Sunday, July 26, 2009

Idaho State Steel Challenge Championship

Every year KeeWee and I head over to Idaho for the Eddy Brown Memorial Metal Match. It's one of the best run, and most fun matches we shoot.

The drive from Whidbey Island to Coeur D'Alene this year was not the best trip I've ever driven. The RV engine was over-heating, and when it started getting too hot it also would start to vapor-lock as the alcohol in the poor excuse for gasoline they now sell us was vaporizing. The overheating is most likely the radiator, as I've got a new thermostat (it over-heated with the old one, too) and a brand new water pump. Not much left except the radiator. I had to drive the whole way at between 62 and 65 mph. Bummer.

The new TomTom GPS navigator worked fine, except the battery went flat quickly as the cigarette lighter socket did not have power to it. The cigarette lighter fuse was OK, so it must be something else in the circuit either broken or mis-connected. Something else to fix next week, I guess.

Anyhow, we finally got to the range and got the RV parked for the night. The range was open for practice, so KeeWee and I shot the stages to see if everything was working OK, and it seemed to be. We turned in for the night, as the next day was going to be a long one.

Saturday morning before the shooter's meeting I managed to hit my forehead so hard on the forward cabover part of the RV that I briefly knocked myself out and came to on my knees face down in the passenger seat. I hit so hard I broke one of my front upper teeth in half, I couldn't get my eyes to focus, and I had a pretty good headache. Clearly a concussion.

We decided to go ahead anyway and keep a close eye on me in case my condition deteriorated. Fortunately it didn't. After about 30 minutes my vision started working and I could get my eyes to focus. I had a little trouble with short term memory all day. I'd go to the line and when I got there I'd forgotten the order I had decided to shoot the plates. A couple of times I started on the wrong plate until I re-figured it out!

To add to the fun, the new gun I had just built the week before was stove-piping on me fairly regularly. It was rushed together, and I hadn't had a chance to run it enough to be sure it was really reliable. Turns out it wasn't.

In spite of all that, we had a great time! As you know, if you want to shoot your fastest, you want to squad with other fast shooters. We were on the squad that probably had the most fun, instead.

I've got a bunch of pictures to post from the match. (I've also still got a bunch of pictures from the Washington State Steel Challenge Championships too. Just never seems to be enough time!)

In spite of all the strange things that happened, KeeWee ended up the top Rimfire Lady and 4th (I think) overall in rimfire. I missed the rimfire win by just 21/100 of a second, but second place is just fine as I easily could have ended up in an ambulance instead of at the match.

As soon as the trophy presentation was over, we hit the road for the long drive home, again and reduced speed. We stopped around 11pm at Ellensburg for some food and a few hours sleep, then finished the drive home on Sunday morning.

A big THANKS is in order to Bill Salzberg the match director, the volunteers, the sponsors, and a great bunch of folks to shoot with. This year we had somewhere around 95 entries.

Well done, Eddy Brown would be proud!



At Monday, July 27, 2009 8:17:00 PM, Blogger David aka True Blue Sam said...

I've been worried about your head all day. Are you doing OK? I hope your dentist can save that tooth.


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