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Old 06-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #31
Lycan1 OP
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Day 8 – White Rim, with a lot of help from my friends! (part 1)

Sleep didn’t come easy and I was feeling drained emotionally right from the start. I did my best to be stoic and present a brave face, but behind blue eyes.

We made another very early start as we had a lot of ground to cover with a plan to do all of White Rim Trail today. It was cloudy for the first time in Moab (our trip) and it would be a Godsend in the heat of the day.



We were actually out front when the ladies of the Love Muffin unlatched the door and greeted us with smiles. Another amazing breakfast and great coffee started the day in the right direction and we raced north to the Canyon lands turnoff (hwy 313). We elected to stay on pavement until Horse thief /Mineral Bottom road, electing to do WRT counter clockwise.


This road is unremarkable and allows a fast way to the Mineral Bottom switchbacks, taking you down to the river and (for us) the start of White Rim Trail. These as we found out pale in comparison to the Shaffer Switchbacks, but it was our first taste and it was spectacular. Almost immediately we started getting into the fine powder-like “sand” of WRT and passed a jeep crawling along on its huge tires leaving a large dust cloud in its wake. The trail then clawed its way along a cliff face beside the river and we were in our glory, stopping to take pictures like any first timers on WRT. Traffic was light and we didn’t hold anyone up.







I had been warned that there was a “quarter mile of deep sand down by the river, other than that its good”. This was a slight understatement, I think and I am sure I put a lot more miles on the motor (if not the odometer) spinning and roosting my way through the sulfur colored powder, but I did it without crashing and it was kinda’ cool.









One thing about the White Rim Trail, or any other trail around Moab; it requires FULL concentration and commitment with very little room for error. This helped keep my mind off our family tragedy, to some extent at least. It was always there but I had to force it back to the shadows in order to do the task at hand. The sand sections (and I say sections) were numerous, and I suspect they added up to far more than a mile, if you include my nemesis, Hardscrabble Hill. After passing a group of young kids on bicycles and their support trucks in another sandy section, we stopped by two pick up trucks sitting on a rocky plateau. They to, were more support vehicles, for what turned out to be a large Boy Scout Troop. One of the guys warned Chris and Paul about the “deep sand” on the hill and to “stay to the left, or center” near the top. I didn’t get the memo as I was already on my way up, and found this out by experience as my front wheel sank and the rear dug itself to the swing arm trying to push through and up the steepest part just before a sharp right turn. I got off the dug in bike and managed to work the bike out of the trench before the cavalry arrived. They helped walk the bike down and after a failed attempt or two to get any forward momentum, I was spent.





Maybe my lack of fitness (comparatively) or emotional state, or the heat (I suspect all played their part, in concert) but I was ready to turn around. With a bit of help (from Paul and me) Chris made it up the worst of the hill and trekked back down to assist Paul and I. The KLR was next and Paul disappeared in a cloud of dust that we were choking on. We bailed back down the hill. Once clear of the cloud, we could still hear the thumper churning away but could not tell if Paul was making any progress. Chris commented about “Nuclear Testing on the White Rim” and we both laughed. The exertion had me on my knees though, at the side of the trail, thinking I was going to puke, and I felt all shaky. Paul hiked down from the flat spot at the top having successfully clawed his way up the hill. We had backed the 990 down the hill to where Chris and Paul had stopped to help me initially, in order to let me have a shot at some speed, past where the hill first beat me. My first attempt required all three of us to lift the KTM off me after getting sideways and (my leg not being long enough to hit ground) flopping over. The second attempt was even worse and at a bit more speed, but third time was the charm and with constant encouragement from Chris and Paul I made it to the top and around the corner. They are probably still coughing up sand, and my rear tire will never be the same! Thanks guys for not letting me quit, I really thought I was done on that hill.





That would prove to be the only real tough challenge for me on White Rim Trail and after that I was feeling better (after a long hydration break and a snack). If it had been bright sunshine I am not sure the same end result would have occurred. Half a mile later we met another rider on a fully loaded GSA, and lucky for him he was going to go down on that little sand chute. After a short chat we all carried on and the trail had a nice variety of sand, gravel, hard sandstone and loose chunky hills.







At one point just before Hog’s Back Hill we met a group of older guys doing the trail on mountain bikes. They were relaxing and waiting for their (wife driven) support truck which arrived right after we carried on. As I rode over the hard rock steps past a group of reclining bikers (standing on the pegs and slowly climbing over the rocks) I heard one exclaim “holy crap”, perhaps at the size of the bike, but I am not sure. Just past them I dropped into a shallow sandy section so I put on a show and did a nice long roost.





























Hog’s Back was very steep and narrow and did a 90 degree turn about halfway up before ducking under a rock shelf on the second half of the climb. I almost had too much throttle getting to the corner but managed to chop the speed at the right moment. It was a long way down otherwise, and better not to think about it. Chris and I agreed that going up Hogs Back was easier than (we figured) going down was. We had an audience at the top watching us do our thing.

To be continued…..
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #32
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Excellent report, I read the entire thread and wanted say you have a nice easy way about your story telling. Sincere sympathy for you and your family on your sisters death. GodSpeed to her as she moves to a better place...........
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:34 PM   #33
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Awesome report!

I wish you and your Family peace in this difficult time. Props to you for not turning around and hightailing it home.

I think if I lost either of my children or one of my siblings that I might have to go for a ride.... for a long time.

Keep it up man!

Oh yeah...
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #34
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Truly wonderful/awesome pics and ride report. Glad you 4 Canucks had a great time.

Lee, we feel your pain in the loss of your loved one.YOu and your family will be given the energy/ blessings to move on.

It was a true Canuck/Calgary rider , Mr. Canoehead , that stepped up and offered us a place to bed down while my daughter and the staff at Foothills fought to save her life. I feel Mr.Canoehead help save her life along with several other riders that also offered all their facilities to us.

Looking forward to the remainder of your RR,
gale
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:10 PM   #35
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How long did it take you to do the WRT? I skipped this update to not ruin the surprise but from a quick skim of the text I don't think I seen it noted.

I will be doing it in about a month with a detour of the CDT. I don't deal with heat well so I'm getting up early, packing lots of water and stopping only for quick photo's!

I rode much of Moab on my last trip and don't want to be riding the rock ledges and what not in 40 degree heat. Some of the days I rode prior was high 20's and that was plenty hot enough doing Poison Spider, Moab Rim, Rusty Nail, Golden Crack, etc.

Also, where is the LOVE MUFFIN. haha. I think we'll stay at Canyonlands again, but a nice breaky and coffee spot would be great. I love La Hacienda! Surprisingly good food (large portions) and delicious margaritas! Not quite Mexico margaritas but some of the best I've had in the states (keep in mind that's pretty limited). I've heard there is good Mexican in Crested Butte, CO which I'll be trying as well.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Motard_Menace View Post
Excellent report, I read the entire thread and wanted say you have a nice easy way about your story telling. Sincere sympathy for you and your family on your sisters death. GodSpeed to her as she moves to a better place...........
Thank you, sincerely! I tell it like I think it and it is all off the cuff, and as I go.

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Originally Posted by Droptop50 View Post
Awesome report!

I wish you and your Family peace in this difficult time. Props to you for not turning around and hightailing it home.

I think if I lost either of my children or one of my siblings that I might have to go for a ride.... for a long time.

Keep it up man!

Oh yeah...
Believe me if it had been under different circumstances I would have dropped everything and headed home. This was so sudden and unexpected, and by the time I heard, there was nothing I could do but make sure I was there for the funeral and I was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale B.T. View Post
Truly wonderful/awesome pics and ride report. Glad you 4 Canucks had a great time.

Lee, we feel your pain in the loss of your loved one.YOu and your family will be given the energy/ blessings to move on.

It was a true Canuck/Calgary rider , Mr. Canoehead , that stepped up and offered us a place to bed down while my daughter and the staff at Foothills fought to save her life. I feel Mr.Canoehead help save her life along with several other riders that also offered all their facilities to us.

Looking forward to the remainder of your RR,
gale
True character is defined in how we treat another being in a time of need. Our compassion is what sets us apart.

Thank you for your kind words.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:51 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
How long did it take you to do the WRT? I skipped this update to not ruin the surprise but from a quick skim of the text I don't think I seen it noted.

I will be doing it in about a month with a detour of the CDT. I don't deal with heat well so I'm getting up early, packing lots of water and stopping only for quick photo's!

I rode much of Moab on my last trip and don't want to be riding the rock ledges and what not in 40 degree heat. Some of the days I rode prior was high 20's and that was plenty hot enough doing Poison Spider, Moab Rim, Rusty Nail, Golden Crack, etc.

Also, where is the LOVE MUFFIN. haha. I think we'll stay at Canyonlands again, but a nice breaky and coffee spot would be great. I love La Hacienda! Surprisingly good food (large portions) and delicious margaritas! Not quite Mexico margaritas but some of the best I've had in the states (keep in mind that's pretty limited). I've heard there is good Mexican in Crested Butte, CO which I'll be trying as well.
The white rim trail is approximately 118 miles around depending on how you hook onto it, as there are options for doing so. We started at 08:00 and due to all the stops and the "Hill" took until 18:30 to get it done. We rarely made any time as there is so much to look at and it was not a competition but a tour. Much more about the experience than just checking off a box on a to-do list.

The Love Muffin is at N 38 34.529' W 109 33.056'

Have fun, be safe.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #38
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The white rim trail is approximately 118 miles around depending on how you hook onto it, as there are options for doing so. We started at 08:00 and due to all the stops and the "Hill" took until 18:30 to get it done.
Have fun, be safe.
I have heard of people just flat bombing the road and getting it done in just a couple of hours. I honestly do not know how you could do that though, and you certainly would not have time to stop for photos at all if you did.

Then again I have been on the first third of it (coming from Shaffer) that I would not stop for photos very much myself, at least not until I got to something new, but perhaps not then either. I have a lot of Moab photos, so the thought of stopping along that road, in that heat, to snap a few just does not agree with me. I hope to get to do it soon myself, and I am expecting it to take me six to eight hours.

Of course I have also read stories of guys who have done it in jeeps in "one day" which typically means leaving at 0600 and not getting back until 2300 or even 0200 the next day.

Best of luck on your trip! I wish I could go with you, but not in that heat...


...And of course this is still a great RR. It makes it easy to see what I will be up against when I go on there myself if I can read really good RRs like this; besides it is cathartic for me... it eases the daily grind when you can remember the days out on the trails.


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Old 06-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #39
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Thanks for the cool pics and ride report!

22 years ago, that spot looked a wee bit different...

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Old 06-17-2012, 06:31 AM   #40
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L.B.S.

Thank you for that taste of history, including the Honda CX 650 Turbo. Arches was not quite so touristy back then.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #41
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Day 8 – White Rim Trail, run dry & Go Pro MIA (Part 2

“That was it?...can’t be, that was too easy,… It showed a DD on the map!” Is what we were thinking after we got to the top of Hog’s Back and past the group of Mountain Bikers Watching us. Hard Scrabble Hill had been much worse. It may like a few spots depend on whether you are going up or down. The clouds were lightening and the heat was coming on strong by this point. We stopped often to hydrate and had snacks like beef jerky and peanuts along for protein to keep our energy up and it worked. Back at the sandy little hill called “Hardscrabble Paul had pulled out an overheated Eatmore bar and that had been a disgusting mess that Chris and I had poked fun at. The Jerky and peanuts at least looked no worse for wear in the heat. Jerky looks like road kill no matter what, but is easy to pack and full of protein and electrolytes.

By my best figuring and the GPS track, I figured we had another hour to go before Shafer switchbacks and back up onto pavement to Moab. We however were running low on water already but figured we should be fine, despite the heat. Each of us had packed 3 liters, Chris and I in our Hydration packs and Paul between his pack and carrying bottles. Days earlier we had figured 5 liters each for this undertaking but had somehow forgotten. We were still finding places to stop and take pictures like newbies (hey we were) and somewhere on this last section Paul lost his Go Pro camera (with all the footage shot thus far on the trip still on the memory card) He didn’t realize this until close to where White rim intersects Shafer road before heading up the switchbacks. He suggested going back to look for it, but without any remaining water supplies and getting low on fuel it would have ended badly. His camera had been in a pocket on his backpack that was bungeed on top of his spare fuel container. Somehow the pocket came unzipped and a couple of empty bottles along with the camera had worked free and ended up back on the trail somewhere. It would have been like a needle in a haystack and I think Paul knew that.

Since the trail was straight forward and easy to spot I ran sweep until the junction of Shafer road where the guys stopped to be sure which way to go. I motioned straight ahead to them just as a couple of vehicles approached having just descended the switchbacks. The first was a black jeep with a load of young kids in the back, and I motioned him to stop. I told the driver about Paul’s camera just as a Park Ranger on a Yamaha WR 250 pulled alongside, so I told him about it as well. I explained that even if the camera was broken when found, we would really like the memory card back, and where we were staying. I then carried on, chasing Paul and Chris up the switchbacks that were in the shade by this time of day. Shafer switchbacks always make it into Moab ride reports and now I know why. They are a truly awesome ride. Shafer is made up of steep straight sections with loose, off camber corners, and a view that is not for those scared of heights. This is another example of very little room for error and I’m sure that is part of the attraction. From just about any corner you can look back down on anyone following you, and realize just how quickly you gain elevation. We were getting overheated, were out of water and the day was slipping away so once on top we booked it for camp. Just about the time I connected with hwy 313 and not long after the turnoff for Dead Horse Point my fuel reserve light came on. I wasn’t sure that I would make it but carried on and was 40 km into reserve (a new record) when we got to camp.

The plan had been to hit the Blu Pig after doing White Rim and that was still on, but gas up was going to happen first. The last time we went to the Blu Pig the food and service were awesome. I had the brisket and it was smoky- melt- in- your- mouth great! Chris wanted to try it this time. When we got there, the house blues guy was playing a set so we opted to sit in the lounge instead of the restaurant side. The hostess told me “Brad will be your server” and took us to a table. Apparently “Brad” didn’t get the memo and we sat ignored for what seemed like an eternity without so much as a jug of water. I needed the washroom so I strolled past the reception and said to the Hostess “Does Brad realize he is our server?” She responded with a look of horror, “What, he hasn’t been over?!” By the time I washed up and returned, Brad was taking drink and appetizer orders. He said “I’ll take your main food orders when I bring out the appetizer; they are really fast here since the food slow smokes all day”. Absent Minded Brad then forgot 2 out of 3 drinks and was gone so fast that he forgot all about our dinner orders to. I had to grab him (while he wandered by in a daze) to take our order. He was very apologetic and this time the food did come quickly. The brisket must have run out a bit earlier and the one that Chris had had not been on the smoker nearly long enough and as such was very disappointing. My Voodoo Chicken was awesome.

Then I actually had to go into the kitchen to find Brad to pay up since he had disappeared again. Just when we were about to leave in came Jettin’ Jim and the KLR crew. We ended up drowning out the poor Blues guy (or maybe his set was done) but he gave up and left, sorry. We managed to finally get away and head back to camp, very much done for the day.



Video 1 : http://youtu.be/lL--0jYbFuc
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:23 AM   #42
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Great report. I can't wait to get back to Moab.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:06 AM   #43
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Day 9 – Were no Chickens, Hurrah

Over our extended dinner the night before we discussed that maybe an easier (read shorter) day tomorrow would be nice. A run down Kane Creek road and out over Hurrah Pass and out to Chicken Corners seemed to fit the bill. That morning after our daily trek to see the Muffin ladies we followed the gpx track that I had found on ADV. First I had to guide us through town out along Kane Creek road. This was a nice picturesque run along the river with plenty of spots to camp along the way ( I noted). We stopped by a funky brick rest area built against the hillside to lube the chains as we always did every morning once we warmed them up. The road soon graveled out and dropped into a deep narrow valley. The road ran across one tight paved switchback and along a huge rock wall. It wasn’t long before we found the sign (and my gps track was spot on) for Chicken corner.





First we climbed and twisted our way up Hurrah Pass. The trail was a decent width but had lots of rock steps and sharp turn over these steps and we had to pay attention. Just before the summit of the pass I came around a corner and to my right on a nice flat rock shelf was a Ford Fusion. I started laughing and later said to the guys “don’t get that in the shots, we’ll look like pussies” “check for rental plates”. When I got back from the trip I told my boss, whose wife drives one, “don’t ever get rid of that car, they are the toughest cars on the planet!” Seriously, I think Ford must have brought it up there with a chopper, it looked to clean and I really don’t think that it would have had the ground clearance to get there by itself. If it did then I would not want to see the underside of the car afterward.

From the Summit we could see something across the river valley near the Potash drying ponds. I broke out the 300mm lens, and had a look. It was a movie crew, and I could see a chopper, crew trailers and equipment trucks parked beside Shafer road. We would have to get a closer look in a day or two. We talked to a guy in a 4X4 pickup that was heading for Lockhart Basin road, and he was running ahead of us. He said he would pull over when we caught him. We lingered at the summit and took in the view for a while and never did catch up to him before the corner to Chicken. Along the way we encountered some deep, but short sand sections and I managed to surf my face into one deep pocket. Sand is so soft to Crash in, I like it! Thanks again to Paul for helping pick up the 990, you are getting good at it.





In one spot not far from the actual corner the trail becomes a bit hard to spot and I took a more rocky approach with large steps than Chris or Paul did (they stayed in the sand trough) but although stalling twice on the incline, didn’t crash (gold star for me, I tried).



It was a cooker this day and we would go through a lot of water and sunscreen (it mixes well with sand, who needs a loufa). We met a group of Quads at the Chicken, Lockhart Basin turnoff, and Chris talked to them briefly asking about the trail. They had told him,” If you made it this far the rest is easy”, Cool! Onward we went and Chicken corner was a bit anticlimactic but still very nice. We carried on past the point toward the trails end. I stopped to take a picture and heard a funny noise so I opened the fuel caps. This was a stupid thing to do in the blazing heat and I was sprayed with boiling fuel, good thing I don’t smoke (Ghost rider anyone?) I decided that I would get back to the corner where shade could be found and be ready for the guys and a picture shoot. I knew that they had very little trail left ahead of them by the gps track anyway. It was so hot the fuel stink went away quickly and the 990 with her boiling fuel was safely parked in the shade to cool down. What the hell did the desert racers do with these bikes if the fuel boils so easily? I even insulated the inner sides of both tanks before this trip to prevent this. Thankfully this would be the only day of the trip that I would have this issue.





After getting to the end of the trail the guys came back to the “Corner” and I took some action shots to prove they were no chickens. It really would be a bad place to run wide unless you were sporting a parachute. The guys after the photo-shoot relaxed in the welcome shade of the rocks as the quaders they had met at the trail’s end trundled by.
















Having again achieved our objective we headed back. The sand was fairly easy going back across, I guess I am learning how to sand surf a little at a time. As we weaved along the rock face (just before the summit of Hurrah) I was filming the guys and running sweep as such. We were following around a small slash Canyon and as I took a sharp right around a rock outcropping I had to climb a 10 inch step. I was standing on the pegs and leaned over to the right, my front wheel went up and over the step and as the rear tire hit the step and started up, I found myself on the ground under the bike (AGAIN). Paul was right, “Gravity is fast!” I hit the kill switch and started honking the horn. Paul and Chris were around the tip of the slash canyon and right across from me. I saw Chris look over and stop. He had heard the horn. Paul was just a head of him and around the next corner by then so he had no idea. By the time Chris got back to me I was up but just couldn’t quite lift the big orange beast myself (especially with the hydration pack getting in the way) so he helped pick her up. We took refuge in the shade 50 feet up the trail for a minute and caught our breath. We met Paul at Hurrah Summit a few minutes later and explained what happened. The best I can figure is the rock step jogged my side stand and killed the engine mid corner. I must override that “safety” feature before it becomes a big problem one day!



The road back was just as much fun and we had a relaxing day at poolside when we returned.




Video of the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HnDOe8YOVA
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:26 AM   #44
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Hey Lee----nice story

Hey Lee---nice to see you made it down to the states----eh ????.
I'ts been years since I rode the white rim and it was nice to see your pictures.

By the way-----Lee (Lycan1) was the guy that helped me out on my ride to Alaska last year doing the
Kettle Valley Railroad on the way---------I thank you again for that-----eh !!!!!!.
His ride report on riding the railroad bed was so much help to me and my buddy Dingweeds.

Yes-----the big V-twin KTM's are a bear to pick up-----if you can even get it done.
I've pondered selling mine----it keeps me from going where I want to go to much-----eh !!!!!

Sorry about your sister----had to do the same thing when my mother died------run home for the funeral.
Yes---I need to call my sister---haven't talked to her in a long time.

Good to see you out riding.

Mark
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #45
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Hey Lee---nice to see you made it down to the states----eh ????.
I'ts been years since I rode the white rim and it was nice to see your pictures.

By the way-----Lee (Lycan1) was the guy that helped me out on my ride to Alaska last year doing the
Kettle Valley Railroad on the way---------I thank you again for that-----eh !!!!!!.
His ride report on riding the railroad bed was so much help to me and my buddy Dingweeds.

Yes-----the big V-twin KTM's are a bear to pick up-----if you can even get it done.
I've pondered selling mine----it keeps me from going where I want to go to much-----eh !!!!!

Sorry about your sister----had to do the same thing when my mother died------run home for the funeral.
Yes---I need to call my sister---haven't talked to her in a long time.

Good to see you out riding.

Mark
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Thanks Mark, that means a lot.

If I have inspired someone to call their brother or sister and keep in better touch, than I have done something useful. Our time here is short, sometime much too short.
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