We stopped, made our calls, threw in some petrol and with the Sun starting to set made short work of locating a camp spot 15 miles up the road at the shoot.
Luckily, we had plenty of daylight and worked out all of our camping area and designated the cots easily.
By 8:00 pm, we had our chairs and cooler, front row, settled in for the night shoot. One of my favorite parts of this was having had been there 4 times before so we knew we could sit much more closely than anyone else around us did. We walked right past the "line" of people and sat 20 feet closer to the firing line for a great view and awesome effect! Sitting here, we could see down the firing line and watch the muzzles unleash their fire for at least 50 feet on down into the darkness.
Tens of thousands of rounds, mostly tracer rounds, lit up the desert sky and ground, exploding dynamite and crates of fireworks in a display that can really only be seen here, twice a year.
They wrapped up a bit earlier than usual which we thought was a bit of a rip off. Of course, we had just paid full price to see that portion of the shoot. We hadn't been there all day and we didn't have time to go back through on Sunday. For $50 (for both) we got a camping spot with a Porta Potty, level ground and a pretty sweet display of firearms in my opinion. If it goes up next year, we'll probably skip it - Although I love the trek to it so…Meh.
We got back to the camp spot, rigged up some grub and afterwards I tried desperately to "enjoy" smoking my Grandpa's 79 year-old tobacco pipe. I had the right tobacco and the pipe was clean but I couldn't get it to stay lit. I hear it's an art so now I'm determined to figure it out.
All done eating, enjoying Whiskey's whiskey, talking and trying to be a poser with my pipe, we crashed out.
Outside of needing to sleep in my jacket, beanie and pants, I was remarkably comfortable. In fact, I could argue that it was the best night sleep, camping, ever. "0 degree" bag? Not even close. Whiskey fought his "30 degree" bag pretty heavily so unfortunately his night was pretty rough.
Up and at 'em at 6 - Packed up and on the road by 7:30, we hit the highway.
One of my other favorite parts of the trip? I pulled out on to the highway with plenty of time in between cars, got up to speed and moments later and a rocket-propelled PT Cruiser was all up in my rear, inches away from my bumper. For fun, you could refer back to one of the pictures above. That Jeep, filled with guns and ammo cans, camo gear and us two dudes all camped out and rugged as can be...And we get tailgated at 55, which was the speed limited?
My only reaction of course, for safety reasons, was to slow down to reasonable speed of about 15 mph for this poor, frustrated, ignorant SOB traveling a desolate desert highway with his wife in-tow. 1000 feet up ahead, a double lane opening gave promise to this idiot having his way and screaming off down the road. As his beet-red face started to turn and "glare me down" as he passed me on the left, his eyes got REALLY BIG as all of the gear and guns sank in to his tiny little mind. His wife smiled and shrugged like, "Yep, he's a moron". Before he made eye contact, his head shot straight forward as he pegged the throttle and scurried away. God Bless
We stopped in Wikieup and called in our howdies in to the ladies again and bonzai-ed back home through the dusty trial.