This trip that I recently completed--one in which I covered nearly 2,000 miles and touched on the five most southwest states--could not have been possible without the hospitality of Eric, known to most on the internet as Six of The Warrior Class, and his wonderful wife, Lu. And not to be left out is Angus, the coolest Black Lab west of the Rockies.
In fact, here's a group shot of the three of them. I'll let you guess which is which.
I first went out there to shoot a two-day advanced carbine class with Eric. The class was jointly taught by Ron Avery and Keith Garcia.
During the course, we dumped a bit shy of a thousand rounds each downrange, and while the course was geared a bit more towards competition than I'd have liked, I still came away with some new tricks and tools for my tool box. More importantly though, the course was the motivator to get me out west for a road trip that I'd been panning but not executing for a long, long time. Before this trip, I'd traveled to every state in the U.S. but for six, and five of those six were in the southwest: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. This trip put me in all of them for at least a day, and overnight multiple nights in all but New Mexico. Now I can claim 49 states, and Hawaii will come sooner or later. But this one all started because a nice guy and his nice wife invited me into their nice home in Utah when I told him that I was considering flying out to take the class that he'd written about on his blog.
And here's Eric in that class, working his AR carbine.
After the class was over, Eric and his wife were kind enough to show me much of the area, including Zion National Park (Fantastic!) and several local sights, including an old Mormon fort, fossilized dinosaur tracks, and the Mormon temple in St. George where I missed a great opportunity to convince Sister Clark, a stunning young lady from South Africa here on a two-year mission trip, to accompany me on my trip. Had I just told her that I had been sent on a quest by the Great Prophet to travel America for two weeks and finish in Vegas, I'm sure that she'd have agreed to come along, especially if I told her that the Prophet suggested that I seek her out personally as my traveling companion. If nothing else, we'd have seen some sights and had a great night or two in Vegas even if she did see through me during the trip. But alas, I wasn't quite quick enough with the bright idea. Pity.
Here's Eric and Lu at Zion.
And here's Angus in his native habitat: the back seat of Eric's truck.
That dog has it better than a lot of kids I know...and he obeys better, too. He's very well trained, a testament to Eric and Lu's commitment to him.
These are great folks, and I thank Al Gore and his amazing internet for allowing me to meet them.