"When Piggies Fly" : Me & Mrs Trip Cross the Pond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Cornering the market?
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  2. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Ha, ha. That's my plan.
  3. radmeister

    radmeister not there

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    "cornering the market?"

    more like: "livin' the dream."

    Taisteal sábháilte, trippsters.
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  4. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Thanks, Radmeister! I had to Google the Gaelic to find out it means "Safe Travels"
  5. jgormley

    jgormley Long timer

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    ha ha ... two more !
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  6. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Saturday, July 29th. We left Malin to drizzly skies. The wind was whipping up, and bands of showers blew past.

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    We wandered a bit, looking for petrol. First station....closed. Second try...closed as well. What the heck...it's Saturday morning. The little village stations don't believe in extended hours. Monday to Friday. 9 to 5. I guess you need to plan ahead. Seesh. Finally found one in Moville... gassed up in the rain.

    The plan was to take the short ferry from Greencastle to Magilligan Point... across the mouth of Lough Foyle.... and cut out the ride down to Londonderry. The wind was roaring when we reached the harbor...

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    Good sized chop out there... and the ferry was shut down. "Too Rough" the guys tying it up to the pier declared. "Maybe in a couple of hours if things calm down" they said as they piled into their cars...headed for home.
    So we rode south on a rainy R238.

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    Past Redcastle, White Castle, and Quigley's Point. Limited visibility out on the Lough.

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    More traffic as we approached the city...

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    Made a quick dive into Muff, the town that marked the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic... and the end point of the Wild Atlantic Way.

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    Then the motorway... across the bridge over the River Foyle, and northeast out of the city of Londonderry...

    Along the shore... then inland a bit.

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    We're in the UK now... "Never Yield!"- Winston Churchill

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    Rode up into the Binevenagh Forest

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    ... and up to the high road.

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    Rode along Bishop's Road

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    up above the Antrim Coast

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    ...there was the bishop himself, casting a benediction for our benefit....

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    Stopping for rain mitts as another squall blows through....

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    Then a steep descent back to the shore in a narrow cleft in the cliffs...

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    To the appropriately named village of Downhill... with surfers and beachgoers on a cool rainy day....

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    and past the entrance to Downhill Palace...

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    another old churchyard....

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    Back to the ocean at the Giant's Causeway...

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    Once I paid the ten bucks to park... we started walking. Geez...what a tourist trap....

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    We were too cheap to pay for the bus ride... or for the audio tour complete with headphones... we walked it... in full riding gear...

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    well...most of the way, anyway. Till we realized we'd seen the same rock formations at Malin Head... and without the mob.
    We hiked back to the bikes and pressed on.... and the day started turning brilliant....

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    "Road Closed" the sign said. But we rode it anyway...

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    Large sections had settled... no problem on the bikes... but it would be tough in a low clearance vehicle...

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    The thing is... you need a good vocabulary to ride in the UK. We had an interesting ride... and a new 'word-of-the-day!'

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    I think this town is full of Orangemen... they sure like the Union Jack...

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    The whole town was draped in flags...

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    Next up.... what I really wanted to see... Dark Hedges...

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    Originally planted over 350 years ago, these poplars lined the road into an estate. 'Game of Thrones' filmed their scenes of the King's Road here...
    An exuberant wedding party was out for a walk... the groom waved as I gave him a thumb's up as we passed...

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    From Dark Hedges, we wound our way east through County Antrim.

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    It had been difficult to find a place to stay on a Saturday night... and we ended up with a B&B near Dungiven... well off the beaten tourist route....

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    Narrow lanes... the Cam Forest, the Garvagh Forest,... the Gortnamoyagh Forest...

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    Finally found it...Killunaght House. These photos are from the next morning... but these were the coolest people. We hit it off right away... and within minutes we were laughing and joking like old friends. What a great time and a great place to stay. http://killunaghthouse.com/

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  7. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Thanks! I am really enjoying your RR! We plan to be over there in a couple of years or less. Hope to gain the assistance of "WheatWhacker" as well!
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  8. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Thanks, Donnie. You and Modesta will really enjoy Ireland.
    Martin is a great guy. We didn't meet him until the end of our visit... which was too bad because he's a wealth of information.....

    Sunday, July 30th.
    We reluctantly left our new friends in Dungiven, and rode off in a southwesterly direction. If you look at the map, you'll see there's a band of low mountains that stretches across Derry County and down through County Tyrone. That's the way we're going to go.....

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    Its a steady climb from the valley...

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    Free range up here....

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    The locals eye us warily as we ride by....

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    into a narrow valley....

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    through a farmyard, then back up the other side.

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    So far, we've been lucky with the rain.... and the showers passing have missed us.... but they are definitely getting closer.....

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    scaring up a flock of birds.....

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    The skies are really starting to threaten.

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  9. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Still working our way through the mountains, contouring the hillsides, following the drainages....

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    through a small town, tucked into the valley....

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    and up the other side, underneath an ominous sky.....

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    rain settling in....

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    Stop. Rifle through the tank bag looking for the rain mitts......

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    ...just before the deluge starts.....

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    through another farmyard.

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    ...and through another town....

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    This one flying the Union Jack as well. We've been riding in Northern Ireland....part of the UK.... all day now.

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    Coming out of the hills... we'll end up at the southern end of Lower Lough Erne in the town of Enniskillen.

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    Slipped into town the back way. The B&B was on the outskirts of town... and we had to ride in for dinner. We were wet...my boots squishing water as I walked... so we only went as far as the first chip shop... burgers and the requisite fries. Then back in the rain and into dry socks!
  10. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Your accents didn't change, did they? :lol3

    So beautiful for sure!
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  11. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    :lol3 no foo-kin way.

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  12. AMEretired

    AMEretired Been here awhile

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    Calgary and sometimes Victoria
    Just came across this excellent report. Brings back great memories and reminds me how much we long to return.
    Mike
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  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Thanks, Mike!

    Monday, the 31st.
    Whoa! It's not raining... Well, maybe a bit of heavy mist, but that burned off as we rode. Semi-transparent skies. Enniskillen is between Upper and Lower Lough Erne, and we rode east between them, then north towards Monea.

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    Good castle there... we've come to check it out.

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    Started in 1616, it was built on the site of a much older stronghold of the Maguire clan. It was built in a Scottish style at the time of the Plantation. Switched hands a few times.... the Maguires came back and slew a bunch of Protestants during the Rebellion of 1641. Finally burned in the mid- 1700's. Its well preserved today.

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    Rapunzel....take off your helmet!

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    The castle is located on what is still a private estate, and they control the access pretty tightly... they don't you wandering around. We were the only ones there.... but it was all fnced off.

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    We continued west through the eastern side of County Fermanagh. Looks like we could run into some rain.

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    ...no, wait....blue sky....

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    ....sucker. Got rained on anyway...just a quick shower...

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    ...but enough to get things wet by the time we reached Sean Mac Diarmada's house.

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    The house is set back from the road, along a gravel drive.

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    Born John MacDermott, he reverted to the Gaelic form of his name as a young man when his interest in Irish culture and independence took hold.

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    We were the only ones here poking around, but the homestead is well preserved and treated with respect.

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    Mac Diarmada became a leader of the Easter Rising of 1916. He was executed by a British firing squad at age 33 for his role in the rebellion.

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    The statue we admired a few days before in the nearby town of Kiltyclogher commemorates Mac Diarmada and his final words, "I die that Ireland might live!"

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    We're back in the Irish republic now, in the shadow of Dough Mountain. Crossed over the N16 at Glenfarne.

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    Blue sky once again as we headed into more mountains to the southwest.

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    Stopped for petrol at a little village station.

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    The prices are per liter, in Euros. Multiply it by 4 for the per gallon cost... then add 20% for the currency difference. Just like in the US, a lot of these small stations have closed...they can't compete with the high volume stations out along the highway....

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    Riding up into the Iron Mountains...

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    up a wide, grassy drainage between the ridges...

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    a small lough up near the saddle...

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    It looks like rain in the valley on the other side... but we'll stay up on the ridge for a while longer...

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    It would have been a tough life... no one lives up here today....

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    ...just the sheep call it home....

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    The clouds crowd in as we start descending...

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    at least the flowers appreciate the rain...

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    they're profuse here, and paint the roadsides....

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    Its raining in earnest now,

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    and yes, we're getting wet. Don't let the blue sky fool you....

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    It's a soggy Monday as we roll through town....

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    The downpour's too much for the soggy soil, and the roads start to flood...

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    South past Kilglass Lough

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    And on into Strokestown. The woman at the B&B this morning had asked where we off to. When we replied "Strokestown" she kind of rolled her eyes, and said, "that's an unusual destination." Strokestown seems to have missed the gentrification bandwagon. Or maybe they're just a little slow to jump on board.

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    Empty storefronts line the streets. Not a contender in the "Tidy Towns" competition.

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    People were friendly just the same. We arrived at the B&B I'd booked...no one there. We called the number on the door, and a bottle blonde woman appeared a few minutes later. "I'm just getting the room ready for you now...a few more minutes." That's fine, but odd...it's 5 pm.

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    It's actually a small, old hotel. Not in bad shape at all. The woman came down and let us in. Gave us the keys, said she and her husband owned a pub around the corner as well, and if we needed anything, call her. Off she went.
    It was bizarre though. There were no cups in our room...so Mrs Trip went looking for some. The dining room was unlocked. Dirty dishes were piled up. A few stray food items...yogurt, fruit, was left out on the tables. In the kitchen, dirty pots and pans covered the stove. The refrigerator door was left wide open. It was as if the staff had quit mid-morning, and just walked out. Mrs Trip deemed it "Creepy...like The Shining." Kept one eye peeled for Jack Nicholson with an axe. I called her over at the bar..."You know", I said, "I think we'll pass on breakfast after all..."
    We went out for a stroll around town... there were limited options for food... and we ended up with Chinese take-away.

    I dreamed I heard Shane MacGowan singing softly from an open window...

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  14. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    August 1st.

    What they do have in Strokestown is the Park House, the home of the Pakenham Mahons from the 1600s to 1979.

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    By the mid-1800s, the family owned over 26,000 acres. Took a hard line.... The Mahons evicted thousands of tenant farmers during the Great Famine.... over 3,000 people in 1847 alone. They were responsible for the deportation of many of the displaced... sent on crowded ships, mainly to Canada, thousands died. In November of 1847, Major Denis Mahon was killed in retaliation.

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    There is a large garden, and the house is furnished in period style... with the actual original contents. Also located on the grounds is the Famine Museum...documenting the Great Famine and many of the families displaced. The Mahons may not have been benevolent masters...but they did keep excellent accounts.....and there's extensive records on the dispossessed.
    We left by the main gate...

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    Rode south through the Roscommon countryside...

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    Hmmmm..... mid-morning....no rain yet?

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    Quick downpour to rinse things off....

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    ...and then the sun came out.... made everything sparkly.....

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    ...and despite the circumstances... it did not suck at all.....

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    Passed through a small town... Athleague, maybe?

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    Pulled into the town's one store. Dowd's Hardware and SuperMarket. "Perfect," I said to myself.

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    Guy came out of the store, chatted for a moment, then walked off along the street. We went in.... looked around... I found the shoe care area...polishes: red, black and brown....brushes...not what I need. The store is empty. Then the same guy we were talking to a few minutes before came back and got behind the counter. "Finding what you need?" he asked.
    "Well'" I said, "I found the shoe polish... but I'm looking for waterproofer" He looked at me like I had two heads. "Don't have that," he said.
    "C'mon," I said, "this is Ireland... you don't have waterproofer for your boots? You know, like SnoSeal, or some kind of spray?" "No," he said, "Sorry....I can sell you a pair of Wellies!"
    Laughed. "Thanks, probably not that good as motorcycle boots, though"

    Just outside of town... another cemetery with a ruined church... this ones really old....

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    Built in the 10th century... on the site of an older church.

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    Think this might be the actual River Suck.

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    Damn. Gated road.

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    "Turn it around"

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    and back the way we came. This road was all blown out... probably from heavy truck traffic to a gravel pit in there.

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    Re-route. Out through a fancy gate. The estate is long gone, but the road is still in use.

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    Found our way down to Portumna. Had an evening's stroll around town...

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    Had some dinner in a pub, then we walked back to our B&B through Portumna Forest Park... locked up tight for the day.

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  15. ubermick

    ubermick Been here awhile

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    This ride report is making me wish there was a love button as well as a like one.

    Keep it coming!
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  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Wonderful photos. Mrs RT riding through the grass is amazing.
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  17. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    As mentioned before, love the stone fence. Oh, and they have round bales over there too!
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    I sense a theme. Not the "rain" theme but the "Under the arches" them! So cool!
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  18. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

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    I bet those hay bales are in metric tho. :lol3
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  19. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Thanks, Mick!

    Thanks, Tom. That photo is one of my favorites as well.

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    It's looking uphill as she rides a switchback... you can't see the road at all.
  20. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    Damn. Had to go do some work in between replies.
    That's really funny when you point it out. It's like some weird Freudian obsession. :hmmmmm

    :lol3
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