While I’m open to all kinds of once-in-a-lifetime adventures, there are some I’m just not physically cut out for. Like these Becoming An Outdoors-Woman weekends, for example. Fortunately we were able to persuade special correspondent Christina Newton to attend a recent two-day B.O.W. program and bring us this report:
Looking down the barrel of my 20-gauge shotgun, I track the fluorescent-orange disc streaking across the blue California sky. Without hesitation I pull the trigger and—BLAMO!—the four-inch clay target is blown to smithereens. As my classmates erupt in a spontaneous round of applause, all I can think is “Dang, this is fun!”
You might wonder what an ordinary minivan-driving mother is doing here pumping these harmless skeet-shooting targets full of hot lead. Actually, it was the promise of just this kind of extraordinary experience that drew my friend Karen and I to this Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) weekend.
These two-and-a-half-day sampler programs, which are held at locations throughout the U.S., are designed to introduce women of all ages and backgrounds to a wide variety of traditionally male-dominated outdoor sports. Our B.O.W. weekend’s menu of available classes included everything from backcountry navigation using GPS and topographical maps to Dutch-oven cooking.
In fact, the most difficult part of the entire program was choosing which outdoor activities we wanted to try. Ultimately, we ended up signing up for workshops that seemed like they’d be the biggest stretch for a couple of big-city girls.
Like our archery class, for instance, where we got to enjoy the satisfying “thwap” as our arrows hit the target, even if they weren’t exactly bullseyes. Or an introduction to fly-fishing session where, suited up in full gear, I waded into the river and landed my first leaf. Or the twilight kayak paddle where we got to watch the full moon rise over the Sierra Nevada mountains.
By the time we got to the skeet shooting range Sunday morning, I really felt like I was beginning to get the hang of this outdoors-woman thing. At least until I reached into my pocket for a shotgun shell and ended up trying to slip my lipstick into the gun’s open chamber!
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