Preparing for My Next Adventure

I got an email from NRA’s Woman’s Programs, telling me about a planned wilderness escape. The attendees would learn to shoot smallbore rifle silhouette, scoped/tactical carbine, long range high power rifle, conventional and tactical pistol, historic firearms and shotgun (five-stand), and archery. Other activities included in the program are bow hunting, a mock hunt, and survival training.

campingAlthough I enjoyed the day I spent learning about gun safety and shooting various weapons at the local gun club (I thought someone who has killed as many people in books as I have should know how to shoot), I can’t imagine being steeped in gun culture for eight days. Nor am I certain I’d be willing to pay $1800 for the privilege. Still, the idea does tug at me, as do all things I’ve never done before. If nothing else, the shooting complex would be an interesting setting for a murder, and I could chalk up the week to research.

One thing in the invitation especially caught my attention: Whether you are a novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, it’s an experience that will prepare you for your next adventure!

Do they know about the adventure I’m considering, walking up the Pacific coast? Oh, my, I sure hope I won’t need to know how to shoot for that expedition. Guns are heavy! I tend to take as little as possible, probably way too little (though not as little as The Peace Pilgrim who carried only a pen, comb, map, toothbrush, and the clothes on her back). I’m not planning on walking for peace, exactly, but am aiming for a peaceful walk. Not only would a gun overload my pack, it would make me nervous, as if it were calling out to be used. (Can you feel my shudders?) So not the spirit of peace!

Still, I would take pepper spray or bear spray or some other sort of unfriendly creature spray, and I figure as long as I remember to point it away from me, that’s all the expertise I’d need.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

12 Responses to “Preparing for My Next Adventure”

  1. cicy rosado Says:

    LOL when are you planning on leaving? maybe you can chass’e all the way?

  2. Carol Says:

    I learned to shoot a hunting rifle when I was pretty young — my father was a licensed hunter — and I think it can be a good thing to know *how*, but owning and/or carrying one is all too often an invitation to an accident. Bear spray sounds like a great alternative. 🙂 Are you getting closer to making plans for that hiking adventure?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m always thinking about it, figuring out the strange little logistics, such as what to do with my glasses while I’m trying to sleep, what sort of socks to wear, what is the absolute minimum I would need to take, how to carry the load to make it easiest. (Maybe a light belly pack to offset the weight of the back pack.) But actually taking the trip is beyond my control. I can’t go while my father is still needs someone to stay with him, and of course, there’s the small matter of not knowing whether I am physically capable. But I am making plans, lists, that sort of thing. My latest research is wind umbrellas — to protect me from the wind. Wind can be devastating.

  3. Andrea Rose Says:

    All you need to do is become expert, Pat, take the target paper with you showing your multiple bull’s eyes, and if anyone gives you attitude, unfold the paper and then casually mention how accurate your last practice had been, while tapping your pocket knowingly.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I already have the target paper from when I went to a woman’s dayat the local firing range. I was pretty deadly! Actually, I’m thinking — umbrellas. There are some umbrellas on the market that are great with wind and rain, are strong enough to be used as a walking stick, and heavy enough to be used as a weapon. If nothing else, opening such an umbrella in someone’s face would give them pause.

      • Andrea Rose Says:

        The umbrella sounds like a plan! I also think the idea of a murder mystery based around a gun club would be fascinating whether you have time to physically visit one for eight days or not.

        The most exciting prospect is the walk up the Pacific coast. I remember the scenery from vacations and also because, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” was filmed on the California coastline. A shame that the beautiful (house set) was later demolished. I imagine you could do some wonderful writing about the scenery and those who continue to be drawn to the setting.

  4. mickeyhoffman Says:

    Definitely could cook up a murder mystery from a trip like that. Some of the participants might be a little…scary?

  5. Planning Sponteneity | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] Preparing for My Next Adventure […]

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