Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Shooting Challenge

Our friend Brian came to visit our friends Billy and Emily this weekend.  We did an army challenge on Saturday that was more fun than you legally should  be allowed to have.  Gun safety was used at all times, even when it looks like it wasn't. The boys came out too, but only did a couple challenges.
These are 3 of the enemies we were battling for the army challenge.  The 4th one wouldn't load for some reason, but it was a filthy communist.  The one above is a generic bad guy, a drug dealer below, and an alien below that.

The group getting ready for the challenge.

So challenge one was a pistol challenge, here's the link to the you tube video.  Ponder on Dylan's question at the end.
The 2nd challenge was a sniper shoot off.  The targets are down in those smaller trees mid way up the slope in the back of the picture.  Simon did this challenge with us.  We were shooting a .22 with a scope.  The 3rd challenge was with a .22 with open sites and you had to shoot from cover (a tree), move to and shoot from cover again (another tree), move to short cover and shoot from one knee (another smaller tree), then the 4th shot was up to you to decide.  I didn't have the camera with me at the 3rd or 5th challenge, so no pictures from that.
The 4th (and absolute best) challenge was with an old Enfield .303 that I have that has a bayonet!  There were 4 bad guys to shoot, so for this challenge you got 3 bullets, then had to charge the last target and kill it with the bayonet.  Link here:   The boys did this challenge as well, with an empty gun.  Here's Dylan:  and Simon here:

Sorry, the videos look kind of pixelated, I uploaded them to you tube from my iPad, and I don't think it loaded very well.

The 5th challenge was Billy, Brian, and I lined up with the targets in front of us and shooting them as fast as we could.  It was so fun we did it 3 times.  Once that was done Dylan was screaming that he couldn't feel his toes anymore and it looked like it was about to rain, so we headed back to the van.  We were on some property that Emily owns with her brother and sister, and it's adjacent to a state DOT gravel pit which is where we parked.  There was a pile of sand that was about 25-30 feet tall.  Simon climbed to the top of it and jumped off, then Emily did the same thing.  It looked like fun so I decided to throw caution to the wind and do it as well.  I jumped, landed about halfway down in the soft sand, immediately fell forward and landed on my chest, then slid the rest of the way to the bottom.  Emily said "We know what happens when Ben does things like this, why weren't we filming that!?"  I could feel I tweaked my back a little so I decided not to do it again.  Dylan got out of the van and decided to jump off, then Billy joined Emily, Simon, and Dylan in jumping off it.  It began to look like a 2nd jump would probably be more fun than the first one, so, again throwing caution (and good judgement) to the wind, I climbed up, got a good running start, and flew off the edge.  I leaned back this time so I wouldn't fall forward again, but unfortunately physics decided I wasn't leaning back far enough and I fell forward, face planting this time, my legs came up over my back and head, and I rolled the rest of the way to the bottom.  I had so much sand all over me that I could pull hand fulls out of my sweat shirt pockets.  It was in my hair, beard and everyplace else.  To quote Simon, "I have sand in places I didn't even know I had."  Unfortunately, I also tweaked my back so bad that I've been laid up on the couch or in my hammock all day, and I had to miss a deer roast at our friend David and Arwen's house. They've been wanting to roast something in the ground, and decided the deer they got would work, so David dug a pit, started a big fire in it, and when it cooked down to coals threw the deer in, after it was all wrapped up.  The boys decided to stay home as well, they had a couple of friends over that they were playing with.  Faith went and hopefully she brings me home some pit roasted deer.
I'm heading to Hood River, OR on Monday to a conference.  I did a big analysis on a project my forest is working on that shows if and how much money we would save on fire suppression costs by doing fuels reduction treatments, and I did a presentation to some folks on the forest on the results.  There was an ecologist at that presentation from the regional office, and after it was over he asked me to come down to a regional conference give that same presentation again.  I'm only the 2nd person in the nation to complete that type of analysis for the project, and I did it differently than the 1st person that did it. The regional ecologist told me he would like to see other forest with similar projects do the analysis the same way I did it, so that's pretty cool.  After that is over I drive home on Thursday, then Friday morning the family is heading to Portland for a long weekend to see my friend Mark and his wife and kids.  We're going to OMSI and the zoo for sure, and whatever else we have time for.  OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, it's a pretty spectacular place.  We went to a Star Wars exhibit there about 8 years ago.  The exhibit this time is about what people from around the world eat.  There's also tons of activities for kids, like a robotics room and some other kid centric stuff.  That's about it, hope everybody's doing well!

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