Monday, May 16, 2011

Not As Planned, again.........

Ah yes, best laid plans, etcetera, etcetera. KeeWee and I planned on driving over to Ephrata on Friday during the day, spending the night at the Oasis Park Campground in Ephrata, shooting the Washington State Steel challenge Championships on Saturday, then right after the match driving back to the West side of the State to Puyallup, spending Saturday night at the range in Puyallup, then shooting the Paul Bunyan Club's Club championship on Sunday, then driving home Sunday night.

Well, it followed the plan as far as getting to the Oasis Park campground. We were parked next to John and Jeanette Davidson from the Kitsap club, and we shared a pleasant evening of conversation, campfire, and hotdogs and marshmallows. Not long after we got to the campground James Austin pulls in, so James joined us around the fire for a really nice evening. So far, everything according to plan.

We decided to turn in a bit early and get a good night's sleep, so we did. KeeWee had been feeling a bit crummy earlier in the week, but some antibiotics seemed to have sorted that out OK. Unfortunately, she ended up getting sick during the night, and neither of us got a whole lot of sleep.

We decided to head out to the range and see how she felt. She didn't feel well enough to shoot the match, but she figured she could stay in bed in the nice warm RV just as well as being home in bed, so we decided I'd shoot the match, and we'd head straight home after, instead of going to Puyallup.

The morning was raining steadily, so it didn't look like it was going to be a whole lot of fun, anyway, and for KeeWee to get wet and cold when she was already feeling lousy would be a really poor idea. So, we made sure the furnace was turned up and she spent the day either reading or sleeping. I went out and sleep-walked/sloshed my way through the match.

I often have trouble getting focused on the very first stage, so I really tried to ignore the lack of sleep and other distractions, and it worked, at least for the first stage, and I turned in some pretty good times. From there, though, it really looked like I was out of gas, and things didn't go well.

By lunch time I was wet, and not very happy with the way I was shooting. It had not been a good morning. At the lunch break I again checked in to see how KeeWee was doing, and the comfy bed and warm RV was keeping her as comfortable as possible. I put on dry clothes and ate a little bit, but I wasn't really very hungry. I just sat in the RV, drank some hot coffee, and tried to re-charge the batteries a bit. Just getting dry and warm made me feel a little better.

I could have taken a nice long nap very easily, but I still had four more stages to shoot, so off I went to the next stage. The rain had just about stopped and it was a little warmer, so that in itself was a nice improvement. I decided that this could be a good learning experience for me, as I was certainly  not in the best condition, but I needed to work on staying focused and doing as well as I could without digging any more big holes to jump into! I think I did learn a little more about getting focused and the final four stages went fairly well. Three went very well, and I even had the fastest time of the match on one of the stages, and it was even on one of my weaker stages.

After the final stage was completed I helped to put away the targets and stands, and then headed to the RV to see how KeeWee was doing. She seemed to be holding up pretty well, considering the circumstances.

As the scores were being finished up, they had a fast draw against the clock competition for cash prizes, but I was completely worn out from the match and didn't have any interest in entering. I just wanted to find out how I had done, and then hit the road for home.

A very nice laser engraved Spyderco knife.  
Finally they got to announcing the scores, and although the terrible morning had done it's damage, I still had posted the second fastest pistol time of the match, and had even won one of the stages overall! I ended up 2nd. in Rimfire and the Top Senior. If I could have shot in the morning like I did in the afternoon I would have been right there at the top. James was the fastest revolver shooter, and Debbie, also from Kitsap, was the top Rimfire Lady. The Kitsap club had done rather well, considering the conditions.

Right after the awards we fired up the RV and headed towards home. Once we got out onto the road the wind was gusting and blowing us around, so it was a wrestling match right up to where we started to climb the East side of the Cascades to get across Snoqualmie pass. When the wind stopped, it started raining heavily, and rained all the way home. The rain was coming down hard enough that the raindrops were bouncing off the pavement, and there were lots of areas of standing water to hydroplane across. To add to the fun, there was a layer of ground fog across the pass, making it nearly impossible to see where the lanes were supposed to be. Bleh....

By the time we got home I felt like I'd been in a fight and had lost badly. Even though I continued to drive in my sleep, at least I was warm, in bed, and asleep.

It had been an interesting weekend, to say the least!



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