When I was young, one of the neighbors disk ed a field of weeds and grass to plant to a grain crop. He made the soil black; it looked good! Then He planted his crop and let it grow. My father couldn’t resist making a comment and laugh about the field every time we drove by that year because it was a great crop of weeds, grasses and a few oats sticking up.
                    You do reap what you sow
There are so many lessons in life that can be drawn from this little weed picture. How about the weeds in a marriage? We see the weeds but the seeds seem to go unnoticed till they crop up in other areas. What does a proper seed bed look like in a good marriage where two people are growing in love and respect together?
Happy Couple
 I can say from experience that you cannot coast in your relationship; it takes work. It’s why some just start over, not realizing they are just bringing the weed seeds with them.
How about your job? Maintaining your house? Your teenager’s bedroom? Shall I continue? OK how about your walk with God? Is the three year old the boss of the house? Every one of these is brought into a proper relationship through daily discipline (especially the three year old).
Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.”
Don’t ever think that a weed here and there is OK. They plant seeds by the hundreds after a season. They lie dormant in the soil and grow when you least expect it, sometimes years later. Best to take care of your soil (heart?) in the first place! Do you have a couple of good friends who can help you do some soil testing? Your pastor might do it for free!
Have you ever thought how much your relationship with God is the foundation of all other areas of your life?
Think about it! If God created us, He is the one who knows the what, where, when, how of each of our lives. Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came to give you life and life more abundantly”.
So how are you keeping your life free of weeds and seeds?
Gary D

>Solitude Picture Truth 3 by Gary Fultz

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Solitude

 Auras of mystery surround places of solitude. The very word fills pages of novels, entices the busy, and secretes fear into the lost. Solitude hides a secret ingredient in the discovery of inner peace. She whispers of fulfilled longings and whisks sweet fantasies into the souls of dreamers.

Solitude begs the wilderness to conspire. “Let the open places call and the forests invite the seeker”. No answer is heard as nature awaits it’s own peace.

Seekers reach for solitude. I slid the canoe into the water quietly at 4:30 am in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. Getting away from camp for my own sense of solitude. 3 portages, a river, and part of a floating bog later I was met by the early morning sunrise on Sema Lake. Crystal clear calm water looked like I was floating on air 40 feet above the rocky lake bottom. It was that moment when I realized that being totally alone without anyone knowing where, did not give me the solitude I was seeking. Only God knew where I was and only His peace could fill me. Of all the places in the world to discover the place of solitude was on the inside. How ironic to find one must be still and get alone when they are already alone. Even more to find out one can be still in the middle of a busy street or wherever you are in whatever you are doing.

     Solitude is not found in the rocks, trees, skies, or seas. She hides in plain sight while we are distracted by all that surrounds us.Just the fact that we are searching is a seductress. Could it be that solitude is always there waiting for us to slip away from all our distractions into the quiet place of our own heart?
    Tim Wiebe has a good handle on the discipline of Solitude. Psalm 46: 10 Be still and know that I am God. Could it be that easy?

                  You don’t have to get to the mountain top to find solitude

Get alone anyway

  
For in depth information on the discipline of solitude read Jan Johnsons writings and her sources she uses on this little used but necessary ingredient for growth in our spiritual formation.

how do you get alone? Please share in the comments at the bottom

Gary D

>Who is still in the running? by Gary Fultz

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WHO??

I would hope that we all set some goals to accomplish in 2011. Who is taking the proper steps to meeting them?
I want to know how you are getting it done? What kind of things have you put into place to make sure you stay on track? Who is still in the running?. Make a comment at the bottom or on face book

A good goal: Hit the early morning running
My first strategic maneuver was to get up earlier in the morning and hit the ground running. I needed to get something done right away and not fritter my morning away. This has helped immensely. Part of my getting something done is to make a short list of the main things I want to accomplish for the day as well as the projects I want to work on if only for a short time. I wanted to get a blog out at least once a week for starters and then expand if possible to two times a week. How am I doing?

I wanted to make sure I kept in communication with the kids and grand kids. It’s easy to just let time go by even when you think of them all the time. Take time for conversation and try to get some adventure in as well. As you can see a van ride can be an adventure all by itself!

 I have kept my promise to God so far in 2011 to spend time with Him each day. I remember some song lyrics that go like this: I met God in the morning. When the day was at it’s best. And His presence came like sunrise….

His presence came like sunrise

All day long His presence lingered.
All day long He stayed with me…
And the song continues

2011 I have determined would be full of adventure and quite a bit more fun than the last few years. I love to hunt and fish and that would be a part of it. I want to share my adventures with others and take others with me when I can. So that is why I invite teens fishing and others as well. Adventures in traveling, fishing, cooking, music, public speaking, writing, and building time with my wife. How am I doing??

Yes the mystery of adventure calls me

Last of all on my goals list is to determine another course of career and action to get there. The last two years have been a long winding and rough road physically and emotionally. so I look forward to another chapter in life. I am determined to savor this year and not let the  hardship and pain go to waste as I hope the Gary you meet on the road is at least a little different than last time we met.
I hope for a more intentionally adventurous and fun person in this Gary.

Rope Ladder

Climbing the rope ladder on the kids swing set out by our deck is a lot like 2011 and the goals you and I have set. we have to brush off the snow and take steps to get to the top of where we want to be by the end of the year.
    I’m still climbing on each of my goals. How about you?
I have a couple of guys who ask me how I am doing in my goals, I need the accountability. Who do you have for accountability?
I have a journal to record my goals, thoughts, accomplishments, dreams, and insights into life. Would this be a good tool for you?
I spend time alone with God each day. Two times or more a year I pick out a conference or retreat to go to for strangers to have input into my spiritual life.
I want to allow God times to change me and guide me in this ever changing journey we call life. I want to know God and His (much wiser) perspective.

           How do you allow for God to form your thoughts, intents, and character?
At the end of the day
At the end of  each day and each year what does it matter and who cares? Is there beauty in your life? I believe it is essential to honestly ask these questions. We all get the same 24 hours in a day but not the same motivations. Why am I motivated to spend time just visiting with my wife? Just to talk and know how each other is doing? One cannot have a good marriage without it. Do you still visit with your spouse?
    So how are you doing on your 2011 goals as the first quarter is coming to an end this month?
To become a better writer I take a lot of advice from Kristan Lambs blog .
My next conference is lead by Leary Gates a friend, writer, speaker, social net-worker, and entrepreneur.
I often go to camps for new and expanding perspectives. I am hoping to get more involved with Christian Outdoors Fellowship of America and be a part of sharing the outdoors with others in this way.
I am also putting some of my music on Music xray for anyone to hear some of my origionals.
This is a small part of what I am doing, How are you getting to your goals?

Make a comment on how you are doing!
Thanks 
Gary D
   

>Angry Beaver — Picture truths series #2 By Gary Fultz

Vicious beaver
            Here I was, minding my own business on an absolutely calm evening with the lake all to myself. I was    catching a load of crappies from a canoe barely drifting through the moon lit evening. I just about tipped the canoe when the water was torpedoed by this angry beaver. This beaver demon was acting out the lake equivalent of road rage. Evidently the lake was not big enough for the two of us even though it is almost a mile long. This big old beaver stalked me wherever I went and would get by the canoe and slap the water with his tail. It sounded like someone was throwing big boulders off a cliff into the water. He was acting like he overdosed on sugar maple trees!
I finally went after him because the crappies quit biting. The beaver dove and disappeared; the frogs started croaking “jaws” music as daylight was gone. Even the moon was trying to get behind a cloud as its normal aura was being disgraced. A strange sense of evil settled about me so I quickly turned to look for the landing.
I began having visions of the beaver eating my only wood paddle as I picked up the pace to get to the safety of shore, all the while pronouncing blessings on the early beaver trappers in this country. Crappie fishing might never have been discovered without those trappers. I realized that as the light was fading so was my grip on reality!
Strange things happen in the dark! Our mind adds to the strangeness, and literally if unchecked, the mind can become completely irrational. I don’t remember feeling fear for my life or anything (and I wouldn’t admit it if I did), but that beaver surely became a monster in the water that I didn’t want to agitate anymore. I would really rather face a bear than a vicious underwater monster that eats big trees for a living! Lately I have solved the problem by bringing three paddles!
These are the things people laugh about by day and yet experience by night. What is it about the mind that can manufacture embodiments of fear in dark places? Is it possible that darkness has its own powers? Could it be that the absence of light is a camouflaged environment for evil? Whatever people think about the darkness, it’s easier to do wrong in the night. It’s easier to deceive and be deceived in the dark. It’s easier to imagine that unseen and undiscovered evil feels ok in a totally darkened and depraved mind.
What a shock to discover that our inner being is naturally a dark place without light as we are born that way! The sin condition (and a totally darkened mind) has infected all mankind and has deluded our thinking, reasoning ability, and our ability to see truth in this ever-present darkness. We in essence have become the monsters while pretending to be the angels to the rest of the planet! Why? Because it’s easy to deceive ourselves in the dark, and think we have some light in us that can be fanned into a source of light.
All over scripture, light is associated with the presence of God and darkness is associated wherever God is not present. Look it up; 2 Samuel 22:29 says “the Lord turns my darkness into light”. Psalm 18: 28 “My God turns my darkness into light”. This is a thread from cover to cover and part of Gods daring rescue of mankind through Jesus, to let God’s light shine in our inner being through the person of Jesus! “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1; 4)
Light came into the world again
When we believe in Jesus we let Him, and all He is (The way, truth, life, and light itself) come in, Jesus says to the Father “We’re in! The Holy Spirit is already starting to clean up! Let’s see how many no trespassing signs we can take down!” “Let’s see how many dark places we can light up.”
About that beaver; He is back at the lodge telling the little ones a bed time story about his latest dangerous mission, driving away a terrible threat to the beaver kingdom and their way of life. The little beavers ah… in unison as he brings out a piece of a canoe paddle and lays it on the mantel.
Truth: 1) I took a picture of an angry beaver, he followed me everywhere and ruined my fishing, and I have a bit of an imagination sometimes.
2) God is light, we are not.
3) If there is light in us; it’s Jesus himself shining through us (that’s a lot of lumen s).
4) I really was catching a lot of crappies till that beaver started stalking me!
              Gary D

>Picture Truth #1 Nature and Inner Peace by Gary Fultz

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Boundary Waters canoe Area Wilderness Waterfall

I admit it; I wanted to stop, build a cabin and stay here forever. A sense of inner peace flooded my very soul. In the spirit of that moment I forgot about everything practical. I could have shucked all commitments, responsibilities, job, the coming winter, and a small detail that I was in the middle of guiding a group of teenagers on a 60 mile wilderness trip by canoe. I entertained the thought “I could live here!”

Boundary Water Walleye

    The fishing was great in all the surrounding lakes, A deer had just stepped out of the trail to let me by as I carried a canoe and pack to the next lake, and what a view. Ahhhhhh, water , food, scenery, and away from lifes headaches!
    This scene in the small valley would be totally hidden but for the ominous sound that could be felt as much as heard. The trees crowd together by the mighty little stream. White cedars bend themselves over the water to get as much sunlight as possible. Boulders, smaller rocks, and downed trees froth the tumbling water as irresistible and immovable create their own niche in natures synergy; a microcosm of life everywhere. I relate most to the driftwood in some ways.
    It’s a place of life and death. This life giving water is not a quiet stream after it rains. A few days before we arrived it had rained seven inches in one night. Rivers and quiet streams hadturned vicious! We had already witnessed the the power of this water as a man and two sons tipped their canoe trying to cross a raging river. A strong teenager (a future Army Ranger) and I shot the rapids to rescue the dad as he was clinging to a sinking backpack. I can still hear him calling to his sons “tell your mother I love her” as he neared the edge of  a series of cascading waterfalls. The emotional cries to dad from the young men hanging on to small bent trees in the foamy water will never leave me.
    I felt the essence of nature, in this particular spot, calling me (although my wife would say I have hundreds of those spots). In this place I felt danger, adventure, beauty, peace, and unexplained emotion. What a place to contemplate the purposes of life, the essence of purpose, or whittle on a stick!
    I already know (Iam constantly reminded) that creation in nature does not care about you; only the creator does. I’m not sure why we feel close enough to God by hanging in and around His artwork. Nature does not help you when you are caught in the current and the canoe tips. If a sudden storm catches you in big water the white caps do not wait until you get to shore safely. The concept of “Mother Nature” is false; there is nothing personal there.

Mystical morning in Boundary Waters
    I love the adventure, beauty, the challenges of the wilderness,and all the stories that come from being there. I love the feelings that come from my “waterfall” places. But, it’s easy to be deceived by the illusion that nature can satisfy the craving for inner peace, much less impart us with any lasting peace beyond the moment.
    I visited this place again with another group of Boundary Waters Wilderness seekers. I stood in the same spot with the same emotions and more as I said to my Creator “Jesus, You really made a great spot here, thank you for letting me see and feel all this!” Nature didn’t care, but God was there with me as we were immersed in the majesy of the moment.
Loons enjoying the calm waters
 Gary D

   

>Best fishing tackle for Ice Pike By Gary Fultz

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Brass flutter spoon
    It cannot get any less complicated than a stick with some fishing line, leader, and a spoon hook. It’s all you need to catch northern pike through the ice. My brother and I have pulled out over 200 fish through the ice this winter alone, fishing mostly weekends.
    Is there some skill involved? yes. Does it help to put bait on the trebles of the spoon? sometimes. Are they always biting? What kind of a question is that? Let me put it this way; We usually out-fish the tip-ups with live bait and the dark houses with spears. In short, this is the deadliest ice fishing method I know of to get the most northern pike through the ice. 
    How about some testimonials of fishing this method. 

Hammered silver spoon
Magic spoon (Red white silver)
Magic spoon
Red and White spoon


    Sometimes we tip a treble hook with a minnow head or tail. A piece of pork rind works as long as the hooks are not cluttered with bait to impede  the action which drives the Pike crazy.
    Small quick jerks with make the spoon spin up and tip over sideways and then flutter down. The fluttering down seems to be a triggering mechanism that makes a curious pike hit. Most of our fishing is in four to six feet of water under the ice offering a good view of the fish coming in when the lake is clear. Sometimes the pike will drift in and out and watch the hook and finally swim away; come back a little while later and slam it at 90 mph. Other times they are wild and miss the hook several times before getting serious. It’s fun to watch even if all you have is an eight inch auger hole. Get in a shelter or chair with a covering and watch the action.
    A couple more things to remember; make sure the ice is safe to walk or drive on, dress warm, make the kids wear boots and not tennis shoes (I don’t know why they think they can stay warm this way), and bring a sled or bucket for all the fish. 
    Just remember the fishn is always good, sometimes the catching is as well!
                                    one last testimonial
caught on the pretty hook
Bronze flutter spoons
     They each caught fish that day. Now to fillet a Pike boneless…We will talk about that another time
Gary D
    For more information on the spoon hook click here
   

A Case for…Outdoor Adventures

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            46″ pike… Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
I’m a thrill seeker in the outdoor arena. Adventure stirs and wakens brain cells my teachers thought were missing. It’s not enough for me to to read adventure stories and fantasize surviving the “call of the wild” lifestyle. I want to live it and tell the stories. I love to take people with me and share the adventures as well. As competitive as I am I feel a greater glory when someone else catches the monster fish, takes a great picture of a cow moose with her calves, or gets to chase the bear away from the campsite. Raw rugged adventure… and it’s great! So let me build a case for seeking an outdoor adventure.

I realized early on that everyone’s quest in the wilderness was often quite different. Some wanted to see as much country as possible while others wanted a nice view and contemplation time, from spiritual revival to competitive fishing. Individual quests often form as the trip progresses.

  Some gain what they don’t seek.

 Self confidence, outdoor chef training,  muscles, a reality check and our smallness in an indifferent environment take some by surprise. Perfect weather and no mosquitoes can become a killer storm and black fly hell in a matter of minutes. I have concluded one must die to become one with nature (dust to dust). Black bear often feel entitled to your camp food and may invite themselves at any time, so I always build a stash of throwable rocks by my tent entrance. No trip is even close to predictable…therefore…it’s an adventure! Why would anyone not do this?

So why go to all the work of having a wilderness adventure?
I realize some people have their adventures in the mall looking for deals, while others sense of adventure is on par with going to the other end of the hall for ice. The answer for me is a compilation of many things. I want to know myself when all pretense is stripped away, I want to know my creator and experience His living artwork, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie (high on the Richter scale),  and I love $100 plates of food (trust me you would pay it) at the end of the day around the campfire.
Bottom line: These kind of adventures began to morph the boy into a man of character and a girl into a woman who can hold her own anywhere.
    Another Bottom line: Honesty and reality happen.
That lake (15 portages and 35 miles in) you wanted to get to? No short cuts, or any other way to get there; you have to do the work to get to those lake trout. Forgot your matches? Oh well! Weatherman said five days no rain? So much for sleeping under the stars (it’s you and a zillion mosquitoes under the same canoe). You thought God was magically encountered in nature? Guess again…God is a person and not a rock, tree, beaver, or storm (a very good place to see his art work and experience Him in person however).

    Bonds: A worthwhile quest
While nature works through a balance of give and take, people work better through relational bonds.
I’ve watch the father-son, husband-wife, family bonds grow. Poor relationships, selfish behavior, and personal discomfort bring out the worst and best in people. When the storm hits, when the wind blows high waves, when the bear walks into camp, people tend to work together. 
     There is plenty of talk time in the wilderness. plenty of bonding time for your relationships to grow.
Sitting around the camp fire one evening a teenager shared how she had met with God while sitting on a rock looking over the lake. She had never talked with God informally(and out loud) before. Another teen talked about getting to know his dad “I didn’t know my dad was so cool”! A dad gave his son a hug and said “son I’ve been protecting you too much, you are carrying the canoe tomorrow!”
I leave you with one more reason for taking a wilderness adventure…

Five minute exposure from an island in crooked lake BWCAW

Gary D