Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yakima Steel Challenge - July 2010

When KeeWee and I were at the Washington State Steel Challenge Championships in Ephrata, Washington a couple of months ago I spoke to a fellow from the Yakima gun club and found out a bit about their regular Steel Challenge matches. It sounded like a great bunch of folks, so KeeWee and I decided we should make a weekend run over to Yakima and give it a try. We haven't been having the best of luck getting to and from matches lately, but when you drive old equipment, sometimes that happens. The RV now had a new motor in it, and it seemed to be running really well, so why not go for it!

From where we are located on Whidbey Island it takes a minimum of two to two and a half hours to get to any match we go to, so the three and a half to four hours to Yakima wasn't that much farther. After talking on the phone with some of the Yakima folks, I determined that they had a really nice range, club house, and grounds, and that we could park the RV there the Friday night before the match.

 So off we went! The drive went smoothly and without incident, and I didn't even have to lift the hood even once! Perfect! When we got to the range, which is a few miles East of Yakima near Moxee, Washington, we were very impressed with the facilities, including the irrigated lawns and well kept grounds. The two story club house had huge picture windows on the side facing the valley, and the view was spectacular.

With my back to the range, looking out across the valley. The picture doesn't do justice to the view!

After we had gotten squared away as to where we would park the RV for the night, we headed back to Yakima to meet up with Ty, the club's head number cruncher, and his family for dinner in a Yakima restaurant. After dinner we headed back out to the range to get some sleep, as the next day was going to be a long one.

It seemed like morning arrived far too early, but we could see it was going to be a beautiful day, partly cloudy, lots of sun, and hopefully a slight breeze to keep it from getting too hot. That's exactly how it turned out, too, and that was good for us as those of us from Western (rainy) Washington don't deal with the heat very well!

I pitched in and helped out getting the plates hung on their posts, since a little help is always appreciated, and I was already there anyway.

The match was like most any other Steel Challenge match, and it was well run and organized, like the most of them usually are. What really made the match fun, though, was the friendliness of the club members, and most importantly, watching the young shooters compete. We had two lads in our squad, and they were really outstanding. It was obvious that Dad had done an excellent job of teaching range safety and gun handling. Even when dealing with malfunctions, they stuck with the problem, resolved it, and finished the string. Very impressive!

Already a good shooter, but is definitely going to get better!

Yes, they even painted a lot of the plates!

"Outer Limits" - The toughest of the Steel Challenge stages, where you shoot two plates from one box, then run to the center box and shoot two more, then shoot the stop plate. He's doing an excellent job!

"Pendulum" - A stage that looks much easier than it is!

Patrick Kelley, one of the fastest Glock Jockeys I've ever seen, and I've watched Dave Sevigny several times. Patrick shoots at "Sevigny-like" speeds. Click on the picture to enlarge it, and notice the two empty casings still in the air above the gun, and he's already back on target for the next shot. Amazing.....

Here's our "Super-Fun Squad"

A beautiful facility, great scenery, friendly folks, lots of fun, and no one taking any of it too seriously! What more could you ask for? We had a grand time, and we will definitely be making the trip across the mountains to Yakima for some more fun when we can. If you are anywhere in Eastern Washington and would like to give Steel Challenge a try, here's the place to go. Check out the website for the Yakima Rifle & Pistol Association. You can find their contact info on their website. Maybe we'll see you at one of their next matches!

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