Saturday morning dawned as comfortable as the previous days, though I did not wake up at the ass-crack of dawn this time. Christina was going about her morning ablutions, and I was sprawled across my bed, wasting time in the GBC like I always do. Salamander announced that he had made it into town last night (or some time in the wee hours of the morning, same thing) and that he was at Such-and-Such Motel... right behind mine!
So, of course, I wandered over and stood around, waiting for him to come outside, because I did not know who I was looking for. I had never met these people before, and though I recognized a few from pictures I'd seen on the internet (or met in real life that one time), this was a whole new ball game for me. The managers of the motel yelled across the parking lot if I needed help, seeing me standing there lookin' all lost and retarded, and I yelled back that no, I was just waiting for a friend to come out because I did not know which room he was in. And then, out stepped Sal!
We greeted and hugged, and stepped into his room while he squee'd all over the GBC about meeting another blogger, before logging off to accompany me to breakfast. We moseyed (is that even a real word?) over to the little cafe where everyone had agreed that we would breakfast every morning, and upon arrival, I announced, "Look what I found!" Introductions were made all around, coffee was ordered by everyone except AD and his daughter, and then the FarmParents showed up with their grandson, FarmGirl's nephew, in tow, who would be there to play with KatyBeth. It's so nice to have someone your own age to play with, right?
After breakfast, we all caravaned out to the FarmFam House once more, drank some more coffee, and stood around shuffling our feet for only a little bit. The message was clear, written on everyone's faces: we were anxious to go get some much-loved recoil therapy. Finally, the message went out: Load up! Let's go!
And out to the range we went.
AD had informed me on the ride back in the day before that he had brought several guns specifically for teaching me and Christina how to shoot, so I knew who to stick close to. That, and I knew him the best, considering how I fangirl'd over him for so long and met him a few months back. He's my buddy, it's true.
For a while after we got to the range, everyone was doing last-minute set-up: loading magazines, organizing ammo and guns on tables, and people were wandering from truck to truck to see what was offered before it all got laid out. Christina and I, seeing as we didn't have any guns to shoot of our own, stood around looking useless before volunteering ourselves for mag-loading duty. AD set a box in front of us and several magazines and set us to task, and pretty soon, all was ready.
Some people decided they wanted to shoot at the rifle range first, so I stood around to watch and take some pictures for a moment before boogeying over to the pistol range to let some rounds fly.
That AR-15? Yeah, I fell in love with that pretty baby. I gotta get me one of them!
After a few minutes of watching them shoot the rifles, I followed the crowd over to the pistol range, where AD began to give lessons to Christina and I on the various guns he had brought for exactly that reason. We shot several .22s, and then he broke out his Glock 17 and handed it off to us. We took turns putting rounds through it, and my hand stung slightly afterwards, not being used to the recoil of something more than .22.
I saw Sal standing back at the table, and I peeked over his shoulder to see what he had.
"I only brought my new 1911 and enough ammo for this."
That, my darling readers, is a handful of happy. What a pretty sight!
People would step up to the lines, take aim, and fire, going for either paper targets, fall-down poppers, or metal plates on a shelf. After everything was down, someone would call the range cold, and while they were picking up plates and poppers, everyone else would shuffle back to the table to reload or pick up a different firearm to shoot.
At some point, I migrated back over to the rifle range and parking area, breezing right past a table set up with leftovers for lunch, to see a few folks sitting around chowing down. "Where's the food at?" "That table you just walked by."
Fixed myself a plate and sat down, chewing the fat with FarmMom while chewing her delicious food, when I happened to look up and see a cloud of dust up on the road.
"That's probably Phlegmmy and LawDog."
Omigawd! Christina was about to flip her shit, for sure. Her and Phlegmmy are great friends, and they were excited about finally getting to meet face-to-face.
They arrived, and Christina did the honor of introducing me to Phlegmmy while LawDog bounced around from person to person. Another one of the first bloggers I read, was he, and I was a might nervous about meeting him, and said as much to Phlegmmy, who promptly called him over for introductions.
Such lovely people!
While we all ate, and the newcomers set up their offerings to the Gun Gods, Salamander raised his pants legs for an interesting shot of his knee beards.
(Picture courtesy of Stingray)
Uhm. Interesting growth there, Sal.
After stuffing our faces, we were eager, of course, to return to the shooting. Back on the pistol range, Alan broke out this pretty toy:
I wouldn't get to shoot it until Sunday, but it was nice to gawk at. Fully automatic, wut.
My head is just... spinning with all the different guns that were shot, I can't even begin to keep them all straight, I really can't.
Over at the rifle range once more, I watched AEPilotJim shoot his AR-15 once more, and when he emptied the magazine it was holding, he turned to see a forlorn expression on my face.
"You want to shoot it?"
"I thought you'd never ask!"
He showed me how to load the magazine and snap it into place, where the safety was, and how the sight worked, then turned me loose to have some fun.
Oh. My. God.
I'm in love.
Want. Want very bad. WAAAAAAAAANT.
Breda took a seat at the rifle table in front of one of the M24 snipers, and went to town at the 240 yard half-size target (effectively a 500 yard shot, I'm informed). Couldn't resist snapping a pic of that, of course.
While everyone was gathered around watching Breda on the sniper, I saw Sal sneak off by himself to the pistol range, and being the nosey little brat I am, followed to see what the deal was.
He was getting some one-on-one time with his Les Baer 1911, which he offered to let me try. Seeing as I had not yet had the opportunity to shoot something in .45 ACP, I gratefully accepted, and got 5 out of 7 on the popppers. First magazine through the first .45 I ever shot, not bad.
I now know which side of the Glock vs. 1911 argument I fall on, that's for sure.
At one point, I glanced over to discover that KatyBeth had grown bored with playing NCIS with someone her own age, and decided she wanted a turn, too!
People were migrating to and from the two ranges quite often, myself included, as once again I was back over at the pistol range. The sun was beginning to set, and everything had a lovely warm glow.
LabRat was standing off next to the pistol table, and I stepped up next to her, looking at all the guns spread out before me. "I want to shoot something, but I don't know what," I said to her.
"How about one of the wedding rings?" she asked, lifting the lid on a case that held the two beauties.
Don't gotta ask me twice.
I picked up the darker of the two and was informed it was Stingray's. I went to set it back down and go for hers, not wanting to offend the man I did not know very well by shooting his gun without permission, but she shook her head and handed me a magazine to load. "It's cool, just go for it."
I handed over my camera and stepped up, aimed, and fired! So nice!
Aim, squeeze... click. "What the?"
Rack the slide back, ejected the shell it didn't want to let go of, try again.
Click. Looked over at LabRat nervously, who approached to help me sort out this problem. "Papa Baer's been kind of bratty here lately," she said, handing me the gun back.
Okay, let's try one more time.
Aim, squeeze.... click. Wail. "LabRat! He hates me!"
She growled and manhandled Stingray's gun, uttering death threats before handing it back to me with a dark smile. After that, the gun behaved. Always fear Mama, for she has the power to END YOU.
The sun was dipping lower on the horizon and a chill was starting to set in, so we loaded up for the trek back into town. I rode back in with Salamander, bullshitting about this, that, and everything in between during the ride.
At one point, still on dirt and gravel road, we saw everyone had stopped. Alan and Breda had pulled off to the side, set the truck in park, and were sitting there contently watching the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. "We'll be back into town shortly," they told us, and on the rest of us went.
Being covered in dust and dirt, most of us stopped by our respective motel rooms to tidy up first. Christina, though she is a darling, always seems to take forever, so by the time we got over to the house for dinner, everyone else had arrived.
AD held out a platter to me. "Try a scrappy nibble."
And I made the mistake of trusting him. Little bite-sized deep fried chicken-nugget looking things. Can't be that bad. Popped one into my mouth and chewed. Chewy. Still, not too horribly bad. And then I saw the look on Breda's face, and Alan next to her trying so hard not to laugh. Realization dawned.
"What is this stuff?" I asked.
"Just finish eating it," Breda said quietly.
My eyes got big. "What is it?" I repeated urgently, slowing my chewing.
Breda shook her head, Alan looked like he was about to explode if he didn't let out his laughter, and AD said from (a safe distance) across the garage, "How you like those testicles, Snarky?"
I raged. I cursed. I gagged. God damn it!
Of course, Mamaw grabbed my arm a few minutes later after I had finally choked the Rocky Mountain Oysters down. "You want some more?"
Oh god no!
"Before you knew what they were, they tasted good, right?"
I feared I had offended her cooking. Of course ma'am, they were very good!
"Then eat some more. Regardless of what they are, they still taste good."
She had a point. So I ate some more. I will admit, they tasted good, but just the fact that I knew I was chewing on what used to be some calf's family jewels was a very off-putting thought.
More delicious food was consumed, this evening's meal being chicken fried steak, and we all made fun of Breda for never trying it. What do you expect of a Yankee?
I had not burned that much energy in a long time, and I was exhausted. I was not the only one: little KatyBeth was getting cranky from being tired as well, so after much ribbing about being a lightweight, for I had only drunk half a beer, and my indignant protests of bodily exhaustion and not drunken exhaustion, I caught a ride back to the motel, only to fall asleep with my laptop in my lap.
So. Damn. Tired.
But it was a good kind of tired.
I needed my rest. There was more shooting to come the next day, and more company. MattG and JPG were due to arrive the next day!