Albuquerque · New Mexico · Outdoors · Travel

Arrows, Atl-Atls, and Abiquiu, Oh My!

One word describes last weekend: adventures.

On Saturday, I participated in my first weekend archery shoot. Shifting from lower-key Thursday shoots to a bigger weekend one meant it wouldn’t just be my boyfriend and I meandering from target to target – we would be in a group with four or five other people. All of them more experienced than I.

Oh well! I was determined to have fun and to not take things too seriously. Learning = good; fretting = bad.

Well, wouldn’t you know, we were assigned to shoot with the best archers at the range. I kid you not. One of the guys ended the day with a score that more than tripled mine.


Honestly, though? I didn’t mind. I made a conscious effort to keep my focus on fun, and it worked. And the guys in our group were great, keeping the mood light and offering me matter-of-fact-but-tactful advice. The advice must have paid off: even though I have a long ways to go, I shot better that day than I ever have.

BONUS: I got first place in the Women’s Traditional class!!! Small matter that I was the only one in that class.


On Sunday, after I snuck in a long run, we went to an event called Survival New Mexico at Las Golondrinas. Las Golondrinas is a very cool living history ranch/village near Santa Fe, and the event was a veritable festival of wilderness skills. Here’s a sampling of things visitors could learn to do: candle-making, food preservation, building a fire with flint, making bows, flint-knapping, blacksmithing, tanning hides…the list goes on. We got to throw atl-atls, taste homemade beef jerky and parched corn, poke around a grist mill, and talk to all sorts of interesting people. It was not only fun, but downright educational. I would definitely go back.

From Las Golondrinas, did we head back to Albuquerque? Nope! The boyfriend wanted to drive out to Abiquiu to scout out some hunting ground. One Sunday road trip, coming right up!

The drive out was pleasant: we had full bellies thanks to a Navajo taco we’d shared at Las Golondrinas, and we had a book-on-tape (or the 2013 equivalent) called How I Got This Way by a very funny man named Patrick McManus. We cruised along, and before I knew it, some of the prettiest vistas I’d ever seen in New Mexico spread before me. We were in Abiquiu, the former stomping/painting grounds of Georgia O’Keeffe. All of the recent rainfall in the region had made the place a green, blossoming paradise.

Ah, yes. The rainfall.

We found the small mountain that was our destination, and commenced driving up its dirt road. It was narrow, winding, and steep.

With no guard rails.

Did I mention the recent rainfall?

With less than a mile to go…we turned back. The road was just getting worse, and neither of us cared for the idea of getting stuck overnight. Back to Albuquerque we went, disappointed in the futile effort, but certain that turning around had been the correct, responsible decision. And on our way home, we did that which makes any road trip absolutely worthwhile: we stopped for Moon Pies.

Summer was made for adventures. Go out and have some great ones while there’s still a little of the season left!


7 thoughts on “Arrows, Atl-Atls, and Abiquiu, Oh My!

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