Monday, October 12, 2015
Blogorado, Day 4
Another great day on the plains of Colorado . . . and, sadly, the last full day of Blogorado for this year.
We met as usual for our breakfast session at a local eatery. I don't know whether to be sorry for the poor waitress who's assigned to handle a party of 20-30 hungry, happy, loud people in a side room, or be happy for her because we tip more generously than the locals. I've no idea how much money our Blogorado gathering puts into the economy of this small town every year, but it's probably enough to be a noticeable uptick on the local economic chart. For example, I know there's a small liquor store whose owner smiles every time he sees one of us come through the door. We aren't heavy drinkers, but several of us like to buy a bottle of our favorite tipple and put it out on the table for anyone who wants to sample it. He keeps a selection of 'the good stuff' in stock, more so than other local stores, to our pleasure and his profit. The table this year boasted Grand Marnier liqueur, Macallan Scotch whisky, Makers 46 bourbon (Miss D.'s and my contribution) and other high-end liquors. Several attendees also buy cases of their favorite beer. I think that store owner would like us to hold another Blogorado every quarter!
After breakfast Miss D. and I finally got to meet the kittens. They're at the adorable fluffball stage where half the time they're moving slowly, blinking sleepily at the world around them, allowing themselves to be picked up and scritched. Five seconds later they're wide awake, jumping like popcorn on the griddle and attacking everything and everyone in sight (including each other and their mother) with great gusto. A red crawfish toy on a string proved irresistible, with all five fluffballs surrounding it as it bounced and bobbed, pouncing on it with kittenish gusto (i.e. not much accuracy, but great enthusiasm and the occasional mid-air collision). I think Farmgirl would have been delighted to see some of the kittens go home with Blogoradans, but they're a bit too small to be taken from their mother as yet. I hope she can find homes locally for them all.
Then it was off to the range for our last day of shooting. It was very hot (temperatures well into the 90's), and as a result I think many people called it a day after only a few hours in the sun (including yours truly). I was able to complete the 'torture test' of my two Taurus .44 Magnum revolvers, with over 200 rounds through each of them. Both passed, one doing better than the other, but both still entirely serviceable. I'll write up the results of the test in a separate post later today. Much full-auto fun was had with a Tommy gun and other noisy things. Between the Thompson and individuals' pistols, I've no idea how many .45 ACP rounds went downrange, but it's got to be way up in the thousands. It's a popular cartridge among us (deservedly so, IMHO). There were also many exchanges of personal weapons, with invitations to put a magazine or three downrange. This is a very useful part of Blogorado, allowing us to sample others' choices of defensive weapon and hear their reasons for choosing it. We learn a lot.
I must confess to a certain satisfaction at my shooting performance. As I said the other day, following my spinal injury in 2004 I'll never again be able to 'run-and-gun' as I once used to. My overall mobility, speed and agility are permanently impaired. On the other hand, my accuracy is still pretty good. If one takes ringing the steel targets as an indicator of marksmanship, I was well up in the top quarter of the shooters at the handgun range. (It was also interesting to see what would put down a steel target, and what would merely make it ring. With minor calibers the poppers [similar to this one, in large and small sizes], all set to a constant resistance level, would ring, but not always fall. With larger calibers (.40 S&W, .45 ACP, etc.) they would go down most of the time. When hit with .44 Magnum they usually went down hard. It was an impressive comparison of momentum and 'smackdown energy' between calibers and cartridges.)
I found the heat enervating, so I headed back to my hotel room to count the wrinkles in the ceiling for a couple of hours during the afternoon, rejoining the gathering in the evening. A few particularly brainless chickens made the terminal error of getting in FarmDad's way once too often, so they were forcibly migrated to the grill, from which tempting odors arose. There was also plenty of food left over from our first three evenings, so everything got put out on tables and people were invited to help themselves. Needless to say, we needed no second invitation!
Sadly, our numbers diminished during the day. Some attendees had to be at work tomorrow, so they had to catch flights in cities a few hours' drive from here, and left during the morning. Others decided to stay on for one last meal tonight, then drive through the night to get to their destinations by morning. (Sooner them than me! I'm getting too old for that.) Miss D. and I will be here until the bitter end, joining the remaining participants for breakfast before starting our roundabout return journey. We'll be in Amarillo for one night, to visit an author friend, then head back via northern Texas where we'll visit more friends. We should be back home by next weekend.