Diamond Caverns Resort Condos - Rockcastle Shooting Center, KY - these condos, like the cabins that are also available, are fairly convenient to the ranges.  Neither of these are as convenient however as the Shooting Center Lodge, which we were unaware of until after arriving at the range.  I got a brief look at the Lodge rooms, and suspect any issues here would be outweighed by the central location on the property and convenience to the ranges.  I was told by some who stayed here that the train track, which appeared to be five or six hundred yards away, interrupted their sleep.  For us veterans of the Bossier City trip, the train at Rockcastle hardly justified a second thought, though it did trigger a post traumatic stress episode for a couple of us.  The condos were tolerable and available at a decent price.  Our units were one bedroom, with something called a "foo t'on" which simply seemed like a fancy way of saying the couch turned into an uncomfortable bed in a pinch.  Comfort is a subjective thing I suppose, as I had the opportunity to see some of the "cabins" that were available nearby.  Unless your shorter than five feet tall, let's just say I wouldn't suggest those.  As such, I have it on good authority that Mike Sexton will be billed for the damage he inflicted to his cabin when he kicked one of the end walls out so he could stretch out to sleep; and, for the imploding chair at the banquet Saturday night.  The cabins, and even the chairs at Rockcastle, just aren't made for some people I guess.  Though after shooting the tunnel stage, the cabin likely seemed like the Ritz and twice as comfortable.  I think had we to do it over again, we would stay at one of the mainstream establishments 5 miles away in Cave City.  We usually ended up there for breakfast every morning anyway as there was a McDonalds and a Cracker Barrel there.  This Cracker Barrel has been upgraded with one of the inter-stall tissue and wipe dispensers that was really trick.  Keep an eye out for them at finer restaurants in your neighborhood.  Our condo rooms were clean enough and the only reason to keep the guns loaded there would be for the deer and turkey roaming the property.  But don't shoot the golfers, they frown on that I understand.

Rating:          

 


Springhill Suites - Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, OK - maybe I'm an adrenaline junkie, but you know, after a while these nice places are, well, just plain boring.  I guess that isn't all bad.  Really nice place with a great breakfast included with the price of the room.  Kind of a pain to get in and out of due to the one way service road you have to use.  I would suggest staying over toward Edmund and Arcadia anyway as that is closer to the range and eliminates the need to use the toll road.  Plus, when the clock in the room is an hour slow and you show up late to the match, at least you can get there quicker because it's not as far to drive.  I thought I was in New Jersey for a while there; you know, paying a toll every 2 miles.  The GPS routed us home via Tulsa so we ended up spending what seemed like $56.75 in tolls before we got out of Oklahoma.  Felt like I'd just been to one of their many casinos, just not having a slim chance of winning.  

Rating:    

 


Hampton Inn - Lake Wales,  FL - this hotel is only a couple years old so we had to try it out.  As convenient to Frank's as any of the other Florida Open hotels.  It is a bit on the pricey side compared to some of the other options along the Lake Wales/Sebring corridor.  The hotel was....what's the word....oh yeah....boring.  Everything was as it should be; wake-up calls are on time; and everything is extra nice to boot.  Maybe it's just withdrawal symptoms after some of our other experiences (see below).  I think the room we were assigned was a recently converted conference room.  As such, there was probably a hundred square feet of empty floor space, even after you allowed for two beds, flat screen TV, couch, end tables, table, chairs, and kitchenette area.  I figured the management staff was aware of the awesome PR opportunity they had before them, hosting Adventure Travel personnel for the first time, and wanted to capitalize to the fullest extent.  If that's the case, they did good.  About the only negative thing I can say about the place is the breakfast food was not very good.  As such, on the last morning, we opted for some real food over at the Bob Evans across the street.  We did learn a few things on this trip.  For one, Pat Cochran can shoot a spit ball much better than he can shoot a pistol;  Kaci now on the other hand, not so much.  Oh, and if you want 30 flavors of wings, and without a doubt, the best fish sandwich in Florida, go to the Hurricane Grill and Wings on Cypress Blvd. 

Rating: 

 


Econo Lodge - Columbus, GA - this is one of our first re-entries even though we've stayed here now for the third time.  Not much to say for our last entry of 2008 as little had changed from our last visit.  As such, everything's a year older and a bit more abused than last time as evidenced by the phone in our room that didn't work.  There was a flashy new sign out front.  I first thought they had really raised their level of customer service when we checked in.  While some places give you chocolate chip cookies when you check in, there was pizza there and we got excited.  The desk clerk wouldn't let us have any of it though so that was kind of a bummer.  Don't guess we can hold that against them as it was a small pizza and there was three of us.  They honored our ground floor, adjoining room request for the third year in a row, but we are getting to be celebrities in some circles after all, so that's somewhat expected.  Plus, based on the much larger number of vehicles in the parking lot this year, I think Adventure Travel is driving business into (or in some cases, quickly away from) some of these establishments.  I even heard comments at the match about the various places the CPWSA logo would get you access to.  Kinda like a challenge coin.  Ok, this is a family blog, so I'll not mention the name of some of those places.  I think the water system has been changed as I would have noticed the awesome showers in our previous visits.  You know the really good showers that pin you against the back wall when you turn the water on?  Those make your shower much quicker and packing for the trip easier because you don't have to pack your exfoliate.  We opted to not take advantage of the breakfast offered at the motel, so can't comment there.  Instead we chose the Burglar King one morning and the Huddle House further down Victory Blvd the next morning.  That Huddle House has a really great breakfast by the way.  Don't go in there if you're in a hurry though.  While very good, they ain't real quick in getting your food out.  I think the earlier comments from our previous critique still apply and are as follows: the Victory Blvd. location offers quicker access to the Ft. Benning entry gate.  When leaving the Krilling Range you can come out the back gate, right onto Victory Blvd and save yourself some time.  It's the typical older motel layout without interior hallways, so parking is available right outside the door.  Allows for easy loading/unloading of weapons and gear with the added benefit of being able to keep an eye on the vehicle.  Have been there three years now and they always honor the ground floor room request, with a free suite upgrade afforded us on one occasion (ok I'll admit a suite at the EconoLodge is somewhat of a contradiction).  As this area is not in the better part of town, I think there are some adventure opportunities here.  Also, be on the lookout for the "stranded female with the brokedown vehicle needing a lift" scam at the adjoining Quick Rip gas station.

Rating: 

 


Quality Inn & Suites - Bossier City, LA -  For the 2008 Multi-Gun Nationals, we try this place as it is one of the match hotels.  Well, sometimes you just can't win.  Break from the norm and stay somewhere other than the match hotel and people get dead in the parking lot.  Thanks to our attempt to conform by staying at a match hotel this trip, we get to add a new earmuff icon to the web page.  That's right; because if you stay at this place you're gonna need'em.  You might even consider double plugging.  The check-in was uneventful, although they failed to honor our request for a ground floor room.  They made up for this omission by putting us on the top floor.....yea!   This wasn't so bad as the elevator was slow and small.  We hit the room which was clean enough, then roll into the rack looking forward to a good nights sleep, when....at precisely 1:30 am,  a train derails and sounds like it's about to crash right into the hotel.  After extracting my fingernails from the ceiling and falling back into the bed, I realize this is going to be far worse than Lynchburg, because there's no way there's only going to be just one fatality here.  After preparing to meet my maker, I realize the train has narrowly missed my hotel and must be about to destroy another unfortunate place nearby, bringing death and destruction.  As it turns out, since we arrived after dark, we were unaware that there was a train track not 50 yards from the hotel.  We were reminded of this fact again at 3 and 4:30 am that night, and every night we were there.  Our hotel was apparently the engineers landmark to lay on the horn for the upcoming railroad crossing.  I had forgotten how loud a train horn really is when you're sitting on the front bumper of the train when it goes off.  On the upshot, the free breakfast was decent with plenty of strong coffee which was needed after sleeping only 4 hours every night.  There was an Outback steakhouse literally right in the parking lot of the hotel which was convenient, though certainly no closer than the train track which was right "outback" as well.

Rating: 

 


Staybridge Inn -  Tulsa, OK -   this was my second time staying here and it's a great place if you can get several people together to share the expenses.  Generally speaking, nothing is going to happen here to get your adrenalin or blood pressure up.  They have two bedroom, two bath suites that include a sleeper sofa and full kitchen.  You end up with 4 full size beds and two full baths. They honored our request for a ground floor room and allowed us use of the mop sink to wash off our mud caked boots and shoes after the US Nationals, otherwise known as the Tulsa Mud Bowl.  Monday through Thursday evenings feature free food from local restaurants along with free beer and wine.  The free breakfast included eggs, meats, waffles, fruit, etc.  Definitely a rough place to spend a few nights.  My only regret about this place was that I didn't stay here during the day while in Tulsa instead of going out to the USSA range in the rain, mud, muck, and mire.

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Grandstay Suites & Hotel - St Cloud, MN -  I can't take credit for this one as I was approached by friends who had already secured the room.  This place definitely swings the pendulum over to the ritzy side of the scale.  As I walked into the lobby, I was soothed by the classical music that was playing.  Not being a classical music aficionado, I wasn't sure if it was Bach, Beethoven, or Charlie Daniels they were playing, but it was nice nonetheless.  For recreation, there was a marble game board in the sitting area.  I thought it to be a checker board, until my more sophisticated friends told me it was in fact a chess board.  Not being completely convinced however, I believe this might be another fiddle/violin type controversy that has raged for centuries.  My friend Albert especially enjoyed the children's playground area on the back lawn.  So much in fact, that he left some play clothes in the room for the next occupants to use so they wouldn't soil theirs.  I was moved by his thoughtfulness and generosity.   Even the Rolls can go belly up on you though, as I know of one group that had to change rooms because their air conditioner stopped working.  Very convenient to the DPMS range and several nearby eating establishments.  I highly recommend the LaCasita Mexican restaurant.   I found St. Cloud to be a nice town with lots of friendly folks.  After some of our recent travels, this one was almost boring.  But hey, variety is the spice of life!

Rating: 

    


Econo Lodge - Oxford, NC - since no one turned up dead in the parking lot, we can't bless this establishment with our coveted five major caliber bullet rating.  However, you'll definitely want more than five bullets in your heater should you decide to stop over at this high adventure locale.  While I didn't exactly give the place the white glove inspection, I suspect a mop bucket icon might better denote the level of cleanliness than our usual broom icon.  Ah, where to start.  It became evident from the time we entered the parking lot, that unless you are in the "pharmaceutical" or "escort" business, this wasn't a place you wanted to spend much time.  Once in the room, my trusty sidekick and SWAT commander traveling companion brought to my attention that both the room door and bathroom door had recently been breached with a ram.  A closer inspection of the door lockplates (splayed like a cauliflower) and obviously unprofessional door and doorknob replacement/repair work convinced me this was indeed the case.  As I moved into the bathroom, I observed that the grout between the shower tiles had more shades of green than a 64 crayon box of Crayolas.  I also discovered a much easier way to repair that pesky wallpaper that just won't stay on the wall.  Take a tip from Econo Lodge and fix the problem with your handy paper stapler and the strategic placement of about 30 staples.  Gave the place a nice down home feel.  Lastly, make sure you have your Surefire flashlight handy as the place is prone (no pun intended) to power "fluctuations".  Had I glanced out the window about 2 seconds after the power came back on, I am confident I'd have seen a guy running by with a TV on his shoulder with the deer caught in the headlights look.  

Rating:    

 


Comfort Inn - Boonville, MO - not a bad place with new carpet, and a nice pool and hot tub.  Small and cozy so hauling multi-gun match gear into the ground floor rooms was not a problem.   Decent breakfast bar that can even accommodate dorks who put peanut butter on their waffles.  Parking was ample even with a trailer.  Good value for the dollar.  This is your typical high clean, low adventure option.  They did honor our request for adjoining ground floor rooms. 

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Best Western Hancock Inn - Lewisport, KY - things got off to a bad start here right off the bat.  Our request for adjoining rooms on the ground floor was not honored and we ended up with one room on the ground floor and another on the second floor.   We checked in around 10 pm and the second floor room wasn't even cleaned.  Unmade beds, beer cans, and pizza boxes littered the room.  Litt and Romero got moved to another room on the second floor as CPWSA management pulled rank and took the clean room on the ground floor.  Don't trust the clocks in the room either, as the less intelligent could find themselves up and ready to depart for the range an hour earlier than necessary; knock on their traveling companions door asking why they weren't ready to go.   This place is expensive for what it offers, but it's saving grace is it's convenience to the ORPC range. 

Rating: 

 


Super 8 Motel - Lynchburg, VA - this is our top recommendation for you high risk, high adventure types.  Here we took advantage of the special prom party gone bad package, and awoke to fighting in the halls and gunplay in the parking lot.  It was cool seeing Lynchburg's version of Gil Grissom measure bullet depth penetration into the exterior wall adjoining our room while his compatriots searched for evidence around the chalk body outline in the parking lot.  We did think ahead and brought our friendly SWAT team captain to grease the skids for us before we breached the crime scene tape barrier to put our guns back into the trailer.  Otherwise, I'm sure the local police would have been much more "interested" in 4 guys loading 12 guns into a trailer, not 30 feet from where a murder took place a few hours before.  On the upshot, (no pun intended) the motel did honor our request for adjoining rooms on the ground floor.  Local law enforcement did do us a solid and suggest the Wingate Inn which was visible up the mountain for our next stay; assuming we wanted to opt out of the Super 8 adventure package the next time around.

Rating:   

 


Comfort Inn - Oxford, AL - this place has been frequented on several occasions and they always honor the ground floor room request.  It's nice when you can toss gear straight out of the truck or trailer directly into the room without having to hump everything to the inside and through the interior halls of a place.  On one trip, we did notice a sewage like smell coming from the surrounding area which was a bit disconcerting.  Not evident inside the rooms, but pretty nasty once you're outside.  Fair value for the dollar here and convenient to the Moss Branch range.

Rating: 

 


Quality Inn - Sebring, FL - one of the mainstays for the Florida Open match.  Not much to talk about here.  Middle of the road from the cleanliness standpoint and after several years, have not noticed much adventure capability.  The fact that a hospital is right in the back yard of the place is comforting for anyone who tends to frequently draw blood or come down with exotic maladies while on the road shooting matches.

Rating: 

 


Econo Lodge - Columbus, GA - after incidents of vehicle theft at the Ft. Benning match hotel a couple of years ago, this place seemed like a good alternative.  The Victory Dr. location offers quicker access to the Ft. Benning entry gate.  When leaving the Krilling Range you can come out the back gate, right onto Victory Blvd and save yourself some time It's the typical older motel layout without interior hallways, so parking is available right outside the door.  Allows for easy loading/unloading of weapons and gear with the added benefit of being able to keep an eye on the vehicle.  Have been there two years now and they always honor the ground floor room request, with a free suite upgrade afforded us on one occasion (ok I'll admit a suite at the EconoLodge is somewhat of a contradiction).  As this area is not in the better part of town, there are some adventure opportunities here.  Also, be on the lookout for the "stranded female with the brokedown vehicle needing a lift" scam at the adjoining Quick Rip gas station.

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