Just came back from a long weekend at "Secret Location" Colorado. It was a family trip to have a freaking blast with a bunch of pretty much strangers.
Ok.. They were strangers to me and GFB, but sort of known via the Blogosphere by BFB. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous going into a completely unknown situation. I was told that the hosts were aware of our relationship situation and that the invitation had been indeed extended to ALL OF US. Still.. Nerves and such.
I swear this was the single most awesome group of strangers I've ever had the honor and pleasure to meet. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and yes... There were some questions about the relationship, but I don't mind having a DTR conversation with someone who is genuinely interested and not being icky or judgmental.
We had 3 days of shooting in the desert, beautifully awesome weather, a ton of fantastic food, decent booze (AFTER the shooting was done of course), and great company.
Highlights of the weekend...
*EXPLOSIVES!! (Totally legal, appropriate person with the right permits etc) I got to blow stuff up. Made a shot from around 330 yards, into something roughly the size of quart of paint, (taped together dynamite!!) with a fairly new rifle (.223) that apparently had a loose mount for the scope. Needless to say I'm totally stoked and pretty proud of myself. I also made a shot from about 50 feet or so (maybe less) with a silenced .22 rifle into a very small bit of dynamite. Way less of a boom than the other, but still really fantastic! BFB also had a fantastic shot into a much larger quantity from the 330 yard mark!
The same person who brought the explosives was also nice enough to bring a bowling ball mortar. This was so cool. Black powder, bowling ball, blasting cap, and pull the string to make a big boom! Also a neat factoid.. The holes in the bowling ball give this thing a hell of a whistle for the duration of the balls flight. (imagine blowing across the opening of a beer bottle at high speed)
*2 mag dumps from a Tommy Gun. If you've never had the opportunity to try automatic weapons, I highly recommend it. It's a fantastic rush and causes a bit of a permasmile. Which for those of you who know me, is a huge difference from my baseline RBF (Resting Bitch Face) I think I smiled all weekend long!
*A few shots from a .50 caliber rifle. Talk about power!
*Chicken butchering. Now, Me being ME, I did not participate in this ceremony. Although I think GFB was the ringleader. Several of the participants ended up with some blood spatter, and sort of looked like something out of a crime scene, but it made for some damn fresh and tasty fried chicken.
*AWESOME, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL, TASTY FOOD! Thanks so much to Desi and Farm Mom for all work they put into feeding us all so well. Cooking for 35 people is a challenge, and they did an amazing job!
Something also has to be said about the firearms. I didn't count, but I'm going to say conservatively that there were about 20 people at a time between the 4 ranges (Pistol...25 yards,Short Rifle...100 yards to sight in rifles and plink, a Trap Range, and a Long rifle range... about 1000 yards, with targets at 250, 330, 500, and 750 yards) and likely 100 different guns circulating through over the course of the weekend. Many of us were (with permission of course) shooting other peoples weapons and shooting weapons that were entirely new and unfamiliar to us. The road to get to the parking area went directly through the Long Rifle range, and our impromptu outdoor bathroom facilities were somewhere over the ridge beyond the trap range. With the exception of a few scraped knuckles, a bit of sunburn, a nasty foot blister, and a nice scrape of an elbow from a gun with a lot of kick causing said elbow to ride on some rough plywood, there weren't any injuries.
With all the news lately about how "Guns kill people" and all the anti gun sentiment I think this is significant. If you listened to some of the extreme anti gunners out there, you'd think it was a near miracle that we all came out unscathed. And I see lots of comments attached to these anti gunner's posts about Dumb Rednecks, and Ignorant Gun Owners. I just want to point out that the combined intelligence at The Range this past weekend was staggering. We had at least 5 police officers, more Military (active and retired) than I can count, MENSA members, Military consultants, an Emergency Medicine educator with years of experience, several published authors, scientists out of Los Alamos, a Critical Care Nurse, an Emergency Physician and much much more. Many of us were prepared with medical equipment of various kinds, and I don't think we used more than a couple of Band-Aids all weekend. This is because we were prepared, we used safe procedures, and we respected each other and the weapons we were using.
It was wonderful to get out in the daylight under such Big Sky, and play with all of the great people I met. I already have it plugged into my calendar for next year.