Wandering from my meandering (Latest: IDBDR Sec 6)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    I had a great time, and Lockhart was an amazing ride, even in the dark. I definitely want to do that one again, and take longer (though probably go faster too!)

    The Continental Divide is an awesome trip. I documented my ride on part of it here.

    I really don't like these pictures you and @simbaboy have posted. It has made me realize just how horrible that damn jacket looks.
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  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Moab 2019
    May 6, 2019: Gemini Bridges and Hey Joe Canyon

    Two years ago, the first time I came to Moab, we dropped down into Hey Joe Canyon and along the Green River, but didn't go too far upstream. This year I wanted to go all the way to the mine.

    We went up the hill on the Gemini Bridges Road. I didn't walk out to the bridges this year, but several folks did. GB road had been graded (several of the routes we ended up on this trip had been) and was a very easy ride. Basically a firm, mostly rock free dirt road with a handful of minor sand areas in the bottom of the canyon. Still a decent route, and way better than taking UT313 up to the turnoff. BLM Rd 140. We also had to swing into the Island in the Sky Visitor Center to get our permits for the White Rim Trail planned for the next day. The Park Service had shut down the online system that we usually use due to the flooding that had been occurring off and on along the Green River. More on that in a following post.

    Dropping down to the river on this route is about as dramatic as you can get. No, not nearly as high or long as Shafer Switchbacks, but still a special ride. The route along the bottom gets progressively more technical the closer to the Hey Joe Mine you get. Some of our group had issues with some of the obstacles, but there was a lot of help and teamwork on display to get those that wanted to keep going doing so.

    That's one of the great things about this group. It can be a passel of folks, but you get to do YOUR ride at YOUR pace, and if you want, others will want the same speed and stops. So it's very social without crimping your style. Everyone in this years group was very social and it made for a lot of fun.

    The view from Gemini Bridges Road looking down on US 191 headed towards Moab. The weather was near perfect all week.
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    Bill @scanda in the front again. Great rider, nicer guy. (but I say that about most people that carry guns...)
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    From the parking area for Gemini Bridges.
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    Dropping down towards the Green River.
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    Tom @crownhorse making the decent, not knowing he was now Subject #1 in playing with my telephoto lens.
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    Once I quit screwing around and actually rode my motorcycle, the Green River definitely was.
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    Well, more muddy color actually.

    Use the shade when it's available boys.
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    I was having too much fun riding to stop along the rest of the way. Unfortunately I didn't have the GoPro on when I tipped the bike over on a berm on the side of the road while looking back to make sure some other riders were ok. But we made it to the mine.
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    Some not quite as smoothly as others.
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    There's a bike in that dust cloud.
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    Jim had to show off a little. He too was an awesome rider and outstanding gentleman.
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    Unless you passed him. He didn't like that much.

    Prateek muscled his DR650 through the obstacles without a complaint.
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    As did our hero @simbaboy
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    Imu showed a tremendous amount of improvement in his riding this trip over past years. I have plans for him.


    Did I mention the scenery is amazing?
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    Wonderful day of great riding and good friends. I will try to get a video put together, at least of the decent into the canyon. But till then...
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  3. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Moab 2019
    May 7, 2019: White Rim Trail

    For a little change of pace, here's a video first. Try to stick around till the end if you can.


    Sorry for the inside joke.
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  4. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Excellent and keep up the effort.
    I will trade my jacket for yours, if you wish!
    Imu
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  5. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

    Joined:
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    Moab 2019
    May 7, 2019: White Rim Trail

    The WRT has been an annual route each of the three years I've been to Moab, including this one. Just the fact that there's this loop through some of the most amazing scenery in the world keeps me coming back. If the group I ride with were to ever decide that we wouldn't be doing this route, I'd probably go early or stay late to get it in. This year, the scenery was as amazing as always and we had perfect, beautiful weather. Sunny, warm but not hot, and just enough fluffy white clouds to make pictures even more interesting. For those that don't know of this route, it is almost 100 miles of dirt two track through the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. By the time one leaves and returns to Moab, it will add up to around 140 to 150 miles. This does cause some issues for dirt bikes with small stock fuel tanks, but we have put some workarounds into place in our group, including several folks carrying extra gas. I have a 3.8 gallon desert tank on my WR450F so can get back to town with a half gallon or more left over, depending upon throttle action of course!

    We left our rally point promptly at 0700. We tend to stop often, whether it's everyone or a handful at a time. As the day goes on, we'll get more spread apart as those in the "fast group" pulled ahead, which is fine. As I mentioned earlier, even in this group setting it's YOUR ride. We only ask that we maintain accountability on knowing everyone is of the trail. A WhatsApp group is one way we do this, on top of just checking in towards the end of the ride with those coming up from behind. Imu @simbaboy had browbeat me (well, more like sad eyes I guess) into being the "ride leader". So I did a couple of sessions of waiting and counting noses a little more than I had in the past, but it gave me some extra time to meet and get to know folks better. The only part of this that I didn't like is that my allergies went berzack that afternoon. When we were headed out, I was done. I'm sure the ten to twelve hours of riding didn't have anything to do with my fatigue level.

    Rally point #2 - Top of the canyon at Mineral Bottom, the entry to the WRT if going counter clockwise.
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    Tae bringing up the rear. He is always making sure everyone else is safe and tends to ride sweep. It's easy to miss that he's an outstanding rider, but hard not to see what a great guy he is.
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    View from the top of Mineral Bottom.
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    Start of the descent. It feels even steeper when you are riding along the edge.
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    There's a couple of switchbacks...
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    It was downright lush along the Green River.
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    Future arch? I guess I'll have to keep coming back for quite a while to find out.[​IMG]

    I think I've taken this picture each time I've been here. But it is so pretty in the morning.
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    Yeah, we rode down there.
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    The first climb up.
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    Did I mention it was nice weather?
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    Not quite a super-bloom.
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    As it turns out, they were waiting for me...
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    Fortunately not all of them were waiting.
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    It's a popular route for not just motos, but jeeps, hikers, and especially bicyclists. But everyone shares well and allows for the needs of the others (for the most part anyway).
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    Some of the route is "typical" desert riding. With atypical scenery of course.
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  6. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    May 7, 2019: WRT continued

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    Easy to get lost in the views and forget there's some damn fine riding to be had. Or maybe it's the other way around.
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    There WERE more flowers than I'd seen, though not what other places in the SW USA have had this year.
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    I should mention the road surfaces. The Park Service had obviously put some work into the WRT this spring.
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    Lots of grading, but most noticeable were the hills. Where in the past there would be abundant baby's head rocks, they had all been cleaned off. There were obviously the slabs of rock that at times are very bumpy or create a shelf to get past, but it was by far the easiest I've seen it in three tries.

    Oh yeah. It's scenic.
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    Views from the top of Hogsback hill.
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    I've seen this climb mess with lots of folks. Not this year.
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    The whole group gathered at the top of Hogsback. Probably the PBJ sammiches that Mrs. @simbaboy makes is the biggest incentive.
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  7. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Your photography is incredibly amazing as I think each of the pictures could be a postcard. Really! :clap
    I take the same early morning river shots--the trail is in shadows well contrasted by the highlights of the river.
    Imu

    here is my AM shot. I should adjust the brightness on the trail but it gives the feeling that we were riding in the dark.
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  8. EMFL

    EMFL It's an adventure if nobody died Supporter

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    Awesome ride report, thanks for sharing
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  9. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    May 7, 2019: But wait, there's more WRT

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    Several thunderheads developed, but they stayed well off to the north and west. They made a nice contrast to the terrain and shadows.
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    Sometimes it was hard to make any miles. But the views were too nice to not stop for some pics.
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    While there weren't a huge number of blooms, there were some small barrel cacti showing their stuff.
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    As we started around the eastern part of the loop, the La Sal mountains became visible again.
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    So a couple of guys had mentioned wanting to go down Lathrop Canyon, a side trip that goes down to the Colorado River. Very scenic, though it can be a real sandy ride.
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    These guys bailed on me ("I'm getting tired...") so I ended up doing it by myself. It was worth it. I didn't stop for pics on the way down (once again due to the excellent riding), but I did get some video, which I compiled into most of the ride down and back up, here.

    Sorry for the lack of production compared to the last couple videos.

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    Once I pulled back up out of Lathrop, it was just a few miles to Musselman Arch and then out Potash Road back to Moab.

    Always a long day (and you can tell I was getting tired/sick by the lack of pics on the last couple hours of riding) but SO worth it.
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  10. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    I just went through some of the photos from fall of 2017 on this thread, and can really see a big improvement in the technical quality of the shots since I got the DSLR. Now if I could figure out how to do some manipulation. Next skill I want to work on. Shoot me an email or text to let me know what program you use please.
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  11. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Thank YOU!

    It's always nice to know that someone is getting some enjoyment from it. I have (and still do) gotten a tremendous amount of entertainment and learning from so many people on this site. I'm thankful that I give a little back.
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  12. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    Man thats some awesome stuff!! Incredible! We where down there just after you all where and we got to hang out with Bill at 3 step. We will go back and explore more of the area next time. It was overwhelming for us and being warm for a change really was nice. Cheers! ERIC
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  13. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Thanks!

    We'll be back next year if you want a group to ride with. Early May again likely. Great bunch of folks to hang out with.

    Well many will be back. I'm still trying to find out if I'm going to become not-homeless again and take up respectable employment.
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  14. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    I totally resemble this remark! :rofl:imaposer

    Dude, I was getting tired---next time we will go clockwise and down to the river and then back.
    Imu
  15. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    I've actually thought that it would be cool to do a clockwise trip of the WRT sometime, mostly to get the views from the other direction. The downside is most of the more technical portions would be on the back half of the day, when we're all getting tired.
  16. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    My very 1st time on the WRT was clockwise. I like CCW more but can do CW.
    Imu
  17. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Moab 2019
    May 5, 2019: Video from the Hey Joe ride.
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  18. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Moab 2019
    May 8, 2019: Tower Arch (morning ride)

    I'm really not sure why, but most folks were pretty wore out after the WRT the day before (pansies). I came to Moab to ride, so whether I am tired or sick (or both as it turned out) I'm gonna ride. Therefore it was only Prateek, Tae, Imu, and I went on the morning ride to Arches National Park. Imu had been out to Tower Arch before, but by a different road than we decided to take (or so he thought). It's a NP road. How difficult could it be? Right?

    Well as it turns out, it could be a little challenging. (Duh. The WRT is a NP road.) The first part was easy peasy dirt/gravel road. Then we found sand. Deeper sand than anything prior as it turns out. Now I don't get too worked up about sand on the 247 lb. bike (compared to the 470 lb. 800GSA of course) but certain others haven't developed such a laissez faire attitude about it. Namely our two Indian friends. What. No sand in India?

    Well we managed to struggle through, even with mostly good attitudes. We discussed it and all agreed that we would take the other alternative route back out after we got to Tower Arch. The ride was really cool, as it kept transitioning from sandy areas including some arroyos to climbing giant boulders ala Slickrock. Tower Arch was pretty neat too. Fortunately for us, there was a small tour group with local guides there just ahead of us. The bad news was that they told us the alternate route out was much, MUCH more difficult than the way we took in. Back to slog through the sand!

    Quick stop at Park Avenue.
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    Given the name, it's not surprising that you can find numerous arches here. Eye of the Whale Arch (look low in the middle of the rock mass.)
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    The travel surface (kind of difficult to call it a road sometimes) varied a lot.
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    Tae does his part to try to firm up the surface.
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    Tower Arch is still over yonder.
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    Spring continued to have sprung.
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    Prateek was not impressed that I stopped right at the top of the rock.
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    What he couldn't see till this shot was that I stopped in front of a big hole that I didn't want to help pick up his DR650 out of.

    Imu and Tae took the easier way.
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    This area was a little bit like the Badlands.
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    Finally got to Tower Arch.
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    Decidedly not like the Badlands.
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    After the bad news from the guides, back to the sandy way.
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    Shot of Balance Rock on the way out, right near the pavement.
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    For a route that we picked because we thought it would be easy and not something most people would miss, we've decided it's good enough that it needs to get into the rotation for future years. Not real long, but a very satisfying ride.

    BTW, due to my allergies, I was getting so tired during the day of riding that I didn't have the energy to get any of the video off my GoPro in the evenings. Therefore unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately dependent upon whether you like my limited video production skills or not) there isn't any more video from this trip. Personally I'm a bit disappointed in this as there were still some great rides coming up.
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  19. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town...

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    Moab 2019
    May 8, 2019: Chicken Corners (afternoon ride)

    Continuing to do a major departure from our planned riding schedule (largely due to rain to the east of Moab) we decided to take everyone out to Chicken Corners. When I say everyone, it added up to 17 riders. For some reason most of them were bouncing around like a fart in a skillet. Apparently sleeping in once in a while is a good thing.

    The route to Chicken Corners progressively gets tougher and tougher till you get to the landmark. Imu likes to do this route in the morning as there's basically no shade on the whole thing, so it can get pretty warm. The storms to the east ended up being a silver lining as it gave us some on and off overcast to keep the temps down. There was a little more competitive juices flowing on the way back to town, with a handful of folks (ahem, present company included) running a heavy hand with the throttle. So no pictures on the way back out as it was hard enough to stay in front of Jim without stopping for pics. And no, finding the shortcuts is not cheating; it's the only way I can pass him.

    Birthing Rock is a neat spot with some nice petroglyphs.
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    It's called Birthing rock due to the graphic on the left of the rock. This makes me even more glad I have a Y chromosome.

    A bit up the road, there was a pretty good water crossing. I knew about this ahead of time as this is how we came out from the Lockhart Basin a few days prior. So I bombed out front to be ready to document. For some reason my DSLR wouldn't start videoing so I had to do a series of stills.
    As I mentioned before, Jimmy doesn't like to be behind, so I barely got across and stopped in time to catch him crossing.
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    Or attempting anyway...
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    This is why there are rubber covers on your spark plugs boys and girls.
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    @simbaboy uses rubbers.
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    As does Mike.
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    Tom @crownhorse has been to Moab a time or two, and is wise to it's wily ways.
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    Thus Jimmy learns that it stays very shallow on that side of the crossing.
    Everyone else just plays follow the leader.
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    Fortunately, Jimmy's really cool KLX351 starts right up after the plug dried off a tad.

    After some more awesome riding, the extra payoff is the spectacular views at Chicken Corners.
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    Pretty nice around the "corner" too.
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    Right at Chicken Corners
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    I could sit here for hours.

    A handful of others I'd just as soon not be allowed in.
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    Carm and Emma, you officially SUCK!! Some people have no clue. If by chance you happen to know these folks, please feel free to pass along my feelings.

    This is a great route, though probably a little tougher than I had wanted to do that afternoon due to my sinuses and the coughing. But Imu knows me too well. I can't walk away from a challenge.
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  20. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Superb Pictures but this thread is not getting enough attention from people who were on the ride--I will send links via email, again.
    Imu