The second day of the MGM Iron Man dawned much like its predecessor – a bit misty and damp, but clearing off by mid-afternoon. Once again, John hauled his firepower and accessories back to the range; his Dutiful Wife hauled her sleepy butt and a book or two.
Since John’s squad had finished with Stage 11 the previous day, they began with Stage 1, which featured a maze which had to be passed through (with pistol) at a crouch, followed by a belly-crawl (with rifle) beneath some netting. Stage 2 involved shooting from a large swinging platform, which made the shooters appear as if they were firing from the deck of a ship in choppy seas. No one fell down, which was a relief. Lunch followed, and this time the lunch folks seemed to have a better handle on things – John’s squad also ate earlier in the day than previously, for which I was grateful. We usually didn’t have breakfast before the start of each day’s shooting, and Jack Link beef jerky doesn’t really do much to fill you up, although it does give your jaws a workout.
The post-prandial stages were REALLY interesting. Stage 3 featured a steep slide that must have been at least 20 feet tall. The shooters began at the top of this slide with their rifles, and after completing that part of the stage, slid down the slide, landed at the bottom and continued with the balance of the course. The slide was so steep that a large, fat rope was provided to slow one’s progress coming down; some shooters opted not to use it, and consequently the stage was the site of several visits from the local EMS teams. One shooter slid down so fast that he tripped at the bottom and did a face-plant into the sand; another shooter shot off the bottom of the slide, bounced on his backside a couple of times and had to be carted away by ambulance. Did I mention that the ambulance was a frequent visitor to the range?
We had a long wait before getting onto Stage 4, which was a two-parter. 4A involved shooting at clays with rifle and shotgun, then in 4B you strapped on your pistol and a harness and climbed to the top of a 40-foot tower, where they hitched your harness onto a zip line and sent you careening down toward a bunch of targets. Oh, hell – let me just show you what it looked like:
John was so entranced with the zip line and so eager to share the experience with me that he convinced the kindly R.O.s of 4B to let me do it after shooting was finished for the day (sans weaponry, of course). Even though it lengthened our day by another hour, it was worth it: