Friday, August 06, 2010

Idaho Steel Challenge Championships Report

KeeWee and I left for Coeur d'Alene, Idaho last Friday morning, and about six and a half hours later we pulled in to the Range grounds near Fernan, idaho, where we would spend the night. The range is situated in a beautiful valley in the midst of Idaho mountains and wilderness. The scenery is spectacular, with mountains rising straight up from the valley floor.

When we parked at the range for the night after our drive to Idaho, the Toyota motor started to idle really rough. At any throttle position above idle it ran perfectly. I figured that even though I had cold tanked the carburetor when I rebuilt it several thousand miles ago, perhaps a small piece of junk hadn't come loose, and now it had decided to block one of the idle passages. The new carburetor cleaner solutions, thanks to the EPA, aren't nearly as effective as they used to be, so that's entirely possible. Anyhow, it was still running, and it should still get us home, even if it didn't idle very well.

Saturday morning dawned partly cloudy, and there had even been a little rain and wind during the night. The forecast was for a bit cooler than average temperatures, and that would sure be nice, as it can get miserable from the heat at the Fernan range. As folks started arriving, it was great to see and visit with folks we hadn't seen since last year. We attended a short shooters meeting, and then it was off to the races, so to speak.

We were on a squad with a great bunch of folks, including the to young lads who had shot so well a few of weeks ago at Yakima, and their proud father. The match went smoothly, and after the first four stages were completed we broke for lunch. After lunch we shot the remaining stages. It seemed like the match went quickly.

After the match we gathered in the large covered shooting area on the rifle range and waited for the results to come out. As we were waiting, Mel and Chris Byrne, proprietors of the the Anarchangel blog, now new residents of Sand Point, Idaho, pulled in. Sand Point is not too far from the range, so they stopped by for a visit, and for dinner after the match was over. We visited for a while, and then the awards presentations began.

I had shot the match fairly conservatively, and tried really hard to make sure I didn't try to shoot too fast and end up slower because of having to take follow-up shots, or worse yet, take a penalty for a missed plate. KeeWee shot a solid match, with only a few bobbles along the way, but nothing major.

When the results were announced, it turned out that I had the second fastest score of the day, but the fastest score was also shot by a rimfire shooter, I ended up 2nd. in Rimfire, and Top Super Senior. The shooter that beat me, however, was 44 years younger than me, so we'll see how fast he is 44 years from now! KeeWee was 7th in Rimfire, and was the Top Lady overall.

After the awards we fired up the RV and followed Mel and Chris to the Wolf Lodge steak house on Highway I-90 just East of Coeur d'Alene. If you are ever in the area, this place is an absolute must. It was one of the best steaks I've ever had. Be sure to make reservations if you can, as the place is packed.

After a great dinner and dinner conversation, we fired up the RV to head home, or at least, get as far as we can, so we can complete the drive on Sunday morning. To my surprise, it fired right up and idled perfectly. Apparently the piece of junk had dislodged itself, and things were back to normal. WHEW!

WE drove as far as Cle Elum, Washington, and got some sleep at a rest area there. Sunday morning it was an easy drive home. Road weary, but glad to be home...............

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