Monday, September 27, 2010

Road Trip: Columbus

My brother California Dave and I took a road trip down to Memphis, Tennessee recently to see my other brother, Shotgun Bob. On our way back we stopped in Columbus, Ohio to visit with our brother Big Mike. Some people might say that Mike has an unusual outlook on life, as evidenced by his welcome mat.

I'm reminded of a bar I patronized one afternoon in Jacksonville Beach, FL, where the middle aged men sitting at the bar would yell, 'Git outta here!' whenever a tourist walked in. If you got past the greeting it was evident that you belonged in the bar. Naturally, Mike provided excellent hospitality starting with an ice cold Perfect Manhattan, followed by dinner and serious drinking. The following day we went out to Black Wing, a truly luxurious gun range. On the way out, we saw this loony tune.

Village Idiot
For reasons best known to Divinity this clown was carrying a twenty foot aluminum ladder in his passenger compartment apparently braced against the dash board, and he wasn't driving slowly and carefully either. The blurred photo is due to rain. That's right, rain. I was just waiting for this idiot to go over a speed bump and lose the whole works out the back of his car along with a sizable chunk of his dashboard, thus not only ruining his day but making the lives of the drivers behind him a whole lot more interesting. Where is Beat and Release and his elite cadre of traffic enforcement officers when you need them?

Well, we were killed on the road we arrived at Black Wing safely. If you've never shot at Black Wing, it is truly an experience not to be missed. They offer handgun, skeet, trap and rifle along with a full service gun store, and they'll often have exhibitions that are worth attending. The three of us settled on handgun and a few rounds of skeet. We all did fairly well on the handgun range. I turned in a respectable score with Big Mike's Kimber.

Kimber .45

Kimber Score at 25 Feet
The best I was able to do was with my Ruger .22 at seventy five feet. I generally don't shoot at this range with a handgun, mainly because I can't see that far (I've lost a lot of my eyesight due to whiskey old age) and because I don't like looking foolish, which is generally what happens when I get the target back and find out I can recycle it without having to patch up any holes. This time I didn't do badly.

Score with .22 Ruger at 75 Feet
This was shot from a standing position, two handed. I suppose I should have tried a second target using one hand, just to see what would happen.

We shot two or three games of skeet. I was shooting my Ithaca 12 gauge featherweight pump, which kicks like a mule even when I'm in practice and used to the recoil. Suffice to say I haven't shot any skeet in over a year, and so stopped keeping score after station three. No, I'm not going to write Big Mike's score or California Dave's score.

Black Wing
We left Black Wing with the vague idea of going to the Columbus Zoological Gardens and Aquarium, I suppose because the theme of the day was shooting, but being fatigued we opted for a siesta followed by dinner.

Columbus Short North
Big Mike took us down to Columbus Short North, which is what every big city downtown area aspires to be and few succeed in achieving. Short North is an excellent place to go for an extended bar crawl and I highly recommend it to everyone.

After a short discussion, we settled on Italian food for dinner, so Big Mike suggested Marcella's. As usual, when Mike knows anything he knows what is best.

The food and service at Marcella's are outstanding, but the prices are not for the faint of heart. Still and all, the value is worth the price and I recommend Marcella's to everyone. For us, this was the perfect finish for an excellent day.

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