I can take the cold or I can take the rain but the cold and the rain is hard to take. This morning’s practice was both cold and rainy. Practice was still practice.
If you’ve done a few outdoor archery competitions you may have been caught in the rain. Shooting in the rain is a condition that will happen if you enter enough archery tournaments that take place outside. Archery doesn’t stop for rain.
Archery does stop for lightening. Running around with a lightening rod in your hand can lead to shocking outcomes. If the rain isn’t a storm that causes the judges to call the event and you want to finish you have to shoot through the weather.
It is a good idea to practice in the rain. Typically, the rain is associated with outdoor distances. Practice at the moment, here, is 18-meters. So, I could have skipped the rain since it is unlikely I’ll ever face rain during an indoor tournament.
Nevertheless, I shot through this morning’s rain. It wasn’t stormy weather just a constant light rain. It actually became kind of fun. The temperature was around 40°F so even the cold wasn’t horrible.
Sometimes is can be fun to break a daily pattern by practicing in less than optimal conditions. Despite the conditions this morning I admittedly enjoyed the session. This afternoon, according the local weather report, should be dry.
In the 21st century there have been 21 crews or solo sailors to sail the circumference of the world. There have been four other circumference voyages by powered ships included one solar powered vessel for 25 trips. (1) Cruising around the world isn’t a trip taken frequently.
Sailing around the world is risky. Sailors risk boom injuries, broken masts, tsunamis, falling over board, whales (yes whales really have been known to attack sailboats), floating containers, collisions with freighters, storms, squalls, heavy weather, waves, lightening and sinking. (2)
Those risks may attribute to the infrequency of the trip. A close friend, Linda, was sailing around the world when, during a severe storm while attempting to reach a port her boat sunk. Linda was rescued but her sailing home was gone.
Another friend, Stuart, has flown around the world. He had meetings in Japan followed by more meetings in Paris. He booked his flight path from Baltimore, to Los Angels, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, then Paris and finally back to BWI. That trip is less hazardous than by sailing around the world.
Sailing around the world is a significant sporting challenge. It requires a certain athletic discipline both physical and mental. It also takes a fair amount of money.
Recently, I heard from a childhood friend. She is one of a pile of kids in the same family I grew up with on Isle of Hope near Savannah, GA. Currently, she’s stuck, “due to the current situation” (which I assumed to mean the pandemic) outside of Cebu, Philippines. I expect she’s bored, digging around on Facebook with a new account looking of old friends. She found me and sent a friend request.
I was pleased to hear from her. It has been decades. I’ve stayed in touch with her brothers but not her or her sisters. In total there were 6 siblings among this solid Catholic family. I was at their home so often you could have added me as a 7th kid.
During our electronic conversation Julia explained she was sailing around the world. I was not at all that surprised. Everyone in her family became high achievers in sports. Three raced bicycles; one danced for the New York City Ballet and one is a marathoner. And Julia, aside from now a sailor, was a competitive swimmer in her youth.
Like so many new people on Facebook she has a number of old memories and meaningful achievements posted. What was surprising, even though she’s sailing around the world, her posts on the sailing adventure are limited. Then, I considered the effort involved in sailing around the world and the amount of time she’s not going to get a signal via her smartphone hot spot.
What also caught my attention was a post of her youthful swimming days. On her boat she has pictured a few of her medals and ribbons she won for swimming when she was a kid.
There’s a photo of her at a swim meet in her star and stripes swim suit from decades ago. Then, in another post she is wearing the same swimsuit on her boat just off the Philippines.
It is great that she still fits into her high school aged swimsuit. I thought about this and it occurred to me how proud she is of her days as a swimmer. Then, I thought, “Julia, you’re sailing around the world!”
It is funny how the sports we participate in as kids leaves an impact. Here is a woman doing something that extremely few people ever consider attempting much less completing. I suppose at the time some folks are completing some amazing adventure, when there is a pause, there are moments to reflect. For Julia, the posting of a medal won in a swim meet decades ago represents a happy memory in sport.
Perhaps there are those of us that need to push ourselves to extreme levels. Clearing circumnavigating the world on a sailboat would meet anyone’s assessment of an extreme sport. Maybe going from swimmer to sailor isn’t a too unexpected stroke. Both do involve water. Both require physical and mental toughness. And the root of such an adventure as sailing around the world may have been seeded from youthful involvement is sports.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the meantime, I admit, I’d rather be on the winning side of those 1-point finishes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.