Destinations

Years ago, I had the opportunity to bird hunt in Mexico when I was the Senior Editor at Petersen’s Hunting Magazine. I thought I had died and gone to bird hunting heaven. Ducks, geese, quail and dove in virtually unbelievable numbers.

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I recently accepted an assignment that would take me to the Phoenix area to cover a trapshooting event, and as always I try to determine points of interest that might make a good story or certainly some great or unusual photo opportunities.

The itinerary was ambitious – eight days, seven posh sporting clays venues, 13 flats of shells and eight bourbon distilleries. Porsche had loaned us a 2011 Cayenne S SUV powered by a 400-horsepower V8 behemoth, while Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Co. supplied one of their marvelous A-10 American sidelock over/under shotguns. This is the final installment.

The road up to Primland could pass as a crazy dream.

Out of the blue, someone gives you a $93,000 Porsche Cayenne S that you’re driving up a switchback logger’s road dynamited into a mountain side. Stowed in the back among the luggage and flats of 12-gauge shells is the super-cool A-10 American sidelock shotgun. The Porsche Cayenne S is fierce, fearless – 20-inch tires spewing road dust for mile after mile through computer-controlled all-wheel drive.

Blackberry Farm receded at a brisk clip as I drove the Porsche Cayenne S west along the Lamar Alexander Parkway through Tennesse’s Great Smoky Mountains toward our next destination – The Inn on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Lamar Alexendar Parkway presented a superb stretch of American highway. The Great Smoky Mountains bestowed a warm, benevolent morning with the radio tuned to satellite-radio XM 14, Bluegrass Junction, regaling us through 14-speaker surround sound.

Until we shot 5-stand at Blackberry Farm, I had not fully appreciated the athleticism of the A-10 American sidelock. But that turning point with this European-inspired over/under was still 24 hours away.

After 48 hours of bourbon tasting, we were more than ready to pick up the A-10 American shotgun and start powdering clays. Jim Beam marked the last distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and now the Porsche Cayenne S headed due south on I-65 toward Nashville.

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Shotgun Life is the first online magazine devoted to the great people who participate in the shotgun sports.

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