On Saturday morning during our Greenbrier Birthday Weekend, Katie and I headed to the mountains and shot some guns. Girls Gun Club went on the road while the guys went on a history tour of the hotel. How cute is that?
Katie and I chose to shoot on the sporting clay course vs. skeet shooting. Sporting clays, as you may remember from the 2016 original GGC, are basically like golf with guns. You walk to each trap, get 25 shots total for the whole course, and go to five traps. We were the ONLY TWO PEOPLE ON THE WHOLE COURSE. It was amazing and we love, love, loved our instructor Jimmy Fraley. I can't even begin to explain the difference between the Greenbrier Gun Club and the Point at Pintail, but you know I'm going to try. Bear with me. You know by now that you need a passport to get through these posts.
Jimmy set us up, reviewing the safety rules and going over the basics with us. Katie and I were both outfitted with our own guns, to carry, and practice gun safety from the get go. Truly, it changed everything. We loaded our own guns, emptied our own guns, and opened the guns when we walked to each trap, practicing gun safety at each step. It made me so much more confident around the guns to be honest. In 2016 our instructor had one gun for five women, loaded the gun each time which felt vastly different than this noble time in West Virginia.
Katie hadn't shot since she was in camp. I hadn't been since 2016.
Jimmy was really proud of Katie's stance and wanted me to make sure I got a video of her shots.
He was a patient coach.
He also was hilarious, in his Jimmy'isms. I can't remember ever laughing so much in a two hour period. Re-watching some of these videos has me cracking up. He warned if the clay was a bear, we'd have problems...because we missed. He poked fun in the most delightful way. But he did not in any way baby us, because we were women. Even more than my first experience, he really trusted us. It was awesome.
Jimmy and I bonded over our arthritic matching fingers!
And it was colder than you know what. He was also proud that we didn't complain how chilly it was. We were also taught how to catch the shells against our torso. One day I'll get good at catching them mid-air, like Olympians.
We used a 20 gauge Beretta, over under, which I think is called a Silver Pigeon. Katie made a great point that there really should be a candle made to smell like gun powder.
I got 16 out of 25. And this time I shot two double traps. I was so proud I texted my uncle and cousins to brag. And had to tell my Girls Gun Club travel buddies on a group text.
This is a video of one of my double traps.
Jimmy was our biggest cheerleader.
Back at the lodge, the fire was blazing and our favorite Garden & Gun magazine with the southern women feature, was on the table. Alcohol is not allowed before shooting, for obvious reasons, but I really should have brought my flask to warm up afterwards. We were wind burned for an hour after, and it was the kind of cold that keeps your legs red for a few hours too. Snuggling up by the fire was such a treat after the chilly morning.
If this is your jam, follow my Girls Gun Club board on Pinterest. One of my dreams is to start a destination travel company for women who like to shoot, love art, cooking, artisan flours, local flowers and studing history. Can you imagine touring Ireland or Scotland, then settling in for the night in a black tie gown for dinner, a la Monarch of the Glen? Getting an artist to speak about working with the First Lady? Arranging flowers in the morning, and using house milled flours in the afternoon to bake bread? A girl can dream right?
For those who want more inspiring stories about women, go to Second Life. I just found this podcast and have been binge listening to it on my way to work. I started with Kerry Diamond, Ellen Bennett, and Nancy Silverton.
Thank you so much Greenbrier Gun Club for taking such good care of us. Seriously, it was such a good time. Being with friends and feeling empowered by something you enjoy is such a simple pleasure. I called the Greenbrier to get the names to thank the great staff. The precious woman Kim, who answered the phone was delightful. She said, "Oh Jimmy Fraley? He and I were in the same home room." Jim Thomas was the manager of the gun club and was also quick to respond to my questions about what kind of guns and bullets we were shooting. Jimmy, we can't thank you enough for treating us like competitive Olympic champions. Can't wait to come back again.