Raining, again, running, again

Trail head of a 1.32 mile loop

We’re supposed to get “severe, life threating storms, tornadoes, and hail” later today. We’re all doomed.  If that weather doesn’t get us the flash floods will do the trick.  Should the flash floods fail to get us the drunk drivers out on wet roads will become the instruments of doom.  Even sober drivers provide ‘risk’ to ‘threaten’ us all.

Wet run; fun run

Should we live through this day of ‘dangerous’ weather everyone will probably starve because there is no food in the grocery stores.  Even if there was food no one can buy it because the government stimulus checks have only been issued to the wealthy.

By some miracle, if we survive the storms, drunk drivers, and have food to eat we need to be on the look out for people shooting other people.  All of that aside, if anyone is left alive, the Covid-19 is going to finish them off.

The rain progressed, but it was like running through a tunnel of forest

The few of us that remain alive in 2 days time will find their demise next fall when the Covid-19 and usual flu virus team up to wipe of all off the face of the earth.

All of the above is true; reporters sharing their news stories have presented all of it.  It must be true – it was on television, Twitter and  Facebook.

Despite our reported doom, which lays in wait, I went for a run in the rain this morning. The rain was not bad; it was steady but not a storm. Once I hit the trails admittedly the pronouncements of news media, Tweets, Facebook posts and rantings of pissed off Republican and Democrats didn’t follow.

This really is hard to beat

Disclaimer:  I never look at Twitter.  I only hear the news in passing if my wife has it on television.  I limit Facebook to about 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon. You are free to believe whatever  you want. Should you want to clear your head – go for a run.

The Sun is Out

Like most Americans (Spaniards, Italians, Germans, French, etc.) we’ve been confined to home, the result of Earth’s Covid-19 pandemic.  It isn’t such an ordeal for me as perhaps others.  I can still get outside and play.

Each morning I can run, then practice archery, and then ride a bike, then more archery.  It isn’t too bad even if I can’t get over to Social Circle and practice archery with the folks over there.  There has been one small other inconvenience – rain.

Momentary break in the rain

It has been raining and raining.  I’m glad to have the rain.  We’ve got blueberries trees (more like large bushes), peach trees, pomegranate trees, grape vines, plum trees, a lemon tree, a lime tree, (those last two spend the winter indoors under a growing light) and a fig tree that all appreciate the rain.  But, when you can’t get to the indoor range or gym while it is raining in the middle of a Covid-19 lock down it can be oppressive. It must be really rough it you live in a city.

Running in the rain isn’t too bad.  Currently, I am rotating three pairs of running shoes trying to keep my feet relatively dry.  If it isn’t too bad, the rain that is, I’ll practice archery.  There was a time I’d ride a bike in the rain.  I’m over that.

Yesterday I got to shoot a little between down pours.  Today, the sun is out and I’ve been outside since breakfast.  Between running and archery I got a solid three hours outdoors before taking a break.

Brenda, my wife, isn’t as lucky.  She can go outside and has been doing fun outdoor chores until the rain chased her inside.  Her primary social and physical activity revolves around yoga.  The yoga studio where she teaches is understandably closed during the Covid-19 problem.

Aside from whatever outdoor fun I can muster I have been doing what I can to support respiratory care practitioners.  I am a respiratory therapist, among other things, and had a license in Georgia as a respiratory care practitioners (RCP).  In fact my RCP number is Georgia is 229.  I was one of the earlier therapists licensed here.

So, far I’ve fielded some emails about old gear applications and been asked an epidemiologic question. I’m good at statistics and did spend a quarter working in the virology department at the CDC as a student under Dr. Glenn Caldwell, the former head of that section.  However, my work was on virus, specifically herpes simplex 1 and 2, looked at the link to cancer causation.  Still, someone forwarded me a series of questions of the spread of Covid-19 and I enjoyed playing with the numbers.

But, my primary non-athletic focus has been of getting my respiratory care license in Georgia reinstated.  I felt I could be most helpful at the bedside.

If I had a current license from another State I could get a 90 license for Georgia. I’ve had licenses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.  Those to are inactive. What might you expect?  I never expected I’d be needed to work again as a therapist.

To get reinstated in Georgia, among a pile of documentation, I’ve got to have 30 hours of continuing education units.  So, I pause each day, to find a class I can take to earn the hours.  It is mind numbing.

I thought I’d simply hunker down and knock out the hours.  That’s was until I began knocking out the hours.  Some folks might enjoy online learning and it is okay to me in small doses.

Yesterday, I listened to a lecture that held within it mistakes and significant elements that were over looked.  Of course, I couldn’t respond to the speaker, the lecture wasn’t live and I’m sure he is busy taking care of patients at his hospital. Turns out I know the hospital where he works very well even if I don’t know the physician that presented the lecture.  All I could do was take the exam at the end and download another CEU for my submission in pursuit of my reinstatement.

By the time I complete all the work to re-active my Georgia license I expect the crush of Covid-19 patients will have subsided, at least the current wave.

In the meantime, I plod along with the submission process.  Once it is completed and my license reactivated you can bet I’ll keep it current.  I’ll look for part time work as a therapist to keep my clinical skills share.

Oh, that lecture from yesterday, you might wonder whether I truly know what I’m talking about regarding the errors during the lecture and the missed important notes he overlooked in his presentation.  Turns out I help designed the methods and apparatus he was referring to, have patents on it, and published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals on the subject.

Thankfully, the sun is shining and I can get outside to do things to reduce my frustration.

One Point Is All It Takes to Win

There are a lot of points scored over an archery tournament.  The last event I competed in, the Georgia 25-Meter State Championship had a maximum (Perfect) score of 600 possible points.  I lost, landing in second place, by a 1-point difference.

River seems less excited with the 2nd place medals

Excluding 3D (where I shot mostly for fun and the scores are hard to find) I looked over the events where I’d lost.  There were 3-second place finishes and one-third place. The third place was a fluke.  Here I define a fluke as poor shooting associated with a yet undiagnosed equipment problem.  The bow’s cam bearings had cracked which resulted in some funny shots.  The data remaining, the 3-second place finishes, were lost by an average of 1 point.

The last loss, the 25-meter event, was a surprise.  The surprise was not the person who won, Bob.  Bob beaten me three out of four times in 2019.  I beat him once with the same score, same X count and took the win by the 9 count.

Archery didn’t pan out – camping on the other hand was first class

Now Bob’s good.  A few weeks ago, during my only 2019 win against Bob, we shot in the Masters 50 age group.  There was no Masters 60 age group at that event.  This is when I won as the score came down to the nine count.  The fellow that won the 50-year-old group, Paul, took first place by two points.  The top three compound bow scores for that tournament where from Paul, myself and Bob, in order of finishing positions.  (Fall Classic, Georgia Southern University) All of us in the 50 year old group.

Great views camping for the tournament at the George L Smith State Park in Twin City, GA

Going into the last tournament, the 25-meter shoot, I honestly expected a score in the range of the US record, for my age group.  I’d been shooting that in practice.  I didn’t come close during the tournament.  But for one bad shot, Bob might have broken that record. Sadly, we’ll both have to wait until next year to give it another go for the record.

Ended up the only camper in the Park

In the meantime, I admit, I’d rather be on the winning side of those 1-point finishes.

Morning Run

I run nearly every morning.  If I miss a day it is generally due to travel.  The weather is rarely a factor that limits time on the trails behind my house.  I don’t run alone, River, my lab has been a running companion for going on nine years.

Because some of the trails are now posted, for weekend hunters (who have as yet not hunted) River and I stick to trails outside of the posted property. River can run without being leased so long as we’re on our property.  Once we hit the trails that are easements for surveying and beyond private property she gets hooked.

River’s nose is much better at sniffing things out to explore during our runs.  On our property, while free ranging, I noticed she’s moved a few feet off the path.  Curious as to what it was she was examining I moved closer.

She’d discovered a massive yellow jacket nest.  We eased away and continued down the trail.  I hoped, that until I can spray this nest, so long as I leave them alone maybe they’d not attack me.  Oh, I’m going to get them.  Yellow jackets are often relentless when it comes to stinging me.

Moving down the trail River nosed what seemed to be a trespasser who’d met its ultimate demise.  Later, I’d learn that was indeed the case.  Only the posted sign hunters didn’t bring about the end.  The trespassing critter had been wreaking havoc on plants at a neighbor’shome.  I suppose this section of the trail will project olfactory offense soon.

If you’ve been reading this you are likely an archer.  Possibly, you are not a runner.  Possibly you enjoy getting outdoors to hunt.  If you’re an archer that runs, especially on trails, you know that sort of outdoor activity, trail running, is a nice way to enjoy the woods.

 

Big Game Hunters

The law tries to keep a balance between the rights of regular people to enjoy land and the rights of landowners. If there is no fence, the land has not been improved, looks unoccupied and has no posted sign, then someone can assume the land is public for the use of anyone. Under the natural squatter law, the community should use land for productive purposes. Unused land returns to communal ownership.

Adjacent to our property is vacant land, about 24 acres.  The land has old logging roads and trails.  There are a number of abandon tree stands on the property. A friend of mine once hunted on this property.  He no longer hunts there because of the homes next to the land.

The homes are on ‘estate lots’ which means larger than 3 acres in Walton County.  The range is from 3 to 10 acres. Our sparsely populated development, 9 homes, connect with the unused land.

There’s one paved road that leads onto the 24 acre plot of land.  At the end of the road is one house; the road is about a quarter of a mile long.  It connects with Georgia Highway 186.  This one road runs parallel with the road we live on.

The trails on my property connect with the trails on this vacant land.  I’ve run on them for nearly two years, since we moved back to Georgia.  By running the trails I can connect with the single paved road running parallel with our road. There is zero traffic and great for running. Until this past weekend.

The owner of the property seems to have given permission to a couple of guys to hunt on that land.  These fellows work Monday through Friday and will hunt on Saturday and perhaps an occasional Sunday.  My primary running on these trails is Monday through Friday.  On weekends I’m more likely to be shooting in a tournament or running in a race.  During hunting season I’ll take time off from my routine and go hunting on my father-in-laws property – around 900 acres. A few of my neighbors have also enjoyed the trails and short walks through the woods.

In Georgia, ““Wandering, strolling, and walking around a private property which doesn’t have expressed prohibition to enter it do not amount to trespassing unless the person enters the property with unlawful purpose.” (1)

Sadly these hunters have now posted “No Trespassing” signs all over the property.  The signs are posted immediately next to everyone else’s property. Now the land is for the sole pleasure of a couple of guys.

I can still run through the woods on my land and the easement along the paved roads that encompass the signed off hunting zone.  That modified run isn’t as nice.

I’ve had trail cameras up on my property since I’ve lived here.  In nearly two years I’ve seen two deer.  A small buck that got shot last year.  A doe I’d see every morning.  Last week, I saw her, dead, hit by a car on 186. There’s plenty deer nearby. However, those deer stay in the more forested nearby areas.

In a couple of weeks bow season opens here in Georgia.  The two “hunters” will be sitting in the once abandoned trees stands.  Their attire will equal that of a Special Forces soldier.  Their faces will be covered with green and black make-up.  And for the first time in a year they’ll be taking aim with a bow.  What is more worrisome is that gun season isn’t too far away. I expect any deer that might show up will be perfectly safe.

Not long ago I watched as one of these marksman as he tried to kill an armadillo with a 22 rifle from 10 yards.  He missed and needed to try again wounding it on the second attempt.  He let the poor creature hop around in pain for 5 solid minutes before in finally expire.

One evening I heard the same fellow fire off 24 rounds as he worked to rid his property of another armadillo.  The possum on a half shell was eventually scared enough to run away.

I suppose the land is convenient for these hunters.  They only need to drive their ATV about 200 feet to reach a tree stand.  I expect loads of big game hunter selfies and probably a phone collected video of their tree stand experiences. In the meantime, the wilder animals of the woods will pretty much be able to safely enough free corn.

Reference:

https://bixonlaw.com/georgia-trespassing-

Home in the nick of time

If you do a sport that’s an outdoor activity you have probably be caught in the rain. If you’ve been there, then you will understand:

Run looks pretty good. There are some clouds coming in, but seems okay
It appears to be getting darker rather than brighter as this morning runs progresses. Maybe its going to rain earlier than predicted
“River, here” – feels like a good point to start heading home
Barely a drop on me

Sure, some folks might have continued on their morning run.  I admit, I turned around shortening the run.

Trying to Get Ready for Field Archery

In preparation for the Georgia State Field Archery and NFAA sections, coming in a few more weeks, I’ve been studying how to shoot a Field Archery Tournament.  I’ve read the rules, watched a tutorial on how to shoot them and the scoring, and purchased the targets used for the event.  It is a lot to remember.

Practicing on Hunter style targets for field archery

I’ve already booked a campsite and signed up for the tournament.  Too bad there aren’t any closer similar archery contests near me.  I’d feel better having a more solid foundation with the venue.

In the meantime, all that can be done is to prepare as best as possible. Part of that preparation means having a bow on which everything works properly.

80 yards if a long shot

My target bow is still AWOL.  It’s been gone, sent back to Elite, for months. I’m shooting an older back up bow. That bow needs a new rest.  The QAD rest clicks and rubs and feels like it could enter a complete meltdown at any moment.  I’ll give QAD a call for help tomorrow. They’ve been helpful with the problem in the past.  It happened to me before.

Had to pause during practice to trim some long hanging tree limbs to reach the target at 80 yards.

The back up bow is a 2014 Elite 35.  It has a lot of mileage and the limbs have been replaced once.  I upgraded to the Elite 37X in 2018.  That bow never did seem to shoot right.  After a while I noticed cable guard pitting which clearly isn’t right.  The bow was returned in March. Over two months later and Elite has the bow and the money.

Shooting 4 arrows at the same 35 cm target can be costly

I’ve also gotten my hands on an old Mathews Conquest Apex 7.  It was my first bow and it was sold to get the Elite 35.  The second owner returned to me that Mathews bow.  I shot it for 3D last week and won competing in the Hunter class (ASA) at a local competition. I’m considering making that the bow for the Field Championship.

Before I retired, I’d have just gone and bought a new bow. Since retirement, seven years ago, I’ve become a bit tighter with my cash.  But, the best bow out there is always the one in your hand.

Going into the next State Championship, everything is not ideal.  There are still a few weeks to go and in the meantime, I’ll do all I can to get ready. And hope I’ll get in a group of friendly archers that won’t be put out having me tag along.

We Took A Little Trip

View facing our campsite

Brenda, our two dog and I took a short camping trip to the mountains.  Less than 2 hours from our home in Good Hope we ended at Don Carter State Park near Helen, Georgia.

Looking our from the Winnebago

The Don Carter State Park is on Lake Lanier and is the newest of the Georgia State Parks. It is in a great location, on the Lake and close to Helen and Dahlonega.  Both towns are about a thirty minutes drive from the campground.

River stopped here apparently wanting to follow this trail, so we took it.
You can just make out this deer

The park has  nice boat ramps and 8 miles of paddling trails.  We didn’t bring kayaks on this trip but next time the boats are coming along. There are 12.5 miles of trails which River, my lab, and I spent hours investigating. More than once we walked up on deer.  I was glad we didn’t cross paths with any bear.

We went along the trail where she’d stopped. She really seemed to like this one.

Even though the trip was short we learned that camping nearby could offer a change of scenery and easy access to trails, water, and cool Georgia towns.

Some of the deer weren’t too camera shy

 

The Other Dog

River doing her thing

You know, if you’re a frequent reader here, that I have a Labrador retriever, River.  She’s with me a lot, most of the time actually.  But, you may not know we have a little buddy, Nixie.

Nixie returning on command. A rare skill among dachshunds.

Nixie is a wire-haired dachshund. She’s a bit to low to the ground and short legged to keep up with River and I when we run.  She never gets the stick that’s been tossed for River, but she never gives up trying. Nixie will even jump off docks to swim after sticks tossed for the big dog.

Checking to be certain River is following

In the evenings when we take a walk through the woods it is a highlight of the wiener dog’s day. She comes along and for a short while she’s a big dog.  Well, in her mind she’s always a big dog.

A 12-Mile Mountain Bike Loop Failure

It started as a short 12-mile mountain bike ride. Most of it on trails or narrow dirt roads. There was one section of paved road that I suspected would put me on a loop back home. If it worked I’d have a nice 12-mile loop.

When I started racing bicycles in 1972 our team, The Savannah Wheelmen, had permission to train on Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. There was a road, Perimeter Road, which as named, encircled the perimeter creating a 10-mile loop of the base. Our team would ride around Hunter two to twelve times per day. Since it was a 10-mile loop it wasn’t tedious. The major factor was that it was nearly void of traffic. It remains one of the safest training routes in memory.

Finding a 12-mile loop, mostly off road, here near Athens, Georgia seemed like a great idea. I’d been searching and felt I was close. Heading out to find the last few miles needed to create the course I was optimistic.

Miles of this on a mountain bike is fun. This is a long uphill grade, steep in sections.

For seven miles I was primarily on trails, dirt roads and a very isolated paved road. Then, things got dicey.

I knew a section of the yet discovered loop would be on a more traveled road. It wasn’t a bad road and there were signs to encourage motorists to “Share the Road” with cyclists. This would last only a mile or so before I turned left and took my Cannondale back into the woods to close the loop.

This old shack is next to a single track

The surprise came from a road closure with only four miles of my estimated ride remaining. Riding right wouldn’t work since that would send me in the wrong direction. Left was out because that landed me on a road with heavy traffic. I took road number three a total guess; Monty Hall would have been proud. He’d also have been saddened by my choice –it was the wrong road.

Not exactly certain where this is, but there were cattle everywhere.

After too long and being a bit lost, I needed help. I had my phone in my pocket and decided to consult Google Maps. Naturally, there was no cellular service. I did spot a few folks skinning a deer so I rode over on my bike to ask for help.

This is a familar crossing.

One nice thing about living near Athens, cyclists are a common sight. So are people skinning deer. In fact, many cyclists here skin deer. When I asked how to get back to Good Hope, Georgia, I learned I was way the hell off course. So far so that the fastest way home was to do a 100% back track.

When I passed this, I knew I was at a minimum in the correct county

I’ll try this again with the road is open. I know there is a way to come up with a 12 to 15 mile loop that is almost as safe as those days circling Hunter.