Shelley Rae of Shelley-rae.com, Julie Golob–World Class pistol competitor, Barbara Baird of Women’sOutdoornews.com, Gracie of Packingpretty.com, Gabbie of Armedcandy, Destinee of FateofDestinee.com Marti Davis – Huntress Extraordinaire, Beth Cowgill of Sassbrassnbullets.com, Lacie Duffey – Our NRAwomen.tv. representative and Natalie Foster of Girlsguidetoguns.com. These are all remarkable women in the gun industry. I just spent a weekend with them. The Girl’s Gun Getaway took place in the middle of nowhere in Missouri. Our host Barb and her husband Jason were kind enough to offer up their beautiful home on a 650 acre ranch. Jason also offered up his expertise and donations from the Missouri University of Technology and Science to blow stuff up. Smith & Wesson and Beretta USA and Ammunition Depot all donated food, firearms and ammo to our awesome weekend. This “weekend” idea started with a couple of Tweets and grew in to a group of 10 women gun bloggers organizing a meeting and get away. All guns welcome of course. As best as we could with the short amount of time it was put together we had a goal of discussions and ideas about women in the gun industry. I did not know what to expect of this weekend with women most of whom I had never met in person. What really were we going to talk about? What was the point of doing this? I bought a ticket to St. Louis, MO and was about to find out.
I met Shelley Rae and Gracie at Seatac airport in the morning. We each had our very large gun cases full of pistols, rifles, magazines and ammo. Shelley brought her AR and ALL of her M&P pistols. I love the fact that traveling with guns is getting easier. The last year or so I have never had any issues with agents or TSA or lost or damaged cases, or worse yet, lost or stolen guns. “Knock on wood”. I was originally going to bring my Palma rifle “Carmen” along with my JP Rifle and Tanfoglio pistol. I mainly wanted to show off my super beauty, national record holding rifle. But I realized I would have no opportunity to shoot it since it has iron sights and they don’t have the targets. The whole affect is also brought together with shooting jacket which is very heavy. It would have add another checked bag to pay for and the risk of something happening to it. They can see photos of it I figured. Barb’s ranch has a great shooting range right out her back door but it would not have worked for the Palma rifle. So I left Carmen behind and brought the toys I knew I would get the most use out of. The three of us landed in St. Louis about 6pm and were meeting up with Natalie who flew in from L.A. All of our luggage and cases made it and we found our rental SUV and barely fit all of it and us in it. Next phase was the nearly 4 hour road trip to our ranch.
Our 4 hour road trip actually took about 6 hours. We had a few adventures along the way. Our first goal was to find a Walmart to pick up some beverage fixings and most importantly some ammunition. (We were unaware at the time as to how much ammo was actually donated to us.) 2nd mission was to find a Starbucks and place to eat. We set our GPS to the nearest big W and head out. Now I have been in to a Walmart only twice before. I did know enough about them that this particular location did not live “up?” to the standards of most Walmarts. It looked like a shabby thrift store. The “beverage” section we were looking for was locked up behind a cashier and had really bad brands available. Ammo was not at all available. Looking around we realized we were not in a nice neighborhood. We quickly head out again and set our GPS toward the ranch and figured we would run in to another W sometime soon. Next was food and coffee. We found the perfect exit with a 5 Guys Burgers. Yum. Gracie mentioned she could not find her cell phone when we left W and we were calling it and could hear it vibrating somewhere. We just assumed it was in her luggage under the pile and when we got to our food destination she would dig through and find it. At 5 Guys she and Shelley looked everywhere only to realize it was on top of the car on the roof. It made that 20 mile or so drive without falling off. There were not any Starbucks around so we head out on the freeway again looking for the next exit. About 30 miles down we saw the familiar green and white logo on a freeway sign. In the Starbucks Gracie realizes she now has left her cell phone in the bathroom back at 5 Guys. We all know what it is like to be without a phone. She was okay to leave it there in their safe and pick it up on the way back on Monday. So with full tummies and caffeine in hand we hit the road again. Changing freeways to highways we were coming to the end of civilization for awhile. We needed a pit stop, badly, and still needed a Walmart. It was 9pm. We see a Kmart (I know, it sounds like I am traveling advertiser). As soon as we pull in to the parking lot the building lights and neon sign go dark. Closing! We drive further in to town and there is another big W. I think we were all sprinting in to find the bathrooms. This was a good location. They had ammo and beverages and Gracie even bought a cool pocket knife. Oh yes and lady razors. And lipstick. On the road again we went. I thank Natalie my co-pilot for navigating us perfectly to the ranch. The last bit of the journey was in the darkest of night and we were crossing train tracks and dirt roads. Our final turn down a dirt road led us toward a very welcoming lit up house. And although midnight the other gals that arrived before us were awake and greeted us with big fan fare. We made it.
30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can….”