Last summer, an elementary schoolteacher in southern California happened upon a copy of Outside Bozeman. For a writing exercise, she read an essay about fishing on the Gallatin River to her students, and told them to describe on paper how the story made them feel.
One student had a particularly reflective response, one that illustrates the power of human connections–and how the outdoors can facilitate them. For us, his letter serves as a clear reminder of why we love the outdoor lifestyle, and how important it is for us to share that lifestyle and all it offers with future generations. It also reminds us of our duty to cherish and protect what we have today–to do everything in our power to halt the destruction of our natural heritage–so that they too can see what we've seen, feel what we've felt, and love what we've loved.
"One day on a Saturday morning me and my dad went for a special father son trip. I didn't know where we were going but I knew it was something special for the both of us. 30 minutes later we were at a river kind of like a lake it was enormous, beautiful, and clean. We were all alone. My dad had something in the back of the truck, I didn't know what it was. Then I recognized it was a fishing rod, there were two of them. My father stood up and said in Spanish "I want to do something that I wanted to do with my dad." Then he said "I'm taking this chance for myself and you." My eyes began to fill with tears and I was thinking is fishing that important to him, I couldn't tell him that I didn't know why. Anyway, we got our fishing rods, we put insects on, we threw the string into the water. Minutes later my dad caught 3 but I got none. My dad had never been happier being with me. Then my rod started moving and my dad said "Wow, you got a big one." My dad helped me get the fish in and once we got it in we started laughing, we ate it with the family and it changed my whole life." –Luis Aguilar, age 11, Los Angeles, California