33 1/3 N C S + Cuba

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Throttlemeister, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Vitto

    Vitto Live to ride

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    Hey John, get yourself a quad and keep riding :ricky
  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Hola Vitto:wave
    I did but I still prefer two wheels:lol3
    [​IMG]
  3. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Hey man how is that leg feeling after all this months?

    Later
    John
  4. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    He's the man of Steel. You'll know how its feeling when he starts talking about going back down south. His leg will start itching and when he scratches it raw and it's bleeding he'll be gone again. I've got money on it.
  5. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity

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    Hey Johnboy, I just emailed your boat about crewing on it:D:D
  6. Colombianito

    Colombianito Adventurer

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    John,

    I love it bro...............

    Good to see your still playing hard!

    I finally picked up a New 2013 BMW G650GS Sertao this week. I love it!

    I am now here in Tampa, Florida. Doors always open here as well. C
  7. bobcat

    bobcat recalculating

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    John, I had a dream on Friday night and you were in it. :lol3 So thought I'd check in here to see what you're up to. Last time I looked was after you'd posted about Angel Falls, so I was sad to see about the end of that segment of your trip. :cry

    Hope you are healing well and making big plans for your return for the next segment. Cheers and Happy New Year! :freaky
  8. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    The Venezuelan Government Informs your bike will be held hostage until the completion of this RR... so don't bother coming back until you've posted all your photos and comments :lol3
  9. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    That's too funny I was just getting ready to start back up on this last night. It's coming I promise...

    Reading about all the riders down in SA has gotten me pumped up to write this all down, besides it keeps me from spending money when I'm setting in front of the computer working on the RR:lol3
  10. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Sandy Beaches in Alabama!
    Sure you will... the longer you wait to finish this RR the the more embellished the stories will become. Anybody can fall off a motorcycle, even you proved that. Hurry up make some money heal up and get back down there.

    Hell the more I think about it, the older I'm getting and you have to finish this in my life time.
  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Continued from way back to post 1092:

    (Again with no spell check on my IExplorer window, so please forgive my grammatical erors:lol3)



    As I said in the last post I talked Camilo into getting off the PanAm for a different side of Ecuador off the big road. I didn't have to twist his arm too much, it was just "so you know where we are going?" and I was like "sure I've got a gps that shows right where we are" and then we got off to roads way more to my liking. We took off the PanAm a little ways North of Ibarra and headed in the direction of Mira.

    We road on smaller roads a good ways and after I noticed something loose on his KLR's luggage rack we stopped in a unknown small town at a gas station right next to a moto repair shop and was glad to be able to borrow a hex key from the shop instead of digging out my own tools. The friendly moto guy also took a picture for us at the start of our new little small road adventure.
    [​IMG]

    Notice his backpack on the rear, it was acting up like a lever later on causing lots of extra stress on his rear deck plate. Got everything tightened up and decided good as any time to swap bikes, I never been on a new KLR and he wanted to try the Big Mexican Whore out. No sooner did we change in small community we got kinda lost getting out and ended up riding some really steep unpaved grades and sure enough my heavy bike was a little too much compared to what he was used to and he dumped her on the side trying to get up one of the tricky spots. I was like that wasn't so bad and came down the steep hill to help him right the bike. I didn't know it was going to get that bad that fast, he got enough taste test to know that he better stick with his much lighter bike and I powered the ole girl up the steep hill and we resumed back on our own steeds:lol3

    I believe the one of the next bigger towns was El Angle and they where smack in the middle of one of those crazy foam parties and the kids all going wild with the foam. It was a good as any place to stop for a little bite to eat and we parked off the nice central square to lots of looks. We took some pictures of the really cool bush sculptures in the town. Some of the kids covered up in foam, looks like we came into town at the tailend of the bash as the crowds where disperssing.
    [​IMG]

    Welcome; still one of those weird to me Spanish words:lol3
    [​IMG]

    Crazy man in the bush:
    [​IMG]

    Camilo thought it was pretty cool too, neat little place and pretty park and tile job:
    [​IMG]

    I was getting spoiled again hanging out with other native Spanish speakers, I had no problem doing the navigation if someone else wanted to do the speaking, now I could really go get into trouble with the Garmin now that I had someone to really be able to ask questions to the locals:clap

    We got some cokes and chicken for a nice little lunch right off the sqare and then continued on our way kinda Northish.

    We got on a lot smaller roads and ended up going into so National Park that know appears to have been El Angle Ecological Reserve according to Google Maps. We came up on another ranger looking station and as the weather was kinda nasty no one was about and I wasn't wanting to risk getting held up again to some kind of no motor passe deal so since there wasn't a gate we just kept on riding into the clouds and rainy weather enjoying the track.
    We where coming in right behind so recent rains so we kitted up for the cold and wet times sure to come, taking smoke breaks as we pleased. Camilo smokes and when I'm riding with another who smokes I'll usually bum to burn a few, just to keep in practice:johntm
    [​IMG]

    Good roads to ride:
    [​IMG]

    Nice scenery too, weird catus like stuff:
    [​IMG]

    The weather was all over us, I sent Camilo on ahead to test the road for my big girl since his was going to be easier to out in case in got bad.
    [​IMG]

    It was a good idea because not much farther along the track and inoccent looking little water hole became a unexpected trap as he wasn't carrying much momentum to get on through the gooey stuff:
    [​IMG]

    It's almost like a culvert had been dug up, a deep little ditch hidden below the water, I skirted the side without much trouble.
    [​IMG]

    The little track had it's bad spots and they where progressively worse with the rains, little river tracks:
    [​IMG]

    We someone kept dodging the wet weather that was all around us and was coming up on us. We got to another nice smoking spot and took a good water break. Whatever the sign says:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I added a little momento, doesn't look like people come out this way much but I did see some evidence of some rouge riders on dirt bikes as it appeared this spot was used as access to some single track in the area that I can only bet is illegal. Probably why motos are banned from so many of this damn Ecuadorian parks:puke1 Hell I just want to ride on the existing road and see the sights.

    These roads have a tendency to make you happy:clap:clap:clapWorked for me:
    [​IMG]

    Camilo felt good about it as well, screw the PanAm:deal
    [​IMG]

    Damn fine day riding, even if it's wet and cold!
    [​IMG]

    We could see from our position that our luck was running out with the weather and shortly after we started back up it was on us hard, first the heavy rains came and the road really started to fill up in places and careful attention required. And damn if didn't start hailing on us right as Camilo slide off into a whole that required a little bit of labour to get free from. This stuff was really slippery, I know it dosen't look so bad:deal
    [​IMG]


    We got him pulled out and I took on point:
    [​IMG]

    After awhile of this nice and wet track the rains blew on elsewhere and we came back out of the highlands and rejoined the PanAm right before the border crossing back into Colombia. We stopped again for a smoke break and to ring our the water. Camilo had his own ideas:lol3
    [​IMG]

    We rolled on into the familiar border after topping off all the tanks with the cheap stuff and got signed out of Ecuador easy enough buy as it seems there is always so kind of holiday and the Colombia aduana was backed up. This is a time it sometimes helpful to have a Spanish speaking and sometimes it is not. I think this time was the latter as Camilo could take a more agressive verbal approach to the official that was no where near my limited aduana talk vocabulary. I would take the "poor puppy dog eyes" approach and hope to gain some sympathy for the official for traveling many thousands of miles to be in his/her presence. It's worked before:lol3 but know we had picked our battle and it was again time to burn a more than a few as we waited along with the rest of the trucker lot for the issues to be resolved. IIRC Camilo was actually told "come back tomorrow":eek1 As is said, Patinece is a Beautiful Virtue and today it was had. After a decent delay the official was able to process us back into one of my favorite countries, me being slightly relieved as my bike had overstayed it's last official temporary importation and this crossing proved to me that no record of it existed:clap:clap:clap

    Viva Colombia, I'm back in the land of milk and honey and more expensive gas, but okay with that:wink:

    I'd asked Camilo about the church in the valley if he'd ever seen it and I was astounded to know that this Colombian had never seen the place having traveled as much as himself:huh I then took it upon myself to show him this marvel of a church in a valley, really special place. We went to the overlook point as the day was nearing it's end and stuck good conversation with a local about the bikes. His little boy was having a ball climbing over the bikes and playing at the controls. The guy had a pizza place that sounded good and seemed to me like he was offering us a good place to eat and maybe a place to stay. However Camilo I decided to go ahead and head down in the valley and go for a celebratory beer now vacated of the day tourists as the night set in. Super peaceful place to have a cold beer and reflect on the days ride, it was good.:freaky
    Really both happy to be back in Colombia again it was time for a little party as we would be splitting ways tomorrow as we had different schedules. Today was the 17th of Feb and I was scheduled to be in Caracas for a flight on March 1st. Also had to meet back up with Adam Lewis in Cali for some bike maintenace and then on to Medellin and back up to Cartagena to bring back my old shock that I'd left with my friend John Pierre last year and then hop over to Caracas and fly home in time for my brother's wedding and finishing up my taxes.

    But tonight it was time for a party, we bombed out the hotel room with all our wet gear trying to dry, took some good hot showers and headed out to see what kind of hell we could raise in Ipiales.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Well you see Ipiales is not exactly a hot bed of activity for night life:lol3 We ened up in a couple of shady places and was introduced to some of the finest offerings of the bordertown and made do geting back to the room before the sun rose. Tomorrow I would be treated to Colombian tipico comida, place Camilo knew in town.

    The countdown had begun...T-13 days:eek1
  12. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Sorry for the long delay in responding, I needed a good break from the old RR:lol3



    I would have much rather been there than here with this busted up leg. Maybe this year, Crane, MO would make for a good spot I'm thinking, or maybe down on the ranch here in Oklahoma:freakyHave to see what happens with all this metal in my leg before I can commit to something.


    Hola Juan Thanks for the kind words. I'm very happy with the repair, only problem was that skin that died around the incision site.
    Cover your eyes now if you don't like human beef jerky:




































    In
    4, 3, 2,

    [​IMG]
    That big mess was dead so I broke out the old gross anatomy disection kit and went to work removing the jerky, it wasn't going to come back:puke1
    Here's what is was before I started cutting:
    [​IMG]



    I will try to deliver the supply best I can. I still remember that rainy day well. Might just make it back to Crane this year, I'll be looking for you and JFK:lol3


    Thanks dude:thumb Glad I'm not putting you to:buellerwith this RR.

    Please review the photo I previously posted:puke1 It could have been worse...



    I don't have a healing photo handy from back in Novemeber but here is the most current one as of today:
    [​IMG]
    It has taken a long time to come this far, cold weather is still bothering and I got a limp still, no running for me yet:D


    One of this days my friend. Thanks for following along man. It was sure nice meeting up with you and Celly(?) in CR:freaky


    Hola Mikey:wave
    Hope the crewing spot worked out for you and your German is better than mine:wink: About now you should be in Cuba:freaky I know you'd be perfect for repainting the masts, and you know good and well what a boatswain chair is from loads of experience:lol3



    Hey Larry,
    Glad and sad to hear you are back in the States, I know the wife is happy about it but I'm sure you will miss Colombia on the Tornado. Stoked to hear you got a Sertao, that is probably the most efficient 650 in the world. People are liking the new Husky Terra and it's nearly identical to our great BMWs that have been around for years:lol3 You'll be wanting that new GSA before too long for you and the wife. I'll be sure to stop in if I'm down that way, same goes for you here in Oklahoma. Always enjoy having ADVers stop in:freaky


    I might just need a pm from you:rofl It could have been so much worse. I had/have a lot of good help with the accident:clap:clap:clap

    Sorry I missed the Texas crew this past NYE, I was wanting to make it to Pete's place, I heard he was having another one of those great gtg, hope you made it. Stay tuned lots more report coming up, I was pretty spotty over those last few months on the road and hope to get this all out of my head and fill in all the gaps now:norton It's been a hellulva ADV.


    I will give you some good reading material for you in your old age Jeff:lol3 I'm sure of all those beautiful daughters you have at least one has produced a grandchild or two to keep you busy in the meantime. Hope all is well with you and your family. Thanks for following along.

    I'll try and get after this once again. Famous last words:rofl
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Great stuff!!!!

    Keep it coming. Your ideas for back country riding in Colombia never fail to disappoint. I owe you bigtime. Wish you were down here so I could thank you personally and buy you some cold ones.

    Your leg is looking damn fine compared to when I was through visiting a few months back. It's only a matter of time before you get back down here.

    Keep up the good work on your epic ride report. It gives me some good reading while I wait for the sunrise down here in the Colombian mountains.

    Muchas gracias amigo,
    Juan SeƱor
  14. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    After the very late night and into the early morning hours of partying it didn't make for much of an early start to the day. I went through a lot of my gear and seeing how Camilo was traveling so light I thought I would offer him some of mine. I set him up with my Monarch ultalite 2-leg camp chair that I was going to sell him for a very good price (somehow that money never materalized yet and email hasn't been returned:ddog, guess I will be making another trip to Mindo:lol3) along with giving him a nice warm weather shirt I'd bought from Ruta 40 BMW in Medellin for him to hangup in his new hostel for decoration. I was happy to supply him with a hostel house copy of Loney Planet "SA on Shoestring" English version, as I hated traveling with that big heavy book, that's what the internet is for and I damn sure don't follow what a book says:evil

    We went out for a typical Colombian breakfast that was more of a brunch as we where nearer the noon hour by this time. It was some good food for the belly after the rough night:
    [​IMG]
    Along with some fresh jugos (juice) it hit the spot. Before long it was time to head to the parkadero to say our last goodbyes as we parted ways, it had been real nice traveling for a few days with Camilo and I was utterly spoiled by him speaking the language that made it easy, all I had to do was navigate but I was ready to get back solo and make my way quickly back up to Cali to have a reunion with Adam. We planned to meet in Cali on the 18th IIRC and it was a long way to Cali from the border with a half day left of daylight.

    I took off aiming for Popayan and after giving Larry, my American ex-pat friend in town a call and finding out he had a spot for me to crash I was set. He knew I was in for a long day of riding and said he'd wait up for me to bring me in once I got to town as he already had some guests in town and would be entertaining them that evening. IIRC he gave me fair warning about traveling in the area after dark and told me to dam sure not stop in a place called El Bordo, check, I'm on my way hammerdown Northbound.

    Seeing how I had lots of miles to make up to Popayan I got after it on the big PanAm, this bit on the PanAm is actually a really nice ride and good way to make time passing all the slow trucks with all the elevation changes. I dropped a waypoint on Feb 18th at 14:48 CST and I was on the North side of Pasto by 16:18 CST according to the garmin. I can't remember if the section of the PanAm above or below Pasto is more senice, it is hard to capture the enormity of the country, it's amazing how cut up this country is with mountains and the greens associated with it, a site I never grow tired of. I only stopped for very few pictures quickly along the way heading North. This country is beautiful, the PanAm road cut is in there somewhere.
    [​IMG]

    North of Pasto the area becomes less green in a mountainous section but in a tradeoff you get to ride through a bunch of tunnels, well at least two that I got shots of on the move:lol3
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At least they've got some lights in these ones:
    [​IMG]


    I was pushing hard working my way up to Popayan and didn't stop for much of anything other than to take a piss and as the night fell upon me I took no more photos of the ride on up to Larry's place. From the Garmin I can tell that I made it to the Tunel de Penalisa by 16:55 CST and an hour later I was in small town of La Graciana where I dropped another point.

    By 6:30 pm I was in a small community of El Estrecho where I can to a point of control and was breifly stopped by some surprised looking military finding me out in the evening so far from the normal stops. I tried to question them about safety in the area and from what I found out all was good for the area. I wasn't the only rider out late that eveing as I remembered another rider on a travel bike heading South and neither he or I could give more than a friendly wave as we both needed to be somewhere else sooner rather than later. Would have been nice to stop and BS but now was not the time:deal

    As I near the dangerous place I'd been warned by Larry about, the town called El Bordo, a kinda of meeting place for people in the hills who do bad things come to this town to unwind and have their fun. I was a little apprehensive about riding through this place in the evening hours and was watching my six closely as I neared the place. I dropped a waypoint in El Bordo at 19:07 CST on a Saturday night in full effect. There where people everywhere and I thought all of them where out to get me. From the looks of the place it appeared like most other goodsized Colombian towns and from the looks of it I think I wanted to stop and have a beer with them but my scheduled meetup with Larry told me otherwise, even bad people got to have fun:freakyBut as Larry told me, this is one of those towns with a reputation and I didn't really need to test it so I head on through only to be stopped by another point of control as I heading on the outskirts of town. These guys where friendly and again where surprised by seeing a traveler this late at night, my questions of the security of the area where as far as I could tell answered without any immediate sense of alarm so I was relieved. Afte this town and due to the late night and more curvy roads heading the rest of the way into Popayan was very tough and slow riding just following trucks for safety as nothing was predicatable on these roads though the hills. I stopped at one of those all night roadside truckers places for a break and contemplated stopping there for the night but instead decided to push on toward Popayan and Larry's looking forward to a nice hot shower that would be well worth it.

    I kept at it and finally made it to the outskirts of Popayan where I stopped in a parking lot that I believe was a whore house or somekind of club, kinda strange looks I was getting some instructions from Larry on the phone, the only reason I chose that area was there was some military stopped just a couple yards away. I got some direction and Larry rode out to meet me as I finished the days big ride up to Popayan and to the end comfort of Larry's casa, Thanks a million man:clap:clap:clap

    IIRC His family and his guests where at a popular parrilla in town where I pulled up to a refreshing cold beer and good company:freaky
    Afterwards Larry lead me home after a long half day in the saddle:
    [​IMG]

    What a first day back to riding in Colombia, it felt good once it was over:deal

    I slept well that night in utility room as Larry's business partner and his wife where already using the spare bedroom. I slept extremely well here after a very nice long hot shower:
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow the easy push into Cali and the meetup with Adam once again.
    March 1st was coming fast...
  15. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    OK, one of your side-cases (one of the smaller Pelicans up front)* has been released from impound....
    Keep writing :D





    * NOT the one with your tools :lol3
  16. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    The plan was at this point to meet back up with Adam Lewis aka JediMaster from ShortWayRound fame and work on the bikes at the best motoshop in all of Colombia @ Asturias with Jorge and company while staying in Cali with one of the great legends of SA motorbike community Cali Alain and his wonderful family for the few days we would be working on the bikes getting the sorted for their next go arounds.

    I was very happy to have a great place to spend the night with Larry and his family even though he already had guests he found me a wonderful spot to layover for the night. I would have loved to stay longer and do a couple more loops but the deadline for getting to Venezuela was drawing too near so I had to take off the following morning:cry

    Thanks Larry, I truely grateful to have had a great place to stop over and great company:freaky
    [​IMG]

    I loaded all my gear up in the handy community shopping basket carts and rolled all my gear back to the bike to load up for the short trip back up to Cali on familiar roads.
    [​IMG]
    I said my goodbyes to Larry and his brother in law/business partner from Cali IIRC:
    [​IMG]

    Got kinda of a late start from Larry's casa leaving at 10:37 CST for Cali. I was back on familar roads and recognized many of my past stops and have an uneventul ride coming back to Cali. On this road you leave the mountains behind and get into the big farmlands on the way back up to Cali, makes for some easy straightline riding good for listening to music and taking photos from the road, more than twice cars would come around me and then take a double take and slow back up for a photo, I just smile and wave, was a good day to travel on a bike. As the roads straightened out the closer I got to Cali I kicked the legs out over the front pelican boxes and played with the camera.
    [​IMG]

    It was very nice coming back to Cali, a place I felt like I knew well as I'd been over most of the town in the places that I needed to be and was very comfortable in the city.
    [​IMG]
    Nice wide streets perfect for passing through all the traffic:evil
    [​IMG]
    It was a pleasure to ride into town that day knowing that I be meeting up with old friends and surely see some new ones at Casa Blanca as it sits at the bottom of the funnel of Colombia for the majority of the motorbikers traveling South.

    Lots of bikers in town that day, even had a woman named Doris from Germany traveling solo on a F650 bm, that's her bike on the left of this photo with Adam surrounded by other travelers bikes:
    [​IMG]

    We talked with a few of the other bikers and then took of to get sorted at Alain's place where we got the bikes sorted out down below:
    [​IMG]

    The I had to rebefriend the chocalate lab named Cafe, sort of:rofl
    [​IMG]

    Then almost out of nowhere a rouge member of the very dangerous splinter group, the MCC or Midget Cali Cartel stormed the place and took Adam hostage:eek1 This freaking Colombia is dangerous as hell:deal
    [​IMG]

    After some tense talks his release was negociated without loss of life:lol3 I was even able to become an honorary member of the group:
    [​IMG]

    Turns out is was only Alain's youngest Matias who stormed the compound as the rouge agent of terror, Cafe was powerless to defend us:
    [​IMG]

    We went on to the important conversations over beers and cigarettes that lasted late into the evening hours before dinner was served:
    [​IMG]

    I got showered and cleaned up and was having a good time:freaky
    [​IMG]

    Had the first of many wonderful meals at Alain's house, this one prepared by Paola as Vanush was off for the night, I always enjoyed the meals as Alain was full French we always had good cheese prior to each meal.
    [​IMG]

    Tonight we rest well, Adam and myself sharing a pullout sofa, and tomorrow we begin the refitting of the bikes at Jorge's great shop Asturias over the next few days.

    Good to be back in Cali with good friends. As much as I really love Medellin I seem to feel a little more at home in Cali, seems smaller to me, and think myself more of a better Calino than as a Piasa, but Medellin is still a wonderful place with many nice people that I love to visit:deal
  17. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Those crazy Venezeulans just won't give up:roflI'm going to be needing those tools for sure, you know all too well how I tear stuff up:deal

    I posted a little more up and will try and get some more in the next days, I've been working Sunday and Monday nights at the lab so I'll see what happens...
  18. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Great update man!!! Can't wait for the future installments. Looks a lot better now compared to it did during the healing process.

    Later
    John
  19. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity

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    I never did hear back from them, do you have any good contact info? Oh yeah, and my 640 threw up a cam roller bearing which resulted in a $1000 parts list. :lol3 Hopefully I'll get to finish putting it back together in a couple of weeks.
  20. matapo

    matapo Been here awhile

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    Hey I m glad the wound healed so nice.

    It s nice hearing from you again.

    Take care!