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Old 03-14-2011, 09:50 AM   #211
selkins
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If you do decide to stop winter riding, rest assured you're already at hero-status for many of us.

Hope you heal up well and quickly.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:14 PM   #212
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Uh oh.

Sorry to hear you crashed.

Glad to hear you're doing as well as you are.

Paul, thank you so very much for sharing so much with all of us.

And here's to a quick and complete healing. Take care, good friend. Blessings, Mark H.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:42 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by paulmondor View Post
Well! I have been on my back with a bruised kidney and a puled groin. I have been in bed for over 24 hours now with serious drugs going on.
I will just post this for now and will do this another time. Most likely when I am back in Victoria. It will take a long time to recover from this damage and this fall.

Let's just say this.. Tuk Ice road on two wheels at -47C has not been done many times, and there are reasons why it has not, especially when it is at the roughest it has ever been. The locals say this. 4 wheels or more? No issues! 3 wheels? No problems! Two wheels with cracks that are a foot wide at times and sometimes hidden under drifting snow? Your shocks don't work at this temp or barely. So it is like riding on a hard tail. Your back, your kidneys your neck and every joint is screaming for help. But your brain is so high on adrenaline that it tells your body "Shut the hell up you pansies! Do your job and enjoy this!"
Well! Be my guest. I can only say this! And you can quote me on this.

I am finished with doing long winter rides. I am done! I have done the most North eastern road and the most north western as well. Except for the Frozen Butt next year. Iceman is now done!!!!
Pussy











Get well soon.

p.s.: Inuvik to Tuk 2 1/4 hours...
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:47 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by justanotherider View Post
Pussy











Get well soon.

p.s.: Inuvik to Tuk 2 1/4 hours...
Right %$#@ on Buddy!! Good for you. I can see you had clear going though and long studs............ Pussy!!!!

Great shots...
By the way, it was just a slow speed fall and the bike is unharmed. I piulled the groin as I fell and the kidney as i pulled the bike up alone..
PS: I wish we had had this nice and clear of a road.
Where did you leave from?

Again!!! Very cool!!! Good to meet another two wheeler on the Tuk Ice road..
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #215
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Paul:

I trucked my bike to Inuvik, then rode to Tuk, and then out to Rupert, then Halifax.

It was pretty cool on the north end, and I know what you mean about rough spots on the Mackenzie and the Beaufort - I had a few 'moments' myself; but was lucky enough not to crash. I was in a rush going from Inuvik to Tuk, since we didn't get to Inuvik until 7:15 in the evening, and I wanted to get into Tuk before dark, so I was riding fast. It was about 45 below, and it was the first time I had cold feet on the bike. I also had some problems with cold on my face. Those high tech sled lids work well on sleds I guess; but I got frost bite. I changed to a street lid with a pin lock at Dawson City, and it worked well enough.

I confess I really enjoyed my rides on the Beaufort, especially on the way out, as I wasn't rushed, and had time to enjoy the amazing varied colours of the ice, and the scenery, (especially the pingos). Looking north, I had the overwhelming feeling I was at the end of the earth, as can be seen in the piccie below, (I was collecting an ice sample, and got water from the Pacific and Atlantic as well - poor man's souvenirs...) there was just a whole lot of ice and snow to be seen, and not a hint of land.

The toughest section of the northern part of the ride for me was from Inuvik to Eagle Plains. The road was closed due to high winds for a day before I could leave Inuvik, and it was still very windy, with lots of drifting when I left town. I was on small studs then, (recommended by some guy from Vancouver) and really struggled to stay on my wheels, (I fell a couple of times actually). My rear studs were gone before I got off the Dempster, so I was riding on rubber from about half way from Eagle Plains to Dawson - it was pretty challenging at times. Once I was out to the Klondike Hwy, the riding was relatively easy, with mostly center bare to bare pavement, except for some deep snow and icy sections in mountain passes on the way out to Rupert and back to Jasper.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:06 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by justanotherider View Post
Paul:

I trucked my bike to Inuvik, then rode to Tuk, and then out to Rupert, then Halifax.

It was pretty cool on the north end, and I know what you mean about rough spots on the Mackenzie and the Beaufort - I had a few 'moments' myself; but was lucky enough not to crash. I was in a rush going from Inuvik to Tuk, since we didn't get to Inuvik until 7:15 in the evening, and I wanted to get into Tuk before dark, so I was riding fast. It was about 45 below, and it was the first time I had cold feet on the bike. I also had some problems with cold on my face. Those high tech sled lids work well on sleds I guess; but I got frost bite. I changed to a street lid with a pin lock at Dawson City, and it worked well enough.

I confess I really enjoyed my rides on the Beaufort, especially on the way out, as I wasn't rushed, and had time to enjoy the amazing varied colours of the ice, and the scenery, (especially the pingos). Looking north, I had the overwhelming feeling I was at the end of the earth, as can be seen in the piccie below, (I was collecting an ice sample, and got water from the Pacific and Atlantic as well - poor man's souvenirs...) there was just a whole lot of ice and snow to be seen, and not a hint of land.

The toughest section of the northern part of the ride for me was from Inuvik to Eagle Plains. The road was closed due to high winds for a day before I could leave Inuvik, and it was still very windy, with lots of drifting when I left town. I was on small studs then, (recommended by some guy from Vancouver) and really struggled to stay on my wheels, (I fell a couple of times actually). My rear studs were gone before I got off the Dempster, so I was riding on rubber from about half way from Eagle Plains to Dawson - it was pretty challenging at times. Once I was out to the Klondike Hwy, the riding was relatively easy, with mostly center bare to bare pavement, except for some deep snow and icy sections in mountain passes on the way out to Rupert and back to Jasper.
This is great. As far as the helmet went. I have been using my Bombardier BS2V for 3 years now and over 35,000 of wibter riding and no problems.. Joe here used the ZOZ Snowmobile helmet andlets just say it did not work well at all..

Maybe you should join me next year when I do thge whole Labrador Highway in January. It is now 3800 from Baie-Comeau to Blanc Sablons and back... We did the new extension last year and were the first bikes to make it to Cartwright and back..
I am looking forward to my second Frozen Butt Tour. We already are four.... What do you think??

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Old 03-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #217
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Great Ride Paul - GET WELL BUDDY

Hi Paul,
I just found this thread yesterday and have read it all now. Thanks for the great RR, the photos are awesome. I am happy to see you all made it to Tuk. Very sorry to hear of the crash. I would like to wish you a speedy recovery. Be very proud and hold your head high as you have accomplished quite a lot on this ride. Let's not forget where this ride started and all the KM's you traveled before the fall.
The last two years on the Ride North of 60 has taught me several things; one being riding in these extreme conditions are very tiring. I can't begin to imagine how you guys must be feeling on the last sections of this journey. Hold your head high ICEMAN. GREAT JOB.
Cheers to You, Joe, Flora and Jesse
Alvin
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by paulmondor View Post
This is great. As far as the helmet went. I have been using my Bombardier BS2V for 3 years now and over 35,000 of wibter riding and no problems.. Joe here used the ZOZ Snowmobile helmet andlets just say it did not work well at all..

Maybe you should join me next year when I do thge whole Labrador Highway in January. It is now 3800 from Baie-Comeau to Blanc Sablons and back... We did the new extension last year and were the first bikes to make it to Cartwright and back..
I am looking forward to my second Frozen Butt Tour. We already are four.... What do you think??

It would depend on timing and costs. I'll be doing the Ride North of 60, likely in late February, as usual.

Let me know what the plans are for the Labrador trip.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:06 PM   #219
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It would depend on timing and costs. I'll be doing the Ride North of 60, likely in late February, as usual.

Let me know what the plans are for the Labrador trip.
It is all good! Actually I am happy you brought this up. After making an ass of myself with how I reacted to a single comment and how it escalated into whatever. Blame it on fatigue, stress of Joe's accident early in the trip and fear of not being able to finish the project; i believe it is just sheer ego-testicle misplaced machismo on my part that triggered this display on my part, i am happy I had the chance to apologize and most importantly that you guys' grace in hearing me out showed me and others that sometimes it is better to shut the hell up.
Where was I? Oh yes! How would you feel if I asked you to join your cause next year ???(Tentative effort)

I know i said I would not do long distance riding anymore (Duh!), but for this? I would make and exception..
Maybe one of you can send me a PM as to what I need to do and get and we can take it from there..

As for the Labrador Trip? I will stay in touch..
PS: I would still love to have the guys's mailing adresses so I can send them my books.

Cheers
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #220
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This is a little off topic but Mike/ justanotherider is doing a ride for sight fund raiser. It cost $1.00/mile or Km I forget. He may not know you to ask you to sponsor him but the man is a good guy and I expect the project is worthy. You could contact him from above posts if your interested in sponsoring him on this motorcycle fundraiser.

Forgot to say: Congrats Paul and the team on making the trip, loved the RR and wish you the very best of everything.

Pauls books are great by the way.

JimmieA.

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:39 PM   #221
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This is a little off topic but Mike/ justanotherider is doing a ride for sight fund raiser. It cost $1.00/mile or Km I forget. He may not know you to ask you to sponsor him but the man is a good guy and I expect the project is worthy. You could contact him from above posts if your interested in sponsoring him on this motorcycle fundraiser.

Forgot to say: Congrats Paul and the team on making the trip, loved the RR and wish you the very best of everything.

Pauls books are great by the way.

JimmieA.
Jimmie:

The Ride for Sight stuff is just a simple donation - it's not tied to the number of kilometers we ride, (although the organizer's website gives that impression). It's not a long ride, (only about 700 km for me). The donations pay for research into causes and treatments to prevent blindness.

I've done the ride for donkey's years; but it's become a little more personal for me since I discovered I have an eye disease that could end my riding. The good news for me is that recent research has produced a treatment for my disease. It isn't a cure; but it sure has helped a lot.

On another topic - do you still have that old XR400?
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:43 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by paulmondor View Post
It is all good! Actually I am happy you brought this up. After making an ass of myself with how I reacted to a single comment and how it escalated into whatever. Blame it on fatigue, stress of Joe's accident early in the trip and fear of not being able to finish the project; i believe it is just sheer ego-testicle misplaced machismo on my part that triggered this display on my part, i am happy I had the chance to apologize and most importantly that you guys' grace in hearing me out showed me and others that sometimes it is better to shut the hell up.
Where was I? Oh yes! How would you feel if I asked you to join your cause next year ???(Tentative effort)

I know i said I would not do long distance riding anymore (Duh!), but for this? I would make and exception..
Maybe one of you can send me a PM as to what I need to do and get and we can take it from there..

As for the Labrador Trip? I will stay in touch..
PS: I would still love to have the guy's mailing addresses so I can send them my books.

Cheers
Paul:

You would be most welcome to join the Ride North of 60 next year. I'll pm you the logistics. It's going to be an extra special ride next year, as it will be our 10th anniversary ride!

I'll try to gather up mailing addresses for the mob, and pass them on. What would really be great, would be for you to donate a copy of your book to the school library - I'll pm you on that notion too.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #223
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Trying to catch up here. We left Inuvik for the Ice road.



But before, we visited the town a bit and it is indeed a great town if you give it the chance. I know many people ride there in the summer and just turn around. It is a shame as this town has much to offer.
At this time of the year there are many Asian Visitors as this is the best time of the year to see Northern lights.



They believe that procreating under the Northern lights brings fertility and good luck. Now I am not saying that if you walk outside at night you will walk into fields of Asian having sex in the snow, but I am sure the many resorts are busy hearing sounds of joy and Asian groaning…. Do they??? OK enough of this.

We found a coffee shop. The Discovery Coffee Shop that can match anything I have ever seen. With fresh pastries and some of the best homemade sandwiches I have ever had the chance to sink my French Canadian teeth in. People in Inuvik are friendly and there are many sites that are worth visiting.




One of them is the Ex arena that has been turned into a community greenhouse. Locals can rent a plot fr $46 a year and plant their own garden sheltered from the elements. They are very proud of it..
It was a community effort and it benefits new and experienced gardeners alike.









There is also the Igloo church that was built about 60 years ago by a Finnish Carpenter (Don’t quote me on his nationality) who thought it all out in his head. Built by him and a priest. The whole thing was so much only in his head as they built it that when time came for Inuvik to give it their final permit they needed blueprints and the builder had none as it was all in his head. He drew his picture on piece of plywood that lined the wall on your way to the addict and bell room and the city signed them off right there and then.

After visiting the town we left the day for the ice road in a balmy -35 C morning. The bikes had slept in the heated owner’s shed and they started easily. I also fixed Joe’s bike as it kept blowing its valve cover gasket.





Turned out that the air box was full of snow and ice. A bit of cleaning and resealing the gasket worked as the bike lasted till Inuvik with no problems at -48 C.

As we began on the ice road to Tuk, it felt as if we were on a 16-lane highway.





It was wide, clear and smooth. I was riding at 80-90 km/h and Joe was doing his usual 60 or so. That is god! It is not a race and the guy was having a blast. I would ride a bit and stop and wait and repeat. It was grand. He had the SV behind him with Jesse and Flora and it worked great. I loved riding with him.


Within about 50 clicks the road started to deteriorate badly. Cracks were appearing all over and the snow drifting across the road buried them and made them impossible to see.







I do not care what kind of studs you run, when your 4-inch wide tire runs into a 6-inch wide crack, you lose control. You either pucker till your appendix shows up for fresh at the sphincter exit or you go down; at which point all body parts pucker up. Then the wind picked up.



It was hard to see and I slowed down to about 50 km/h. Now, I firmly believe that if you run too slowly in conditions like these that you do not have enough velocity to keep traction and you struggle more. If you have long studs, then you are OK, but we did not. I like the short ones better for many reasons, but the main one is that it makes it much harder and you hone your skills like nothing else on earth. If you make riding on ice as easy as riding on tarmac, where is the challenge? That is my thought.



Anyone can do easy! Not everyone can do the “Hoooooo-lllllly Shit!” Anyways! Before I knew it our chances to do it in a few hours were shot! 5-6 hours would be good.

I had wished for hard conditions before I left and I had gotten what I had wished for.
Then, it was down to one lane and we had to share it with heavy snow removal machines. You should have seen the look in the operators’ eyes. But they were good, as ever time we came across one; he stopped till we passed him or cane across him.



Then Joe went down while I was about a kilometer ahead. I waited a few minutes as agreed, and then I turned around. When I got to him he was up and getting ready to go again. Great.. No injuries! That is what we all want and I was happy about this. I took off again, and then, I saw a crack at the last minute and could no avoid it. I eased up on the bars because I know that holding on tight will only make the bike throw you harder. I low sided hard. Slid for about 20 feet and came to a stop.
By the time I got up and gathered myself, the SV had driven to me. Blame it on Adrenaline or a brain rush (What brain?), I tried to lift the bike alone. Looking back, when I fell my left leg went all the way forward, and as the bike spun, my right one went the other way with the bike.. So “Pulled” my groin got! Now I do not have the body of a ballerina, and the only way this will do a split is that when the embalmer ties each of my legs to a John Deere tractor when I am dead and pulls the legs apart.
But like I said I did not feel it a the time.



20 minutes later I am in agony. I am going trying to ignore the pain and cuss with all sorts of “Maudit colisse de Tabarnac” and other home made French Canadian swears like I do so often on these winter treks, but to no avail.
Five minutes later I an stopped on the sie of the road and I cannot get off my bike, I cannot lean and I cannot move. By this time Joe has slowed down to 20 km/h and I stayed there alone as the snow ad wind beat me up. Then I threw myself off on the left side of the bike, got up and draped myself over the bike to give my back a stretch I thought it badly needed.. About ten minutes later, they showed up and saw me like this. But it looked as if I was just hunched over the bike looking at something. Looking back I see that now, but at the time I did not. I was in royal F%$@ pain.
I see them get off the truck and start doing a side of the road interview and taking pictures. They did not think I could be hurt as they saw me take off in a hurry after the fall.

After about ten minutes of this they came close to me, Flora camera in hand to film me and she saw I had tears in my eyes and I was trembling. She called the others and when Joe got to me, out of pain and frustration thanked him (Sarcastically) for looking to see if I was OK. This started a little verbal fight that was quickly forgotten.
They helped me off the bike and I fell on the ice. I rolled over on my back and just lay there on the ice not able to move. I asked Jesse to get my drugs and give them to me. I knew then that the little “Pop” I had felt in my back when I got the bike would come back and bite me in the ass. Took 3 Robaxacet and 4 Ibuprofen. They helped me up and I asked them to put me in the truck. On the driver side!!! I might have been in pain but I am still a shitty passenger. If I am going to agonize in pain to Tuk, might as well be driving. They loaded my bike in the trailer and just like this my riding was over. Every bump in the road while driving the X5 sent a killer jolt through my back. It was just freaking crappy. I am no wimp and I can take pain like you would not believe. But a pulled groin, a bruised kidney and a screwed up back, all at the same time bring pain like you have no idea.

Joe had to ride on his own to Tuk and he was at the end of his rope. The road, the wind, the conditions, the drifting snow made for a ride that must be experienced to be understood. But after lying about the distance left every time he asked, we reached Tuk. Joe said when we got to Roger Grueben’s house that it was the hardest physical and psychological thing he had ever done and that he was done with winter riding. He would ride back to Vancouver in the truck. Me? I was not even sure I could get out of Tuk.

When we got to Roger’s house, they helped me up to my room where I spent the net two days lying down and drugged like you would not believe.



Let’s just say that the drugs I took in two days should have been taken in two weeks.
I the middle of the second day I still could not move. I started asking Roger if he knew people here that could hook me up with a flight out of Tuk to Inuvik and I had found a flight with Air North from Inuvik to Vancouver.

But later that night I was able to get up for the first time and go to the can. I decided to keep drugging up and get back home in the Truck. 5 days later as I write this I still have spasms, but I can at least move around a bit..

So the stay in Tuk for me was a quiet one. The crew went to town and visited and few people and took a few pictures. This place can only be accessed by plane or river in summer. The people are great, warm and very hospitable. But they DO NOT like Jesse James. Not one freaking bit!!!!

We got up on Sunday, they loaded Joe’s bike in the trailer and we headed back to Inuvik.. The road had been whipped by winds again and we could see that the snow removal crew had been busy and was still going at it.


The scenery is constantly changing on the ice road to Tuk and it feels as if it alive. It is always in a state of flux.. This road is never the same one day from another. It gets at its worst where the delta (McKenzie River) meets the Beaufort Sea.



The few kilometers where the seawater mixes with the fresh one makes for pretty wild ice. It heaves, bumps, waves and curls it way till the both of them are completely mixed as one. Ice is a living thing. A complex mix of Oxygen, hydrogen permanently changing at it hardens, and responds to every molecule it is made of. One inch is this way and the next could be 100% different.
It is indeed a beautiful thing.
Coming back to Inuvik in the X5, you could sense the fatigue, the exhaustion after having been on the road in temps never dipping above -25 or so. 6000 kms plus of snow and ice covered roads. Tensions had been our lover, and fatigue our partner. You live with these 24/7 for over a month, and when it is finally starting to wind down; your mind and body collapse. We all react differently of course, but we all do react to this change and challenge one way or another. I am proud of having done it. I am happy that it was in the worst conditions it had been in a long time, and I am happy that Mother Nature answered my wishes and threw some of the crap she did.

Now we had to drive back to Inuvik to the Arctic Chalet and stay there overnight before doing the Dempster.


I was sad and ecstatic. I had in a way conquered it; but most importantly she had conquered me. 190 kms had done what 3000 kms of Labrador highway in temps of to -61C and doing alone had not done.



The Tuk Ice road had beaten me in ways fear, isolation and the danger of doing it alone; which could have killed me so many times, had not.
We stopped many times to take pictures on our way to Inuvik. At one point I was on my knees looking at the X5 wheels on top of clear 5 feet ice. I could see the fissures reaching down only part of the ways, and beneath them; the darkness covering the McKenzie River. One of the longest rivers in the world! I took a picture of it and it was as f it was talking to me.
I could hear without words her letting me know that the only thing separating me from this mind numbing scenery and a surely atrociously slow and painful death being taken away by the current below was her ability to support me. A poor little motorcyclist riding on her, when no one but a few would dare to.
What can go wrong?
Two wheels, poor traction no matter how you look at it, rock hard ice that can fracture your bones like no other things. Elements, which are just there, trying to suck the life out of you. Obstacles like trucks, graders, bulldozers that could run you over without ever noticing. Even they like one of the operators told me; find it hard.

I had another 4000 kms to do. But the hardest 6000 were done. Tonight sitting here at the Klondike Downtown hotel in Dawson City, healing from my wounds, I realize that out of hurt, frustration and pain I have promised myself I would not do long distance winter rides anymore. Maybe it was my pride. After all I have finished every kilometers planned of these treks of mine. Over 35,000 of them! Somehow accepting that this ice road had broken my perfect record with only 50 kms to go was hard to swallow.
Yep! I am a man! Yep I am proud and yes sometimes my balls get in my way. God made me this way. I am His problem. My ego got hurt. “Shit! I got beat! How the hell did this happen?” is the question I cannot stop asking myself.

In January 2008 I was lying in a snow bank on the Trans Labrador Highway. I had just turned Frosty off, thanked her for having taken me this far and that I was sorry I had to give up like this and leave her on the side of the road, only to be found with my frozen body next to her. I lay there with a smile on my face and twinkle in my eyes as I looked up and thanked God for my life, the people in it, and how wonderful of a ride it had been.
Thankful to be able to end it like this.. Doing what I love in a beautiful place surrounded by nature. This happened five times.
My point to this is that I had been beaten on the TLH too. It had beaten me, and somehow I was allowed to come out of it alive and richer, as well as wiser with this experience. And that it is this experience that took me here to the Tuk road. To be beaten again doing and living through an amazing adventure few dare to do or have a chance to do.

So! To hell with this “ I am done with long winter riding trips” I lied! Sue me!!!
Now! Where is that map and where can I find ice???

Iceman Out

PS: I will post later the final picture of the trip home..













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Old 03-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #224
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Nicely spoken and glad to see your back!
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:03 AM   #225
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I hope you'll heal completly,stand tall Paul,it's been a helluvan adventure,I cannot imagine the pain you suffered through.
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