Into the woods
Yes, I survived the storm of the century, we never lost power at my house, but we did get 38 inches of snow. This meant LOTS of shoveling, even though we have to have our driveway plowed. Just to walk around the house took a full 15 mins, so I can honestly say I got my workouts in 🙂
I had a presentation (for work) to give in South Carolina early Monday morning, so I was lucky my flight on Sunday was just delayed (not cancelled), so I was able to make it to the forest before midnight. I work in the forest products industry, but I have never gotten an opportunity quite like this. I wasn’t speaking at a typical conference at a hotel or a board room to a bunch of company owners/directors, instead I got to give my presentation in a lodge literally in the middle of the forest. The lodging they provided for me was a cabin, with great views of the lake.
The best part was they had “forest activities” planned every afternoon. This meant you could sign up to go hunting, shoot in the pistol range, take an atv tour, guided fishing, etc. My schedule only allowed me to fit in 2 activities before flying back home, so I chose a locomotive simulation and (of course) archery.
The simulator was pretty cool, with you actually sitting in the “cockpit” of a train, with all the actual controls and views that the train’s engineer would have. You had to guide the train at a safe speed through tunnels, up and down hills, through crossing stations, etc all while meeting safety requirements and making sure your train remained attached without damaging any of the goods you were carrying. I was most surprised to learn how much the engineer actually does, as I always assumed it was similar to a pilot, where most things were now automated. This is not the case, and it can be overwhelming all the buttons to press, knobs to turn, levers to adjust. Overall, I managed to pass the simulation without incident, but I have a new-found appreciation for locomotive operators.
Now the fun part, ARCHERY. I was definitely excited for this portion of my trip. How many people actually get to do their hobby, while traveling for business? Quickly it became obvious that I knew what I was doing, so I was given a hunting bow and trigger release to use instead of the beginner bow that everyone was using. Immediately upon switching, I broke an arrow and ripped the fletchings off another. This definitely got people’s attention, so they started paying more attention to me then their own shooting.
I realize that most of those that signed up for the archery class were new to the sport, so you can’t place too much value in their opinions, but I have to say it felt pretty good regardless. At one point I had a group wanting my autograph before it “got too expensive.” I thought this was hilarious! The instructor/guide for the day did give me some tips and suggested that I look more into the 3D scene. He explained that there was a lot of money up for grabs, even for the women.
Overall, it was a great trip (which I can’t say too often for work trips). I gave a successful presentation, 2/3rds of which was NOT my material, enjoyed the outdoors and even got some fans 🙂 I’m just hoping I get invited back again next year!