Aug 5, 2009

Epic ... Just Epic

As previously mentioned, I was heading up to NH for the Second-ish Annual Northeast Bloggershoot.

I got up Saturday morning and loaded the truck (after re-locating the pile o' gear I had set aside the morning before, and MrsZ had helpfully put back into appropriate places), then headed for Major Caudill's place. The first part of the drive was fine - some minor construction on I88, but nothing serious. Just north of Albany, the confusion began.

Mapquest directions had me taking an exit off I87 towards Bennington and taking the scenic tour across southern Vermont. TomTom wanted me to continue north on I87 for another 40 miles. I followed the Mapquest version, and wound my way up and down across Vermont, most of the time stuck behind tourists and other slow drivers who were busy taking in the scenery - there doesn't seem to be an interstate that goes East-West across VT, or at least not in a convenient spot. I eventually made it on to I91 and then I89 and arrived at Marko's just in time for dinner with his lovely wife and two sweet kids.

After dinner we moseyed into town for a cup of coffee and his postponed Dadcation, gassed up his people-mover, and I grabbed a couple sundries I'd forgotten in my packing haste (toothbrush is a good thing). Back to Castle Frostbite, and bed. I had been assured that a 2- and 4-year-old would negate the need for an alarm clock, so I didn't set one - and was awoken the next morning by Marko knocking on the door... Seems the kids decided to sleep in too.

A quick breakfast (waffles from scratch!), and we transferred my pile o' hardware to Marko's van, and headed towards the range. Picked up another shooter along the way, and off to DoubleTrouble's SooperSekrit range...

We arrived around 11:45, and made introductions as necessary. Some folks (I'm looking at you, JayG) needed no introduction. Quite a group - and a wildly impressive collection of hardware. C&R galore, black rifles galore, bottom-feeders, wheelguns, leverguns, single-shots ... rifles, pistols, shotguns, NFA ... Oh yes, my friends, there were rifles with a giggle-switch, and pistols and rifles with suppressors, and a short-barreled shotgun... bayonets hither and yon, on rifles, on shotguns, on pistols... and on an Uzi. Yes, a REAL Uzi. Short-barrel, full-auto, folding stock.

And ALL of this hardware is 100% legal where we were - in NH.

Several folks tried the hardware I'd brought along, I tried many other pieces of hardware (NAA Mini - that's a hoot!) and got to shoot the full-auto AR. Fun - VERY fun - but I could never afford to feed one even if I could own it here in NY. Owning a full-auto gun - of any kind - and shooting it semi-auto only is like (to quote Marko) owning a Porsche and driving it at exactly 55mph all the time. What's the point?

There was an unofficial BOOM contest - which was handily won by the Ruger Super Alaskan in .454 Casull. Holy wrist-wrench... but surprisingly manageable for what it was. Still, stiff. I didn't get a chance to shoot the Snubbie From Hell, but I expect there will be another opportunity sometime.

After burning ammo for several hours, completely demolishing the Pikachu (see the other AARs for that tidbit) and several Zeds, and enjoying some great time with awesome folks, we loaded up Marko's mover again, and headed back to Castle Frostbite. Once there, I swapped my hardware and ammo back into my truck and headed back to the southwest. I left his place in a light rain around 7:30. It rained all the way across Vermont - and this time I tried the TomTom directions just for variety. It took me out across Vermont, through Woodstock, Rutland, and I picked up I87 in Glens Falls or thereabouts. It rained the whole damn time - and those mountains in Vermont only make it darker. I stopped in Rutland for a quick bite and gas and kept on moving...

Sometime after 11 I made it through Cobleskill and was getting sleepy; I found the next rest area and pulled off just before midnight. No late-night adventures in this one, unlike the trip to Rochester earlier this year, but I dozed for a couple hours with a Condition-1 1911 in very easy reach. About 1:15 or 1:30 I woke up, tried to sleep some more, and finally gave up around 2. One last trip to the bog, and off I went for home. The roads are nearly empty at that hour on a Monday morning, and I made good time; cruise set around 75 and rocked and rolled. Got a cursory inspection from a trooper somewhere along the way; I noticed a car pacing me in the left lane and eight or ten car-lengths back, then noticed the inside-the-headlight front marker lights ... notched two off the cruise and waited, sure enough, the blue'n'gold CVPI went tooling on by. He took the next exit and I put the two back on the cruise and kept going. Cross-country for the last seventy miles, and rolled in the driveway just after 4am.

I can't begin to explain how much fun I had on this trip, and how great it was to put faces along with names and meet some new folks.

The official list of attendees:
JayG from MArooned
Bruce from No Looking Backwards
Doubletrouble from Rattail Bastard and Mrs. doubletrouble
Weer'd Beard from Weer'd World Arrrr
Lissa from Looking for Lissa
Borepatch from Bore Patch and #2 son
David from Fighting for Liberty
JD from Tekmage's Blog
Marko from The Munchkin Wrangler
TOTWTYTR from Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire
zeeke42 from Young and Crotchety
Commenter Wally
Mopar and Mrs. Mopar
Scotaku from Scotaku in America
Paul from State Line Guns
Commenter Andrew, his mother Barbara, and his son Matthew (the youngest shooter!)
Meataxe from Men are not Potatoes
Commenter stickman
Commenter Libertyman
Zercool from Panum et Circenses... et Plumbum

All of you, welcome to the blogroll!

I took a few pictures, and a minute or two of video (before the battery died on the camcorder), but they all have far more stuff up than I could. Oh, and all of you - feel free to post pictures of me and/or my hardware if you like. And if there are any pictures of me, I'd love to have a copy if you don't mind!

If I have a moment tomorrow I'll try to post a picture of the pile o' stuff I brought - goodness knows I brought WAY too much ammo.


Jay G said...

Need no introduction. Heh.

That's the nicest thing that's been said about me today... :)

(PS: You forgot to add my name to the list of attendees...) ;)

ZerCool said...

That's because I totally ganked your list, and missed that you didn't put yourself on it. Therefore it's YOUR fault! You! All you!

doubletrouble said...

Glad you made the voyage ZC (& it indeed sounds like a major mission) -see you next time!