The Booner Bin

It doesn't seem like this would be fun at all, but it is.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Outdoors and Me

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My Outdoor Adventures

Daniel Smith
English 1010 – 015
Jill Larsen
April 13, 2005

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My Outdoor Adventures
The sound of the waves lapping on the shore along with the smell of the salty sea air overwhelmed my senses. Even though I was just a boy, I was very aware of how amazing the surroundings around me were. As I would sit in the surf letting wave after wave tumble me around in the sand, a feeling of love grew inside of me for the outdoors that has never left my mind. The shouts of joy emitted from my five brothers and I mingled with the sound of my mother yelling, “Don’t go out too far!” and “Stop hitting him!” filled the air along Tarague Beach, Guam. This was where I experienced the first tastes of outdoor life. Almost every weekend we would camp at Tarague Beach, even though after every trip our parents would say it was our last. Maybe it was because of the opportunity to steal away, leaving my oldest sister in charge, and enjoy the amazing scuba diving accessible just offshore. Guam USA is a small, 200 square mile island where my family lived for three years during the late 80’s. There were many opportunities to see different parts of the world during my life because my father was in the military until just recently.
The most recent area we lived in was Eagle River, Alaska. During my stay there, I spent a lot of my time fishing. Most of the fishing holes that were accessible by road were often filled with people trying to catch their day’s limit. These areas were popular for a reason: there was simply a lot of fish, and word spreads fast when a good hole is found. Every once in a while, my brothers and I would find a place that I knew hadn’t been touched in a very long time; a place away from the roads, only accessible by train or by hiking. Indian River would be the final journey before my Dad retired and moved to Arizona. We couldn’t wait for the break in our schedules to make this week long trek into the wilderness. When the time finally arrived,
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anticipation overwhelmed our excitement, and we began to wonder, “Will it be worth the trip? I hope it is the right time of the season to catch the giant King Salmon.” These monstrous salmon only inhabit the rivers for a few weeks out of the year, and if not timed right, you will go without a catch for the year. Nevertheless, with our confidence brewing inside of us, we drove to the train station in Talkeetna, about 175 miles from our home. We were greeted by a friendly conductor who gave us encouragement as we boarded saying that he hadn’t seen people near Indian River in weeks, and the fish are swarming in the rapids. This made the two hour train ride seem to take a lifetime, and even though it was the very first time I’d ridden on a train, all I could think about was feeling the weight of a 50 pound beast on the other end of my line. Before we knew it, we heard the train begin to screech to a stop, and we began to unload. “Be back at this spot exactly three days from now” the conductor yelled as he slid the door shut. As we watched the train leave, I had an amazing feeling come over me. I was in the middle of nowhere. The only signs of civilization for dozens of miles around were the aged and worn tracks that carried us to where we were. The sounds of silence and peacefulness were interrupted as my dad was the first to notice the reason we were all there. I ran toward the train trestle he was standing on overlooking the pristine Indian River. Even though being hundreds of feet away, I could see the slow moving, dark red tinted giants lurking beneath the surface; only distinguishable as King Salmon by their immense size. As everyone ran to their fishing gear to try and hook into one of the prizes, my dad had to remind us that it was getting late, and we needed to set up camp first. Never have I seen tents go up that fast as we tried to beat the sun to the horizon and get our lines wet while it was still light. As we attempted to catch the humongous fish, we realized that we had underestimated the power of these animals when they had the current of a river to help them
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escape. We decided to wait until morning to try and figure out another way to rig our line to make them stronger. The next morning we decided to head down stream away from the tracks, and we were rewarded nicely. Almost every cast was met with the unmistakable feeling of the jiggling weight of a darting fish. It seemed every catch got larger, but the majority of the larger ones seemed to evade us, until my brother Josh hooked into the largest one of the day. He almost couldn’t keep his footing as he yelled for someone to pick up the net and jump into the water after it. My other brother Ben obeyed, and not noticing the frigid water engulfing the inside of his waders, he netted the monster which was so large it was practically hopping out of the 4 foot diameter net. At over 55 pounds, this fish went down in the record books and made our trip worth every last second. Not only were we able to be away from crowds and noise, but we also found the fishing spot of a lifetime that was as wild as the wilderness gets.
Whenever I try to recollect the happiest moments of my life, I always think of something to do with the outdoors whether it be with my family or friends. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today, and I can’t imagine my life without the wilderness playing some part in it. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to be outside among nature. Every time we would go camping, I would never want to leave because the few days we spent there just weren’t enough for me. I wanted to stay for much longer than just the weekends. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what excites me so much about being among nature. Perhaps it is just the feeling that I am dependent upon my self for sustenance instead of relying upon the technology that is all around us in our everyday lives. The idea of being able to survive for weeks at a time solely on the wilderness is a fascinating thing. There is something about leaving the crowds and the noise of society to be in the quietness of the woods that I don’t think I could
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live without. These places were where I have had some of the greatest experiences being able to bond with those around me. Knowing that I was miles and miles away from any other human being made me forget that perhaps this area wasn’t as successful as the more crowded places. The trade off for seeing more pristine wilderness and clear, enticing streams was well worth it.
Unfortunately, these places are hard to get to and take a lot of time and planning. Whenever I was looking for a quick trip after work or school, I was banished to the over-crowded streams, trying not to hook into the guy next to me as I cast. As I would view the people enjoying their fishing experience, it seemed as though some people really didn’t mind the crowds, and that they would rather be among others than to be alone. This is what definitely sets me apart from the rest. I would sacrifice catching more and larger fish if I could be on a river by myself chasing after the more wild, non tainted fish; one that has never seen a lure or artificial fly in its life. There is the excitement. There in lies the adventure.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

le nano

Well, a few weeks ago I decided to make a change in my music listening life. I sold my ipod mini on ebay and got the new aww inspiring nano. I must say, this little beast really is impressive and has pretty much lived up to everything it has claimed. It has a lot of cool added features like the color screen, picture viewing, extended battery life, and other small add-ons that one would probably never use like the stop watch feature. The greatest improvement, obviously, is the size drop while keeping the same amount of memory as my old ipod. When I had the mini, I generally never took it anywhere with me except my car because it was just another thing to carry around in my pocket. This little wonder slides right into the "secret pocket" (right above the normal one) in pants that before, no one ever used.
So the new ipod is perfect, right? Well, there is one obvious err-or that I have found with the design of this, and reading the reviews, I may be finding many more in the future. This problem makes me quite angry actually..because I believe they did it intentionally for this purpose - to sell one of the myriads of ipod accessories that are available for the nano. The first thing you'll notice when you look at the nano is how sleek and shiny it is, right? Well, get used to it because the first time you slide this bad boy into your "secret pocket" you'll find some not-so-nano scratches all the way across the front of the player. In my mind the only reason the all-knowing apple co. would build the next breakthrough in portable entertainment with a polymer surface that you can scratch with your fingernail is to force sell the screen protector accessory. Now I wouldn't mind if these were just a few dollars, but 18.00$ for a 1.5x4 in. piece of plastic? There are also the "nano tubes" which are rubber sleeves that come in a pack of four for 30$. A little better, but still no bargain. There are a lot of angry people in online forums complaining about this same problem, but those complaints seem a little drastic. I have acquired a trait that I haven't always had (probably from my brother Jake) which makes me be extremely careful with expensive, fragile things. Now I admit, I'm probably not perfect in this area, but claims are being made online of not being able to view pictures or read what's playing on the screen after two weeks of ownership because of these scratches. I have personally seen these types of people do things such as slide their ipod across a table face down, place it in a pocket with several sharp keys and go jogging, or in a purse with heaven knows what digging away at it (never give your ipod to mom to hold). So, while this ipod does scratch very easily, maybe it will teach more people to be careful with their stuff. And instead of complaining about the irreversible effects of not having a nano tube, lets be how apple wants us to be and go buy one.

Friday, October 07, 2005

let's do this

Well, after reading everyone's great posts, I figured I'd try it out. Life has definitely been different since all my brothers have moved into their new beautiful homes. Now, I'm the only one in "normal" school. I don't consider dental school to be normal, I guess. I am currently 1 credit short of being a sophomore at Utah Valley State College, but that doesn't keep me from bragging that I am no longer a freshman. I am currently taking Hydrology, Environmental Microbiology, Research Writing in Science and Technology, and Algebra. While I thoroughly enjoy my Environmental classes, the other two make me dread waking up at the crack of 10:00am. My new apartment complex is right next to UVSC and this is very convenient especially for my car which sometimes goes days without being driven. When a car has 199000 miles, its good to give it a rest a bit. The only time he really gets driven is to my brother's house in Highland, a 42 mile round-trip, the one mile drive to Wal-Mart, and an occasional trip to friends in provo. Another nice feature of my apartment is the basketball court right in the middle of the buildings. This not only allows me to brush up on my skillz, but I've also met some cool people in the short week I've been playing lately. There is a work out room as well equipped with treadmills, and a nice weight system. I've been working out for the past three days in a row now, and am quite sore, but it feels good to be active. There are down sides to my apartment, however. Whoever lives directly above me seems to enjoy music with a ridiculous amount of bass accompaniment. He plays it at the oddest times of the day such as 7:00am and 2:00am. Sometimes I think he just leaves it on all day while he leaves. The ward here is good, but none of my roommates seem to go for some reason, which makes for good opportunities to be an example I guess. They for some reason have never done the dishes since I've lived here either. We'll save that for a later blog, though.