By Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher ©2015
(Part 3 in a Series)
Twang! The string sends the arrow whizzing through the air faster than the eye can perceive, slicing past leaves and tree trunks and then – thwack! – it hits its target. Move over Katniss Everdeen (central character in the Hunger Games franchise). Archery class at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia brings a heady rush of primeval emotions, even if the arrowhead’s target is a bull’s eye used for teaching this ancient sport.
Wintergreen Resort is well known for skiing in the winter and golfing in warm weather, but many other activities great for all ages. Jared Reinmiller, the archery instructor, took us through a training course of getting fitted for our bows and safe-handling them and the arrows, which are to be pointed down whenever walking. The video accompanying this post shows him (and us) in action.
Reinmiller went over the names for the equipment:
- Bow and string are pretty easy to identify.
- The armguard is a leather pad worn on the inside of the forearm to protect against the bowstring’s strike,.
- The arrow itself has its own parts – the shaft; the head (tip of the arrow); the nocks (the notch where the arrow fits the bowstring); and the feather – appropriate here because a fletcher (maybe this is why Fletcher did so well) is the person who attaches the feathers to the shaft.
- Each arrow has three feathers, the cock feather placed at a right angle from the nock, which lets the other two pass smoothly over the bow upon loosing the arrow (letting go of the string).
Reinmiller showed us how to hold the bow, nock the arrow, draw back the string and “loose” it (meaning let the arrow fly). Aiming was a little awkward, because sighting the arrow to the target was not just looking down the shaft, but following Reinmiller’s advice to point the arrow tip a little lower and to the right of the bull’s eye worked well. Both of us successfully shot arrows into the center circle, and our hits patterned well, meaning they were close together.
We shot several rounds (called ends), shooting six arrows each time. The targets were moved farther back with each round, increasing the challenge, but the results were all in good fun. Luckily we were not under the pressure of having to hunt for our food, or our lives as if we were in the Hunger Games. Akin to most forms of outdoor recreation, the central idea was being outside on a beautiful afternoon. Toward that end, the outing hit a bullseye.
If You’re Going: Wintergreen Resort has loads of year-round activities. The children’s program at the Discovery Ridge Adventure Center features a climbing tower, bungee trampoline, Bounce Bot inflatable, mechanical bull, mini golf and more. The Spa at Wintergreen is adjacent to the indoor aquatics and fitness center. There’s mountain biking, horseback riding and golf and tennis, the latter with standout instruction and popular Nike Tennis Camps. As to snow skiing, check out Wintergreen’s Mountain Cam to see current conditions.
The Nelson County region in central Virginia offers a variety of day trips, with lakes, wineries, a hard cidery, three distilleries, orchards, antiques shops, historic properties, scenic drives plus lots of outdoor adventure, especially with Charlottesville, Monticello and Lynchburg not far away.
Upcoming: Through Dec. 31, the resort offers its Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas and then its New Year’s Celebration. December will also see the publication of the book “For Love of the Land: The History of Wintergreen.” The prologue begins: “The legacy of Wintergreen belongs to those who dreamed it, those who sold the dream, and those who sold the dream, and those who turned it into reality. Its natural beauty existed long before its inception, setting the stage for the dream and thankfully is still largely intact today…”
For more, visit WintergreenResort.com or call 855.839.2263.
If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy:
• Other stories by Newbern and Fletcher
• Other Stories by JS Fletcher,
• Stories by Kathy M. Newbern, Luxury Travel Examiner
Luxury Travel Examiners Kathy M. Newbern and spouse J.S. Fletcher report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.