Wild West Trip at Historic Thunderstik Lodge in South Dakota - Beatrice Bradley

This story begins with my dear sister Sue, who gifted me an adventure of a lifetime! We always enjoy traveling together, visiting distant relatives or far away places. Often, we join trips with like-minded people such as the Young America Foundation, which offers wonderful excursions with fabulous conservative speakers.

This summer we discovered Beatrice Bradley Experience Travel, for Women Who Love America. They offer a wide variety of itineraries, designed to provide a unique experience in a friendly small group environment. Our trip was to the South Dakota Badlands; the five days included some fishing & exploring, and lots of shooting experiences. The supportive staff, encouraging instructors, gorgeous scenery, cozy accommodations at Thunderstik Lodge, and encouragement of newfound friends made it an awesome experience. We challenged each other along the way. Everyone rose to each challenge and rejoiced in each other’s successes.

Wild West Trip at Historic Thunderstik Lodge in South Dakota

My sister and I did have limited shooting experience but little exposure to bigger guns. My oldest son joins us regularly at the shooting range to make sure we’re comfortable with our guns. As I read in another story on this website, the percentage of women owning firearms is increasing. With the rising crime rates, we need to be able to protect ourselves and our loved ones. A few years ago, my cousin and I did have a wonderful afternoon of shooting a wide variety of guns with our school buddy Colonel Mike Howard! That day empowered me with the confidence & desire to further stretch my comfort zone.

The Thunderstik instructors were excellent. They were patient and sincerely shared our joy of achievement at each stage. Every one of the twelve ladies had their own takeaway, their own favorite experience. We shot shotguns and learned it is quite an art, almost a dance. While I was not prepared for the kick, I did hit the clay targets despite winds. We all became very comfortable with the AR’s, which most of us admitted were our favorite. For the AR’s there were multiple targets with varying degree of distance, size, and difficulty. There were other handguns and targets as well. However, the top gun challenge for everyone was the 50 caliber! Wow! What a blast… literally! At first many of us were reticent, the size and the loud bang are intimidating. All it took was the most fearless woman among us, Cheryl, to step forward. Her enthusiasm was contagious. Once she shot the first round, she didn’t want to stop! Then a few more of us stepped up. Finally, everyone shot it at least once; and the instructor videoed each of us hitting the target, an old white truck far off in the distance. My video of this shoot is a prize possession that I will look to whenever I need to remember I am strong and fearless. There is a real thrill of accomplishment and satisfaction in overcoming our fears.

Beatrice Bradley Experience Travel is a gem. On the way to the airport for our return flights back home, we and our newfound friends discussed future choice itineraries! Maybe… Cuba? That might provide interesting experiences for conservative dinner conversations. Wherever we choose, I’m confident it will be an awesome experience to share with an amazing small group of ladies who love God & America!