The Trip Up North

26 10 2009

I’m sure glad I took that trip up north over fall break—last week was intense.  Wednesday, the first day back at school, the College Libertarians and Young Americans for Freedom (as well as almost a half dozen other liberty-minded groups) took over the Diag.  We got a lot of exposure and sparked a lot of interest in our organizations and ideals.

But more on the trip to the UP…

My dad and I got a characteristically late start, not getting to Naubinway until after midnight Friday.  Saturday, we eventually made our way to the abandoned karst quarry.

John Galt was here

John Galt was here?

Shooting was good, while it lasted:

It's about fifty or sixty yards away.

The target is about fifty or sixty yards away, on a mound of slag.

It’s tough to get a grasp of how desolate the area is without being there.  It’s kind of creepy, to be honest; “moonscape” doesn’t quite sum it up, since there are trees and moss growing from the mounds of crushed rock.  Large, shallow pools and a few little streams dotted landscape.

Anyway, I was informed by some hikers of a better place to shoot, where I wouldn’t have to worry about splintering karst and ricocheting bullets increasing my risk of a lawsuit.  There was a sand pit in nearby Trout Lake that served as a semi-official makeshift shooting range.

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En route to Trout Lake?

Of course, it was right behind a baseball diamond and the community center, but they do things differently up north.

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This is about as scenic as shooting ranges get...

All in all, I put a few hundred rounds down range over the course of the weekend.  I feel a lot more comfortable with the operation of my AR-15, so I’d like to start working more intensely on marksmanship when I get a chance.  The 10/22 sight system is still just as confounding to me as ever, so I’d eventually like to put AR-15 style sights on just for consistency.

And I bought and fired a couple of 1 oz. lead slugs out of the shotgun, just to see what it was like—and it was quite an experience.  Even with just the simple bead sight on the end of my 28″ barrel, the slugs were remarkably accurate and my shot placement was consistent.  I know I realistically need a shorter slug barrel, but they’re a bit of an investment.  I’m just glad to have finally fired something bigger than target load out of the shotgun; now that I realize that slugs are nothing to be afraid of (though my shoulder was sore for a few days) I’ll be a lot less hesitant to use heavier loads when I eventually go hunting.

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The Wagoneer performed more or less flawlessly on and off road.

As always, it was a shame to leave the UP.  There’s a lot that needs to be done up there before winter really arrives:

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You can't see it in this picture, but we got a decent amount of the firewood stacked; obviously, there's still a lot more to do.

It would be great to go up around Thanksgiving, or even just for a long weekend by myself.  It’s so tough to get any extracurricular reading done around here with all the distractions faced on a daily basis, and my stack of unread books is growing exponentially.  I never have class on Fridays, so I’ll have to check my calendar…

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Fall sunset

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