The weather is beginning to change and the morning was cool and overcast. Since the plan was to spend the day with Danny and Tyler at the club property, the workout had to get done early. Jeanne stayed in the warmth of the coach getting things ready for the day.
One of the goals of our visit to Southern California was to take the grandsons shooting. Tyler is ten years old, which is a perfect age for an outing with the .22 rifle. Danny, Tyler’s stepdad, had never been shooting, so it was an opportunity to introduce two new shooters to the sport. By 9:30 we were on our way.
The club property is in a very remote area. There is nothing around for miles and the power lines to the property are literally the end of the line. The sandy hills and sparse vegetation make it a perfect place to shoot. The long drive gave us time to talk and review the NRA firearm safety video I require all new shooters to watch before heading to the range. Apparently, Tyler had watched the video three times and did well on the pop quiz.
Arriving at the property, some Edison employees were inspecting the power poles for infestation. They had already dug a small hole next to the base of the pole and were about to treat it with insecticide and fungicide. Lesson learned: don’t use phone poles for firewood, burning one releases all kinds of nasty stuff.
After talking to the Edison guys, we had to drive the Jeep a short distance to load the clay target thrower. For the first time in his young life, Tyler got the opportunity to drive a real vehicle. His total driving distance for the day was about half a mile at an average speed of three miles per hour. At the end of his driving experience, he announced driving the Jeep was a lot different than the video games he plays. I would hope so.
Danny and I shot some clay targets. The shotgun is too much for a ten year-old to handle, but Tyler got to launch the targets and keep score. Afterwards, we picked off any targets that ‘got away’ with the .22 rifle. At a range of 50 to 70 yards, this was a challenge for a youngster. By the end of the day, Tyler could safely handle a rifle and confidently hit what he was shooting at. It was a perfect first-time-shooting experience.
It gets dark early this time of year, so we headed back around 3:30. Three minutes after turning onto the paved highway, Danny and Tyler were sound asleep. I’m sure Tyler will remember this day for a long, long time.