Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Little History, Part 3: The Return of the Archer

At the end of winter quarter in 2005 at UC-San Diego, my roommate brought the Spring 2005 Rec catalog. After flipping through the list, George exclaimed "Cool! Archery!" or some words to that effect. As I thought about it, the idea really started to grow on me, and I decided to sign up. George never actually signed up for the class, but on a Wednesday early in that spring quarter, I drove out behind the hospital on the back end of east campus, parked my car, and walked up the hill to the range. There were about 20 or 25 people standing around, waiting for an instructor to come up. This was where I met my friend Elisa (picture), and, for the first time, started to appreciate what archery was really all about.

The range was marked at 10 yard intervals from a line of hay bales up to 50 or 70 yards (as I never got beyond 20 or 30 at that range, I don't exactly recall how far back it actually went). There was a hill on the left side of the range (when facing the hay bales) that blocked the wind, and another one topped with a fence behind the hay bales protecting anyone on the other side from a wayward arrow. If anything disastrous should happen, the hospital was just across the road on the other side of that hill. To the right was a dirt road where we parked our cars, and then across the canyon to graduate student housing. Behind us was I-5 and west campus. There was a trailer that held all the equipment (bows, arrows, quivers, arm guards, finger tabs, targets, etc.), and a few tables where jackets were dumped and the equipment laid out.

That first day, we were shooting from I believe 10 yards, with no targets, and just doing our best to put arrows into the hay bales. As ultra beginners, not clear on the proper form, we couldn't always do it, but it certainly was fun.

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