Saturday, November 03, 2007

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet?

Blogging has been a bit light lately as I've been out on the road working on site for some clients. The business I'm in is rather unpredictable as it can be slow for months and then go nuts for a while and then slow back down again without notice. Since I got back from the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno it's been the busiest it's ever been. Of course I'm not complaining as it allows me to pay the bills!

One of the towns I visited is Hoquiam, Washington, on Gray's Harbor. Hoquiam was founded over one hundred years ago as a logging and saw mill town, and remained so up until some tree-huggers discovered the spotted owl. The logging restrictions imposed to protect the spotted owl in the '80's turned Hoquiam, and nearby Aberdeen, into nearly ghost towns as all the lumber related jobs disappeared. The downtowns were filled with vacant buildings with plywood covering the windows.

Hoquiam river from the edge of town.

Hoquiam sat in limbo for a few years, and then started showing some signs of life. I suspect the beauty of the area, combined with low real estate prices started bringing new people into the area.

The downtown of Hoquiam is to the left.

The Hoquiam river flows through town, and is close enough to the ocean that it rises and falls with the ocean tides. As you can see, the tide was out when I was taking pictures.

Fall colors reflected in the river at sunset.

On my way back out of town I spotted a sign that said "Mike's Guns". I made a hasty "go round the block" and parked near the shop. It was a nicely set up small gun shop with a number of nice things on display. The proprietor and a customer were looking at and discussing a replica Winchester rifle like Custer had used at the Battle of the Big Horn. It was an interesting conversation discussing the rifle, the lever action rifles used by the Indians, the tactics, the battlefield, and a lot more. The discussion continued to other battle rifle match ups where one side was seriously out-gunned by the other. The 30-40 Krag and the Mauser were mentioned as another example. I mentioned that a few weeks back I had fired a 30-40 Krag (Dirtcrashr's at GBR-II)and I described the somewhat unusual magazine it had. Mike reached back to the rifle rack behind him and lifted down one identical to Dirtcrashr's . Then he lifted down an earlier rifle that was the predecessor, and then he showed me the rifle that replaced to 30-40 he had been holding. When was the last time you got treated that well in a gun shop, or in any kind of a store, for that matter?

If you happen to be anywhere near Aberdeen or Hoquiam and you have a few minutes to spare, you might stop by and give his place a look. I don't know anything about the quality of his gunsmithing, but if he's as good with guns as he is at making you feel welcome in his store, I suspect he does pretty good work!


At Monday, November 05, 2007 5:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoquiam River? Is there such a thing -- guess I need check a map. Thought it was where the Chehalis River came out to the coast?

Ran my best 2 mile time there on the almost rectangular track. :-) Always seemed to be raining there -- more so than back along the I-5 corridor where we lived.


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