Thoughts On A Bus

I took a trip to Minneapolis, MN by bus February 15 and jotted down thoughts as they came to me on the five-hour bus ride. *Note I wrote this in the present tense.

“Thoughts On A Bus” are thoughts organized into a list of topics. You see, what happens is your mind starts thinking about songs; phrases in songs. You start thinking how you relate to those songs; you start drifting off into perspectives on life. Let’s ride through them.

Some background about this trip: I get carsick while trying to read in automobiles, limited service prevents me from being glued to my smartphone, and, I must conserve battery life. So, pen and paper are my entertainment. And since I always carry a notepad along, I’ll jot what comes to mind. 


Observation and Thinking for Yourself

Thoughts On A Bus

Technology will never overtake the natural world.

You must observe the natural world to get a sense of reality. Don’t let technology stop you from observing what’s around you. If you do, you’ll lose sense of your reality and what it means to think practically with your own mind. You still need to think for yourself no matter how technologically advanced our world becomes.

Web technology allows you to look at how the world thinks, and how the friends in your social networks think. But, where do you stand?

To learn about the natural world means observing the natural world. We still need to be out in the natural world to learn the most from it.

Here’s an example: you can post, tweet, or pin about “dirt”. But, to grab a handful of dirt and feel it get under your nails; this is reality.


The simple things in life 
Part of Zac Brown Band’s song

Chickenfried  is stuck in my head during this trip:

“Simple things in life mean the most,
not where you live, what you drive, or the price tag on your clothes,
no dollar sign on a peace of mind”

For me, the simple things are having a job to pay the bills. It’s an accomplishment to be able to send in that check for rent/mortgage, and to pay your bills on time.

More importantly, “No dollar sign on a peace of mind.” Think back to this phrase often. Also remember, our troops have fought and are fighting to maintain a peace of mind. Freedom brings peace.

What you learn in work and school
School teaches how to learn, work teaches how to adapt to others’ style of communication

Pioneer Days 
Think of how it was traveling with horse and wagon.

  • You had another living creature with you. Horses need to eat, show emotion like you.
  • It was you exposed to the elements
  • Maybe you had something to read
  • No electronics
  • No gas stations
  • Sometimes no clear path, you made your own as you went.
  • However, you did have God

God gives us something to grasp in a world uncertain, faith in Him.
It’s like a handlebar you can grab and hold on to, God gives us faith to do so.
He’s the solid foundation.

Running Into Colors, Faith, and Promise

While on a morning run during the spring of 2011 I saw a rainbow in the clouds and after my run, reflected on this covenant from God.

While looking at a rainbow in the sky, it’s God’s covenant he will never again destroy the world with a flood. (Genesis 9:11-17) With every rainbow, God’s keeping his promise.

There are problems in life; some problems seem like floods. It’s refreshing in such times to remember God keeps his promises. It’s refreshing to see a rainbow in the sky. How many rainbows do you see?

Every time you see a rainbow God’s reassuring you he keeps his promises. Amazing we still see rainbows appear; the first one appeared in Noah’s time, that’s B.C.!

A promise God has made is that we’ll go to heaven by believing in his son; God doesn’t break promises. I am unable to see God, yet am able to see his promises. In fact, every time you see a rainbow, you see God’s promise. God keeps his promises.

“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds. I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. ” Genesis 9:14-15

Tame Gravity Standing Sideways

After a trip out west in 2010, I jotted down the following thoughts on snowboarding. 

Snowboarding’s a sport where gravity takes over. It’s a free-for-all in snow.


After you start going downhill momentum builds. Wind in your face; the natural scenery around you; the snow beneath you. You’re riding over snow, not sinking in it.


WHOA! Know gravity can easily get away on you and take control. This may be fun or scary. I lean towards fun.

It’s all in the challenge. Behind every challenge lies reward. The challenge of trying a new run, the challenge of keeping your center of gravity beneath you and the challenge of controlling your speed the steeper the run is. Accomplishing a black, blue, or green run, hanging out with friends, being outdoors, and exercising freedom, are some of the rewards of snowboarding.

Carving is an essential skill that all snowboarders must learn; it controls your speed. Controlling your speed helps tame gravity, meaning the faster you learn how to carve the faster you’ll learn to love snowboarding…and snow. That’s the thing, snowboarding is about enjoying winter, cold weather, and snow! Suddenly, you’ll have a yearning for a snow storm and look forward to the first few flurries.

What do you enjoy about snowboarding – or – skiing? Any tips you’d share that helped you out and any advice for beginners?

Reflective Morning

Today’s blog post comes from guest blogger Kirsten Pfeifer, grad student at University of Minnesota, recalling her early morning adventure in Minneapolis.

bridge sunrise
“The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning. It’s time to sing Your song again.”
– 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord), by Matt Redman

Waking up early in the morning, before the sun is plenty high in the sky is not particularly a priority in my life. However, one cold December morning I challenged myself to get up early enough to see the sunrise. I enjoy taking any type of nature photos, so knowing that the sunrise would present some ideal shots served as motivation for me to abandon my blankets for a few warm layers and a pair of running shoes.

I left my apartment building and began  running towards the Mississippi River. The sky was dark grey. It still felt like nighttime, yet I was dodging commuters on the sidewalk heading toward the University hospital ready to start their work day.  I ran along the riverbank, wasting time until the sun was ready to break free from the horizon. I turned to my left where there is a sandy area that I had visited a couple times before, and was surprised to see about fifty geese floating in the water, as still as statues. I stopped to appreciate the stillness and serenity of this scene before continuing along the path.

Minnesota sunrise

The sky began to light up with streaks of yellow and orange, and I captured the colorful array to the best of my Kodak’s ability. Soon, I was lost in the process of discovering new camera angles to shoot from, finding a variety of natural elements to include in the foreground, and experimenting with the reflections on the water. Before I knew it, it was time for me to leave the riverbank and return to reality.

However, this hour allowed me to enjoy my hobby of photography and my love of exploring nature, all while appreciating the beauty of God’s creation.

This morning, I learned how valuable a single hour of time for oneself, before jumping into another hectic day can be.  Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city commute, and finding solace in the trees by the river helped remind me that every minute of that day was a gift from God. He had given me the ability to rise early from my slumber in order to experience these quiet moments and to see the colorful sunrise he had painted. Therefore, I wanted to take in as much of its beauty as I possibly could, and face the day with the only attitude that is suitable for a blood-bought child of Christ; an attitude of gratefulness.

“I won’t take it for granted, I won’t waste another second. All I want is to give you a life well-lived to say ‘Thank you.’”  – Good to be Alive, by Jason Gray




Your Hobbies Lead To Adventure

I believe my hobbies allow me to look at everything as an adventure. To me adventure is fun, curious, refreshing, freedom, and a way to get outside. Hobbies are a way to break up the normal routine(make the everyday life fun and exciting), gain experience, and can help you enjoy the different seasons throughout the year.


Biking and fishing go together. You can save gas and go where a car cannot.

Overlap Hobbies:

You see, you can bike to a fishing spot, may find a new fishing spot while scouting for a hunt, or biking/long-boarding around, and find a new hunting spot by fishing, and vice-versa. Doing multiple hobbies opens up the door for exploration exponentially.

Snowboarding, ice-fishing and hunting require ways to keep warm. Therefore, you may find yourself using your clothing layers and technology from snowboarding to stay warm ice-fishing. This also allows you to kill two birds with one stone since you can wear the same clothes for ice-fishing as you do snowboarding.

Each hobby also has there own tools to adjust gear specific to that hobby. Because of this, you can learn about how to use tools and may find that tools from one hobby will work for a different one. Again, this is a way to overlap your hobbies, and learn things from different hobbies.

Your homework:
Write down your hobbies (the things you like to do, and the things you spend money on for enjoyment). After you’ve written them down, keep that list handy and check back here for a new post on finding adventure through your hobbies.

Opening Day Fishing 2012 (2 of 4)

This is the second post in a 4 part series on my 2012 opening day of fishing in Wisconsin.

In Southeast WI, it was raining on opening day. Seeing as there was no lightning, I threw on a rain suit, hooked up the boat, and headed out.

While anxiously launching the canoe into the water I was imagining a bass hitting my topwater bait. My rods were rigged with lures appropriate for the spots I wanted to try first.

After starting the motor and heading to the first spot I had planned to go to, I noticed the wind picked up since I left from home. Because of the increased wind, the water was too rough to use a buzzbait. (Buzzbaits and other topwaters work best when the water’s calm or when there’s a slight chop.) I ruled out my original plan and began to feel unsure of where to go.

At this point in fishing, you have to adapt to the weather conditions. As a fisherman and hunter you’re at the mercy of what nature throws at you; your success depends on how you overcome adversity.

Because I was already heading towards the far end of the lake, and since the wind was blowing in a direction that I could drift back towards where I launched from, I kept going. Besides, since there was a no wake until 9am and I was already half way towards the far end of the lake, I just wanted to get there.

First fish of opening day hit hard! Snapped this pic and released

Finally, I got to the far end of the lake. I started the drift and realized there more weeds than normal, and the wind was drifting me faster than expected.

During the initial drift I wound up in an unfamiliar location of the lake, but it  did look promising so I went with it. It was by a patch of reeds. Nobody else was fishing here.

Reaching for my spin cast rod rigged with a Kalin Grub and pink jig head I took a cast. Moments later I felt my first strike!

(Stay tuned for part 3 next week!)


Opening Day Fishing 2012 (1 of 4)


For the next few weeks I’ll be doing blog posts on my 2012 opening day of fishing in WI.
This opening day was different from the others. 

Usually, my dad and I share opening day, and because he had to work this year, I went out alone. 
They say don’t fish alone, or hunt alone, but you can learn a lot on how you process events and your decision making process. 
Fishing and hunting are great for teaching lessons as the next few posts will show. I’ll go over my decisions that morning on the water during the 2012 WI fishing opener.
How often do you fish alone? Do you have a fishing/hunting buddy? Is that person family, friends, or both?  

A Night Before A Fishing Trip

On the night before a fishing trip I’m anxious. Anxious about everything for the trip, even breakfast. Even if it’s a local fishing trip. The feelings are: how baits will work, what baits will work, and the first cast of the trip. Preparing is just as fun as the trip, although often not done as well as I could since my mind is racing about how the trip will be, and how the weather will be.

I’ve often thought I’ll catch a stringer full of the fish I’m after before the fishing trip; I’m doing so right now about tomorrows. Then, I wonder if thinking I’ll catch a bunch will jinx a successful day on the water. Superstitions are silly and I don’t by into them too much, so, I block this silly idea.

At the fishing spot if i’m not catching fish shortly after I arrive, I often find my self praying to just catch one fish and then I’ll be satisfied. And usually after catching that first fish, it’s not long before I’m praying and hoping to catch more. After all, I want a fish fry, or want to tell friends and my dad I was successful catching fish.

Successful catching fish, what determines a successful fishing trip? To be clear, it can mean different things to different anglers. For me catching one fish is successful. And I feel more successful if I do with lures than with live bait. But lures vs live bait is another blog post.

This post is about the feeling of a fishing trip the day before, more specifically the night before. As written earlier, this is the night before early morning Saturday fishing. I’m anxious, and as mentioned above about preparation, I should doing just that, now.

Well, I’m itching to fish now. And more anxious for tomorrow a.m. than when I started this post.

Do you feel anxious before a fishing trip? What do you prepare? Do you get your rods rigged before heading to the lake and buy bait beforehand? Or do you wait till you arrive at the spot to see how the weather conditions are? How do you do breakfast?

Being An American Sportsman

Being An American Sportsman

The smell of the lake as I’m getting into the boat is one of the things that causes me to come back for more. The scent of the air after a fresh rain/snow fall is another.

I’m feeling the early morning dew penetrating my shoes as I walk to a shore fishing spot beside a river or beside a lake. What a gift to chose where my next fishing trip will be. And I can fish by boat; backing your trailer into the lake of your choice is a great freedom as an American Sportsman.

American Sportsman Hooking Up

The freedom of hooking your boat up to the vehicle of your choice and heading to the lake you chose is a great freedom as an American sportsman. And so is the freedom to ride or walk to your fishing spot.

It’s a blessing to get away from the normal daily routine to feel free and adventurous. Discovering something new. The ability to make, and even mark your own path as you leave your driveway. Yes, God has blessed our country; you and I experience those blessings of His hand each time we venture to the outdoors.

These are some of the feelings that come to my mind, being an American sportsman. (If I were to go on I suppose there wouldn’t be enough words to describe the richness of how it feels to be in the great outdoors, to be an American sportsman.)

Let us always remember why can enjoy the freedoms we do as American sportsmen. God has blessed and soldiers have served our country.

One More Cast

You’re at the lake and walk, row, or crank up the motor to your favorite fishing spot. Sometimes it’s peaceful, the water looks like glass. You may even see the sunrise or sunset. Other times it’s windy, wavy, rainy and/or freezing and you feel nature’s elements at every cast. One thing’s the same each time you go out: it’s you and the outdoors.

One More Cast

“Behind a rod and reel is where I feel home”

I love fishing for the suspense and anticipation. It’s the suspense created as my bobber goes under, the anticipation of feeling a strike at any second while casting and retrieving, and thinking of mounting a trophy catch or preparing homemade fish frys.

Think of what fishing can teach; values can be picked up. Patience and persistence are needed to catch fish, especially as they can be stubborn from time to time.

It’s the memories you’ll make, and the moments on the lake where you clear your mind, kick back and relax. Even if the weather turns, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.

Whether you catch and release, or catch to eat, the passion is there. It’s a lifestyle to eat, sleep and breathe. There’s always room for one more cast.

Why do you fish? What makes up your life style? How do you get to your favorite fishing spot?