Your Skeet Have Never Been Safer

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It was a mountain weekend, y’all.  Tracy and Gregg have this beautiful farm up in Virginia, and a bunch of us went up and camped around this perfect barn. It’s the kind of place where, getting from the main road up to their ridge, your ears pop.  You ford a couple of streams, and maybe you have a standoff with some cows. It’s not quite off-roading, but it’s that much fun.

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It’s the kind of place where there are dawgs sleeping in the shade under pickup trucks,

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and strong men build grand, national-parks scale fire pits.  And then build fires.

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As Tracy points out, “They also serve who only stand and watch with drink in hand saying helpful things.”  Allow me to point out, this crowd looks pretty good doing it.

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Dawg and I were even less helpful than the standing drink-holders.  He dove on all the available food and had to be Closely Supervised around mealtimes, so everyone seeing him leashed walked by and said, “Dude. What are you in for?”  And then, you know, we just parked on a log by the fire holding our drinks and being entirely unhelpful.  I think we look kind of smug about it, here.  Smug and unhelpful but happy. It’s the mountain farm.

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After all the fire pit building, you eat ribs and cheese grits and tomato pie, and the sun starts to set, and everyone hikes up the ridge, and the dawgs sneak back to see if anyone left any food out, and someone brings a banjo, and everyone enjoys music while looking at this:

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And then you hike back down and put on lots more clothes, and there’s a campfire, and s’mores, and people bring out guitars and sing around the new fire pit while the kids watch movies in the barn, and the almost-full moon rises over the whole thing, and everyone breathes deeply.

My personal biggest burst of activity of the whole trip was following the men and children down to the lower pasture to shoot skeet.  Gregg asked me if I was a skeet shooter, and I told him I’d never held a gun.  He said they’d teach me, unless I objected to it.  I don’t, in exactly this situation.  I think the NRA is Pure Crazy Evil, and I will never have a gun in my house.  But skeet? In a field? With people who know what they’re doing? Sure.  Hell yes.

It was kind of terrifying.  When it was my turn, I asked Rhett how bad the kickback would be.  He gave me a choice of three guns, and I said, “I want the girliest,” because I am not proud.  He gave me the kid rifle, showed me how to stand and where the safety was, helped me load it, talked me through what to do, re-adjusted it on my shoulder twice, made sure I had ear plugs and safety glasses, and stepped back.  Gregg was manning the skeet shooter.  “At your command,” he told me.

“Ummm……pull?”  I said.  And he did, and this pretty little clay disc went spinning through the air, and I pulled the trigger, and didn’t come anywhere near it.  I didn’t even see the little “pffft” and shower of leaves to figure out how far I’d missed.  Doesn’t matter.  I fired two more times and came equally close, and my three little clay discs floated safely  to the earth.

I had no prayer of precise aim, anyway, since I am right handed and left-eye dominant, which is one of the reasons I am bad at all sports.  And lawn games.  The youngsters all did way better.  The men were straight-up snipers.  The skeet exploded into little day-glow orange firecrackers. “Where did y’all learn to shoot like that?”  I asked them.  “Delta Force,” they said. I believe them.  Then we made it back up to the ridge for campfire and dinner.

My only other strenuous activity was sleeping. I chose a sweet little spot in a grove of trees, not far from the fire ring.  It had just enough slope, in two directions, that it was kind of like sleeping on a slip-and-slide.  I started out on the high side, and next thing I knew I was curled in a ball in the far bottom corner with Dawg on top of me.  We climbed back to the top corner and I put Dawg on the low side, and then we dug ourselves out of the corner and traded places every hour or so until dawn-ish.

Morning time came, and there was lots of coffee and porch swingin’.  It was hard to leave.

Know how sometimes Your People invite you to do things with More of Their People, and Those People aren’t really Your People, and it’s kind of awkward?  This wasn’t like that at all.  I knew a handful of These People, and loved that they invited me up to hang out with More of Their People, and Those People immediately felt like My People.  One of them grew up like six houses away from me and two of them are from my hometown; all of them love music; some of them play campfire songs; all of them are smart and funny; many of them cook, and if they don’t cook they’re happy to share their beer; most of them have dawgs and children who ran around and wore out my happy dawg; some of them are raucous; all of them are welcoming; and all of them are fun.

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Thanks, People.  It was a perfect weekend. See you up there next time.

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2 Responses to Your Skeet Have Never Been Safer

  1. Pingback: Inching Ever Closer | Carolina Gypsy

  2. Pingback: We Lost at Cornhole, But We Won The Dance Fight | Carolina Gypsy

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