Monday, May 4, 2009

Fresh Mountain Air and Shotgun Shells

I apologize for neglecting y'all lately. Seems we haven't been home much and when we are home, we're running in circles. This past weekend we packed up and headed to Raton in northern New Mexico for the 4-H State Shooting Sports Competition. It's a weekend we always look forward to. It's also a weekend that wipes us out. So I am feeling rather uninspired, but I'll catch you up on the latest because we had an awesome weekend!

The shoot takes place at the NRA Whittington Center. What an amazing facility! People gather from all over the world for various competitions at this center and it's 'must see' for the shooting enthusiast. Think we'll plan a vacation north of there in order to take some time to shoot there this summer.

We headed out early on Friday morning so that DD and DS could get in some practice before the competition on Saturday. They don't have a full Shotgun team - only DD and DS shoot. There is quite a change in altitude and the conditions vary on different ranges so a few practice rounds are always beneficial.

Needless to say, the kids had so much fun that they shot 12 rounds of skeet and trap. They probably shouldn't have shot so much the day before the competition, but they had a ball together. Something about the fresh mountain air and the smell of shotguns being fired...well, we just got carried away. I didn't take any pictures while they practiced since I was the puller.

Taking a break:

And apparently it didn't hurt any because DS ended up placing 3rd in the state!

We are so proud of him! He shot 45 out of 50 birds on Trap and 45 out of 50 birds on Skeet so his total was 90. The second place shooter scored a 91 and the 1st place shooter shot 92 so it was a close race! DD came in 12th. We're tickled pink with her showing since it's her first year to compete at the state level. With 90 shooters, that's not too shabby!

The kids also placed 2nd as a team in air rifle. DS placed as 10th high individual and DD placed 12th. Pretty good for a year where their regular shooting range was being remodeled so they didn't get in the practices they usually do. They shot that first thing in the morning.




Since it was held indoors, we were hoping the fog and drizzle would burn off before they shot shotgun, but no such luck.

The kids have a full day running to and from their various disciplines, but there's always time to mug for the camera:

We had a smaller team this year - only 8 kids, but there wasn't any shortage of fun! There is always a dance on Saturday night so that pretty much zaps any remaining energy the kids may have left. Most of the kids (and many of the adults!) use the ride home to catch up on their sleep. In fact, I didn't drive at all. DS and DD did all the driving. I could get used to this!

Everyone pitches in when it comes to providing grub and it always looks like we're feeding an army, but anytime teenagers are involved, that's pretty much what it takes to keep them from staging a mutiny:

Think that fire's hot enough?

DS never leaves home without his trusty sidekick...his guitar. So before everyone else arrived, he and DD played and sang on the front porch.

Then he and Wade, another fellow guitar addict, put on a full fledged concert that evening:

Something must have tickled his funny bone:

As in previous years, it was cold and drizzly. The only other weather we have during this shoot is snowy and windy, so cold and drizzly is the preferred option. As you see here, our bunch is always prepared for whatever mother nature has in store:

We've got a great bunch of kids and it's nice that everyone gets along. With 10 people sleeping in a 400 square ft cabin with one bathroom, that's quite a feat! In the rare instances where one gets out of hand, we have our own way of keeping things in line:

Looks as if someone still needs to burn off a little extra energy before heading out for that long drive home:

Here's our motley crew:

Before we know it, we'll be heading back up there for next year's Shoot!


Broken Y said...

Well! Congratulations to your kids! What a fine showing! So glad you had a good time!

Cow Pies & Mud Pies said...

That's awesome! Tell your kids GOOD JOB! Looks like a fun weekend for all! Good to hear from ya...I'm still trying to send this darn rain to luck yet. But I'm persistent!

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