Saturday, October 6, 2012

On the ground at Blogorado

Miss D. and I have arrived safely at the fourth annual Blogorado celebrations after an interesting journey.  We flew out of a comfortably mid-70-degree-ish Nashville on Thursday into a mid-30-degree-ish Denver, wearing T-shirts - and with our warm clothing safely stowed in the belly of the aircraft!  Not good planning . . . but we survived.

We picked up our rental car (whose quoted price over the Internet miraculously almost tripled once various fees, charges, taxes and imposts were added to it . . . but by that stage we had no room to maneuver or argue.  Grrr!), then headed for Colorado Springs, where we spent the night.  We visited one of our favorite authors there, taking her and her husband out to a Thai restaurant they chose for supper.  (Yummy!)  She gifted us copies of several of her books, which pleased us enormously and has given us plenty of reading material.  (We brought our full baggage allowance of ammunition to shoot at Blogorado, and don't expect to take any home with us;  so the books will nicely replace that weight on our return journey!)

We woke yesterday morning to find our car covered in a light layer of snow and ice.  Only then did we discover that the rental company hadn't provided a scraper!  We warmed away enough of it (and Miss D. chipped enough away with a handy plastic membership card) to see where we were going, then drove to a local supermarket, where we bought a scraper and more warm clothing.  Once equipped for the much colder conditions here, we headed for our destination.

Last night was assembly and reunion night, as Blogorado participants rolled into town from all directions.  It was lovely to see old friends again, and make several new ones among participants newly invited or whom we'd missed due to not being able to attend last year's event.  Many hugs were exchanged, many guns were handed round in extended show-and-tell sessions (I lust after Farmdad's CZ 452, which has the best trigger I've ever encountered on a rimfire rifle), and much good food was eaten (addictively delicious jalapeno summer sausage home-made by FarmDad, beef brisket courtesy of Phlegmmy, pulled pork courtesy of FarmMom and FarmGirl, New England lobster flown in by another blogger participant [whose identity I regrettably didn't confirm, but I'll add here as soon as I find out] and boiled in a very non-New-England turkey fryer [using water, not oil, of course], and lashings of other goodies).  It's a good thing Blogorado calories don't count . . . right?

It's also the opening weekend of hunting season, so all the hotels are filled with eager hunters ready for the fray.  Since about four this morning the parking lot of our motel has resounded with the clatter of gear being loaded, the roar of engines being gunned, and the eager chatter of wannabe pronghorn eaters.  (As a result of their influx, our hotel booking had been 'lost' - presumably to be filled by eager, deeper-pocketed hunters - so Miss D. and I had to grab the last available room at a lesser, very basic fleapit.  It's not great, but at least we have a bed for Blogorado!)

Blogging will continue to be light until we get home on Monday evening.  I'll put up a couple more articles for scheduled posting, and try to update you on what happens when a couple of dozen bloggers and their partners get together to shoot scores of weapons and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.  Despite the cold weather, it should be a blast - literally!



Toejam said...

"We picked up our rental car whose quoted price over the Internet miraculously almost tripled once various fees, charges, taxes and imposts were added to it."

Yup it applies to most rental companies. I don't book on the internet. I call the 800 number and talk to a human. First and foremost I tell the agent I'm recording the conversation, then I proceed to ask for a quote with FULL insurance (walk away from a total wreck, fire or water damaged incident and owe zip deductible. Then there's the personal injury insurance. Unless your own insurer covers rentals get the highest you can. If there are injuries you'll be glad you took it. GPS charges are pretty stiff. If you have one and there's room to carry it take yours along.

Don't forget the Local, city, State and Federal taxes too. Question the agent.

Drop off charges apply if you don't return it to the same place you got it AND be sure to fill the tank just before dropping the car off.

Ask for all the details and get charges. If you're not recording get someone on an extension to write all the charges down.

Finally, when returning you'll get an itemized bill. Make sure there aren't any charges on there you didn't agree to. Then tell the agent at the drop off you're going to make a written complaint to Visa or Master card withholding any charges that are in dispute. The credit card company will do this if you put the disputed charges in writing.

Check you credit card bill and see if the rental charge agrees with your figures.

DaddyBear said...

Enjoy your adventure!

I've had the "Well, that's just the charge for the car" discussion before, and you're right. By the time you're in front of the rental counter, they've got you.

It's disappointing that a hotel would do that to you. I'm sure your rate was at least close to what they would have charged to a hunter.

And yes, I'm jealous, why do you ask?

Rev. Paul said...

Trying very hard not to be jealous, whilst reminding myself that it's invitation only ... and failing miserably. :^)

Have a great time!

Glenn B said...

Have fun.

Now tell me, what exactly is Blogorado? I am guessing a meet-up of blggers with an interest in shooting but that is just my guess. Is it an annual event? Is it by invitation only? Are there sceduled events at it? And so on.

All the best,

Flier389 said...

Some cold weather, a little snow, and some great food. Along with some fire arms, and friends. Now that sounds like a great weekend to me.
You should come back, when we have more snow. and do some out door shooting then.
Hope you all had a good time.

Old NFO said...

The Lobstah would have been courtesy of Sci-Fi and the Mrs. Enjoy and yeah, they DO screw you on car rentals...

Glenn said...

There is a huge, extra state tax on cars hired at IAD and for its purposes, IAD extends into downtown Denver - a fifty mile radius or some such! I narrowly avoided this a few years ago because the rental agency had run out of cars and couldn't provide one for a day and a half - and the tax only applies during the first (I think)24 hours after arrival at IAD.

Jay G said...


Lobstah was provided by SCI-FI and his missus IIRC.