This past Saturday my sister and I spent the day at a Wild Turkey Federation Women In the Outdoors event in Fayette County, Ohio. Now let me start off by saying, I’m really not an outdoorsy kind of gal unless I’m sitting under a shady tree with my Diet Coke and a good book. I’m not much on bugs and dirt and such, but when my sister showed me the brochure of the various classes they were offering for a mere $50.00 (yes, sis, I know I still owe you! The check is in the mail. No really!), I thought why not? While quite a departure of our typical girls’ weekend of shopping, chick flicks, and mani/pedi’s, I figured it could be fun, if not research for my next book.
My children laughed at me as I prepared for my forthcoming adventure by applying makeup. I have no idea why that thought this was so funny. I figured I wasn’t going to be good at the day’s activities so I might as well at least feel like I looked good while doing them. And for the record, I did not do my nails before hand (I promised myself that’d be my reward should I survive the day!)
Our first stop was kayaking. My sister was a little nervous about this one. I picked this class as I’d always wanted to try it. The brochure suggested bringing a change of clothes for this activity – “just in case.” Two Ohio Watercraft Officers showed us the various parts of the boat and paddle as well as other accessories available if we should become enthusiasts. My first revelation was that people actually flip their kayaks over on purpose! I guess it’s part of the fun. He assured us though, we wouldn’t be doing that type of maneuver on our journey down the river. We got fitted for life jackets and practiced getting in and out of the boats on land. Next the six women in our group made our way down to the mud-covered bank. Luckily the instructors helped us get into our kayaks as mud is quite slippery. Once in the water, I paddled downstream with ease although I did manage to go backwards a couple of times and visit both banks of the river. The instructor was quite helpful in getting me going the correct direction again though. My arms did start to get a bit tired going back upstream and I tried to use my torso as our instructors had instructed, but that’s harder than it sounds. Happily, both my sister and I made it back to shore without tipping our boats (not everyone in our group did). Getting out of the boat on the slippery mud was a different story though! While I didn’t fall in, my shoes were full of mud as were my legs and arms. After a hose-down all was good again. I’d go again, if I had a chance.
Our next stop was the rifle range. This venue made me a bit more nervous than our first and was my sister’s pick. Much to my surprise, shooting targets with a .22 rifle is quite fun! The gun didn’t kick at all, you got to sit on a bench and rest the gun on a little stand thingy and it was shady. The gentlemen from the club showed us how to load our guns and sight our target. I hit mine on the first try! The second one too! We shot several rounds of ten and I hit the majority of my targets. I was pretty proud of myself! I did like the scope better than the metal sights and the automatic one was more fun. I can’t see myself shooting squirrels, rabbits or other furry animals, but knocking over metal animals I admit was a good time.
After lunch, we slowed our adventure down and learned about herbs (yes, herbs, not weeds). We saw various types of herbs and learned how to do a cutting and a division. We each got to take a couple of plants home to start our own herb gardens. Herbs don’t like a lot of water, which is a good thing for those in my care (I give them two weeks, a month tops!)
Our last stop of the day was the archery trailer. Here an Ohio Wildlife Officer helped us determine our dominant eye, how to hold the bow and load the arrow. Everyone got a turn at shooting at the targets set up in a long trailer. My sister volunteered to go first and did quite well. I went next, and while I won’t ever compete with Katniss Everdeen, I at least hit the target and hit my balloon on the first try (although it wasn’t a competition). We had a good time chatting with our instructors (one who was a bigfoot believer, the other not so much) as each of the gals took their turn shooting the bow. We felt bad for the Wildlife Officer who unlike the Watercraft Officers wasn’t able to wear shorts. We suggested he petition to have the uniform policy modified. We also asked questions and learned about tasers (which he doesn’t carry) and some of the various equipment on his belt including his handcuffs and five flashlights. Yes, flashlights plural. It was this piece of knowledge that I took for the title of this post. You see, when I asked why he needed so many flashlights, he said that when you are on a call in the middle of the woods at 2:00 AM the last thing you want is for your flashlight to die – thus, “One is none, two is one and five is better.” Good point, I thought. And he was the one who didn’t believe in bigfoot:) I think he was happy when our session came to an end!
All in all we had a great girls’ day out! If you ever get the chance to go – I recommend it!