"Fly-ride West ride Canada to Mexico & points between

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Rockin Rollin, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Oct. 2012 Edit: 3 years running now. Still Haven't made it to either Panama nor Alaska even though it was originally a 1 1/2 year plan. The seasons & the trips are just not long enough. Anyways the migration has been fun & the plan is still to get to both. It's just takin a little longer. Oh well!!!
    Livin the Dream:raabia - Ridin the world.:ricky That's the plan.:wings
    I'm only semi retired yet, plus can't/don't want to be away from home for too long at a time right now. So what can I do?
    :pynd FLY & RIDE! Starting with the Wild Wonderful rugged & Beautiful West. :jump I'll store the bike in major hubs allowing for direct flights from T.O. Toronto Ontario Canada that is.
    This is a 2 year plan riding North/South like a migratory bird, with the seasons.
    Far south as Panama, far north as Alaska in roughly 2 week stints over the next 2 years. Rough plan is: Leave Ontario fall 2009 Destination Phoenix. Store Bike fly home. Fly back in 3 weeks following Explore area, finish in Vegas. Use Vegas as hub till spring.
    Winter 2009: Ride Baja, Mexico-Copper canyon, Death Valley, San, Diego, Palm Springs, LA.
    Spring: Head north via California & West coast. First hub, San Francisco. Explore. North to hub Vancouver late spring.
    July - Alberta. Start heading south August, rocky mountain States, local rallies, WestFest. Will be visiting many National Parks. Migrate south with the weather, Ultimately back to Vegas.
    Winter 2011 head thru Mexico & Central America to Panama. Store bike so no rush.
    Fly home couple weeks then back & ride north back to Vegas. Spring/Summer to Alaska & Yukon then???
    Ready to ride;[​IMG]Ride started Sunday Oct 26. (Wanted to have some good pics ready before starting report to make for a more entertaining start, plus well hey what can I say I've been busy.)
    Start plan was riding to Phoenix, store bike fly home Nov.10. To make the ride more interesting
    I decided to ride straight south first thru West Virginia, Tennessee, Great Smokies, Deals Gap - Tail of the Dragon, Cherahola then West. Planned to meet up with 2 fellow ADVers, AllenTC in Charlston West Virginia and Todd-ADVTENN in Tennesseesome fellow ADVers.. AllenTC was going to ride 2 Hrs north to meet me in North end of west Virginia so we could do a nice route south together. I would stay at his place in Charleston and we would ride to meet with Todd next day.
    Ended up leaving much later in the day than expected.

    Now I had to make up some time in the dark.
    Riding south in the dark on the NY interstate I fear for Deer.
    Woh! Suddenly appearing in my headlite my fear is realized and it's a big one!
    I slam the brakes on, the bike dives and the road ahead is suddenly dark, headlite pointing straight down, Can't see!.
    I let up for an instant having dropped a good amount of speed. Oh Deer he's right there! Why am I letting off the brakes.
    Just stop! Stop! stop! to the side. No cars behind me, Whoooh! I'm stopped, lights up, deer gone. Big Breath!!! Careful!
    Yes the Adventure has begun!
    Rode to about 11pm got motel. Met Allen next Day 11:00 Clarksburg WV. We had a beautiful sunny fall day ~20C/70F.
    I made sure we found some adventurous roads and extra challenge.

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    Here are some comments Allen had made on facebook: "When I meet Roland, I ask if he has a route. "No, I thought we'd just see what the GPS says is the funnest (yes, I know it's not a real word) ride." His method for determining this is to zoom the screen down to the smallest scale and see which road looks curviest. This also usually winds up putting us on some of the most ungodly dirt, back-country roads. We spend something like 6 hours making our way back from Clarksburg to Scott Depot. A ride that took me 2 hours to make on the way up."

    The next day we head out to meet another friend, Todd, who lives in Kingsport, TN. The plan is to meet him in Tazewell, VA and do some sightseeing around his neck of the woods. The only catch is, it's pouring by the time as we roll out of Tazewell.

    Despite the weather, these two decide to go through every drenched, leave covered two-lane in western VA and eastern TN. After about three hours of riding, my Tourmaster pants, touted as waterproof, shout "No mas" and give up. I swear, it was that fast. One minute I'm riding in relative comfort, the next, cold rainwater douses my bikini area. Shocking, I tell you. I spend till almost 6pm THAT day riding in the rain! But the evening was pretty awesome. That evening I had some great Mexican and got to try some real Tennessee 'shine. When I got home Wednesday afternoon, I had a hair over 1,300 miles on the bike.

    This time Allan didn't launch his bike up a cliff into a tree so he is gettin better.
    Eastern Rendesvous:
    [​IMG]We met with Todd Next day. Unfortunatly weather was miserable and we couldnt do a good part of the route Todd had planned out. Was still a good day and fun seeing riding with those guys. Met Todds family, very nice. We went out for diner & Then visited and had some drinks Todds Dad who has an awsome ManCave (Garage/Shed). What a place, Bikes/Beer/Moonshine & Memoabilia. Slot Machine, Juke Box. That was a fun night."
    A big part of the fun of the ride is meeting new people along the way and the different accents and the way they speak. Oddly many thought I spoke differently & with an accent???
    Here we are next morning in Todds driveway.
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    Allen would be returning home along with a new self proclaimed nickname, "Pokey".
    He's since got a new mascot mounted On his bike. [​IMG]

    Todd would ride with me and return home the following day.:ricky
    So there I have a start. I'll try to catch up the RR asap. Stay tuned - Come along.:rayof
    #1
  2. AK Bear

    AK Bear Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
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    Location:
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    I've been leaving a GS around in different spots that are easily flown to from Alaska and riding to where ever I can find another place to store it now for about five or six years. Great way to go. Let me know when you get to Alaska. Bear
    #2
  3. canadian XR

    canadian XR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Newmarket Ontario Canada
    keep it coming... Roland


    Cheers :freakyWillie
    #3
  4. ETrider

    ETrider Gawker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
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    :lurk
    #4
  5. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    689
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    :thumb Appreciate the feedback Guys.
    Any ride reports Bear, highlites, fav places, advice?

    We got great weather & headed for Deals Gap & Tail of the Dragon via the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Todd had the great Idea of taking a shortcut thru Parsons Branch (a popular spot in the park)
    Just one problem, it was a one way to get in, or rather out. Todd says "Aah it won't be busy this time of year!" Not!:huh Well we are adventure riders, and except for the dirty looks & people yelling at us, it was a great fun ride, especially the blind corners.
    We get into Parsons Branch and it is bumper to bumper. Barely moving, single lane, one way. Good news is there is a ditch. Alright we're dual sporters, I head for the ditch, Todd follows. Extra fun now!
    We're half way thru, I see a fellow, loaded down adventurer, sitting in the traffic. A young Asian female.
    She looks at us like, hey that's what I should be doing! Oh & it was really warm at this point so she musta been roasting.
    Todd recongnises her. It's fellow ADVer Erica of "Erica's highway to Hell" thread. Erica is 24hrs old & riding out of L.A. across America on her own. Wow! She was on day 78! She followed us to the southern one way road out. It's a beautiful road out, fall colours & a stream we cross about 7 times.
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    Erica & I
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    Erica's a great rider both on & off pavement. This was her fisrt time fo Tail of the Dragon.
    Here we are at Deals gap.
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    Erica at the Fontana Dam
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    Above the Fontana Dam
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    Riding out To the Cherahola
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    We split with Erica at the Cherahola Highway as we wanted to take the adventure dual sport route & Erica had never been over the Cherahola Highway. She was in for a treat.:wings
    Its was great meeting & riding with you Erica. You're an Inspiring & Brave adventurer.:pynd
    #5
  6. erica728

    erica728 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hey Roland,

    I'm so glad that I got to meet both you and Todd. I will always remember that day! And let me know when you swing through Los Angeles, I will be more than happy to play tour guide! Cheers, see you soon.

    Erica
    #6
  7. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Thanks Erica.

    Todd rode west with me out to Cleveland Tennessee. We had a great day.:freaky
    Trying to check into a motel was another storey however as my credit card was declined.
    I called to find out the problem & was asked if i had been using the card in Quebec. No! well someone had been???:huh
    That card only had 1 issued & I had it so it must have been made up with my info, likely organised crime I figure.
    Fortunately I had more than 1 card.
    Next day was a get some mileage day on. I got to Jackson Mississipi.
    Next morning heading West it starts pouring rain just as I'm leaving. I'm on the highway getting pelted & blown around with very high wind. Couldn't ride very fast and trucks were passing me making it even worse. Not a fun way to cross the Mississipi, felt like I was gonna end up in it. Down the road I saw high water beside the road with a number of cars half submerged. Then some trees obviously very recently having been ripped apart.:eek1 Oh this is exciting! & I'm freezing. I had checked out the weather report & knew likely another hour toward Texas it should clear up, so
    I stopped at a rest center, made good use of their hot air hand dryer, put on extra clothing & Electric vest & pressed on.:pynd
    Then, TEXAS! First time here. This is where on this trip I wanted to take some time to stop explore and enjoy a few places. I
    had a good biker book on Texas so I also had some plans & details.
    Had a little excitment 1st night in Tesxas when I was checked into a motel 6 beside Tyler Texas, a major city. I'm on my laptop, it's about 10:30 and there is a knock at the door. I leave the security latch on and open the door. There is a black dude there asks me if that is my bike outside. I say yes
    and he startes rambling some cocamaimy storey & asks me to come outside so he can speak with me further. NO! he carries on about hard times, not a begger, actually a preacher & gonna show me ID. Huh? Ok i get it I say you've fallen on some hard times, hang on a sec. I close the door go grab $5 & go give it to him wish him good luck. He takes off. OK!!!

    Into Texas a ways started seeing these.
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    At times felt like I was surrounded.
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    Some were pretty friendly, had good hearts, would wave & also give the biker salute!
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    Had to watch out for animals.
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    Holy Cow!
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    Didn't have to worry about hitting these ones. They were on a wall in a Dairy Queen. This is TEXAS!
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    Everythings big in Texas!
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    Stopped in San Antonio, . I had heard about the River Walk. Wow it was really nice! Concrete decking on each side of the river
    for miles and in a loop in downtown. Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, & shops lined the down town. Beautifully lit up at night.
    Tours boats, water taxis & transit on the river & lots of beatiful diplays, Awsome! This was Halloween night and a lot of people were dressed up, that made it a lot of fun but it's also a very romatic place and I was
    wishing Lily was with me.:raabia
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    Saw The Alamo
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    #7
  8. Nightstalker

    Nightstalker YO BUDDYPAL!

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    Roland, you RULE!
    #8
  9. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Texas Hill Country & Fredericksburg was next. Very nice riding. I especially liked the small twisty hilly roads that roamed
    the countryside.:ricky
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    Flash floods are a big deal in the area. Check out the slab from left side of this bridge. See whereit ended up.
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    Suzi, lovin the scenery.
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    Heading for Big Bend national park
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    Stopped for gas coming into Big Bend national park and all of a sudden this runs by. This is a Javelina, a local wild pig.
    There was a whole family of them. had to watch out for them on the roads.
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    Did my first camping of the trip in Big Bend. Froze my Ass.
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    Hiked the St. Helena Canyon next morning. met some other cool bikers riding cruisers. One told me of a great hike in the park
    to "The Window". Which I did next.
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    The Window.
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    Hike was long, 5 miles round trip, but well worth it. Scenery and varying colours of were beautiful.
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    Careful where you step.:yikes
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    Riding in Hill country I had spoken with a fellow ADVer Adam who was from Virginia. has rode & is very familiar with the
    west. He told me about a wild & crazy event that would be going on in Terlingua, just west of Big Bend. A Chilli cookoff.
    10,000 people show up for the weekend & Party Hardee. After a boring early nite in Big bend previous nite I thought this might
    be fun. & it was Friday nite. So here it is, that is only ~half of the site.
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    Met & hung out with, & had fun with some fellow dirt bikers I met on the way in. Chris, Buck & Larry.
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    It was a constant parade of different odd vehicles & people.
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    This guy had some good success with this sign. Can't post those pics but there were some proud ladies.
    :eek1 [​IMG]
    They also had a special showdown for the very proud ladies.:ken
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    Camped again that nite but couldn't get any sleep. Thought I was in a quieter area but the party was everywhere & went all
    nite. Plus I froze again. It was really more than i could stand and I had to leave the next day. 2 nites in a row with no
    sleep would've done me in. Barely slep the nite B4 when I camped & froze in Big Bend:twitch
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    Met Shirley & Paul in RV next to me. Nice people. They also let me store my Beer in their cooler. Thanks.
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    Checked out the town of Terlingua with my local Budds.
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    This was their elected mayor of the town. Was eventually voted out due to a drinking problem. Liked beer and would drink them
    just like this.
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    Saw this strange site.:[/B]eek1
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    Different angle:lol3
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    Heading west from Terlingua:ricky
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    #9
  10. advtenn

    advtenn Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    East TN.
    Hi Roland! Great report! :clap :clap Thanks for sharing. It was only fitting that you hiked to the "Window".:rofl :rofl:rofl


    :lurk
    #10
  11. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Earth
    Getting close to Phoenix now. The locals are excited i'm here Cheering & waving at me. Friendly bunch.:clap:ricky :clap :ricky :clap
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    This guy was havin too much fun!:puke2
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    Last day before flying home. Got storage arranged for Suzi. (My motorcycle)While there, a guy checkin out my ride told me about a nice Dual sport ride to a cool little town called Cleator.
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    It's that way. NOt!
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    Cleator AZ
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    A local residence. Maintenance Free!
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    That's my Hog on the right.
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    Had a beer with some Locals.:freaky
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    The John
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    That's Cactus Chris behind the bar. Checkout the Clock. 1:30 in the afternoon right?[​IMG]

    Kitchen was right behind me & had a guard dog.[​IMG]

    Explored futher up the road to Crown King. Cool![​IMG]

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    Last Evening, this ride, met up with my AZ buddy & fellow ADVer AZMike. We met at Westfest in Colorado in July. Great Guy!
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    Flew Home. :asta End. Trip 1 of Fly-Ride 16days.Next trip - Lily:jump comes with me back to Phoenix. We head for Tucson and see a gunfight in Thombstone.:2guns :gun1 I get:pep Stay tuned!
    #11
  12. Rotten Ronnie

    Rotten Ronnie Crash

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    Brooklin, Ontario, Canada
    Those are some awesome pictures Roland!
    #12
  13. dirtinblood

    dirtinblood Ontariariario

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    near Toronto
    Excellent adventure so far Roland. Great report. Keep the details coming. We are all snowbound up here in Ontario, so we appreciate the stories of the south (warm) riding spots. It looks like you are avoiding pavement whenever possible...good for you. I'm looking forward to the rest of the exciting adventures of Rockin and Rollin Roland. Keep that smile on your face.:D
    #13
  14. AllenTC2

    AllenTC2 Pokey

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    Cross Lanes, WV
    Awesome thread Roland!! :D Livin' la vita moto!!
    #14
  15. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

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    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    Great Pictures
    #15
  16. ETrider

    ETrider Gawker

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    Enjoying the report Roland! Party on! :freaky


    Great pictures too! :clap
    #16
  17. Dutch Connection

    Dutch Connection Dutch Connection

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    Caledon
    :norton All I can say Roland is I'm jealous and I'm sure it beats installing windows or bench racing in Ontario's winters ! Good Luck and Safe Journey .
    #17
  18. advtenn

    advtenn Long timer

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    East TN.
    :ear Where are you? :ear
    #18
  19. Rockin Rollin

    Rockin Rollin Rockin Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Earth
    Hey thanks for the comments guy, sorry for takin so long ta get back but hey I've been busy.:ricky
    So my wife Lily:raabia came with me on this trip.
    We flew back to Phoenix, picked up Suzi (the Bike) out of storage.
    I store most of my riding stuff with the bike so I can fly with just a carry on. Very convenient & easier to stay organized. I keep a minimum amount of clothing and do laundry along the way. The only clothing that travels is what I wear for the flight. For the transition back to the cold I bring along a micro-fleece & wind breaker back & forth, which works very well for layering. You'll see that in the pictures.
    Dressed to ride!
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    Destination Tucson. A couple hrs on a slightly more interesting route.. Very Desolate, that makes Lily Nervous.I much prefer that to the busy route/cities.
    I got a great deal on a condo in a gated golf resort, Ventana Canyon.
    It was spectacular location on the northeast end of Tucson at the base of the mountains.
    Saguaro Cacti where everywhere, beautiful, as was the golf course. Very well manicured and picturesque as you can see.
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    We did some walk touring of the course and took a ride into the curvy hilly roads leading up the mountain.
    These roads were only accessable with the gated community which is where the resort was.
    The homes were worth average $6-8 million.. The landscaping was all forms & varieties of Canti & such. They were beautiful,very low maintenance, wouldn't require watering. Cool!
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    Hey there big fella!
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    Day after arriving we visited the Kartchner caverns.The underground formations were well preserved & spectacular. Pictures were not allowed however.
    Lily did spot these which give the hearing equivalency a bat. She thought I needed that. Huh?
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    Next up: We witness a gunfight:eek1 & a guy that looks just like me gets hung. TWICE!:huh
    #19
  20. canadian XR

    canadian XR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Newmarket Ontario Canada
    Hi Roland keep it going...

    willie
    #20