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Old 09-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #16
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Day 3 - Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

Although I didn't take photos yesterday I was treated to some nice scenery.
Included were views of Mt Rainier, Mt Hood, Mt Adams, and Mt St Helens; all part of the Cascades volcano string.
Today I'm headed to Mt Bachelor and the Cascade Lakes scenic Byway.

I pushed myself too hard yesterday.
I'm going to limit myself to the Cascade loop near Bend OR today.


Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway


Hotel Parking Lot

It was really nice to have a bed to sleep in so I could rest my shouder after yesterday's slog.
Now I need to find gas and the road to Mt Bachelor.
That proves to be a minor challenge.
After several false starts I finally find gas and the road out of town.
Bend feels like a casino where you stumble through the entrance and then are given no clue as to how to find your way out.

Finally located, the road to Mt Bachelor is very nice with lots of new asphalt.
Continuing past the ski resort takes me to the Cascade Lakes Bypass.
It's really a beautiful ride - perfect sunny weather with a cool bite to the air.
My first real rest is at Elk Lake where they have a campground and lodge.


Elk Lake


Apparently I've Parked in the Wrong Spot - Time to Move on.

Further down the road is Davis Lake.


The Lake is Down

A lot of recent fire damage here.





I'm looking for a campsite and I've struck out twice so far.
Head South or head back north?


South


North


Somebody Left Their Shoe

I end up heading back north and find a place at Crane Prairie Campground.

http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgr...&parkCode=crap


Crane Prairie Campground

The campground is a little beat down and dusty, but there are spots with views of the lake.
I choose a site that's visually isolated from the rest.

Once I'm set up I go down to the little store/marina on the lake for some pics and provisions.
They have a little collection of old outboard motors outside the store entrance.








The dock is interesting and a little bit scary - the structure reacts to every footstep.










The Warning is Well Taken

I'm not sure the proprietor of this place is well suited to the service industry.
Besides the fact that things seem neglected he came across as generally unfriendly.

I was just there for a beer, some wood, and maybe some ice - he seemed put off.
I hate it when I get a "what the hell do you want" attitude from someone when I walk in to spend money.
I asked for a bundle of wood and he asks "can you fit that on your bike?" as if I was an idiot.
"umm...yeah. I have straps."

Bumped into Tom with some fresh fish as I was securing my load.


Tom


Tom's Fish

I ask Tom, "are you gonna fry those up tonight?"
"Hell, yes!" he replies.
Cool.

And some guys were complaining after he left about how he caught them by trolling in the last 20 minutes of the day.
"I've been fishing that lake all day and he hooks them trolling?", as if they are too good for that?
Umm...guess who's having fish for dinner!


Back to Camp for Dinner and a Fire


Lentils and Rice - Nice


It's good to have a fire started


Gonna Need the Warmth


It's Really Starting to Cool Down

Once the sun is down it gets cool quickly.
I do dinner and burn down the fire.
I'm concerned about bears.


Burning Down the Fire

I put everything food related into the saddlebags on the bike.
There are no bear boxes here.

I'm still pretty sore so I take 2 vicodin thinking it will help me sleep.
I was wrong.

I spent the entire night fixating on every little noise.
It was a near full moon and the coyotes were howling all night long - sometimes too close for comfort.

And it was cold.
Buried in my sleeping bag I couldn't distinguish between sounds inside the bag or outside.
Poking my head out of the bag just made my face freeze.
Miserable night all in all.

I wake up to frost on the seat and top box of the bike.
Ugh.
I chat with the camp host for a while when he comes by.
They don't see any bear around here.
I should have talked to him yesterday.

I pack up with frozen fingers.
Time to move on.

Next Post - Crater Lake

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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Tom Tuttle From Tacoma Washington

A good riding buddy of mine tells me that riding solo is the only way to fly on a long ride.
"You meet more people that way", he says.
That has not been my experience in the past.
Why the difference?
Perhaps it's my personality.

I do have a serious and sometimes gruff demeanor even if I don't necessarily feel that way.
I imagine that can be a bit off putting.

I decide to follow his lead and adopt the Tom Tuttle from Tacoma Washington approach.
For those who don't get the John Candy reference check out the movie Volunteers with JC and Tom Hanks.
It's a hoot

Turns out this tactic really works.
Smile and give an enthusiastic greeting to everyone you come across.
Not everybody responds positively, but most people do.
For those who don't; just move on - there's always someone else to talk with.

I met a lot of people on this trip - chatted with folks from all over the country.
I attribute this largely to the Tom Tuttle approach.

Tom with his fish at Crane Prairie.

Rod, who I met in Shaniko OR, a guy in his 70's who let me know the main hotel used to do some business - nudge, nudge - wink, wink

The camp host at Crane Prairie who was happy to talk about the camp host lifestyle.

And quite a few others over the course of the first few days - and many more over the course of the ride.

Just call me Tom

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hominid View Post
A good riding buddy of mine tells me that riding solo is the only way to fly on a long ride.
"You meet more people that way", he says.
That has not been my experience in the past.
Why the difference?
Perhaps it's my personality.

I do have a serious and sometimes gruff demeanor even if I don't necessarily feel that way.
I imagine that can be a bit off putting.

I decide to follow his lead and adopt the Tom Tuttle from Tacoma Washington approach.
For those who don't get the John Candy reference check out the movie Volunteers with JC and Tom Hanks.
It's a hoot

Turns out this tactic really works.
Smile and give an enthusiastic greeting to everyone you come across.
Not everybody responds positively, but most people do.
For those who don't; just move on - there's always someone else to talk with.

I me a lot of people on this trip - chatted with folks from all over the country.
I attribute this largely to the Tom Tuttle approach.

Tom with his fish at Crane Prairie.

Rod, who I met in Shaniko OR, a guy in his 70's who let me know the main hotel used to do some business - nudge, nudge - wink, wink.

The camp host at Crane Prairie who was happy to talk about the camp host lifestyle.

And quite a few others over the course of the first few days - and many more over the course of the ride.

Just call me Tom

Good advice!

I'm an introvert by nature. I don't much care to talk to people, but I do when it happens. BUT, I always try to smile and be polite, and to some extent, chatty.. if for no other reason than to present a positive image of our sport. And I've met some interesting folks along the way.

BTW if you aren't too far south yet, check out Hwy 242, aka McKenzie Pass Hwy. I hear it's a great road. Gonna go ride it with some friends next weekend, then maybe drop down that trail from Sisters to the paved road that goes by Elk Lake Lodge, and head back via 58. We'll see.

Rob
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
Good advice!

I'm an introvert by nature. I don't much care to talk to people, but I do when it happens. BUT, I always try to smile and be polite, and to some extent, chatty.. if for no other reason than to present a positive image of our sport. And I've met some interesting folks along the way.

BTW if you aren't too far south yet, check out Hwy 242, aka McKenzie Pass Hwy. I hear it's a great road. Gonna go ride it with some friends next weekend, then maybe drop down that trail from Sisters to the paved road that goes by Elk Lake Lodge, and head back via 58. We'll see.

Rob
I'm actually back home now; making these posts from the comfort of my recliner

The Cascade Lakes Bypass was really quite nice.

The area around Lava Flow CG is pretty cool - massive old lava rock streams that are 20 feet or taller in some places. Awesome - should have taken a few pics.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hominid View Post

I do have a serious and sometimes gruff demeanor even if I don't necessarily feel that way.
I imagine that can be a bit off putting.

Naw, they see the lentils, beans, rice and every thing nice from "mary jane" farms and peg ya as a useless hippy


Rod, who I met in Shaniko OR, a guy in his 70's who let me know the main hotel used to do some business - nudge, nudge - wink, wink
Was Rod a guy sitting in front of the little sandwich shop, mebbe on oxygen and his wife ran the shop?

Did ya run the road from Antelope to Shaniko? If not, ya screwed up. Go back.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Was Rod a guy sitting in front of the little sandwich shop, mebbe on oxygen and his wife ran the shop?

Did ya run the road from Antelope to Shaniko? If not, ya screwed up. Go back.
I did miss the road from Antelope to Shaniko - was busy making time to Bend - too late to go back now!

I met Rod in front of some kind of curio shop.
He had on a cowboy hat and boots - he told me he had to quit riding due to back pain - I hear that!
Shook hands with him and the guy has a grip hard as steel - I wouldn't want to try arm wrestling him
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 243Win View Post
Was Rod a guy sitting in front of the little sandwich shop, mebbe on oxygen and his wife ran the shop?

Did ya run the road from Antelope to Shaniko? If not, ya screwed up. Go back.
One of the most interesting guys I ran into was in the parking lot of a mini-mart in Redmond OR.
He looked to be a transient or local eccentric.
The old guy is walking with a cane and going off on a rant

I'm just throwing some trash away and he approaches me with a "what's going on?"
Those are about the only words I understand as he rants with half a hotdog in his hand and the other half in his mouth

I'm not sure what he's complaining about, but eventually he seems to be asking me something.
All I hear is blah blah blah as I'm subjected to looking at the half chewed hotdog

I just throw my hands up and say "I don't know, I don't know..." as I walk away and jump on the bike.
I'll leave him to chat with the next unfortunate target.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #23
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Up Next - Crater Lake

I need to get out of this freezing campground.
Crater Lake, here I come.


Crane Prairie to Crater Lake

Once I get moving the day is perfect for a brisk cool morning ride.
Chemult OR is the place to gas up and get provisions when approaching Crater Lake from the north.

I stopped at a place called Big Mountain Cafe in town for breakfast.
Their sign says "Best Food on 97" - it wasn't.

To be blunt the place grossed me out
The bathroom was horrible and the carpet in the dining area wasn't any better.
Years of neglect are apparent.
Not sure I agree with the reviews.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/big-mountain-cafe-chemult

I would advise going to the Sinclair Travel Center a couple of blocks down.
They have a Subway franchise, plenty of road food snacks, and nice clean bathrooms.

It's a short ride from Chemult to Crater Lake National Park.


My first view of Crater Lake


These Folks Are Out of Bounds

There are signs everywhere in the park warning about staying behind the barriers - for good reason.
The footing is generally unstable on the rim and the soil is slippery volcanic dust.
One misstep could have dire consequences.

I bump into a couple riding two up on a Harley in the parking lot for this view point.
We run into each other again about 30 minutes later at another view point.
They've come all the way from Rhode Island and are gonna ride all the way back again.
We have a nice chat - the Tom Tuttle approach is working.
He can't understand why people would want to go to Europe when there is so much to see right here in the US.



All the Way From Rhode Island



View From Turnout



Rhode Island Riders Head Up the Hill



Time For Me to Head On Also


I make a quick stop at the main visitor center on the rim and start to wonder where I'm going to spend the night.
I'm thinking I could get stuck going back to Chemult to secure a hotel room.
I decide to take a quick run down to the Mazama Village campground, not expecting availability.

http://www.craterlakelodges.com/Maza...round-815.html

I lucked out and they had some spots.

I asked about bears and the guy said "rarely".
"okay, I'll take a spot."

It was a perfect deal, really - reminds me of the campground at Hurricane Ridge.
I had good neighbors with a little boy who was fascinated with my bike.

He was all excited and telling me something about his motorcycle.
I had a hard time understanding exactly what he was saying in "3 year old" language.
A little bit later he showed up with his own little yellow motorcycle toy, though.
Now I understand.

A bit later his dad apologized for the boy's talkative nature.
"No problem, I love kids."

I provision the camp site with wood and load all of my 'smelly' stuff in the bear box.
After that I go for a sunset ride around the rim - about 30 miles.

I tried to capture some video on this stretch, but things didn't work out.
Otherwise I had a nce ride around the lake - a little too agressive in a few spots - scared myself more than once.

Return to camp for dinner - enjoy a short fire and collapse into bed - I'm hurting.

Next Post - Taking a Break at Crater Lake

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Old 09-16-2012, 12:26 AM   #24
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Day 5 - Resting at Crater Lake



I was in serious pain when I hit the ground last night - the shoulder is burning.
I take two vicodin after I crawl into the sleeping bag - I know I'm gonna need them

I like this campground and settle into reading my book - "The Island at the Center of the World".
It's a non-fiction historical tale of the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam on Manhatten Island - quite good.
That lasts for about 30 minutes and then I sleep like a rock until about 4:30am.

I'm not worried about bears - they can put me out of my misery while I sleep as far as I care.
But I need to answer nature's call - the shoulder is burning again - one more pain pill.
I slip in the ear plugs and sleep like a rock again.

By the time I come around the campground is mostly empty - I decide right away I'm going nowhere fast.
It's peaceful here - I'm in no shape to crawl on the bike - I decide to take a day off.
I'm going to spend another night here - the weather is perfect - the campground is nice - no brainer.

I have a nice casual morning puttering around camp and then strolling down to Mazama village store.
I have a decent breakfast of banana, juice and clif bar then a nice shower.
I wash a few clothes right there in the shower - is that bad form?

Things start warming up about mid-day and I'm finally feeling right so I jump on the bike to take a tour.
I cruise up to the Vistor center for a cold cherry coke and wander around taking photos.














Ugly Mug


You can take the tour boat, but it requires a "strenuous" hike.





There are warning signs for a reason


If you fall you're gone

Amazingly, I watched a young mother of a toddler decide to walk along these stones while taking pictures of hubby and child.

She lost her balance 4 times, having to wave her arms and narrowly missing a fall to the wrong side.
I'm aghast - her mother in law simply says, "she wont't listen to anyone."


Worth the Risk?


A fall to this side and you're not coming back.

I heard from a ranger that they "lost" someone a couple of months ago taking similar chances.


They have a trolley that takes people for tours of the loop - I prefer the weestrom.


The lake is much larger than I imagined from photos I'd seen


Massive volcanic action


The view from the memorial is spectacular


D'uh!


Making the loop I came across this waterfall.

Met a guy named Roy from Arkansas at this turn out.
He's riding a Gold Wing and is retired miltary on a major road trip.

He tells me he left home in January - he wanted to come to Oregon.
But he got lost and ended up in Corpus Christi so the story goes.
Apparently he made a wrong left turn.
He's riding with his younger wife Emma who he introduced as his "older sister".
Nice folks - fun to talk with.
Tom Tuttle strikes again.


Roy and Emma headed clockwise - I'm headed counter clockwise


View from the rim loop


Ghost Ship Rock

Nice view here.
Think I'll stop for a snack, some water and a chance to reflect on the beauty.

Next Post - Finishing the Loop

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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Day 5 - Finishing the Crater Lake Loop


Crater Lake View Point

I'm really glad I have a camp site secured at Mazama CG for the night.
The low temp last night was 38 and it's beautiful and sunny today - perfect camping weather.
Knowing I have a place to sleep I can take my time riding the 30 mile loop around the rim of the lake.
It's a nice and easy afternoon ride, stopping at every view point.




Pillars


The vstrom is happy



I found this little fellow sunning himself on a rock.
I've never had a chipmunk allow me to get this close.
He clearly didn't want to give up his afternoon sunbathing spot.






Stretching out


Keeping an eye on me.

He never did run away.
I eventually backed off and let him relax.


Same view point - different angle






Last viewpoint before making it back to the visitor center


Still awed by the view - especially in the evening light.


Just to prove I was here

The loop ends back at the visitor center.
I spy this Land Rover in the parking lot.


I actually met the owner yesterday

Alex tells me he's a retired marine from Florida.
He's travelling the US going to off road events - next stop Moab, apparently.
He wanted to go to Alaska and tried crossing through Blaine WA earlier this summer.
He was educated to the fact that if you have a prior dui they will not let you into Canada
Try again later.




Alex gets the award for 'most stickers'.

He was lusting after my ADV Touareg sticker.
"Sorry, I don't have one to give you, but I can tell you where to get one"


Rigged For Action


He's obviously living in his truck.

I make my way back to the campsite for a nice evening fire and dinner.
The campground is mostly empty tonight - it's Tuesday after labor day.

I fire up the ipod and settle into the camp routine.

Plenty of wood for a nice fire.
Break out the bottle of Crown Royal for drinks on ice
Eventually do dinner in a pouch - beef stew.

Taking my time with all of it.
All the while listening to a shuffling tune selection of Los Lobos, The Smiths, Tom Petty, Joan Osbourne, and others.

It's good to be alive and out in the world.
I sleep good tonight.

Next Post - Going to California

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Old 09-17-2012, 12:56 AM   #26
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Nice to see you've finally embraced the "solo traveler" deal. It really doesn't get any better.

Quit worrying about bears, they have nice soft paws, they rarely wake you up. You just find their tracks around your tent in the morning in my experience.

Besides, I know for a fact you are more than armed for bear. Outside of griz country. Spray and that "sleep aid" that is a glock 10mm and the norma loads you are packing are all you need. That and a clean camp. Be fine, quit worrying about it.

The german I met on my last big trip blogged that I was "afraid of bears" and after running his blog through a translator I was able to amend that statement to a more correct "prepared for bears". This after he asked, "You seem like a typical american, were is your gun?"

In the tent of course, duh.

Way more likely to get smashed by an errant left-turner on your travels.

That said, watch out for the raccoons in camp, they are forever tipping over my drink.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Nice to see you've finally embraced the "solo traveler" deal. It really doesn't get any better.

Quit worrying about bears, they have nice soft paws, they rarely wake you up. You just find their tracks around your tent in the morning in my experience.

Besides, I know for a fact you are more than armed for bear. Outside of griz country. Spray and that "sleep aid" that is a glock 10mm and the norma loads you are packing are all you need. That and a clean camp. Be fine, quit worrying about it.

The german I met on my last big trip blogged that I was "afraid of bears" and after running his blog through a translator I was able to amend that statement to a more correct "prepared for bears". This after he asked, "You seem like a typical american, were is your gun?"

In the tent of course, duh.

Way more likely to get smashed by an errant left-turner on your travels.

That said, watch out for the raccoons in camp, they are forever tipping over my drink.
Soft paws, indeed.
It's the claws and teeth that have me concerned.
Having said that, I slept just fine at Mazama - like a bear in hibernation


Mazama Campground - just about packed up and ready to roll south

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Old 09-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #28
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Day 6 - Lassen National Volcanic Park

Off to see Mount Lassen, my route takes me south through Klamath Falls and then on to Cali.


Crater Lake to Susanville via Mount Lassen - 329 Miles

I'm mostly logging miles this morning, but I do pause to play with my video camera.
I'm having mixed results mostly due to the buttons on the remote control.
It's tough to tell if I've successfully pushed the buttons with my glove on.


Drift Remote

I'd heard about the famous Klamath Falls bugs someone called Midges.
Yellow/greenish things about the size of a large fruit fly.
I didn't actually notice them riding into town along the lake.
When I stopped for gas, though, I had a goopy fuzzy carpet of them on the front of the bike.
Gross - lots of fun cleaning that up

The stretch between Klamath Falls and Canby CA is mind numbing and painful.


Note to Self - Canby is halfway between nowhere and nothing

The road from Canby to Fall River Hills is more interesting and rolls through a bunch of small rural towns.
Some of them are hardly big enough to be called towns and I see a lot of closed businesses and cafe's along the way.

It's a hard scrabble life out here in the best of times.
I feel small taking it all in and humbled by the people who survive out here.
Me, the guy who sits in a chair for a living, rolling through their daily routine.

Found this store with gas in Fall River Mills CA on the way to Lassen.


Bullets - Booze - Beer - Lotto

One stop shopping - What more could you ask for?
I'm sure they have meat sticks and beef jerkey too.

It's 5pm by the time I reach the north entrance of the national park.
5:07 to be exact and the rangers are bailing out as I'm standing at the entrance shack with questions.
I'm like "um, uh, i, ..." as they drive by in 3 different rigs.
They're careful to look away from me - off duty

Okay then.



I'm entering from the NW corner of the park at Lake Manzanita.

There's a campground there, a visitor center and a store.
Everything's closed and not a ranger in sight.

I don't necessarily want to camp here so I'll take the ride through the park.
It's about 32 miles from this end to the SE exit.
In the middle the road climbs to over 8,000 feet - there are CG's along the way

There is also what's left of a forest fire.

During a pretty good stretch there are blackened trees on both sides of the road.
In some areas the ground is still smoldering and smoking and I spot a few small flames.
It's smokey in general on this side of the pass - I'm not camping here.

I just cruise to the summit, which is over 8,000 feet and pause for a few photos.
After riding in blazing heat all day it feels pretty dang cold up here.


I need to put another layer on.


In a lot of places there is a layer of fine volcanic dust in the corners.







I'm thinking hotel room now - I don't really care to freeze my tail off tonight.
It proves to be a pretty good stretch, having to go all the way to Susanville before I find a room.

I have the good fortune of securing a room next to a collection of drunks.
At first I thought they were transients - turns out they were a re-model contracting crew.

They stood outside my door smoking, drinking and blabbering until at least 1:30
Thank God for earplugs.

I give them a wake up call at 6am.
I rarely watch early weekday morning newsy/chatty tv at max volume , but I can make an exception in this case
I also had the hard luggage in the room with me stacked against the door joining our rooms.
BANG! - oops.
BANG! - oops.

As I'm attaching the cargo bags to the bike the neighbor's front door, which is right in front of the bike, opens up.
I give my sleepy looking friend my best Tom Tuttle smile and "good morning!"

Sometimes I'm not a nice person

Next Post - High Plains Back to Oregon

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Old 09-19-2012, 02:04 AM   #29
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"Sometimes I'm not a nice person."
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #30
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Laugh

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"Sometimes I'm not a nice person."
Slightly passive aggressive?
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