Sunday, April 09, 2006

The request is both a north- and south-bound exercise

VA Rt. 15, north of Buckingham County 4/2/06

Don't know why it's taken me so long to recap this, but last weekend I went to Holliday Lake outside of Appomattox for a 3-day outdoorswoman weekend. Yes, the word is bobo but the ethos is surprisingly palatable. It's run by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and it's a smorgasbord of activities to get women interested in/comfortable with the Great Outdoors. Potential courses offered range from Wilderness Survival to Kayak Fishing with not a little bit of Republicanism in-between. Actually, the whole thing is decidedly apolitical, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that a few of the attendees and the general atmosphere weren't a bit more Red State than I'm used to. There was a healthy bit of scorn for Northern Virginia as not being part of the rest of Virginia which I didn't exactly appreciate, but whatever. I freely give up claim to large parts of the state Legislature when it suits me, so that runs both ways.

Specifics of the weekend: Pam and I went together and were pleased to discover that Erin S. and several of her coworkers from Norfolk had also registered, so we commandeered a cabin together on the rowdy "Night Owl" side of camp. And the rowdies aren't messing around. When we showed up Friday at 10 a.m. 2 cabins-worth of that side were already installed, smoking and playing poker, jamming to tunes emitting from a circa-1984 boom box, displaying a carved wood sign that read "Chicks on Vacation". Salt-of-the-Earth? Hard-scrabble? YOU BETCHA. Cabano Quince tried hard to live up to that with a fair amount of farting and drinking (and a little puking) but we are obviously neophytes at being CoVs.

My activities for the weekend: introduction to firearms (where I ran into a girl I hadn't seen since 7th grade!), which was a prerequisite for my next class, intro to handgun. I'd never shot before last weekend and was more than a little nervous about it, but oh man was it fun. I fired a .22 caliber revolver and a Mark Ruger semi-automatic (also .22 cal) and suffice it to say, clay pigeons and wicket targets throughout the Southeast should cower and fear. Saturday afternoon I tackled (successfully) a 40-foot climbing tower and learned how to belay. Saturday evening I ate goose tenderloin and bear sausage meatballs. Early Sunday morning I threw it all up. ROCK. Sunday morning I learned about bass fishing lures and did a little casting, but unlike the clay pigeons the region's freshwater fish are in no danger. By 1 pm Sunday PEbs and I had packed up and were headed home. The flawless weather we'd enjoyed all weekend (and I mean, seriously, how gorgeous was it? So lovely it hurt me) followed us home and we finished up with grilling out at Pam's and feasting on Serenity in general and Nathan Fillion in particular, and I didn't roll up home until 11 that night.

I think the best way to show you what an incredible weekend I had comes by way of the fact that the whole time I was gone all the stress that I usually hold in my back, neck, and shoulders (that has put me on a "gold-star patient" basis with my chiropractor) WENT AWAY. Completely. In a matter of hours. You know how they say you can spontaneously develop allergies later in life that you never had before? Well I think I'm allergic to life in D.C. Or at least to adult responsibility. It doesn't suit my delicate constitution.


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