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I spent this weekend at a BOW (Becoming an Outdoors Woman) Workshop, which is runned by the TX Parks and Wildlife dept.

What a weekend. I'm definitely a richer woman now, in terms of experiences. And also friends.

Day 1:

Orientation, then to my first class. Intro to Firearms. This class was mostly lecture so I was bored for a lot of it. But I learned a lot about guns. The teacher was a mild mannered older woman who keeps a loaded shotgun under her bed. You never know with a Texan woman!

Had dinner, played Scrabble with Vic, then a few folks were going out to look at the stars with the Astronomy instructor. Now this was amazing. Warren had a laser pointer, that could point to 3000 feet. So a lot of times when people point out stars or constellations in the sky, it's difficult to know what they're talking about. But Warren just pointed at the sky, and his laser pointer told us where to look. In addition to Orion and the Big Dipper, I now can identify Cassiopeia, Polaris, Sirius. He pointed out Saturn, and I used a binocular and saw the rings. I also saw a smudge near Orion's belt and it was the Orion nebula. It was really really awesome.

Day 2:

Woke up way early, had breakfast then on to Intro to the Horse. The class was a bit of lecture.. and mostly riding. It was the first time I had ever ridden a horse totally under my control. When it was time to assigned horses, Mandy was assigned to me. And the instructor added nonchalently: Oh, Mandy has only eye, but she's learned to trust her one eye.
This was after the lecture on how horses have brains that wire to their eyes independently so sometimes you have to show the horse an object with both sides of his face to really register with them. Anyways, Mandy turned out to be really nice. She was slow.. but steady. Also got distracted by food a lot. I got to groom her.. the first time I've groomed a horse. Then I put on her saddle and bridle (with help). We spent almost 2 hours riding. What an experience. The Texan hill country, we were on top of a hill, with rocks, bushes, and trees surrounding us. When one of the horses decided to lie down (the rider got off quickly) and caused a commotion, the riders in front, including me, stopped and turned. And at the moment, that tableau, made me feel like I was in the middle of an RPG adventure.

My second session was Rifles and Handguns. This time, it was mostly practice. I got to shoot for the first time ever. It was with a rifle, and I got 3 shots, all pretty close to the bull's eye. At 25 yards. So.. if someone who's never shot can do that well with a rifle, that's a pretty dangerous weapon. I also shot with pistols.. the revolver types with 6 bullets. That was harder for me, especially at 25 yards.

After dinner I joined a bunch of ladies for a night hike. Just like the star viewing, they were obsessed over using flashlights that were red so not to spoil night vision. In fact, on the way back, the guides asked us to not use our flashlights at all, and to keep silent. It was amazing how much you can see with your night vision in the outdoors. So peaceful and lovely.

Day 3:

I joined the canoe trip to Ink's lake. So beautiful. It was a fixed level lake, so you miss the effects of the draught we're currently having. Just like in Town Lake. (Btw, we're in a significant draught). Got to see the Great Blue Herons and their nests, also a major Indian trading place. The outing was nice, but it was cut early because it got windy.

Definitely a workshop I would recommend to my lady friends. I want to do this again, to take the other workshops like shotgun, skeet shooting, mountain biking, backpacking, camping, woodworking. I guess I get to update my character's skills ;-)

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
mdf356
Mar. 11th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
Rifles are very accurate because you have such a long distance between the front and back sights. I took a pistol class at Cornell, you should have too!

Cheers,
Matt
tebing
Mar. 11th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
I got 3 shots, all pretty close to the bull's eye. At 25 yards.

So I guess I better make sure not to argue with you too much when I come to visit this weekend. ;)
antoniseb
Mar. 12th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC)
Wow. You are choosing to do some great things.
indywind
Mar. 12th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a lot of fun.
If I ever vacation in your area, I will want to try that.
nekomouser
Mar. 12th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Fun with Guns One-oh-one.

Congrats on your first shooting trip. Zen shooting is a great way to relieve stress.
Skeet is fun, too. Shotguns are the dickens compared to a rifle. Much louder and with a good kick, but still fun. I have a 20 guage and skeet are literally like less than 5 bucks for 50 or so at Wal-mart if you know of an open enough area. I'm sure Mike K or someone has a bigger shotgun we could use, too. (I only have a 20 for heirloom and home protection purposes. Wide scatter over any appreciable distance, but down a hallway it's as effective at running an invader over with a truck. Plus, shotguns are great for home defense because they make such a recognizable noise. An intruder hears you cock or pump one of those things and they are probably gone without a shot ever needing tobe fired. I had a friend buy one for that reason alone. Never got shells, just wanted that sound for protection.)
What were you shooting for long bores? Standard .22s? I have several if you ever want to go down to the range. Again, .22 bullets are cheap.
What were you using for handguns?
ripresa
Mar. 13th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
arrgh. too much technical questions.

i think they were 22 caliber. yeah, i definitely want to go shooting with you guys now. let's go to a range or skeet shooting sometime :)
desfontaines
Mar. 13th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
That sounds like so much fun! Never been one for shooting firearms (I'll stick to my recurve), but riding and canoeing -rock-.
ripresa
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
is recurve archery? they had archery classes too.

i looked online and this looks like the michigan BOW:
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10369_15424-35613--,00.html
desfontaines
Mar. 14th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, recurves are a type of bow :)

And ooo, that looks tempting. Too bad they don't have any info about upcoming workshops. Plus, Jody has issues with programs that discriminate by sex -- he's a bit annoyed at Curves, for example, for being women-only. :(
desfontaines
Mar. 14th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ah, found the schedule! :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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