Today was that day

First 6 warm up arrows. Hey, I know the target looks weak. It stops the arrows.

The morning went like so many others, run, ride, and then shoot. The running and riding only took about 90 minutes. Shooting was another 90 minutes before I stopped.

Paddling my Current Concepts “Storm”. It’s a big boat at 17 feet and 1 inch.

Archery practice was 50-meters. Things were going well. Well enough until I shot a 5. The shot was so off I was surprised I didn’t miss the target entirely. Mentally, I’d run out of steam.

Brenda in one of our 2 Necky Looksha boats.
Osprey nest or Lorax nest?

It was only the 48th arrow of the morning. Still, it was time to take a break. I’d have lunch, take a nap and get back to it around 2 in the afternoon. I didn’t make it back.

Just up river from our house. I suppose we are on the wrong side of it.

Instead, Brenda and I took a couple of kayaks and headed out for a long paddle.

Can’t get a Carolina Skiff into that opening but a kayak fits
At 90 degrees today, I am happy to have been on the water and not in that tent

There are days when it is good to have a diversion. Today was that day.

I’ve ridden my bike on this pier entering on the land side.
Here it is from a bike

Tapering

Taking a day off once every 7 to 10 days is part of my training plan. I used a similar technique for other sports. In archery, the physical demands are the same as in triathlon or cycling. Nevertheless, shooting 100 – 200 or so arrows per day takes a toll.

Having the range to oneself is an early morning treat

While shooting yesterday, during my second session of practice, I knew I was feeling the strain. In the morning practice I’d shot around 84 arrows, give or take a few. By arrow around 42 during the afternoon I was feeling it. So, I put my bow down and called it a day.

Tomorrow I’ll not even pick up my bow until 6:30 PM when I warm up for a 60-arrow league competition. Friday, I’ll not shoot at all and hope I am rested for the Saturday North Carolina State Championship in Advance, NC.

Having some free time on my hands I had a choice to make: go for a long bike ride, take the boat out, or go kayaking. I choose kayaking.

Living on the Little River makes it a breeze to get out on the water. It takes minutes to slide a kayak down a few steps from our lawn onto the river. Even though the temperature was nice, in the upper 60°s, the water is still in the 40°s. I took great pains not to get my feet wet going into the boat. Cold feet at the start of a kayak trip aren’t fun.

The river was totally flat today. I paddled around to Deep Creek and took a look at some of the swampy areas near our home. It was a short trip, only a couple of miles, and I took my time. The trip was about relaxing and enjoying the surroundings.

As I paddled back to my dock I noticed, Brenda (my wife), River and Nixie were out to welcome me home. It was also time to throw sticks into the river for the dogs to retrieve.

River, a lab, has a serious advantage over Nixie, a wired haired dachshund when it comes to, well almost everything. Nixie has no idea she’s a dachshund. She thinks, by way of her actions, that she’s a Labrador retriever.

My morning practiced was limited to an hour and a half. Shortening the afternoon archery practice for other fun sports was a great way to enjoy active recovery and work into a taper. There may be better methods to prepare for an ‘A’ event.  If so, those methods are beyond my current vocabulary.

A Little Bit of Running, Shooting and Kayaking

Over the weekend, as I prepared for a day of outside adventure, I was sitting on my dock at sunrise.  The plan for the day would be run, shoot, then go kayaking before my second archery practice.

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River, as usual ran with me and we were – as usual – joined by our friend Coco after about a mile of easing running.  Once the two girls get together easy is surpassed by hard play.

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Following the run I got in about an hour of 18-meter practice.  The sun is begining to migrate alone the horizon as the season starts to change. For a while I’ll need to take the shadow variance into consideration when shooting early.  Seems I need to shoot from right to left starting on the bottom of a 3-spot. Otherwise, I end up with a shadow from the top X that falls directly over the bottom right X.

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After the morning archery practice, Brenda and I loaded our Necky Looksha boats into the truck and searched for new creeks to paddle.

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Not far from our home we found a couple of nice places to kayak.  This isn’t white water but it is serene.

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The water is swampy and around any bind you can paddle up on all manner of wildlife.

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Brenda turning around after I was stopped by a downed tree.

In places it does get tight and we are careful to keep watch for snakes.

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Kayaking on Salmon Creek

We’re still unloading and unpacking from a month on the road. Back home here in New Hope, North Carolina (near Hertford) there was mail to be picked up, a house of open up, and a lawn to be cleaned up.

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All the archery equipment is still cased and packed. During the drive home on North 17 we passed over Salmon Creek that is about 30 miles from our place on the Little River. There was a small boat ramp leading to the creek so I marked the entrance to the water on my GPS. We’d head there with kayaks after we’d got home.

Salmon Creek is in the southeastern part of Bertie County. We’ve stopped in Bertie County often to buy peanuts. Today, we returned there to go kayaking.

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We, Brenda and I, put our boats in at the ramp I’d marked a few days ago. These two kayaks, Necky, are smaller boats. They’re easy to load and good in tight places, both being ten footers. They are light and I can easily put them into the bed of my Ford F-150. We’ve got other bigger boats, but these two are ideal for quick trips. We’ve also got two smaller ones, those we keep in Georgia.

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Salmon Creek is historically significant and was home to the Weapemeoc Indians in the 1500’s. Along this creek, following the influx of settlers to North Carolina, trading posts emerged and eventually the nearby town of Edenton grew up.

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The creek itself is slow, in areas swampy, and easy to paddle. It empties into the Albemarle Sound south of the Chowan River. We explored the creek to the west and turned back and headed toward the Sound. The temperature was in the mid-80’s and there was mild wind. Overall, not hard and should be a very nice paddle once all the leaves return to the trees.

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After weeks of archery competitions around the southeast it has been nice to have a few days off. Even when I am working at shooting I find time to enjoy other sports. Today, however, I’ll be back on the range. There will be time for more kayaking soon. But, Salmon Creek was very cool.

Playing Hard in Georgia

 

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Brenda rounding a bend

Everyday since I arrived in Georgia I’ve practiced archery. My scores have been a few points below average for a 3-spot using the current USA Archery scoring. It has been frustrating. I’ve limited practice to a maximum number of arrows around 120 +/- a few and a minimum of 40 (once). On top of that I’ve power washed red clay caked ATV’s, hauled feed, run, biked, gone to the Y in Thompson, GA, and kayaked.

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Fisherman with a small trout – he threw it back

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It’s nice to kayak here in the winter. The lake is not saturated with boats and jet skis. So, Brenda and I can explore without worrying about getting run over.

We keep two small boats here along with two mountain bikes and a tri-bike. At the dock there’s a jet ski, bass boat, pontoon, and a Carolina Skiff (Ray’s boats.) With all the toys we have here there’s never a dull moment.

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Dead end in this cove

Now, if I could just find a good used RV to help getting around to all the archery competitions.

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Heading home

Paddling Mill Creek

Aside from archery and triathlon, Brenda and I do a lot of kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Recently we paddled a water trail in Perquimans County North Carolina – Mill Creek.

Brenda had found this trail online and we’d been wanting to give it a try. Its not long, only about 4 miles out and back. But, the trail ends in a Cypress Swamp and we thought that would be pretty cool.

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Paddling Mill Creek

We headed to the put in point after morning archery practice. The online information indicated that the place to begin is at Larry’s Drive in Hertford, NC. When we arrived we noticed that large cut trees had been placed to they blocked the ramp to enter the Perquimans River, where we’d planned to start.

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Larry’s Drive In

The information about where to put in the kayaks said to park at Larry’s Drive In and leave from there.  It looked like Larry or someone had intentionally blocked the access to the river.  We considered looking for another way to get into the water.  Our options weren’t good.

I decided, at Brenda’s insistence, to go inside Larry’s and ask about the blocked ramp. Larry’s somewhat reminded me of the biker club portrayed in the movie “Wild Hogs.”

Once inside, the place reminded me a bit more of a rough diner – it wasn’t.  The folks were nice and I was welcomed to use their landing to put our kayaks in the river. The food smelled really good. I didn’t place an order, we had a kayak trip to start.

The paddle wasn’t long, four miles round trip.  It was, however, very nice. The current was rather fast and paddling against it was work.  The creek became quite narrow and ended in a cypress swamp.  One of the more spectular paddles in this part of Perquimans County.

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Entering a Cypress Swamp

Paddling back we were going with the current and returned to the put in ten minutes faster than it took to reach the turn around point.  It was a trip worth the effort – as most seem to be.  Another nice day on the water.

A Great Day to Play Outside

Yesterday the outside temperature was practically chilly compared to the previous days, the high was only 86° F. It was a great day to play outside.

Like most days it started with a run followed by shooting holes in paper. A couple of hours of practice out to 60 yards were all the time I’d planned for the morning.   For this practice I had a 3-spot pinned to my pile of worn out bag and block targets. I shot two arrows per target at 5-yard increments from 20 to 60 yards. If I shot any distance uncomfortably, I repeated the distance. Then, it was time to take a break.

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There’s a coyote 43 yards away

Following lunch (and a nap) I headed out for a few hours of shooting foam. The shadows were perfect – they created all sorts of illusions and made judging distance a fun challenge.

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This turkey is in shadows at 32 yards
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Seriously, there’s a deer down yonder
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Finally, out on the water

There was plenty of daylight left meaning ample time for a decent bike ride. The wind had picked up but that didn’t prevent a short couple of miles on the Little River in a 10 ft. kayak. The slight chop (about 1 foot waves) made for a bouncy ride in the small boat. My 17 ft. kayak would have sliced through the waves; the shorter boat was rocking and rolling.

Overall, yesterday was a great day to be outside. And, I didn’t lose a single arrow. or fall out of my boat.

Éirinn go brách

It was practically hot this St. Patrick’s Day, 80° F (27°C). It felt great and I was outside all day. This is a summary of my play.

It started with an hour and a half of shooting a 3D deer from 20 to 50 yards distance. Afterwards I wrote for a bit, had lunch, and then napped under several large oak trees in my yard. Following my break I checked my email for directions to this weekend’s 3D tournament, which had arrived. A nice surprise among my email was a message letting me know how much I’d won in last week’s competition. Not a lot of money but better than a sharp stick in the eye.

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Then it was time to go kayaking. Brenda, my wife, and I paddled from our house several miles up river. We paddled into the wind going out so we’d have a tail wind coming home. In the smaller creeks that are bordered by trees wind isn’t a factor. Out on the Little River, the wind can kick up waves. In fact, on the trip home we had small waves as the wind had begun to increase. The waves weren’t high enough to surf a kayak but definitely sufficient for bit of a lift and push.

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Once the kayaks were stored I headed out on my bike. I only rode 20 miles since the kayaking had eaten into my cycling time.

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Cycling merged into my afternoon archery session and I practiced for another hour before heading back to the river to toss toys for River, my lab, to retrieve.

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The day wound down with a dinner of corn beef and cabbage, a St. Patrick’s Day tradition for our family. Éirinn go brách

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