Finally pulled into Festung Scout at about 12:30 last night, after an exciting week on the road. And what a week it was.
Got to see my old First Sergeant (Wayne Cobb) and one of my soldiers (Mike Alan Engle) in Anniston, AL. We enjoyed catching up over dinner and then Wayne and Lucy were kind enough to open their home to us and let us spend the night. The next day he gave us a tour of Ft. McClellan. Or actually, what's left of it. Some of the old MP building are in use, mostly but .gov agencies (DHS, Local LE, and couple of colleges), most of the housing areas have gone to seed, although some have been rehabbed. There are many still for sale. Cheap. It does tug at the heart to see a place that was so instrumental in our lives to have fallen so far. It would have almost been better if they would have bulldozed the place. Although the "Starships" or Basic Training buildings would need a wee bit of explosives to bring down. So there are plants and trees growing everywhere, and I'm sure many a passed on drill instructor and First Sergeant are spinning in their graves over it. Despite the loss of Ft. McMuffin, Anniston doesn't look any worse than anywhere else in the country, economy wise. There's still the Depot and local industry (like the Goodyear plant). But one place that was busy was CMP.
Like entering Nirvana, I was greeted by racks of M1 Garands, some `03 Springfields, 1917 Enfields, and a variety of .22LR Target rifles. There were boxes of bayonets, and counter to order parts. I roamed around trying not to be tempted. That lasted all of about 30 seconds. I spotted a H&R M1 with at very low throat and muzzle erosion numbers. Listed as Rack Grade. With the Rack Grade price. Why so cheap I asked? "Some Greek carved his girlfriend's name in the stock." Sure enough "KAROLA". Well, Carol, you're coming home with me !! Some paperwork, a little waiting and my Rifle will be delivered by Fedex when I get home. (Had I been willing to pay Alabama's 10% sales tax, I could have taken it with me.) Oh, and you can take the bayonet and sling home with you for cheaper than shipping.
Next onto Atlanta and to meet with another of my soldiers and First Sergeants. However, do to scheduling conflicts I wasn't able to meet with either, so I continued on to Aiken SC.
Aiken being the home of my predecessor as president of the Aurora Sportsmen's Club, Mark Meyer. While I got him caught up on the doings at ASC, he told me about life as a Yankee in the South. While the cost of living of decidedly less, there are drawbacks. #1 being that a you are living in the South, and the South is full of Southerners. Who individually are great people. As a group, well, there's a good reason Sherman burned the place. Well actually he didn't, "The Battle of Aiken" was the last Confederate victory of the Civil War. Seems whatever forces the Rebs had, put up a stand and prevented Aiken from being put to the torch. However, what none of the local worthies remember is that Sherman simply avoided a drawn out fight, went around the Reb forces and burned Burnettown instead.
While there Mark showed my his backyard range and Patrick's Deer Stand. After letting my try his PlumCrazy AR, we hopped in his truck and headed off to the local gun shop, so that I could get my own complete composite AR lower for $90 like her paid for his.
Alas, since I'm from the People's Democrat Republic of Illinois, our Beloved Atty Gen, Her Worshipfulness Lisa Madigan, has determined that PlumCrazy's are pistols, so they a SC FFL can't sell me one. (Stupid Gun Laws and overweening politicians strike again.) I leave empty handed. But not completely. Sue gave me pictures of their son Jake being all badass as Marine holding an M240, even though he is a logistics weenie. But still he is serving and I thank him for his service. I also asked for and got from Patrick a letter for his NJROTC asking for contributions to help support their Rifle Team. Last year, the CMP Crew from ASC help Patrick raise more money then the locals. So in addition to out shooting the Rebs, he out fund raises them. Earning him the well deserved title of "Damn Yankee". Now having thoroughly enjoyed my self with the the Meyer's it was time to move onward, and little did I know, upward. Going from Aiken to Ceasar's Head State Park gave me two choices. Either I could stay on the Interstate System, as I had driven the entire trip or take US 25 up through South Carolina. According to Mapquest staying on the interstate would add about 35 extra miles to the trip. Oh, what the heck, let's see some of this country. US 25 it is !!
Next Post- You can't get from one place to another in SC without going somewhere you don't want to.