Saturday, August 21, 2010
Blogorado update #1
In a nutshell - lots of fun being had by all!
I picked up Miss D. and Oleg from the airport in Denver as scheduled, and we headed out late morning for our destination. It took us 5 hours to get there, and the heat was brutal! Even with the air-conditioner at full blast, Miss D. was visibly wilting, and I don't blame her. She's come from thirty-something consecutive days of rain in Anchorage, at sea level, with a relatively humid climate and temperatures reaching 70° (Fahrenheit - equivalent to just over 21° Celsius) on only two of those days. Yesterday she flew in to 97° (equivalent to just over 36° Celsius), an altitude of well over 5,000 feet, and an extremely dry, non-humid atmosphere. Quite a change! Still, she drank lots of water, made a valiant effort, and survived the trip.
Things cooled down rapidly, and the evening was very pleasant indeed. We gathered at the FarmFamily's ancestral manse (home to FarmGrandMa and others), and enjoyed two varieties of lasagna prepared by the indispensable Gay_Cynic. The Atomic Nerds (who are driving around in a most un-nerd-like Dodge Ram heavy-duty four-wheel-drive pickup with a 5.7-liter Hemi engine, to the envy of many of the local farmers) provided their home-brewed beer in several varieties (ambrosia!). The conversations lasted long into the evening, and were loud and spirited. I'm not going to give away all the stories that were told, except to say that there was much laughter and mutual enjoyment. I'm sure many will be re-told on various blogs later this month, as people return to their normal lives.
This morning we gathered for breakfast at a local hostelry, which had obviously been warned about us - they put us in a separate room, far away from their regular guests, who might otherwise have been somewhat taken aback by the openly-carried weapons, loud banter, and enthusiastic devouring of vittles of various kinds. (I've never seen so many things added to oatmeal as Matt G. managed to add to his . . . I'm surprised he didn't have to call for a cauldron instead of a bowl to hold them all! Still, he seemed to enjoy it, and it certainly didn't hurt his shooting later.)
Then it was on to the range, set up about thirty miles outside town on FarmFamily land, where dirt removal has left several nice-sized berms to act as backstops. Falling-plate targets had been set up for handguns, and the rifle range faced the other way across many acres of open prairie. A thoroughly good time was had by all the shooters, who ranged from an enthusiastic four-year-old who had to be carefully watched and (to his vociferous indignation) restrained from time to time, to a septuagenarian Expert Witness who outshot just about everybody! The lovely Phlegm gritted her teeth and had a go at a cylinderfull of hot PMC 240gr. .44 Magnum ammo out of my Smith & Wesson Model 29. The explosions of dust from the backstop were awesome, and she handed it back with a large grin. To think that the lady was introduced to shooting only a couple of years ago! She's come a long way since then.
Miss D. had a ball with the prototype Kel-Tec PMR-30. She's shot it before with Oleg, and it seems to suit her very well. Given health issues, she can't handle a heavy-recoiling firearm, and is thus forced to look to lighter-caliber weapons for her defensive needs. Quite frankly, the thought of her armed with 30 rounds of high-velocity .22 Magnum ammo is a very warm and fuzzy one. I'd hate to be the evildoer who tried to get close to her through the hailstorm that thing throws out! We're definitely in the market for one of them for her. Production's just getting under way, so I think I know what she's getting for Christmas . . .
I left the rest at the range and headed back into town shortly after lunchtime. Driving about 1,600 miles over the past three days (particularly with my fused spine and injured nerves in my left leg) had been a bit too much, and my body was letting me know about it. Firmly. I put my head down for some much-needed rest this afternoon, and am posting this prior to heading for the FarmFamily manse once more. Tonight's menu: chicken-fried steak, as only FarmMom can make it (complete with her famous gravy), and scrappy nibbles for those who have yet to be introduced to them.