Ruthie and Jo Bartle of Garden Valley said they haven't had a date night in two years.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that changed on a recent Saturday when the Bartles were able to drop their children off with family and go down the road to their neighborhood ax throwing spot.
"We haven't thrown axes before," Joe said. "I knew there was a place in Dallas, but I broke my wrist and couldn't do it because they want you to throw the ax with two hands."
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East Texas Axe Throwing provided the opportunity.
The business, which opened in mid-March, is the creation of co-owners Nathan Das and Abram Lindvall.
Das said he has lived in the Garden Valley area since 2002. After doing some ax throwing during a trip to Ohio, he decided he was going to bring it to East Texas.
Lindvall said he did ax throwing when he was a child and when Das suggested adding the activity to The Mill, a sawmill and carpentry business off County Road 4145 near Garden Valley, they knew they had something the community would enjoy.
What was once a dilapidated shop has been transformed into a barn where The Mill displays its products. In the back, four large wooden bull's-eye targets are centered on a wall where people can take aim with axes.
Community is the biggest part of it," Lindvall said. "We just want folks to come out and have a bunch of fun and maybe we can show some people how to do some country things and get out of the city."
Das said they started out with a social media page.
"We knew it was something we could do at the lumber mill," Das said. "It's a business opportunity for us, but we really want to build community."
The wooden boards are first sprayed with water to make the wood softer and help the axes stick in the wood. Lindvall and Das give a quick lesson on how to throw an ax and some safety tips. Four throwers are allowed to step up to the line at once and throw an ax.
Ax throwers can expect to play some games with other throwers as they work on their lumberjack skills and throw for a bull's-eye at the family-friendly venue.
The owners' future plans include having leagues, league nights and membership opportunities.
East Texas Axe Throwing is open on a reservation system from 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The cost is $30 for two hours of ax throwing. There are discounts for group reservations. A group of six ax throwers will receive one half-price ticket. One person can throw for free in a group of eight and two people can throw for free when 12 people are booked.
The business is open to flexing the times to accommodate people's needs, but they try to keep it from 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They could open it to other days and times as interest develops.