Los Siete Afortunados en Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FrameOil, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist!

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    In and looking forward to the rest of this report, love reading all the Baja reports and believe this one will rank right up there with others :thumb

    Also think it's incredibly cool you've stayed in touch with childhood friends and you've been able to pull something like this off. Big props for making it happen :D:D
    #21
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  2. koa925

    koa925 Senior Stromer

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    is the shoe shine guy still working the crowd at Hussongs ? had my boots polished 2 yrs ago when I was there last, makes more money than anyone in the place , going back down in march , love baja
    #22
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  3. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    Thanks for the read and the post!
    I don't recall a shoe shine guy, but I may just be forgetting. I do recall a lady selling roses at the door. Every hour or so, she gets up and walks the room. She kills it! Have fun in March!
    #23
  4. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    11/15/2017

    Jeff and I spent the whole morning looking for a llantera (tire shop) that was able to fix the flat that the buggy had received the previous day. :baldyThe issue was that the tire suffered 3 lacerations and needed to be hot patched. Since there are only a handful of llanteras in Ensenada that do hot patches, we had to stop at a few to see if it could be done. Loooooooong story short, we got it hot patched and ended up putting a tube in it as a reserve.

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    While Jeff and I were running around Ensenada and trying to find a llantera to fix the tire, the rest of the group made the most of the day by relaxing at the condo and watching the movie, The Breakfast Club. :dirtdog

    When we got back to the condo, we loaded the spare on the buggy, then Dave and Roger took off to scope out Uruapan. The plan was to go out to Uruapan and watch the race near Tres Hermanos Ranch. With the varying riding abilities of the group, Dave and Roger wanted to scope it out first to assess the difficulty of climbing and descending the more technical portion of the trail.

    While Dave and Roger were away, Scott, Jake, Jeff and I went into downtown to see contingency. First thing’s first though. We ate the best shrimp and fish tacos that Ensenada has to offer at Tacos Floresta. This place rules. :raabia

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    You’ll notice the posts of tacos. Tacos are so delicious, that I have to post! :thumb

    After our tasty lunch, we made it to contingency where we were able to get up close to the vehicles and sometimes the drivers. Please enjoy these pictures of these beautiful machines. I will start with one of the only square body Fords that we saw…because square body Fords rule. :tb

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    Of course, we have to include the beloved Class 11 cars as well. :lift:super:wings

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    Ok…here are some other vehicles that caught our attention.

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    We heard from Dave late in the day after he and Roger got back to the condo. Uruapan was pretty torn up, so we were going to have to re-adjust our plan for watching the race. Dave was beat, so we went back to the condo for dinner and some needed R and R for the following day’s festivities. Remember the electrical issue on Dave's KLR? It was a dead battery. :hack Yeeeeeaaaaa…a dead battery. You think we could easily find one in a city as big as Ensenada, right? Wrong. On the way back to the condo from contingency, we looked at multiple stores without luck. However, tomorrow is another day.

    Dave, Jeff and I finished the night off at Tacos El Original (for the second time on this trip) for some Al Pastor, and turned in somewhat early.

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    Tomorrow – RACE DAY!
    #24
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  5. JTM386

    JTM386 Adventurer

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    MMMMMMM TACOS :rofl
    #25
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  6. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

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    Looks like a great trip so far... hope it keeps up!
    That cave looks really cool, I've never been there and may have to sniff it out. Any clues to the whereabouts?
    You are torturing me with the taco shots, I can smell them through my screen! :yum
    #26
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  7. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist!

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    Ditto...had some of the best tacos de pescado of my life when we were in Loreto last year; nothing compares up here in the PNW.

    Awesome shots of the various rigs competing in the race FrameOil!
    #27
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  8. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    11/16/2018

    RACE DAY! I should start off with a fair warning. We don’t even get on the motos today. :nah

    We woke up to perfect race day weather.

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    We all caught rides to the wash in Ensenada to find the best viewing point to see the four wheeled vehicles to take off from. The wash was abnormally light with foot traffic, so we found a good spot under one of the bridges just before the first jump, and after they would be coming out of the controlled speed zone. We jetted down the block and grabbed a hearty breakfast of shrimp and fish tacos at Tacos Mi Ranchito El Fenix. :getiton

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    At about 940AM, they sent some of the vintage cars off the line just to show for a couple of miles.

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    The anticipation was growing with each passing moment. :lurk

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    Then, at 10AM on the nose, this happened: :lift



    The Race was underway and Gordon’s truck sounded pissed.

    MacCachren was right behind him, followed by the field of Trophy Trucks and Class 1 cars.



    Shortly after this video was taken, we all elected to stand on the safety of the bridge and look down into the wash.

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    One by one they took off from the start line and disappeared into the desert. As soon as the Trophy Trucks left, the crowd thinned out. After the Class 1 cars were gone, it thinned out even more. Roger and Stephanie bailed at this point as well. By the time the Class 11 cars left the line at 2PM, there were only a few die hard Class 11 fans left in the wash with us. Class 11 is the true hero in Baja. :super:lift Just my two bits…





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    If you have seen Dust2Glory that was recently released in theaters, you will recognize the last picture as “Bochito” – 1121 - Dennis Hollenbeck’s Class 11. He finished in 47:18:06, second in class! :happay

    Square body Ford! :tb

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    After the final 11 car left, the race was over for us. Most of the field was scattered all over from Ensenada to as far south as San Ignacio at that point. We strolled through the streets, and up contingency row. They were starting to tear things down since the cars were finishing in La Paz and were not coming back to Ensenada this year. Dave and I even found our inner flat biller.

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    We wandered the streets, looking in shops and eating some of the best ceviche around. We ended up at Hussongs again, and a great time was had by all! That’s where I’ll leave that one… :beer

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    After an eventful time at Hussongs, we got back to the condo to find that Roger and Stephanie had left in their buggy to go eat at Estero Beach, and took the keys to the condo with them. Luckily, the grounds keeper lives on site in another house, so we got him, and he broke in for us!

    Just as the grounds keeper was breaking in, Roger and Stephanie returned with another flat! :umph We swapped it out, and turned in early. VERY early.

    All in all, we had a great day. We were there for the 50th Baja 1000, an event that we will never forget!

    Tomorrow – Fishing and the search for dry ice and a battery!
    #28
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  9. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    Thank you and thanks for reading! I will put together a collage of sorts at the end of the report to include more vehicles that we saw. Loreto rules! Did you have the chocolate clams when you were there? You have to be early. They always run out!
    #29
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  10. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist!

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    Oh yeah, this was our first time to Baja - wife and I went down to celebrate our 10th anniversary and we love it (our hope is to purchase a place in Mulege, Bahia Concepcion, or near Loreto so our boys get the experience and we have a great destination for retirement). Anyway, took a walk along the beach one morning and found a gentleman diving for chocolates. I helped him carry his haul back to his rig and he gave me a few...steamed those babies up and enjoyed the hell out of 'em (and all to myself as my wife doesn't like 'em...lol).

    Looking forward to more pics and story!

    Attached Files:

    #30
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  11. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    11/17/2017

    Jeff and Scott are both avid fisherman. When we made the plan to come down here so many months ago, we thought it would be fun to get the two on the ocean to try their luck with something bigger than what the great lakes have to offer. We secured a fishing boat out of Ensenada for 8AM, and were up way too early for it being the day after the race (Jake stayed back), but we were there on time, nonetheless. :snore

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    We pushed off and with Juan and Juan (seriously – both deckhands were named Jaun), we were underway. :bandit

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    We made it to the grounds rather quickly, and had lines in the water fast. The fish were biting! Sure, we only caught Bonita, but it was still fun. These suckers fight like crazy. Everybody got in on the action!

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    We caught a lot of Bonita. We packaged some and the crew took the rest. We had a great time!

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    On the way back in, we ran into a huge pod of dolphins. That’s always entertaining.



    We got back to the dock, unloaded and the group split up. Roger, Stephanie, Jeff and Scott all took the fish and headed back to the condo. Dave and I set off on a last ditch search for a battery for his KLR. More than a long story short, we found one. :rilla I didn’t think it would be that difficult, but it was.

    When we were enroute back to the condo after a couple of hours and a dozen uber rides later, Scott called us and asked us to get dry ice. Dry ice…in Mexico. :ken Sure, Scott…let me work my magic. Another half dozen uber rides later, we actually found some at an ice cream shop off of the beaten path that actually makes ice cream. I explained to the lady that we were trying to transport fish north, and she told me to come back as we were rolling north out of town the next day. So…we went back to the condo. Scott was somewhat insistent that he have it that night, despite the lady’s advice. :whip It’s his fish, so that’s fine.

    Remember that flat that Roger and Stephanie got the night before in their buggy? We needed to fix it to have a spare, so Roger and I set out to the same place that fixed it (kinda) two days before and got it fixed.

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    Rollin like a boss through a major city. :super Can’t do that in CA! I must say, that was some of the most fun I’ve had driving around Ensenada. We were in shorts and short sleeves in November, in a green sticker off road buggy, and nobody thought twice about it. We got the flat squared away and picked up Scott’s dry ice, and returned to the condo just in time for the sunset over the Pacific.

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    Jake, Stephanie and Roger were in for the night, so Dave, Jeff, Scott and I headed out to Tacos Floresta :getiton one more time to get our fill. After tacos, we strolled the streets, somewhat deflated that the cars were gone, and who knows where on the peninsula by that time. All of the big rig trucks were rolling north to the border, and we knew our own trip north was the next day. Ensenada was quiet, but we still found this gem parked in front of one of the hotels:

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    That – is a sweet truck! :ilmostro

    We got back to the condo and did a last minute check on gear for the final push home the next day. We turned in, mentally preparing for returning to the real world.

    Tomorrow – Slicin’ and Dicin’!
    #31
  12. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist!

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    Nice...sweet fishing shots! We took a day and went fishing and had a blast, so cool to see you guys having fun out on the water. You had a much bigger boat too...lol.

    Looking forward to the next installment :thumb
    #32
  13. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    11/18/2017

    We all woke up early. I think at this point most were ready to get back home. I never am. I always want to stay down there for more. However, real world duties called, and we had to roll. :2cry

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    We bid farewell to our rented house and rolled through an unusually quiet Ensenada. :snore We made the decision to slab it all of the way to Ojos Negros before jumping on the Laguna Hansen trail up to the border. The trip to Ojos went quickly and without incident. A quick fuel stop and military checkpoint later, and we were in Ojos, stopping to grab some breakfast. Stopping in Ojos is always an adventure. The kids come out of the woodwork, wanting to check out the bikes and of course, get stickers. Luckily, we had a stash to give away! :clap After breakfast, we buzzed north and took a quick pit stop in the tiny town of Old Mill.

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    Jeff, Jake, Scott and I made it there first. The buggy followed, with Dave bringing up the rear on the KLR. When the buggy came into view directly in front of us, we all waved, and it kept going…:nah



    Dave showed up soon after, so we figured Roger and Stephanie would stop once they got to Laguna Hansen. At one point in the trip, we were in a remote area of the old 500 course. I commented how Roger knew where he was. He reminded me that whenever he had been through the areas that we were exploring, he was usually balls to the wall on a motorcycle, and keeping an eye out for signs, booby traps and anything else that gets in the way. :dllama: Therefore, he never had time to look around.

    We all made it to Laguna Hansen a short time later and found Roger and Stephanie enjoying the view.

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    It was pretty cold at Laguna Hansen, :vardy so we made the stop quick, and continued north. There is an old hotel/rancho (Rodeo Del Rey) just north of the Laguna Hansen, and it looks like it might have been a cool place at one time.

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    Just about 10 miles south of Highway 2, we turned off to take a fun route through the woods that Dave and I had found years before. We gathered up at the turn off and were happy to be getting off of the main trail, as the traffic going south to Laguna Hansen was heavy. There were busloads of people (literally) going down the dirt road. It was a little disconcerting to come around a corner on a motorcycle and have a bus taking up the entire dirt road. :grim

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    Anyway, the path we chose was much less traveled and a hoot. I took off in the lead, with Jeff close behind, and started to think about how much fun we were having. I got so caught up in my thoughts, that I neglected to look over my shoulder. When I did, Jeff was not there. I thought that was a little odd, as Jeff is a great rider, and hadn’t shown any issue with keeping up with anyone. I stopped and listened. Nothing. Hmmmmmmm…OH, I hear him coming down the trail! It was Scott, motioning for me to come back the way I had come from. When I went around a few corners, I found Jeff, with the DRZ on its side. :p3rry

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    The good news was that Jeff was totally fine and had not taken a spill. The not so good news was that the chain had broken on the DRZ, sliced open the case and puked oil all over the place. Now, I know what you’re thinkin…Did I have the stock Tupperware case saver on the engine? No, I had upgraded to the billet aluminum saver, and the chain had bent the bolts that hold it to the case and ripped the saver off of the case, thereby slicing a nice gouge in the left side of the engine. We had cleaned and oiled the chains every day of the trip. Stuff just happens. :confused

    Jeff heard it (and felt it), so he immediately stopped. No engine harm done! :happay

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    A quick evaluation told us that we could use a master link to fix the chain, JB weld to fix the case, and then add oil that we had on us. We were gonna be back in business in 30 mins. Oops…We had “lent” our spare master links to someone on a previous trip, and had not replaced them. Plus, the rivets on the chain were not budging with the chain tool, so that was abandoned. However, I did get the case cleaned up, and JB weld applied while all of that was being figured out.

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    JB weld is awesome stuff. Everyone should carry it!

    We were so close to the border that we decided that Dave on his KLR, would tow Jeff on the DRZ as far as we could handle, then reassess.

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    If you’ve ever been towed on a motorcycle-on the dirt, you know how scary it can be. :yikes Jeff was a champion, and for miles held that strap with the rear end of the DRZ swerving around on every corner. He held on until we were a couple of miles from pavement. We stopped and decided to stash the DRZ a ways off of the trail with a cable and lock around a tree. Towing for the 30 mile slog on Highway 2 from Rumorosa to Tecate was not an option. Jeff hopped into the buggy and we all took off. The plan was for Dave and me to come back in a truck and retrieve the DRZ later that night…If it was there. Since the buggy traveled slower on pavement, Scott, Jake and I bolted first on the motos to get as much packed up in the trucks as we could in preparation for coming back down for the wounded bike. As we were descending into Tecate, I upshifted into 5th while passing a semi-truck, Jake and Scott hot on my tail. The issue was that my clutch didn’t rebound and had stayed against the grip. Uh-oh...I’m near top end! :becca Oddly enough, I had power, so I figured the cable had snapped after the trans had engaged. I gassed it to fully get around and ahead of the truck, then started dumping gears to find neutral and coast to a stop. A quick search showed me that an 8mm bolt that held the clutch cable to the case had come out. Jake threw me a spare, and we were underway once again.

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    We made it back across the border quickly by lane splitting to the front of a 45 minute long line. This is always gratifying, as the locals don’t give a damn. The US citizens get somewhat irritated though.

    The three of us crossed and quickly loaded the bikes. Stephanie sent us a text to let us know that they had reached the border line, and Dave had picked up Jeff so that the two could ride two deep across the border. :ricky

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    Shortly after that, we received another text from Stephanie that she and Roger had another flat…in line…at the border. :baldy Some nearby motorists got out of their vehicles and the buggy was back in business!

    We finished loading, then Dave and I crossed back over in Dave’s truck, and retrieved the DRZ in the dark. It was there, so that was good. We of course had to stop in Rumorosa to get pie de elote. When we got back across, Scott, Jake and Jeff were milling about in Tecate while waiting for us. Roger and Stephanie had loaded and headed home. We completed the load process, and proceeded north out of Tecate. We made it home without issue. Sure, it was an eventful last day, but nobody got hurt or injured, so it was a great day! And that was it. Our trip had come to an end.

    Jeff and Scott flew back to Detroit the next day, and we all returned to the drag of our normal lives. When we started the trip, I initiated a group text thread so we could all share pictures while on the trip. However, we had all grown so close, that the thread continues today, 2 months later. We all stay in pretty constant contact, wishing each other happy holidays, sharing random pics that we take, and bringing up stories from the trip. Personally, I knew this would be the result, and that we would not walk away cursing each other’s names. We were now a family of 7 that would forever be joined by this one epic trip. We are all happy to have shared this with one another.

    Some final thoughts: We had a load of fun, 5 flats, a number of electrical issues, temporarily lost the clutch on my XR, vented the engine on the DRZ, and Jeff was offered cocaine – twice. He either has “that” look, or is a friendly looking guy. People ask me why we go to Baja so much, and follow up with the usual, “Isn’t it dangerous, and aren’t you worried about mechanical issues?”

    Our answer is always the same. Baja is awesome. That’s it. The people, the land, the food – all of it.

    As I sit here two months later writing this report, I am still amazed that we were all able and fortunate enough to do this. I catch myself looking out the window in the middle of the work day, thinking about the places we saw, and the memories of all of us having so much fun. I think, “When are we going back?” The next trip can’t get here fast enough!

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    #33
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  14. JTM386

    JTM386 Adventurer

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    2 for 1, 2 for 1, haha “inside joke for the guys”. Great report Greg, thank you for taking the time to document this before we all forgot what really happened and start making stuff up. Looking forward to the next trip, this time on a new lighter bike :-).
    #34
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  15. rangman73

    rangman73 n00b

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    You brothers are truly the best friends anyone could ever ask for! Such incredible hosts and tour guides. Thank you so much for another epic adventure!

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    #35
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist!

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    Sherwood, Oregon
    Frickin' awesome man, so glad to see the final post from the trip. Laughed out loud at the "vented the engine on the DRZ" comment; can't believe the chain broke and that damage ensued. Glad the bike was still there when you went back to retrieve it.

    Definitely an eventful end to the trip, great that no one had any injuries and you were able to mostly deal with the mechanicals.

    Thank you for taking the time to document your journey and share with us; truly enjoyed following along :thumb:thumb
    #36
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  17. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    Thanks for the read and your comments! It was a great trip!
    #37
  18. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    I admit I was initially worried that this trip would devolve into chaos given the large number of moving parts. Happily, my fears were unfounded. Thank you all for making a it a great ride. And thank you Greg, for documenting it.

    TWO FOR ONE, CABRONES!
    #38
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  19. FrameOil

    FrameOil Adventurer

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    IIIIIIIIIN THE HOUSE!
    #39
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