On March 1st, Pennsylvania held, in part, its Indoor State Championship (FITA). I found the event on the USA Archery website and signed up. I considered the location a stroke of luck because I had lived in the small town of Murrysville, where the tournament was held in, 10 years earlier.
My family and I had lived on Scenic Drive in Murrysville for four years and had come to love the special type of people that Pittsburgh cultivates. The people of are warm, welcoming, and can repair anything from a hot water heater to a fuel injector with whatever they have on hand, an industrious group. The crowd at the competition proved no different. The tournament was held at Crowfoot Rod & Gun Club 2.39 miles from my former home. What is more the Club, on Crowfoot Road, lays on one of the cycling training circuits I’d ridden hundreds of times. The road was part of the Murrysville Classic Bicycle Race in which I’d competed as a cyclist. The range is 1.42 miles from two of our dearest friends, Chuck and Glori. Chuck, a physician, teacher and bona fide genius, was my cycling training partner and research colleague. During the trip, I got to visit my daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and good friends. It was a great couple of days. Visiting friends and family while shooting in an archery tournament is hard to beat.
Murrysville has expanded since we lived there. Still, the roads with their climbs called out for a bike. Murrysville has some of the best training roads for cycling I have ever encountered. These roads wind along some of the most amazing scenery in Pennsylvania. On long training rides I stop, call home, and tell Brenda, my wife, she has to drive out and look over the view. This trip, however, I was in Murrysville for another reason.
The archery range was wide, well illuminated, and had ample room for spectators. Typically, the folks in and around Pittsburgh are extremely open friendly. Before I had left I had new friends, Terry, Steve and Chris. Terry, a seventy plus year old who had been practicing archery for over 60 years. Steve and Chris are a father and son enjoying a boys day out at the range. Within a few ends I felt as if I’d known them for years. The officials were funny, friendly, all smiles and made me very comfortable. That day, I shot a personal best. All together a great experience with one exception; I left my quiver at the range. I didn’t even know I’d forgotten it until, on Sunday, I got a call from one of the officials informing me and offering to ship it to me. Archery Lesson 2: Remember everything you bring to the range and don’t leave it there.