It is over five hours to Medical Lake from my home, I had already had a full day on Friday, so when I pulled into the Lone Pine Range parking lot there wasn't much, except dark and turn the Caravan off. It was after midnight and seven o'clock was on the way. Later just enough chill to wake me, I would curl up in the mink blanket and fall back to sleep.
I wake about six and see 06en pull in with the trailer of target stands and backers, he is a life saver, he makes and shares coffee. The Shoot Boss, Prescott, comes in and we talk and start setting up. Prescott was up from Oregon for business and could cover the Appleseed, we had all worked together before, we try and get all our current political views out of the way, talk about other Red Hats and upcoming events.
I have the Firing line and advise the arriving shooters where to place their mats, rugs or chairs on the equipment line, we have two popup shelters and a pair of sisters bring one. Thirteen shooters, four family units and some very unfamiliar firearms, for the shooters anyway. Morning and afternoon of the first day - we, the Appleseed cadre, think we are behind because of too many words and too many mechanical problems. Still, all instruction is presented, lunch, and we see a lot of progress by the last Redcoat target of the day, a lot of progress.
I ask the range host, Jack (former Marine) about some place to eat a nice meal, and couldn't find it. I come back to the Range and sleep the night away. Waking for Bursts of high Lightning and rolling thunder, scattered rains.
06en gets coffee going again, he slept in his auto, too. Prescott arrives and we start the set up. There will only be six returning shooters, lots of room, and of course two of the instructors will want to get some trigger time. I as always want to make sure the shooters are not short changed by my wanting to shoot targets, so I will maintain the professional, helpful cool. Nice to see the SKS and .308 make some noise.
Most of the shooters, are getting better, but it is difficult to put a whole successful AQT together under the clock with ammunition and mechanical problems. Since it was a review day the Time
Monkey never showed up, all training objectives were met, several of the ladies were close to a Rifleman score, but only one man made his Rifleman, twice. I got some homemade cookies to munch upon and we have been sipping water steadily. The Sun is hot. Finish scoring targets, as the final Redcoat is fired and clean up commences.
Say our good-byes, hoping that everyone has a safe trip home and that we will meet at another Appleseed one day. Jack has a shotgun competition started at 4:30 and we are rolling out just after four.
It is a long way back home, seems to speed by faster, but that isn't so and the Pass is clogged with others that were there first - I liken it to a clogged artery - do red blood cells have extra stress when held back by traffic? I do get a Whopper and large black coffee to wake me, until finally I am home. I lock my car, go in and great my wife, who is happy to see me, a smile and a kiss and I am shaving and showering and sleeping. Nice bed, sheets the Blues on the radio, only ten-thirty.