Friday, July 3, 2015

Firearms Friday: Buying Local

Photo from our brief detour along Skyline Drive. 
Usually when preparing for a trip I pull up Google and search for a local gun shop where I can stop by and look around. Not the Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain, or Cabela’s nearby but the small family owned shop like my shop up in Jamison, Tanner’s Sports Center. Besides being a much more inviting place to stop and relax, the prices are usually better and we all have to do our part to support these small businesses.

This has become part of my travel routine. When I first drove out to Elizabethtown I found Trop Gun Shop. When I ventured to the other side of the Commonwealth, I stopped by the Keystone Armory. It is a fun and relaxing way for me to take a break from the road and the usual agenda of these trips. And each time I end up walking out with at least something small that I had been meaning to pick up.

However, the last couple of trips this summer, I didn’t plan on making such a stop. Our weekend getaway to Hershey wasn’t my weekend, which was a couple of days dedicated to my wife and making her happy… this is my hobby and I wasn’t going to let it interfere with her weekend. The drive to Pittsburgh was already a bit of a challenge and had so many unknowns that there wasn’t a moment to be spared. And, finally, the current trip to Virginia is all about family… it has been too long since we have taken this journey together and there are too many other things that we need to see that adding another stop just for me doesn’t make sense.

Instead, the detours that we took on our way down were for practical and bucket list purposes. We managed to pack the car (10 in 5) and get out of the house on time and hit little traffic on the first leg before stopping at a Waffle House along the highway. In addition to it having been a long time for each of us since dining at a Waffle House (with the exception of a quick stop in Arizona a couple of years ago) it was also the first time that our son had been to one and it was also his first experience in a high chair.

After lunch we continued on the highway which would take us directly to the Red Roof Inn in Troutville, Virginia. We had a dinner schedule for tonight so we did have a bit of a schedule but we also had plenty of leeway so we took a little detour (the first of many during this vacation I’m sure). It was a brief bucket list trek off the highway and over the mountains to Skyline Drive. The views were spectacular but the 30 mph speed limit wasn’t going to work for us so after a short while we turned around and back tracked to the highway.

In the end, while it is nice to stop by local shops and I encourage the practice, family has to come first. We can’t do everything that we want but we can chose the best experiences to have in life and by taking the time and enjoying new experiences with family rather than indulging in our own hobby, we will be much better for it. Of course, there could certainly be a few stops to local shops in the future.

Even with an overcast sky and hazy valley the views were still stunning.