Category Archives: Adventure

Archery

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Until recently I had not given archery much thought. The only image I had was of Kevin as a young blue-eyed boy – and as most young boys interested in danger and destruction – playing chicken, the archery version. A game where you direct your bow straight into the air and whoever stares up into its trajectory the longest is the winner – or is impaled. If you like doing dangerous things you probably know what I am talking about. I, on the other would shudder when I would ask Kevin to tell me about his childhood games.

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Even (as shown in these photos) is an instructor at Trackers, an admirable organization that teaches kids how to do compelling and adventurous things like track animals in the forest, throw knives (and tomahawks!) and shoot at things with bow and arrows. It was through Even’s stories of summer camp and Kevin’s nostalgic love of shooting at things that I felt inspired this week to go with Even and buy Kevin a bow and then test it out for myself. And after I read that archery has about as much injuries as bowling and less injuries than golfing a year, I was game.

Venture into the hills of Oakland and you will find an archery range called the Redwood Bowmen’s Archery Club. This is really manly, yet graceful stuff here. Surrounded by redwoods, sexy bowmen, and an archery trail that sports targets of shapely moose, how could it not be perfect.

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 Archery in its former life began in the Paleolithic/Mesolithic era. First came the atlatl (an ancient spear thrown contraption that everyone should read about) and then the subsequent evolution and reign of the bow and arrow. An inherent object of grace and style, manly, while also integrating into itself a certain finesse and grace. In my mind is the most metro sexual of all the killing machines.

One must only thing of bows and arrows to conjure up images of Greek mythology – feminine, naked men scampering through the forest killing young bucks or other mythological figures. And then of course there is Cupid, the naked baby. The scenes and poetic themes around Cupid and arrows are romantic in their references and as oft used to have been killed by Hallmark in a bloody death of repetition and holidays.

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000036Cupid was know to carry two arrows. One was golden tipped and filled the victim with uncontrollable desire and the other with a tip of lead which led to aversions and desire to leave.  Not often told there is also a story of Cupid as a honey thief (Even as beekeeper.)

“In the tale of Cupid the honey thief, the child-god is stung by bees when he steals honey from their hive. He cries and runs to his mother Venus, complaining that so small a creature shouldn’t cause such painful wounds. Venus laughs, and points out the poetic justice: he too is small, and yet delivers the sting of love.”

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Sadly, firearms were rendered archery obsolete. Gone were the days of men riding the Mongolian tundras or American West on horseback adroitly killing prey and/or enemies, and in came the cowboys and the era of erratic yet powerful muskets.
Then one day after the  Napoleonic Wars archery again became popular among the upper classes. Framed as “… a nostalgic re-imagining of the pre-industrial rural Britain”, it was also known for its popularity among females. “Young women could not only compete in the contests but retain and show off their sexuality while doing so. This archery came to act as a forum for introductions, flirtations, and romance. ” Archery parties were all the rage at this time and a perfect example of some of the fashionable pastimes of the rich and famous in Victorian times.

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I personally would love to host an archery party, except I don’t live  on a fancy grassy estate and as of my first experience I look like a scrunched up owl when shooting my bow.
Here’s to more hobbies, going into nature, and being a sexy come hither archer that shoots at the males of your desire with arrows of gold and not of lead.

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B Bryan Preserve

I am a cat person. Sort of. I view our cat as an independent agent, who moves where she pleases, her life moving in tandem with ours but out of  her own hopes and dreams and private realities. Which, is why I am really also a watching wild animals exist from afar sort of person too. B Bryan Perserve is the dream of this kind of animal lover, a man and wife who wanted to create a hybrid sanctuary but without having all the hassle of travel.

If you are traveling up the coast of Northern California you will pass this beautiful Victorian house slash African tundra. There are antelopes and zebras (most of them highly endangered) and the most wonderful/loving of all, their Rothschild giraffes. Even in the zoo you cannot get so close to these type of wild animals and the ability to get as close to them as if they were a cow is very exciting. The main attraction really are the giraffe which literally can be fed from ones month and will lick your face with their long protruding tongue if you allow it.

For people that just can’t get enough there are the cottages where you can have a retreat sort of experience and appreciate the immense beauty of the Mendocino coast. Otherwise there are tours twice a day for half the year that are currently $30 for an hour and half tour of the property (they also have the most beautiful garden ever).

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Cowboys and Horses

Sometimes I just wish life could be like it was in the olden days, where people were friends with their main modes of transportation. Days when you could ride your horse to the local bar and he might just remember where you live if you were too drunk to remember after. I don’t ride horses much but I can see how people crave the very natural connection it creates between human, animal, and nature.

To Market, To Market

DeWolfe is the kind of man with a mission.

Sometimes he is skinning a raccoon in his yard, that he found dead behind his car, and braintanning it (which is when you slurry all the brains and rub it all over the hide to preserve it). Other days he is cooking large fancy meals for fancy people in fancy places. Occasionally, he has large round sausages curing in his heated bathroom like a butcher. This day, he is picking up a large pig from the Ikea parking lot to cook for a feast.

As for me, I just like to come along for the ride.

Seafood Foraging

Everytime I take a class like this, I am constantly thinking of a (zombie?)apocalyptic moment. Urban weed foraging. Mushroom hunting. Documenting my neighbor skin a dead racoon. All fit under this category. Last month I decided to add seafood foraging to the list of skills to have at the end of the world. Ever since Kevin’s Portuguese Mother fed me five shrimp dishes and I felt a slight tingliness, I have been trying to stay away from seafood in general, so kelp was my main interest. Yet, it was still very interesting learning the different type of shellfish I could be eating mid winter, and the tasting of 20 different dishes with made in the class with all the freshly foraged shellfish has now cemented the fact that my psychosomatic reaction to shellfish is not quite fatal.

Denis Johnson of Adventure Sports Unlimited was our guide and our location was the coastline between Santa Cruz and San Francisco Bay, Pigeon Point. Low tide was in the afternoon and we all donned wet suits (except me, because I forgot one) and began our frolic among the jagged rock areas that would hold our dinner. Holey bags in hand and sand as our enemy, we collected enough for a  feast and learned enough to give us a good primer if we ever had the desire to cook a gourmet meal.

Limpets, Mussels, Goose Barnacles, Laminaria, Egregia, Hedophyllum, these were the things we collected plus much more. We even found a very vaginal looking Abalone, but responsibly put it back, because it was very much out of season.