H14XL Goes TWVT with the SMIBs and Cat Herders in Tow!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Dorito, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,459
    Location:
    Maryland
    So it all started on a very cold dreary winter day. Out of nowhere, I received a PM from H14XL and a idea that we should go a on a ride-about on the Trans WV trail sometime in spring. I think we all needed inspiration of something to get us through the thick of winter. His inspiration for the route was from the work that Chip had done. So, the colder the months got the more people signed up. I think at one point, we were about 18 strong.

    The months dragged on, and finally spring had sprung. You know the old adage, April Showers bring May flowers. Well, shower it did on Saturday. But with 13 smiling folks we didn’t let the buckets of water falling from the heavens ruin our weekend. We had 3 days and about 750 miles planned. With the exception of the home to rendezvous point and back, there was no flat slab. The trail meandered through the hills, and over the valley through the dirt and mud, but it was all fun.

    Day T-1, the majority of the herd gathered at H14XL. From what I heard, the hospitality was wonderful and the stuffed shells to die for.
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    Some trailered in, to preserve the knobs on their new dirt tires (this will be a very important point in 2 more days). Some slept in the trailers, and other like myself, blaster and blooch rode in the morning of Day 1. Poor blooch had his fate was sealed when the riders were up, and he was lucky number “13”. His radiator was leaking something fierce. Being a superstitous man and not desiring to meet the kind the folks at 1-800-Tow-my-ass home, he made the better judgment and headed for home. I half expected to see him on Day 2 with his other steed, but alas no arrival. The riders:

    Badguy
    Blaster
    Blooch
    Dorito
    EOD3MC
    H14xl
    Jax
    Krotchity
    Mtnflow
    Pomo
    Twohawks
    ScottP
    Stacey
    VaCommuter

    Day 1, as I learned to hear in the Shane Watts dirt riding class (as the weather got progressively worse), to describe the deteriorating conditions as “EPIC”. Oh my, how epic the water was. But, 12 riders eagerly launched down the gravel driveway to our new adventure. The torrential downpours made helmet fogging a beast all day. The dirt roads held up well enough, with the exception of the Alternative track. By the time we were within 30 miles of the hotel or the alternate, the group had divided in half. The one group headed to the hotel and the second for the alternate. On the way to the hotel, we stopped at this pretty rock formation, even found a poorly hidden geo-cache!

    However, I knew that the alternate would be formidable H14XL had ridden it a few weekends previously. The water holes get progressively worse, until the last one which was described as a 40ft pond. But as soon as I hit the tarmac for the hotel which followed the river, I knew the alternate riders would be ill-fated. The river was gushing and rushing and very brown with silt. It was somewhat an “angry” looking river. The alt riders soldiered on, and down to the first water crossing. H14XL noticed the water was at least 12 inches higher than a previously, but someone still decided to do the correct thing and get a measuring stick. Sure enough, there was no traversing the alt today and they would soon arrive back at the hotel. Day one was from Harrisonburg to WV almost exclusively on dirt. I don’t think we had a dry soul by the time we arrived at the hotel that night. Gortex gloves filled with water and were much like fish tanks. Dinner was quite night at the hotel pub, then off to dry off clothes for day 2.
    #1
  2. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,991
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    Is it a clown car, or a bike staging area (notice everything is DRY?)
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    ScottyP --Pre trip:
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    EOD3MC Pre-trip
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    Vacommuter
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    TwoHawks
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    Blooch
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    Jaxobsessed
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    OK, I just had to put one in of the HP with the new tank and Giant Loop. Mileage was greatly improved and the Giant Loop rode like it wasn't even there so both mods were a success, now I just need to find a more aggressive tire than the TKC's for this kind of stuff.
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    Too wet to line up nice for a photo..
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    Devil's Rock
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    Just a neat barn
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    Marlinton Hotel
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    Sexy Jack legs in the background
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    Faced blurred to protect the innocent
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    Doing our best to dry our stuff out for day 2
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    Which bike is not like the other bikes...
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    Dinner at the hotel restaurant
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    A little food porn
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    Our fine waitress Dakoda
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    We meet these two guys from Jersey at breakfast on day 2
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    Just hanging around waiting for some guys at the beginning of day 2
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    Covered Bridge
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    Team Turtle (Definitely need more aggressive tire if she is going to do anything more than dry conditions, those are Heidenau)
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    Getting some measurements for a new vertical kickstand prototype (bike courtesy of Team Turtle)
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    The Pearisburg Cabin
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    #2
  3. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,459
    Location:
    Maryland
    In true cat hearder style, agreed that 1000 would be the start for day 2. Sprly enough, at 0800 all but 2 bikes were ready to get some chow and hit the rode. So we drove a few miles back to town and had breakfast, went back to the hotel and then waited for the last to join us as 1000. There were two alternate tracks on day 2. The first alternate, was a bit sloppy from the rain but was short enough to get everyone’s blood pumping and feeling a bit cheeky. However, the next alternate would leave more than one rider forlorn, and realizing that the terrain had beaten them. One rider hadn’t dropped a bike in 19 years, and laid it down.
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    Before the mud:
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    For me, it was an altogether demoralizing ride. I was never so happy to see the 4 mile track end. It took and army of men to push, pull and finally ride my bike out. I probably walked a 1 ½ mile of the track on foot. I was very grateful to whore my bike out to any willing soul that would get it back to something a bit tamer. The rain on the previous day had left the clay just slick as snot. Combined with my tire combination and novice dirt skills I was totally unprepared for what that alternate had. Maybe after a long drought that trail would be friendlier, but that day it just beat me to a living pulp. On one of many occasions, one rider took it through a mud pit and then down a rocky section. He said he hoped I didn’t mind he took it a bit futher. Hell, he could have rode that bike off a cliff and I wouldn’t have cared at the time. It probably took 2 additionally hours to navigate the group though the alternate, and finally decided to slab back to Hinton to grab the two riders with enough sense to skip the alt.

    Team Turtle Recovery Unit (Notice the matching mud patterns Dave had mud center to right and Bruce Left to center)...
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    And another Team Turtle Recovery unit..

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    After that a quick dinner and then off to the swanky cabin. We didn’t arrive at the cabins until 2000 or so, and it’s kind of a shame because it was very nice and I would have enjoined just hanging out a bit.
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    However, my hat is off to a great group of guys. Thank you for your support. EOD3MC monkiered his support as "Team Turtle Recovery Team"..
    #3
  4. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,459
    Location:
    Maryland
    Decidedly there are some very talented riders among us in the group. I reckon that a few of them could probably ride a greased rodeo pig through a ring of fire. However, through various events day 3 the day began with 4 less riders. One had a flooded basement to deal with, another had work so he left the evening before, and Blaster and I decided to live to fight another day. Nursing a pulled leg muscle after trying to carve a new trail for me around the alternate the day before, we decided to leave the group and highway slab home.

    To Kevin and all the riders, thanks for an awesome time!!

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    #4
  5. joints4sale

    joints4sale No. Not "That Kind".

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,264
    Location:
    St.Mary's City, MD
    I'm so bummed I wasn't there to suffer through the mud with you guys.

    It seems as though the quote in your Sig is quite appropriate.
    #5
  6. mtnflow

    mtnflow LFC, more pie please

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,477
    Location:
    Mount Sidney, va
    Lets all go riding in the rain...
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    Enjoy the views from reddish knob...
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    Dodge some storm damage...

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    Recruit members for the Team Turtle Recovery Unit (TTRU)..
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    It quit raining for a minute and we didn't know what to do...
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    We checked out the first Alt and decided it would be more than we wanted further along, so we'll hit it a dryer day...
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    Headed back to meet the others at the motel, end of day 1
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    #6
  7. mtnflow

    mtnflow LFC, more pie please

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,477
    Location:
    Mount Sidney, va
    On saturday we rode in the rain until it stopped around 3. The Sun came out long enough to dry some of our gear at the motel. Walking to the motel's dinner Dave and I noticed little bits of hail hitting the parking lot.:huh Sunday morning (day 2) we saw a few snow flurries but it turned out to be a perfect day of sunshine:clap. You have to be prepaired for anything in WVA.

    Riding in the sunshine...
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    Taking in the sights...
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    Found some dirt..
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    Found some mud...

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    The mud bit just about everyone, very snotty..

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    TTRU in action...


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    Go Jax Go...
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    Stacy nailing his line...
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    #7
  8. mtnflow

    mtnflow LFC, more pie please

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,477
    Location:
    Mount Sidney, va
    Day 3.

    We lost a few riders to work schedules, flooding, and injuries but the eight of us pressed on....

    The pad....sweet.
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    We found some more storm damage....

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    Not a problem ...

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    Badguy was doing his part by picking up litter along the way, way to go badguy....:eek1

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    It's a piece of glass if you can't tell..


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    Good times...maybe the other guys will fill in the gaps.
    #8
  9. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,141
    Location:
    Almost Heaven
    Jack, maybe I shoulda cut the spigot back some.


    Kevin, any ideas on waterproof Route Sheets? :poser
    #9
  10. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,991
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    More pictures added and sizes increased for your viewing pleasure. :D

    Thanks for all the help guys I had a great time!!!!!!
    #10
  11. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
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    12,055
    Location:
    Seat of my Ruckus
    :super Looks like a blast!!!
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,697
    Fantastic ride and team spirit! TeamTurtle definitely merits the big heart award! Thanks for the detailed report and pics :thumb
    #12
  13. dendrophobe

    dendrophobe Motorbike Junky

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    859
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    Wow, a hack on trails like that? Awesome! :thumb

    I'm sorry I missed that trip, looks like it was a great time. Hopefully it'll be repeated soon, and I can tag along!
    #13
  14. twohawks

    twohawks Not Afraid

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,006
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley Virginia
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    Dryin' out

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    Home away from Home

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    Our most disinguished host and guide!

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    So sorry I had to leave early on the last day... to come straight home to the aftermath of a flooded basement... Breakfast stop in Goshen VA

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    Thanks again to Kevin and all the riders....it was a memorable trip for sure!

    :clap
    #14
  15. H14

    H14 Live, Laugh, Love.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,702
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley
    After Saturday I am convinced nothing is waterproof.

    It wasn't just the fact you had the spigot wide open, you threw the whole bag at us. We had rain, sleet, snow, hail, and lightning. This bunch of diehards I believe would do it again though in a second. I spent Thursday and Friday waiting for word of last minute cancellations but not a one. I don't believe you could put thirteen people together and have a better group than this. Folks stepped up to lead, sweep, ride, push, pull, or lift other rider's bikes, and share their beer(thanks Jax). Oh, and their flask as well(thanks Mtnflow and Twohawks). Dorito already thanked the people that helped get her bike out of some very rough spots, but when we found ourselves late in the day far from our destination and absolutely whipped physical and mentally she bailed the rest of us out by finding a new route and led a pretty haggard group to the cabins. Thank You Dana.

    Not a very good picture, but this is what the radar looked like when we left Saturday morning. We were heading for the yellow/orange stuff hanging over West Virginia.

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    We never saw another bike, but then again much of the day you could barely make out the rider in front of you so maybe they were out there.
    #15
  16. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
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    15,155
    Location:
    Helltown
    Man what a great adventure! I'm sorry to have missed it but glad to have missed it! :lol3 I've got no good rain gear...
    Good to see everyone having a good time and working as a team. One of these days I'll get to go on one of these adventures with you guys and gals! :clap
    #16
  17. H14

    H14 Live, Laugh, Love.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,702
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley
    Badguy, EOD3MC, scottP, Jaxobsessed, and VACommuter came to the house Friday evening. After a meal and a couple cold ones it was off to bed fairly early. I felt like I was five years old and it was Christmas eve. I must of felt that way the next morning too because I was up at 4 o'clock and so was scottP so at least I had good company. We spent the next couple of hours drinking coffee, fussing with rain gear, and watching the weather radar. Being the weather experts we are, after much watching of the animated radar on accuweather we determined the worst of the storm was north of us and what was left would go east of us. Weathermen are allowed to be wrong sometimes, right?:eek1

    Blaster and Dorito showed up on the Spot tracker at 6:13am leaving from southern Maryland riding most of the way in gusty winds and heavy rain. They already had an adventure by the time they got here. Twohawks, Blooch, Mtnflow, Crotchity, and SLiP210 fought through the same conditions in the Shenandoah Valley getting here. Blooch showed up with his bike puking coolant so he returned home to watch his grass seed wash away as his lower 40 became part of the Shenandoah river.

    We left at 10:00 immediately dealing with rain and fogged visors. We pushed on to Monterey where we would refuel. I knew I would be close on gas but figured I had a few miles worth of cushion, I found out different three miles shy of Monterey when my reserve didn't work. So here I am, the one who has been harping on being prepared for the trip since January is sitting there out of gas 55 miles into a 600 mile trip.:becca

    I sure am glad I was nice enough to loan SLiP a fuel bottle since I got to use it first. Too bad the way he mounted it to his bike it rubbed a hole in it.:lol3

    We hooked up with Pomo west of Monterey and headed to Huntersville. A few of us split off the try the first Alt section of the trip. Our fears were confirmed at the first water crossing.

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    So we headed to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group.

    Sun broke through the clouds at the hotel so we started spreading out wet gear in the parking lot to dry. Here's Pomo posing with scottP proudly displaying his beer, a Stroh's if I remember right.

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    Back in dry clothes and enjoying the sun L to R are Mtnflow, Pomo, Jax, EOD3MC, and VACommuter sitting on the "Hackasaurus".

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    Preparing for Saturday's ride along the Greenbrier River, signs of flooding everywhere but it was shaping up to be a beautiful day for riding.

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    EOD3MC alongside his KLR650 he rides like a 250. Shane Watts should be proud of his student.

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    Jax wanted to pose for a picture beside my DR, he's such a good guy how could I say no?

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    When we got to the second Alt portion of the trip Jax, Blaster, Dorito, and Pomo said they would go but if it got bad they would turn around and take the main TWVT to Hinton. They never turned around, God only knows what their definition of "bad" is.:huh

    SLiP working his way up one of the hills, he just got the bike a couple of weeks ago but you wouldn't know it. As always the pictures do not show how steep and impossibly slick the hill was.

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    Up next EOD3MC

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    He even had too dodge some old guy on the trail.:lol3

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    Mtnflow waiting on the rest of the group. He has to do that sometimes.

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    Off to the next mud hole.

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    It seems Jax has been in a rut lately.

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    Blaster pulled something in his leg so it was Pomo to the rescue.

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    Then he took Dorito's bike up. She was busy nursing Baster back to health or giving him hell for laying up against a barb wire fence, I can't remember.

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    Saw this cool old structure, I really wanted to get the bike in the shot but had to keep moving.

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    scottP's KLR glows green at night. Must be a SMIB thing.:norton

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    Great group and alot of team work throughout the trip. When Badguy got a flat we used VACommuter's jack, Mtnflow's screwdriver, EOD3MC's tools and spare tube, scottP's pump, my tire irons and EOD3MC's baby powder. Special thanks to EOD3MC for letting me use some of his baby powder for my "condition" I'll withhold the photo at this time.:eek1

    Thanks again Chip for this wonderful route. You helped create many lasting memories among friends.:devildog
    #17
  18. Pomo

    Pomo gonzo

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    612
    Location:
    El Desierto, NM
    I often wonder that myself. :lol3

    By that point, going back was almost harder than moving forwards, as is usually the case. You suddenly find a huge mudhole, or a slippery hill, and think: "As bad as this is, having to do all that stuff I just did in reverse is probably worse." It definitely gets easier just around the corner, right? :deal
    #18
  19. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,459
    Location:
    Maryland
    Apparently, Kevin thinks we need some culture in SMIBland. That haughty taughty cabin had this soap:

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    Since it's missing any semblance of rope, it clearly can't be "soap on a rope". So, what the heck do you do with the hole in center?

    And to add the preface that TwoHawks would say: "not that there is anything wrong with that"....:rofl
    #19
  20. EOD3MC

    EOD3MC What will break next

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,102
    Location:
    Colonial Beach VA
    Thanks for putting this whole event together Kevin...Had a great time :clap
    Please thank Rhonda again for all the food and hospitality.
    #20