Monday, July 23, 2007

Missoula Bowling Pin Shoot - Part One

Friday morning KeeWee and I had everything loaded up in the RV, food, clothes, ice, and lots of guns and ammo for our annual adventure to Missoula, Montana. Every year the Montana Shooting Sports Association puts on a huge bowling pin shoot, and we wouldn't miss it for the world. Great folks, lots of shooting, beautiful range, lots of shooting, way too hot (but not as bad as last year, thank goodness!!) and finally, lots of shooting! One of the reasons Montana is one of the most "Gun Friendly" states is because of the hard work of MSSA, and to block bad laws and get good ones passed, it takes lots of money. This bowling pin shoot is to help raise money for those efforts.

It was a long drive from Clinton, Washington to Missoula, Montana, and we saw just about everything for weather somewhere along the way. I-405 through Bellevue was a total mess, with heavy traffic, heavy rain, poor visibility, road construction, and moron drivers. I'm always happy when that section of the trip is behind us! From I-405 we picked up I-90, which goes all the way to Missoula.

We were in rain until we had crossed Snoqualmie pass and got to Cle lum. Cle Elum is just East of Roslyn, where Northern Exposure was filmed. From Cle Elum to Spokane, it was either gusty and windy, or steadily getting hotter and muggy. Spokane is another stretch of road that I'm always glad to get behind me, as it seems to have the highest concentration of high velocity morons in the state. Just East of Spokane we entered Idaho, and shortly thereafter we passed by Coeur d'Alene. Now we were were back into the mountains and had a couple of mountain passes to climb. The scenery was nice, with lakes, rivers, mountains and the like on all sides. The Idaho panhandle doesn't take long to cross, and we were soon in Montana. Again more river valleys and mountains, until we finally descended into Missoula.

There were lots of forest fires burning in Idaho and Montana, so there was a large amount of smoke in the air, turning the sky sort of a pinkish orange color, and making the sun almost red in color. The sunsets were spectacular!


Smoke in the sky from forest fires.

We had made good time, and had originally planned on stopping somewhere along the way for the night, but we ended up driving straight through to Missoula, and arrived in the early evening. We checked in with Gary M., the match director, his son Ty, and Ty's friend Dan at their place a short ways out of town and got our time table figured out for the next day when we would all set up the tables and shooting stations at the range for Sunday's match. We would be parking the RV at Gary's place. It was getting late, so KeeWee and I headed into Missoula for a sit down dinner. After a big home style dinner we drove back to Gary's place and settled in for the night. At least it wasn't as hot as it was last year, when it was difficult to sleep. It had been a long day, and we conked out quickly!

The next morning we did a little sight seeing and drove around Missoula a bit exploring. Early afternoon we met up with Gary, Ty, and Dan, and headed out to the Deer Creek Range to get set up for the next day's pin shoot.


Gary, Ty, Dan, and some guy from Washington who wandered in to the picture. (Looks a lot like Mr. C.)
(KeeWee photo)

The temperature was up into the upper 90's, and it was easy to get too hot working n the sun. Gary had previously designed and built a mist sprayer on a pole, so at every opportunity we'd go stand under the mister and cool off. If we were driving from one bay to another, Gary would drive the truck under the mister. Boy, did it feel great!


Set up crew under the mister. Wonderful idea!
(KeeWee photo)

After a full afternoon of trucking stuff back and forth around the range and assembling everything, we had the range ready to go. We all jumped into the vehicles and headed to the Missoula McKenzie River Pizza place, and stuffed ourselves on some of the best pizza I've ever had. From the pizza place it was back to Gary's for some sleep, as the next day was going to be a long one, and the weather forecast was for hotter weather.

End of Part One - Stay Tuned!



KeeWee has two posts up on the Missoula shoot too.



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2 Comments:

At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:36:00 AM, Blogger keewee said...

good story MrC. I'm glad someone in the family can write a more in depth story.
I am inclined to just post pictures and do a little Yadda, yadda, yadda.

 
At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:12:00 AM, Blogger George said...

Did I hear my name mentioned?

I'd have to see the official results to REALLY believe that Mr. C actually shot an open (not tunnel) sighted pistol in competition.

If that's true, I'll issue a public apology on my blog, but I still don't believe it.

And, Mr. C., if you did shoot such a weapon, and did a credible job with it, it proves that your eyes aren't so old so as to be useless for tratitional sights.

 

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