Happy Monday! So this weekend we went down to see my elderly Great-aunt. We finally had the time without dialysis or Dr. Appointments to contend with. All in all it was a great trip.
During the trip we all headed out to the boonies to do some target shooting. A bit of explanation here. As you probably know by now, I live in Utah. I have since I was about 3 months old and my dad got out of the Navy and came home.
He was raised ina small coal mining town in eastern Utah called Dragerton, now East Carbon. And it is in the desert. Interesting thing: this is not the blowing sands and pyramids type desert, there are animals everywhere. Sagebrush, juniper, cedar and a myriad of grasses cover the land. It gets hot and dry in the day and can be downright cold at night. It fits all definitions of a desert. Not much rain being the big one.
It is also a place where dinosaurs once roamed. There are still fossils they are finding in the area. I have found chunks of dinosaur bone while we have been down there. It was also right around the land where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid used to roam with the Wild Bunch. Legend says there is still gold down there somewhere. I havent found it yet.
Back when I was a kid, we would go down there 3-4 times per year to visit my aunt and my Great Grandparents who lived there. We would go out hunting for rocks, or worm’s teeth (yes teeth from prehistoric worms, I have some and it was a professor who told my aunt and Father about them, 8-10 feet long at least and as big around as a car tire. The ants bring them up from way underground. You search through gravel and pick them out.) or just run the desert.
We would always go out shooting for practice and it was always a good time to get out with my father, grandfather and great grandfather and blow away cans or paper targets. We would go out to the desert and shoot for hours, totally lost in the moment. During all of those trips I learned how to shoot, how to handle the weapon, and how to interact with the surroundings.
I always liked doing something that my forefathers valued so much. In the past 15 years or so, I haven’t had much of a chance to get out and go shooting. I lost my Great-Grandfather in 2002 and my Grandfather in 2006. My father is always busy and while we talk about going, it isn’t going to happen any time soon. This is sad for my kids, because they really need to spend that time with their grandfather. Besides he is a kick ass shot, that was all he did growing up. Then they made him a sniper in the Navy because he was that good.
I once saw my dad try to hit a coyote from about 50 yards and he didn’t. A while later he hit another coyote from the top of a ridge at over 500 yards. I only aspire to be that good. I have only told the story to my kids, I hope they get a chance to see it.
This weekend we did get out to go shooting, Me and my family. This turn I was the one in charge. I was the instructor. I was the safety master. I had assumed a new role. We had gone out to a remote place in the desert just like we used to. We set up targets (those happy meal toys from McD are awesome to shoot. They get a couple of good hits and explode. Buzz Lightyear meets Mr. .22 slug and doesn’t fare well. ). We shot and shot.