June 26, 2008
The Flood of ‘08, Shooting and the Price of Gas
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
I planned to spend Father’s Day filling sandbags. Fortunately the Iowa River floodwaters crested earlier and lower than anticipated and the city told volunteers to take the day off. This was great news for my sore back and even better news for Iowa City. Barring more rain, we’ve seen the high water mark of the Flood of ’08. As the waters recede, it will be time to clean up and calculate the cost of the flood, which may run to billions.
What does this have to do with shotguns? Well, because my house sits high and dry on a hill, the main cost of the Flood of ’08 to me is this: due to the road closures and detours between home and the club where I shoot skeet, the 70 mile round trip is now 150 miles one way. Even if gasoline were free I wouldn’t want to make the drive very often. At $4 a gallon it’s not happening. I’ll wait for the water to go down.
Having to re-think my drive to the gun club reminds me that I’ve often wondered how far other people regularly travel to shoot. I don’t have any idea what the average distance is, but I do know that convenient access to a ranges is very important to recruiting and retaining shooters. So I’d like to take a poll: how far do you have to drive to the gun club, and will $4 gas mean fewer trips to the range for you this summer?