Costa Rica: Outside my Comfort Zone

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EvilClown, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    Northeast Kingdom, Vermont USA (close to Canada!)
    pass the salt, the wait is killin' me!

    :deal


    back to -


    :lurk
  2. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    In the shadow of the Uncanoonucs...
    Don't wait.:deal

    As far as the trip goes...in the words of George Wyle and Sherwood Shwartz, "Sit right back and you'll hear a tale..."



    Día uno:

    The day couldn't come fast enough. Ten days before leaving I started a count down and wondered if these next 10 days would take longer than the 10 days of riding we had originally planned. We all know how fast time flies when we're on vacation.

    The day started early as we had to be at the airport by 4:30 am. Plus, we were leaving from Logan. That meant getting up way before even I usually do. Like either of us could sleep.

    Since Dave (whizzerwheel) was coming down from the north country, our plan was to meet at the Airport Diner in Manch-Vegas then make the run the rest of the way to Boston.

    It's amazing how many people are in the diner at 2am but then again, it's post 'Saturday night'.

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    Decided to try something I have never tried before...

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    Warning: if food shots in RRs trouble you, brace yourself.:deal :D


    Mr. and Mrs. Whizzerwheel...

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    Finally done breakfast, we finish loading up.

    In traditional travel slide show fashion, here's Dave's packing the car.

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    He wasn't in a hurry or anything.:lol3

    After an uneventful ride into the big city we get booted out at the curb.

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    After our final 'good-byes' it really begins...some of us are pleased as punch. The ticket counter girl apparently not so much.:lol3

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    All checked in we patiently wait, whiling away the time reviewing the map...

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    Our seat numbers are finally called to board.

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    We're on our way to Costa Rica, Baby!:clap:clap:clap

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    ...
  3. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Wait a minute...equal time here for La familia de Evil Clown.

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    All smiles, and maybe a little too eager to see us go.... whats up with that?

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  4. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    There you are, Dave! Wondering where you went.

    :dealSorry about the interuption. Had a minor boiler issue here today. No heat or hot water. I tried to explain that many families in Costa Rica live that way every day. Guess how that ended?:lol3

    Anyhoo...we're on the way to San Jose...

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    You knew that was coming. Couldn't think of her name to save my life last week. And, yes, I know they mean SJ, California.:D

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    :dg

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    We manage a few hands of cribbage...

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    A quick layover in Orlando...

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    Yeah. I know. But I like it.:D

    Something to hold us over 'til dinnah.

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    ...and we're back in the air...

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    A couple ours later we begin to break through the clouds and can see the ground. A little closer and we start to see roads. Beautiful dirt roads. Many along the ridges of the mountains.

    Dood sitting by the window snaps a shot or two for me. Manages to capture some of the roads.

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    ...

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    It takes forever to land as we're now pretty stoked.:rayof:wings

    None of these people realize just how big of a tear we are suddenly in.:lol3

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    Off the plane ...

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    ...we we head over to deal with Customs.

    Oh, good.

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    All these people headed there, too - declaration forms in hand.

    We finally get up to the window and the dood sez in very clear English, "Pen." He then points us off to the side lines where we get to refill out that form we did on the plane with the only writing implement I had - a pencil.

    Over in 'wrong Customs paperwork Purgatory' we learn that there is only one ballpoint pen in Costa Rica.:huh

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    After a quick "Where's my freaking passport?!?!" self pat down by Dave, we agree to lend it out but only if they promise to return it to the "...guy over there..."

    Luckily, Dave's passport in in the very capable hands of our Customs guy which gives us a fine excuse not to wait in that long line once again.

    Finally, successfully through the guantlet, we collect our bags and make our way to the money exchangers for our first raking over. Someone in another Costa Rica RR posted never exchange more than $20 at the airport. A little late for us but he may be on to something. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't really that big a deal.

    So, let's review. Bring a pen and don't exchange more than you need for the cab at the airport. There will be a quiz at the end.:deal

    Did I mention we were in sunny Costa Rica?

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    We make our way over to Wild Rider...

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    Another tip that Dave was hip to: tell the driver to take you to KFC yes, the Colonel's place (only here it sounds like 'KFFC' - at least it does to me.) Wild Rider is right near it. More than likely the driver will have never heard of Wild Rider. The people running the hotel across the street didn't even know about it.:lol3

    With a street festival in full swing the streets were closed so we got booted out a few blocks away. Imagine my excitement when kicked to the curb in 90° heat with more shxt than a Christmas goose in tow.:lol3

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    Lesson learned.

    We make our way up the street carefully avoiding the missing manhole.:huh

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    Not to fear. It wasn't that far and we were itching to ride!:clap

    Once there, Morten greets us and gets the process started. We also pick his brain about some of the routes we've planned.

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    After some doing we finally have the bikes loaded and are ready to roll.

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    Let's ride!:ricky
  5. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

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    Looking great so far...:clap:clap
  6. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    Did you guys ever stop smiling on the trip?

    A great start! On the bikes, no lost luggage en route, no handcuffs at customs, the whole enchilada!

    more, please. :deal
  7. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Día uno continues: Let the riding begin!

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    By now the band has finished their incredibly loud rendition of the Costa Rican version of 'Wipe Out' and the crowd has thinned some but it's still going to be a challenge to get the bikes to a road that isn't blocked off and full of pedestrian traffic.

    We slowly snake our way around the stage and out past a couple of local constables who seem unphased by this. The first intersection we come to has the missing manhole. This gives me a huge smile as I think about the wailing and nashing of teeth that goes on if there's as much as a bump in the road. We've turned into a bunch of cry babies.:lol3

    We're riding!

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    It's about 4pm. We have a very rigid two component schedule to adhere to. 1) be back with the bikes in time to catch our flight in 12 days and 2) try not to ride after dark.

    We're told it gets dark around 6pm. My calculator tells me we have about 2 hours left before we should be off the road.

    We finally weave our way out to the main highway out of town...

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    ...finally out in the suburbs...but in the thick of a smaller town...

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    ...through the worst of the traffic...

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    ...whizzerwheel is true to his word. Within a half hour, we're officially lost!:clap:clap:clap

    :lol3

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    It doesn't take too long and the roads really begin to improve...

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    We eventually pull over for our first photos...

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    ...where I carefully frame it to appear as if it was taken on the fly. It's only explanation I can come up with for not getting the horizon a little closer to level.:1drink

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    Back on the road...

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    We continue a while longer noting the time...

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    ...and eventually decide to start looking for a place to stop for the night.

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    It's a relatively short first day ride but we rationalize that we weren't even going to have the bikes picked up yet under our original plan. Everything up until now would have been Monday morning after they opened up the bike shop. We even have a shake down cruise to see how the gear rides out of the way! Despite the static tests in the driveway, mine isn't riding so well.

    We've essentially gained a half day of riding!:clap:clap:clap

    We spot a place that looks like it'll meet the minimum equirements and start to unpack.

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    After settling into the room...

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    ...it's time for some celebrating!

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    Cafe con Baileys! "Mmmmmmm...."

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    Then back to the room and balcony for some world problem solving...

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    Día uno is deemed a smashing success!:clap:clap:clap
  8. Beez

    Beez Given to fly

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  9. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

    Joined:
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    I'm just gonna throw a few bones out into the yard from time to time:

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    This is for the new Costa Rica tag game...Donde es Evil Clown.


    ...



    Moments from departure: Getting a few tips from Morten on how to keep a motorcycle upright. Didn't stick...

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    The first nights digs weren't too shabby:


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    Major gear re-sorting ensued:

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    Why did I bring all this scxht????
  10. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

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    you guys are really making me want to travel south next year:evil
  11. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Waking up at the crack of dawn is delayed two hours with the time change and all.

    Along with some morning coffee, compliments of the coffee maker in the room, is some exploration of the grounds. No pun intended.

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    They'd be serving breakfast here soon but we opted to find a place on the road...

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    ...

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    Still trying to figger out the settings on the new camera. Not sure I ever got them right.:scratch

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    Wandering back to the room we collect the mess and do a bit of a rearrange on the bike. It wasn't working for me yesterday once we got on the road.

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    That's why you do shake down rides. Let's see how this works.

    Dave's ready!

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    Let's go ride motorcycles!:ricky :ricky

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    It's fairly early...

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    ...as we cut our way through the morning fog up to the Paos Volcano.

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    Not really on the list but since we're in the neighborhood...

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    "Nope. Not open yet."

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    Pretty sure we're not going to see anything in the fog...

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    ...we're not hanging around for it.:1drink

    Instead we opt for the mossy post tour...

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    Reminds me of the Vermont TOR game.

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    As we survey the landscape, I wonder if, like in Vermont, someone in Costa Rica can see this post and say, "Hey! I know right where that is!"

    We move on...but don't get too far before we're stopped taking pics again...

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    ...in search of food we spot something across the valley...

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    ...and make our way around to check it out.

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    They're up and moving around and tell us to come on in.

    Coffee!:*sip* Not just any coffee. Costa Rican coffee!:clap:clap:clap We are in our happy place.

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    We manage to muddle through an order for some food...

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    ...and take it all in while we enjoy our morning coffee.

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    This is my first 'soda' experience. This soda also doubles as the local store.

    Breakfast arrives.

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    Nothin' wrong with that!

    Morning intake out of the way, we gear up and head out...

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    ...

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    I can't help but notice the ditch along the side of the road...

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    ...it quickly becomes apparent that they expect you to use your head here in Costa Rica. No one is gonna hold your hand and keep you from driving into this thing. Yer just going to have to pay attention to what you're doing.:deal

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    Kind of refreshing.:1drink

    We spend the morning just riding along...

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    ...stopping once in a while to take it all in.

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    In the lower elevations the fog has burned off.

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    The riding doesn't suck.

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    We're briefly joined by a local...

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    ...who doesn't hang behind these tourists for too long.

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    We've got a loose destination in mind...

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    ...more accurately, a road. But first, a stop...

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    ...where we wonder about the caged shrine to the right of the 'falls'.

    A little further up the road we go for the artsy 'through the barbed wire' shot...

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    We're on a road Morten had told us they had recently repaired a landslide...

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    ...it's easy to see where that may be a problem.

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    Dave climbs down to get in a better position for a shot...cue Dave's better pictures...

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    For the record, I don't believe anyone is coming back to install the guardrail. That ditch is looking pretty tame right now, ain't it?:lol3

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    Keeping the potential for more of these areas in mind we move on.

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    Despite what is revealed by my poor attempts at photography, the views are spectacular!

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    These guys aren't riding those horses for fun.:deal

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    The overcast skies make it a nice day for a ride for us pale New Englanders.:D

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    Which is a good thing since the roads so far have sucked.

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    A quick stop to have a look around...

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    "Where's that dirt road go?" "Dunno. Let's find out!"

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    "Yeah, Baby!":super

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    Picture overload yet?

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    Up the road a piece the school kids ham it up for the camera.

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    Must be time for a little break...

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    Down below we see what looks to be a camp set up.

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    We ask about it. The folks here don't speak a lick of English why should they? so we Dave are put to the test...

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    Near as we can tell the owner (above using my binoculars) indicates they are fishing down there. He tries desparately to rent us a cabinas. If we were done for the day we wouldn't hesitate - but we have more riding to do.

    Dave asks about the road we are on and where or if it is on the map.

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    As it has been getting progressively more and more 'rustic'...

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    ...we wonder if it goes all the way through. The reply is, "No bueno."

    However, this gentleman shows up.

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    He indicates we can make it all the way through.

    We shall soon find out who is correct...
  12. Tslapper

    Tslapper #!

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    Paradise!
  13. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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  14. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

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    Nope! :clap
  15. mikewillsmith

    mikewillsmith Not the f'g fresh prince!

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    Nice!
    :lurk:lurk
  16. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    NO better pics here, just a slightly different perspective:

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    No Hay Paso, muchos problema:


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    What to do?
  17. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    If this is in Fortuna as I beleive, I sat on the third stool from the left and had a Pina Colada six years and change ago. I took myself down there as to celebrate my 50th b-day. I rented a XT-600 from WildRider for a week.
  18. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    :nod

    I cannot think of a better way to celebrate a 50th birthday.

    Here's a quick video or two...

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  19. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    This thing is finally clean again. Only took about 3 soakings and 6 passes through the laundry.

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    Ready to go for another round!:clap:clap:clap :lol3
  20. 2twisted

    2twisted NRTHJSTNRTH

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    Digging the RR.

    Great pictures :clap