River Bend Redux

This was my second visit to the River Bend Gun Club a little bit north of Atlanta.

On my first trip almost a year ago, I had been working in Atlanta and stayed through on the following weekend to shoot the club’s 2700. I had a great time at the well run competition and looked forward to renewing my previous acquaintances as well as shooting the 2700.

This time my work had me in Huntsville Alabama for two consecutive weeks with a 2700 at the club on the sandwiched Sunday. Driving time from Huntsville was expected to be three to five hours depending on how much scenery I wanted to take in. I had all day Saturday to get there so I took the scenic and relaxed drive down back roads through the Great Smokey mountains. With all the trees budding their spring growth, it was spectacular.

I spent Saturday night at a Best Western in Canton GA – and will not stay there again. It was a warm evening and the air conditioner in the room was utterly useless. There is a Hampton Inn under construction next door so, next time, I’ll stay there.

First shot was scheduled for 10:00AM on Sunday. I planned to arrive at the range plenty early “just in case” and, boy, was that a good idea!

At 8:15AM, I left the hotel for what I expected to be a 45 minute drive. I punched up “River Bend” in the GPS and, to my delight, the gun club was listed. Wonderful!

Or so I thought.

Forty five minutes later I was at the end of a backwoods country road dead end. The GPS announced, “Arriving at destination,” but the gun club was nowhere in sight. I’d been there a year ago but this was decidedly not the right place.


I pulled out the map from the club’s website and found a nearby intersection and punched that into the GPS: Shiloh Church and Yellow Creek roads near Ophir Georgia.

The GPS said it would be a 30 minute drive.


I’d still be early but only by 10-15 minutes.

But I did say the countryside was pretty, didn’t I? At least I got to enjoy more scenery as I followed the GPS back down the same wrong roads I’d just driven.

Arriving at the club, I found a small group at the pistol range. Jim Good was expecting me – I had emailed him a couple of weeks earlier that I was going to be there – and as I pulled up to the range, he smiled and waved.

I removed my travel gun box and travel ammo box from the rental car’s trunk and headed up to the line.

Counting myself there would be five shooters plus the meet director. The weather was threatening rain and a thunderstorm which probably accounted for the small turnout.

But I was prepared with my plastic baggies for scoring pad and each gun. Indeed, I was looking forward to the rain as a good test of my preparations – the only way to be sure you’ve got everything in hand for some contingency is to actually go through it.

The matches went relatively quick but with the 50 and 25 yard walks back and forth, we didn’t finish that fast. It was a fairly normal pace. We took a typical break between 22 and Center Fire, a lunch break before 45 and then finished about 2:30PM.

Jim Good, meet director, had the scores entered, ranked and printed after each gun but with such a small group there wasn’t a lot of competitiveness. Instead, everyone was just enjoying the day. And it never really rained more than a few drips – I think we used umbrellas once but then ignored the scant drips the rest of the time. My gun and score pad baggies worked as intended so I passed my personal “rain test”.

I left for the drive back to Huntsville about 3:00PM and took the quick route, up to Chattanooga and then back down into Alabama. The GPS said I’d be there in three hours.

But the GPS didn’t know about the torrential rains and near tornado conditions I’d encounter on I-24 and US 72.

Fortunately, the traffic was light that Sunday evening and although an hour later than expected, I made it back to Huntsville without incident.

Work resumed the next morning.

Now that’s a nice weekend.

Thanks, guys!


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