In 2014 the drive to Ellicottville, NY was a breeze. It was actually enjoyable. This year, the drive was a trip from a horror that could have been created by Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
Granted, the drive was going to take a couple of more hours. In 2014 it was an eight-hour drive. Today’s drive was mapped out and searched with a resultant estimation of ten hours.
When MapQuest drew the route it skimmed the western side if Washington, DC. An alternative would be driving further west and avoiding any encroachment on DC. But, that alternative was an hour longer.
Since there was no urgency to reach Olean, NY (17 miles from Ellicottville where I am staying) on Wednesday I selected the nearer approach with DC. In the past, living in Baltimore, DC was never an easy city to drive near or through. However, during recent years I’d made numerous trips to DC without delay or complication. I felt confident this trip would be no different.
I was wrong. At 41 miles out from DC traffic became heavy. Ninety minutes later, still 21 miles or so south from Washington I gave up and headed west on US-66. If the traffic had been better in the reverse direction I think I would have turned around and headed home. As it panned out this 10-hour or so trip ended up taking 13 hours.
Rest assured I’ll drive a longer route home based on mileage, avoid getting anywhere near DC and will most likely get back faster.
August 1st was the last 3D competition of 2015 for the Down East Archery Collation. The club sponsoring the shoot was the Roanoke Archery Club in Plymouth. Like all other competitions, I arrived early and ready to play the ‘find a group’ game.
It didn’t take long before I recognized a fellow I’ve shot with in the past. He’s a Marine that drives up from Camp Lejeune. Typically, he too is trying to connect with other shooters. When I asked if he had a group he replied he was waiting on another guy and that I could join them.
When other guy showed up and I was hoping we could get on the range. Some of these events can take a very long time if you don’t get on the course early. The other guy didn’t have the same appreciation for time. He was interested in talking. During his socializing he’d increased the size of our group to 5 – not good.
Looking around, I spied group of two. Immediately, I offered to reduce the load on our five and begged into the group of two. The shooting duet welcomed me and it turned out to be a very lucky move.
The new group was a father shooting with is 12-year-old (“Going on 13”) daughter. Along with them they had an entourage of: Mama, Granddaddy, Grandmama, and brother. Adding me made us a band of seven with only three shooters.
Mama was the official scorekeeper. Our trio of archers held a rapid pace moving over the targets. Before we’d finished, I felt almost like a cousin to this family. It was very enjoyable getting to spend time with those folks.
As we approached the final target, I passed my friend, the Marine, moving slowly in the opposite direction. His group was going to be on the range a very long time.
Back at the clubhouse, I turned in my scorecard, ate a slice of hot pizza and loaded up for the drive home. Driving home I took a slight detour to visit historic Plymouth. Part of the fun of attending archery tournaments is the journey. I was glad I’d gotten though the tournament so fast, it meant I wasn’t rushed to get home and got to see a little of Plymouth.
I check this site through a number of services about once a month. Today, I pulled this data following a search on Goggle. Certainly, I understand that much of what I write isn’t top shelf literary work. However, I know I am like many of the folks that read this site – someone with a dream.
The difference is that I am sharing this experience, going from a novice archer to a professional. August marks my second year of shooting. Next week I’ll be back at the IBO World Championships.
Last year I competed as an amateur. This year, I’ll shot in the pro division. Tomorrow is my last practice tournament until next Friday – day 1 of the World Championships.
At the World’s I am not competing in the Senior Pro Class. I’m 60 and could have selected that division. But, I decided to really put it on the line and shoot against the younger men.
I’ve kept a record of this adventure which has been followed by many readers. Here are the stats from this morning:
“Puttingitontheline.com seems to be quite trustworthy website, it is 1 year old. The website was registered by and has its servers in United States. The site is ranked 5,286,829 on the Alexa list of Top websites by visitors.” (There are about 250,000,000 active websites)