Monday, August 29, 2011

Steel Challenge........part two

A few photos taken on the first day of competition.
As usual, it was hot and dusty, but that is all worth it when we get to see our friends we have made over the years, and for Mr C to compete once again in this event.
Our friend Jim O sums it all up with these words. Over the last 25 years, for myself and many other Steel Challenge competitors, this barren, hot & dusty land has always been "The happiest place on earth".

Mr C wondering why I called his name from the top seat of the bleachers. Just wanted to take his photo, that's all!

Some of our squad watching another member shooting.

Alexis and parents.

Mark, our Aussie friend.

Alexis is a sweet young lady and also a very fine shooter.

Brooke has a very strong stance, and a good shooter to boot.

Awww gee! Jonathon is a real little cutie, and was so good all day long. Both his parents were competing.

Ken wears the coolest shirts, and he is a very strong competitor.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A hot dusty adventure .....Part one

I am taking you along on a drive out to the range near Piru California, where we were last week for the World Steel Challenge Tournament.

As we drove past Magic Mountain, I (jokingly) asked Mr C if he would like to skip competing in the match and go for a few rides at Magic Mountain. "hmmmm not today he replied" Later on in the day, as we returned from the match, I asked again if he would like to go have fun on the rides, nope, he still did not want to go, although he said if I wanted to, he would go along. I said " it would be a shame to waste the ice cream I had just eaten by throwing up. *chuckle*

Beside the highway there are acres and acres of the small sweet red and yellow peppers growing, and I could not help but think about the $4:99 for a two pound bag of these delicious peppers I buy to snack on.

Orchards are slowly spreading up and over the low hills, and if it wasn't for irrigation, this would be a dry, dusty almost bare landscape, except for the hardiest of plants which can survive the scorching heat and dry conditions..

Last year when we came though here, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand and I bought oranges thinking, as are grown here, and freshly picked, they would be the sweetest oranges I would ever taste. Not so, they were almost 'pucker up' sour, what a disappointment.

It is so pretty as the fog drifts in over the hills and down into the valley.

Every year, for the past five years, when we arrived in Piru, this beautiful deep pink Bougainvillea in someone's front garden,has been in full bloom.

Besides all the other tropical plants growing in the front garden of people's homes, there are many palm trees. It is quite an interesting little town with both old and new buildings, some homes are obviously well maintained and others not so much, typical of many small country towns.

It was interesting to see a rather large apartment complex being constructed in Piru, it won't seem to be such a small community when we next pass through.

Irrigated crops abound along the valley floor as we drove towards the range.

Behind the fence is a nursery, and I would have loved to have some of the tropical plants I could see, in my own garden, but of course they would not do well in our cooler climate, here in Western Washington.

We leave the paved road to drive out to the range over a very bumpy dusty one.

Our rented vehicle was slowly changing from pristine white to beige, as dust settled over it as we followed the vehicle in front of us.

Cattle shelter from the baking sun in the shade of the trees, and the blades of the windmill remain still from lack of any breeze.

We drove slowly past the practice range, where many shooters were getting in some last minute practice before competing.

After, it seemed, a very long dusty drive, we arrived at the parking area.

Looking up to the topmost bay where a stage called 'outer limits" is located. This stage can make or break you. Many shooters do not like this stage.

Looking back down the hill you have to climb to reach "outer limits"
It does not look all that steep, but try walking up this incline carrying a heavy bag containing your firearm, ammunition for eight stages, plus cold water, snacks and anything else you may need during the day
, in temperatures which can be in the low 90's to low 100F

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My beau

My little buddy Beau belongs to one of my clients, and I get to take him for a walk along these lovely wooded roads. He gets his exercise and so do I.

"sheesh! will you stop taking pictures and get on with our walk!"

Awwww! such a cute face.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Late Friday afternoon we left the island on the ferry to Mukilteo, then fought the freeway traffic on our way to Moxee, which is just out of Yakima, to shoot in an eight stage steel challenge.
As the range is now going to charge $15 just to park on the property over night, we decided to save our money and park at a rest stop a short drive before reaching Yakima.

We have driven over this bridge many times and knew it was high up from the valley floor, but until we pulled into the rest area and looked back at it, we didn't realize just how far down it was, or up, depending on your point of view.

As dusk fell over the land, we settled in for the night sharing the parking lot with many semi trucks. Those guys are huge, even more so when we park our little RV beside one.

Optical illusion, the RV is really not that much smaller, it is just that the truck is in front of the RV and the angle of the photo which makes our home on wheels look like a 'match box toy'

Jeanette, 'my shooting sister' having a grand time.

Mr C shooting his new gun.

I tried out Mr C's new gun a few weeks ago, but it was a little more than I am comfortable with. It has since been worked on, and the ammunition fine tuned so it does not have near as much recoil. Even so, I will not be shooting this gun, instead Mr C is going to work on a different one that I can shoot, along with my .22 High Standard.
As usual, we had a great weekend competing and enjoying the company of our friends. We are shooting another match this weekend, then off to CA next week where Mr C is competing in The World Steel Challenge.