Lake Geneva Weekend – Where Guns are Shot and Cigars are Smoked

shotgun shooting

Over the weekend a bunch of us decided to get away from the city for a little while and head up towards Lake Geneva to relax around the campfire, drink, smoke and shoot guns. There’s a small town right on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois called Harvard, where a friend of ours’ family owns a house. Now, I don’t know what I was picturing in my head when we were told about said house, but it’s definitely not the same as what we rolled up to on Friday night.

After turning onto a dirt driveway, that seemed to just go deeper and deeper into the woods, we came upon a fork in the road. Thankfully we had been given directions ahead of time or the weekend could have quickly turned into “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. Everything about the area just reminded me of a horror movie where the kids go out to a cabin in the woods and then get brutally murdered in the most ridiculous ways, and it didn’t help that I had just recently re-watched the new “Evil Dead” flick…

When we turned the corner, and actually saw the house for the first time, we were amazed. It was nothing like I had pictured in my head. It seemed almost like a small compound, like something you would find in an old 80’s Schwarzenegger flick (“Commando” to be exact). It was big enough to accommodate all 7 of us, plus a baby, plus a dog… and could have definitely slept more if it needed to. We were definitely not roughing it.

new glarus beer spotted cow

We were only up there for a couple days, but in those couple days we managed to spend an afternoon at the beach, dinner in Lake Geneva, and both nights around the campfire making s’mores and drinking. It was Saturday night around the fire when a buddy and I experienced our first cigars. I’m 31 years old and have never even attempted, nor had any desire, to smoke a cigar. I’d be lying if I said I’d never tried a cigarette, but a cigar just seemed weird to me. The fact that you don’t inhale the thing just made me question the whole point of it, but on this night I decided to give it a shot, and after my experience I’ll probably never smoke one again… I just don’t get it.

dog campfire

Sunday morning was a bit slow going, but we managed to get everything packed up before we head to the shotgun range to cross another thing off the bucket list. I’ve shot a few guns before, but I’ve never shot a shotgun for fear of destroying my shoulder. I have bad shoulders to begin with from years of playing baseball and softball, but the thought of a gun butt kicking back into my shoulder repeatedly for an entire day sounded awful. I am not a big guy, in fact I’m pretty small, so I wasn’t sure how much abuse my shoulder could take before having to throw in the towel.

I’m actually happy to say that I made it through 70 of the 100 rounds that we had set out to shoot (per person), before having to raise the white flag and put down my gun. The problem I was having was that we were shooting double clay discs, meaning they would fire out 2 discs at time and we would shoot off 2 rounds and I could never re-situate the gun on my shoulder for the 2nd shot so I would repeatedly take the kick in the arm/shoulder. After about 50 shots my arm just couldn’t take it anymore and I completely blew my percentage by shooting 20 more after that. I’m actually pretty happy with my 37% accuracy, hitting 26 out of 70 rounds. Hell, I would have been happy just hitting one target, but I’ll take 37% all day. Unlike the cigar experience though, I’d definitely go shooting again, I’d just only sign up for 50 rounds instead of trying to do 100.

It was a weekend of new experiences with old friends, couldn’t have asked for anything more… Except next time I think we’re going to rent a boat and spend the day out on the lake instead of just at the beach.