Coming to a Close of Vacation

A weeklong break from “sports” has come to a close. It has ended in Tignal, Ga. To facilitate the forth coming ramp up to full activity here in Georgia there is a bike, running gear, a Mathews Apex 7 and half a dozen Black Eagle arrows. There is a range for archery, trails to run, and miles of open road to ride. There was also time to drive over to Abbeville, SC and watch the eclipse.

This “Fetish” is a great bike.
This photo is for those who know bikes
These Georgia back roads are great for cycling
Practicing out to 50 yards with pins
Zoomed the photo in to capture the target. The chair at 25 yards is for my father-in-law, who is 89, when he’s practicing with his crossbow.

 

Yes, this was cool. There are more photographs of the eclipse on my Facebook page.

Cutting it Short

Work wears you down. It wears me down, maybe not you. But, I know when to take a break. This morning it was time to give it a rest.

I wasn’t shooting poorly, I was shooting tired. The fatigue and tiredness were not solely from shooting. It was a combination of shooting four -five hours per day, running and cycling every day, and in between doing a massive amount of lawn work.

Lawn work includes about 7 miles of mowing. Yes, I measured it with a GPS, it is 7-miles. Those miles are just the ones covered on a John Deere LA 105. It does not include the miles of weed whacking, handling a push mower to get the areas where the tractor doesn’t reach and going over it all with a backpack leaf blower. See the lawn includes my 3D range, so it is a lot of work. Today, it caught up with me.

The morning archery practice started after skipping a run. It went okay, not great. Using a 5-spot, hoping a change in targets would be refreshing; I ended up 300 and 50X. Not getting 60X on a 5-spot was a warning.

It was time to take a break. I might skip practice this afternoon.

Going Long

Of course, the day started by running with River. We’ve been disappointed for the past few days since Coco has not joined us. Coco has an injured leg and been absent during her infirmary.

River and Coco checking things out on a trail. River has missed her friend over the past few days.

And certainly, next on the list was a bike ride. Riding a bicycle remains one of my favorite activities.  Cycling is as close to flying as we humans can do under our own power.  Yes, I know there are one or two experimental human powered flying machines, but you and I aren’t going to be climbing into one of those things. We can get on a bicycle and ride.

People pay to take tours to view scenery like this. I see this everyday.
More of the swampy areas I passed on my ride

Then, it was down to business – archery. Yesterday’s practice informed me of where I need to train. Long shots. To be specific, long 3D shots. Knowing a big blue, red and yellow ringed level target is 50-meters and hitting yellow is easy. Not know the distance, having all the targets a different color and size, then wedging them among trees over uneven terrain is more difficult. So, today, I didn’t shoot any foam target under 35 yards.

45-yards seemed long enough on this coyote. I don’t care who you are – this is a long shot at a small target using fixed pins. And it feels real satisfying to hit 10 or better.

I shot 10 arrows, two sets of five, at 35, 40, and 45 yards at a lot of fake animals. I didn’t make it to all my targets. I’ll finish them tomorrow and will skip the bobcat and rabbit. Not that I wouldn’t like to try them at long distances, their not positioned to be shot longer than 35 yards.

There’s not enough cleared woods to back off from this target more than 35 yards. I doubt I’d ever see it at that distance. I doubt I ever see it in a tournament. But, I will see a gator and that target’s center ring is lower than this bobcat’s.

It was tempting to shoot from fifty yards. But, I’m not real sure about my 50-yard pin. If my foam animals were larger I’d have tested that bottom pin. It seemed wiser to examine the fifty-yard pin later against something larger than a cinnamon bear. Of course, where the ten ring is on the cinnamon bear there’s a leg below it. If I’d shot low the arrow would probably have ended up in the leg. A high shot and goodbye arrow. I wasn’t up to shooting $18.00 into the woods.

Fifty yards was tempting. I stopped here at 45

What I can say is that after an hour or so, 35 yards seemed close.

Met up with this critter on the run home this morning. The wildlife I see every day here in rural North Carolina is amazing.

Another Wet, Cold, and Windy Day in June

Coco coming to say hello to River and I while running

Before I went out to run and ride my bike I put on warm-up clothes for running and a jacket and leg warmers to ride. It was cold and raining. This is some very unusual weather we’ve been experiencing here on the coast of North Carolina. The rain is not uncommon, the temperature is low for this time of the year.

End of this road while cycling

I spent a few hours out on the 3D range in long pants, two shirts and a sweater. Things weren’t so bad once I was out of the wind. But, it was raining a little and still cold.

The rain eased off a bit during 3D practice

What remains incredible to me, it is June, near the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the low temperature has been in the low 50’s with a high in the upper 60’s.

Walking past my 50-meter target, sure it is impossible to pass without shooting it

By tomorrow it will be back into the upper 80’s and we’re expecting low 90’s this weekend. That will be more like it.

Unusually Cold Here On the Coast of NC

I’d ride this on my mountain bike, today I was on my road bike

The past couple of days have been intense 3D practice. Tuesday was repeat shots, 25 at each distance, from 20 to 40 with 5-yard increments. For that exercise I used: two bear, a badger, a turkey, two deer, a mountain lion, coyote, and a javelina. Today, so far (the weather has chased me indoors) was a mock tournament. Before shooting I had a nice, cool, damp, run and bike ride.

These boards were slick – you don’t want to slip off the edge here.
It’s pretty cool looking at the end of this pier

For the mock tournament I shot 20 targets from about 18 yards (a mosquito) to 35 yards. I was hoping to break even maybe even shoot a little up. I ended up 15 down.

I hoped this would be the start of a run of 11’s. It wasn’t

Sure, the weather was nasty. It is 63°F, windy and there’s a misty rain falling. Yep, that’s right, 63°F on the coast of North Carolina in June. It was ‘colder’ this morning when I went for a run and bike ride. It was also breezier when I was on the bike. To ride I had to put on cycling tights and a jacket. We missed setting a new low temperature last night, when it dropped to 55°F, by 2 degrees.

This Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle – (Alaus oculatus) – didn’t seem to be enjoying the weather. I did get him to click and hop for me.

This type of weather for June was typical when we lived in Pittsburgh. Here the average is 76°F. Still, the conditions didn’t warrant shooting indoors, not even with a light rain that was not constant. The rain did pick up just as I shot target 20 of my mock tournament.

The rain has eased off (again), so I’ll head out and shoot some more – maybe things will improve.

I Ran, I Cycled, I Shot, and Then I Napped

Over the past week or so I’ve changed my training routine. It’s good to change your training around. Today, I added another change.

What I’d changed was to go cycling to first in the morning rather than running. I had been running to start the morning being joined by my running partner, River, a Labrador retriever. What was obvious, River was not happy with the difference.

Of course, I changed riding times – I put new tape on these handlebars. Couldn’t wait to go ride. Note the water in the yard. It has been raining a lot.

So, I changed again, adding a run with River, before cycling. River seemed to approve of this modification. We ran, returned home where I swapped over to a bike. This manner of exercise is fine with me.

River likes morning runs and meeting up with her friend Coco.

After the running and riding I moved on to archery practice. Rather than shoot 3D first and leave 50 meter for the afternoon, I shot 50 meters first. This too seemed just fine.

This paper has withstood a decent amount of rain.

At 50-meters, I shot one warm-up end of 6 before shooting another 72 arrows. I was getting pretty hungry before I finished.

Yep, this sometimes happens. You get what you pay for and this was inexpensive.

The whole process started around 0730. It was completed around noon. I’d had breakfast around 0650. Breakfast was a freshly blended fruit and yogurt smoothie. Smoothies taste good, but they do not last. Noon meant lunch – a barbeque sandwich with Cole slaw and ice tea to drink – and I was ready for it.

This sandwich speaks for itself.

After four and half hours of exercise and a high calorie lunch, it was time to enjoy a short nap. This is my typical routine. Train in the morning, have lunch, take a short nap (less that 45 minutes), then work into the afternoon schedule.

There’s a thunderstorm and pouring rain at the moment, so as refreshed and ready to start the afternoon training plan, things might get put on hold.

Back with the Pack

It’s been a week since heading out for a run along Deep Creek Road here in New Hope, North Carolina. In that absence I pounded red clay, gravel, and dust that covers Buckhead Road and the surrounding trails in Tignal, Georgia.

River, my lab, joins me on runs. In Georgia, there were plenty of new smells to entertain and satisfy canine olfactory curiosity. More than one fox trotted within sight to begin a chase with River, the fox never losing.

Deep Creek Road, here in New Hope is the main passage to our home as it dead ends into River Cove Lane the road where we live. A secondary passage to our house is by water and is often used by friends that live on the other side of Little River.

Deep Creek Road leads 3 miles to New Hope Road. From my front door to River Cove Lane then Deep Creek Road it is one tenth of a mile. The round trip to New Hope is an out and back 10K. Over those kilometers are veins of ditches and creeks. Those tributaries, natural or man-made, to larger bodies of water are dotted with dogs.

The dogs dotting the ditches and creeks are well known to River and me. Within a half of a mile into the run today we were joined by Coco, a lab, and a close and cherished friend. Shortly thereafter a third entered our pack.

The third was also a lab. We’ve met in the past. He’s young perhaps a two year old yellow lab. He’s been over to our house before. I know because I have him on a trail camera stealing a shoe. The photographed shoe in his mouth was the second stolen.

After the first went missing I installed the trail camera to capture for record if the criminal indeed returned to the scene. He did. There are no hard feelings and I denoted the shoes to the yellow furred thief. By now it and its mate certainly have been thoroughly chewed and buried for tenderization with future plans for more chewing.

The youngest lab and I have never been formally introduced so I do not know his name. He was last in and first out. The girls were a little rough on him.

I enjoy running with dogs. They seem to enjoy it, too. It’s good to be home and among my furry friends.

River Shares a Treat With Coco

If you’ve been following this site you know I run with my dog, River. On our morning runs we’re joined, almost without fail, by Coco who is also a Labrador Retriever. Other dogs join and I am often times running with a pack of dogs. But, River and Coco are the ringleaders and seem to be amazingly good friends.

I don’t understand how dog friendships are developed or evaluated. I can only observe what seems to be an extremely playful and happy response by River and Coco when they see one another and how they interact. Today, I watched River do something I can’t explain in dog terms but it appeared to be sharing.

When I run I never carry dog treats. If dogs make it back to my house they are given treats. But, typically all the dogs, Coco included, turn back a few hundred yards away from my front door. They used to come all the way to the house. That doesn’t happen any longer.

Three years ago we bought a wirehaired dachshund, Nixie. She’s a great dog around people and River. But, she has no tolerance for vagrant animals and chases all others away. She’s a lot smaller, an 18 pounder, than any of the other dogs, but she is aggressive toward them and the bigger animals don’t want to deal with her.

Today I did bring dog treats on the run. Only Coco and one other dog showed up for the outing. On the way home I remembered the treats in my jacket pocket. With about a third of a mile left to run  I stopped and gave River and Coco a treat.

The treats are nothing special, they’re Milk Bone MaroSnacks. River and Nixie seem to really like them. Well, I handed one to River and she took it. Then I handed one to Coco, she too took the Milk Bone.

When Coco finished gulping hers down River faced Coco nearly nose to nose. Then, River bowed her head and dropped her unmolested Milk Bone on the road. Next, River looked at Coco, eye to eye.

I was shocked; River always eats a treat. Still, here it was, a Milk Bone on the road in front of Coco’s paws. Coco seemed to understand, bent head down, took the treat and ate it. Both dogs then wagged at each other and ran away through water filled ditch.

I tried it again with the treats to see what would happen. This time River ate her treat, as did Coco. I’m not sure what it was I had witnessed with the first treat. By human standards it appeared to be sharing. Once home River got a bath and another treat.

Trail Running on the 3D Range

Brenda, my wife, was headed to the YMCA for several hours of training. When she asked if I was going, I said, “No, today I want to do a long run.” I could do a long run on a treadmill – if my life depended on it. But, in all other circumstances I’d rather run outside. She headed to the Y while I headed outside.

Canada Geese enjoy less frequented country roads – also good for running humans

Initially, I was going to cut through the woods and head out along a long country road. Once I go started, I stayed on trails.

Heading down a trail toward a mountain lion on the range

The trails are cut through a dense southern-forested parcel of land. The area where I’ve made trails and cleared paths for 3D targets in total covers a circumference of less than a mile. The paths are nice for easy mountain bike rides and running as well as reaching the 3D targets. For running and cycling, it does mean making laps.

After several laps my run is beginning to create a path within the leaves on the path

The road I run results in an out and back with some nice off detours to run or ride off road. Having started in the woods, today, I changed my mind regarding the road and continued running laps. Either course would have been fine, but today the trail running was just a bit finer.

To add to the run I paced around on an inter-circle on the range

 

 

 

 

22 Degrees This Morning

River, my running companion, has hurt her front left leg.  Occasionally, she limps.  So, she’s not running with me until she’s better.  Still, we walk through the woods after which I drop her off at the house and run.  She hates it.  That doesn’t mean I am running without four-legged friends.

Poor River having to take a walk as opposed to going for a run

The friends seem to like me as much as River.  We gather on an almost always empty road where my trail path cuts out of the woods. This morning I was joined by a furry pair that seemed to enjoy human company as much as I enjoy canine company.

22 degrees F this morning

Coco, River’s great friend seemed a little disappointed that I was alone running.  She quickly got over missing River and we were soon joined by another guy on the road.

Coco is the lab. I don’t know the other fellow’s name, but he’s often around on runs and sometimes comes to our house for a cookie.

Coco, who seems to have no interest in anything other than a good time, does not hesitate to jump in a ditch are creek no matter how cold it is outside.

There is no reason to be in this ditch except for a trickle of water and mud.

When the running was done, it was time to shoot.  Once again, I am very happy to have a heater in my shed near where I stand during practice. There will be more cold morning runs and archery practice. But, this is the South and the cold won’t last long.

Yep, this is how I’ve been rolling.