Monday, March 19, 2012

Rogers Trip: Day 5 and Road to Sparta!

We finished out the last day of our stay at the Rogers Shooting School with a warm up, and then jumped right into the test. I was pumped and shot an awesome 118, earning another advanced score. I really felt like all the lessons came together and I was able to bust the targets strong, weak, freestyle, whatever was called for.

After the test, we received pins certifying what scores we earned - the top shooter in the class earned the coveted "Red Pin", while advanced students earned gold pins and intermediate students earned blue pins. We posed for a few pictures with Bill, then had to head back to the "Lodge" to clean up, pack the rest of our gear, and get up to Sparta, IL.

We decided to take the scenic route through the south end of the Blue Ridge Mountains and managed to get some great panoramas of the area - BTW, I'm not trying to be a "secret squirrel", I was just seeing if the picture I took came out well. It was REALLY bright out.

We stopped briefly at the Lodge Factory store and hit up a few of the gun shops/pawn huts around South Pittsburg, making a brief detour into Alabama to see the Big Daddy's Outdoor Shop.

On the way north, we started getting hungry around Murfreesboro, TN and came up with a quick plan to hit
The Outpost Armory and ask for directions the best BBQ place they knew of... They didn't disappoint. The lady over there sent us over to the "Slick Pig BBQ" just outside of the downtown. The place was amazing: people from all walks of life: business mens, housewives with kiddos, couples, baseball teams, etc, sat soaking up the generous helpings of BBQ wings, ribs or brisket. Wow.

I ordered the ribs and Tony got a portion of pulled pork. I dunno about him, but this was simply the Best. BBQ. Of. My. Life.

The rest of the drive, was pretty uneventful. We put on some older podcasts of Rob Leatham interviews and passed the time talking about "Life, the Universe and Everything." Around Paducah, I had to stop in order to disarm myself before crossing the mighty Ohio River and stepping foot into Illinois. Still gets me that every state I visited, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee trust me with a pea-shooter, but my home state doesn't. Got to fix that...

We arrived in Sparta, IL and hunkered down for the night, exhausted... The next day, we got up to check the Wounded Warrior Match Stages, then played sporting clays. We needed something to pass the time while the rest of the McIDPA and WIILSHOOT crew were on their way down to Sparta...

Sporting clays was a first for me: See, I'm not much of a shotgunner... yet. I kept looking for a rear sight!? Tony was a good coach, though, and by the end of the day, I was hitting some of the clays! It was a real trip to watch him and Jay Carillo bust clays - those guys know WTF is up with scatterguns!

After we ran through the courses, Tony and I headed back to the hotel to clean pistols (mine ran fine for the entire Rogers trip) using the Rogers' BoreSqueeGee system. Got to say that this is simply the best method for cleaning a barrel that I've ever found! It really gets all the lead and copper fouling out.

After cleaning up, we settled in with the rest of the crew while Mik3 worked the grill. Drank beers until ~9 then hit the hay early in order to get to the match... The rest is already posted ... This was an amazing vacation and a most awesome training tune-up!