I arrived at the Boomershoot site Saturday April 20th. This was almost a week before the event started.
I was coming from the Seattle area and drove via Colfax, Lewiston, and Kendrick. I was pleased to see the hills were greening up and took a few pictures. This one was as I was a few miles out from Kendrick:
What I didn’t tell anyone except my brothers, who helped me load the flooring material on the top of my vehicle, was that I was going to put down a new floor at Boomershoot Mecca before anyone else arrived. Here I have the rolls on top of the Escape just after I arrived on site:
I actually gave some clues to the staff that something was up in this post.
I had great fun seeing the surprise on people’s face when they noticed the new awesome floor. And even more fun when Barb L. didn’t notice. This was even though on our previous visit to Mecca just three weeks earlier we had talked a great deal about doing something different with the floor. We had just about settled on tile. But with all the stuff in the shipping container it was going to “have” to wait until after Boomershoot this year. I found some roll flooring that I was able to install, by myself, in about one day’s worth of work.
Barb had spent many minutes inside Mecca and I even asked her if she saw anything different. She couldn’t figure it out. I finally asked her about the floor and she went a little crazy about it (“I could totally get my freak on about it! I could mop it!”). She really likes to have clean floors and with the previous floor it just wasn’t practical.
After my tent blew down the hill in the Sunday evening windstorm I put a 50 pound bag of ammonium nitrate on each end of the tent to keep it a little more “grounded” for the rest of my stay:
Wednesday I almost always have to myself but at about noon both Scott and Antitango reported they were about to arrive. Scott, as always, arrived first and I had him do some more work preparing a parking area near Mecca for the staff.
I ended up not getting some of the things I had planned on doing done. But we got 500 hillside stakes in the ground Wednesday afternoon! We also had the shooting position stakes and signs laid out and ready for Thursday morning.
Thursday morning Barb and Max L. were there along with Antitango and his gang.
The rubber bands were put on the hillside stakes (or did we get that done Wednesday? I’m not sure.) The fiberglass stakes for the caution tape to keep people from parking in the shooting area were put in place, the shooting positions marked, and the garbage cans distributed by about 10:00 AM.
We were WAY ahead of schedule so we did a quick initial run of targets and learned some lessons. My biggest lesson was to not let the staff run off and try it by themselves. I was getting the Wi-Fi and AT&T microcell up while the staff went off to make a few targets.
Barb L. came back looking for me and said, with a very concerned look on her face, “We need you.” I arrived back at Mecca to the sound of multiple alarms screaming, the air filters off or on the lowest settings, the air filled with dust, and people doing things differently from what I had planned. The alarms were low voltage alarms because they were trying to run everything on the batteries. Batteries that I had already determined were nearly dead. I turned off the lights which was enough load drop to get the alarms silenced, turned all the air filters on high, and started up the generator. I then went inside to talk about my vision of production versus what was actually happening.
My plan also had some problems and after a short run we shut down the line, cleaned up, and went to Orofino for lunch and the Utah CCW class put on by Antitango.
The next morning I rearranged things to correct for the problems discovered the day before. This is what the interior of Mecca looked like on Friday morning before we started target production “for real”:
And here is the production line in action about 11:30 AM:
And at about 10:30 Saturday morning:
The guy with the smile is Rolf—just so you know what you are dealing with when you read his posts here.
Notice that most of the crates and cardboard boxes are gone. We produced about 1600 targets in less than two days.
We had a lot of staff producing targets. So many that I didn’t have jobs for everyone. This was actually a good thing because part of the time it was very hot in the container and people needed to get out to cool off. We had the staff to swap out and rest while keeping the line up and running.
Here is a picture of the parking area at Mecca Saturday morning:
Which of the vehicles is not like the others?
Out of band from the target production at Mecca was Ry and Ben (with a little enabling help from me) working on the fireball target at the shooting line. This should give you a clue about the effort involved:
Sunday morning I was on site by about 5:30 to prepare for the rest of the staff that I asked to arrive at 7:00. Here is a picture of the shooting line I took at about 6:30:
The targets were all mounted on the stakes nearly an hour earlier than scheduled thanks to lots of staff and a different target delivery plan. And this included putting in the tree-line stakes Sunday morning instead of Saturday evening as planned.
Ry and Ben assembled the fireball target as the rest of us put the 1000 targets on stakes on the hillside and at the tree-line.
Here is the completed fireball target:
Front view with flares visible.
Maybe by this weekend I’ll write up my thoughts on the event itself.
The short version is that some things went exceptionally well. Others were a disappointment.