Friday was a day for reunions with old friends, eating far too much, and preparing the Secret Shooting Range for the weekend’s festivities. Our hosts and several of our fitter, more mechanically minded members prepared steel targets by knocking off the rust gathered since last year and repainting them, then ferried everything out to the range area and set it up. We’ll have our usual four-range setup; a short-range one for handguns, a shorter-range rifle area (primarily for rimfire), a shotgun area, and a long-range rifle table where targets will be engaged out to 750 yards. As usual, people have brought a large variety of firearms with them, and they’ll be passed around so that everyone has the opportunity to experience everything. That’s part of the fun of Blogorado.
We have an overseas visitor this year. Julie from Jigsaw’s Thoughts, who lives in Australia, came over to join us, bringing several members of her family. They seem to be enjoying themselves, alternately boggling as our emergency response members (police, fire, EMS, etc.) exchange stories about the alarums and excursions that have entertained them, to handling all sorts of different weapons they can’t have (or even see) in Australia due to different gun laws and restrictions there. I think they’re going to particularly enjoy shooting the .50 BMG rifle that aepilotjim has brought along. (This year I’ve brought mostly boring stuff like shotguns and revolvers. I figured it would be better to spend time with the weapons I’d shot least in recent years, to keep up my familiarity with them. My 1927 modernized shotgun has attracted a lot of interest. I brought 250 rounds of buckshot with me, so we should be able to give it, and my other shotguns, a thorough function test.)
As always, the food at Blogorado is an event in itself. We have some very talented cooks among us, and they keep us well nourished. We started the day by meeting at a local hostelry for breakfast. Over the years (this is our ninth annual gathering) they’ve grown used to us. Now they open up a side room for us, complete with our own urn of coffee and a stack of mugs, and give us our own waitress (who’s usually run off her feet). Lunch was leftover chicken-fried steaks from last night, with a tray of pulled pork on the side, accompanied by rolls and potato salad. Supper was pot roast with potatoes and carrots, while Jennifer cooked her signature lumpia in the barn for those who like it – namely, everybody! We all stuffed ourselves. I reckon most of us leave Blogorado every year five to ten pounds heavier than when we arrived.
(Jennifer’s lumpia attracted some predatory attention from one of the younger feral barn cats. It spent quite a long time trying to figure out how to thread its way between the groups of chattering people, up to the table where the lumpia was laid out on a foil-lined tray, and then sneak up to the table-top to help itself. It kept getting thwarted by people moving around, and having to duck under cover to avoid them – tame, it ain’t. I pointed it out to Jennifer, and we watched in amusement as it finally made it to within a couple of feet of its objective . . . only to have to run for it as Jennifer walked up to rescue the food. That was one frustrated kitty!)
We also have our usual drink table going. Some of us bring favorite (often quite expensive) bottles for people to try. Others bring their home-brewed beer and cider, while Julie brought some Australian wines that she’d been able to find in US stores, to introduce us to them. There are the usual soft drinks, bottled water, and so on. If you go thirsty at Blogorado, it’s your own fault! Miss D. was rather taken with a keg of home-made cherry cider, and cheerfully informed me that I was driving back to our hotel, so that she could indulge properly. I was glad to oblige.
We’re staying at a rather interesting hotel this year. It was built as a stagecoach stop in the heyday of the Wild West during the second half of the nineteenth century. The original building burned down about seventy years ago, but was rebuilt in very similar fashion. The rooms are small, and the floors creak so loudly that it’s impossible to move quietly. There are steam radiators in the rooms for heat, but no air-conditioning (they install window units during summer, but take them out in the fall, when temperatures drop). Until we figured out how to turn off the steam radiator, our room was entirely too warm for comfort! As for wireless internet, they have it, but the signal’s so weak in our room that it might as well not be there at all. (I’m posting this from the lobby, where I can at least connect to the Internet!) I enjoy the historical atmosphere in this hotel, but I don’t find it very comfortable. I think we’ll be moving to another hotel next year.
This morning (Saturday) will start with breakfast at our gathering place. We’ll raid a couple of local stores for last-minute supplies (don’t want to run out of ammunition, you know!), then it’s off to our shooting range for a day of fun and games. High temperature should be in the mid-70’s, while the evening will cool down to the mid-40’s. Tomorrow should be similar, with a cold front moving in on Monday, possibly bringing some snow with it. However, that’s the day our gathering ends, so we’ll hopefully beat the storm out of town.
I’ll post again tonight or tomorrow. Please visit the bloggers mentioned in my sidebar if you’re short of reading matter.