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Offline mountainboy

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Two-up adventure tour from WC to Rhodes and back: Complete !
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2007, 10:51:08 am »
Hey Eisbeen

Did you jump from that Bloupunt bridge and us WD proud??

well- did ya?????  :lol:
I love my bike..................
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2007, 11:24:36 am »
We didn't have time :(

But having said that, I'll rather do Gauritz a couple of times than one Blaukrans.

I've bungy jumped about 4 times already and bridgejumped twice.

The height at Blaukrans is not the issue, it is the way that you get 'recovered'.

In Gauritz they lower you to the ground/river and the whole thing is over quickly. At Blourkrans you dangle from your ankles for quite a substantial time when they hoist you back up again. With my 'overly nourished' frame I can built up quite some pressure in my head while hanging upside down.

And for half a gorilla for one jump at bloukrans I can do 4 jumps at Gouritz ...
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Grootseun

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« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2007, 11:29:04 am »
Quote from: "Eisbein"
And for half a gorilla for one jump at bloukrans I can do 4 jumps at Gouritz ...


So it's run by an Indian fella called Haffajee?
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2007, 11:41:09 am »
Bahahahahahahaha !
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Leo

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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2007, 12:55:59 pm »
Eisbein

I see in that one photo of da bike and da scenery, your front telever suspension is missing the dustcap on the nut at the top.  :?

You might want to replace that, cause if some dirt and grime gets in there youmight have a few problems, and according to Murphy's Law this will happen when you're far from everything  :wink:

Stunning scenery. Thanks for sharing  :D
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Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2007, 01:04:35 pm »
Quote from: "Leo"
Eisbein

I see in that one photo of da bike and da scenery, your front telever suspension is missing the dustcap on the nut at the top.  :?

You might want to replace that, cause if some dirt and grime gets in there youmight have a few problems, and according to Murphy's Law this will happen when you're far from everything  :wink:

Stunning scenery. Thanks for sharing  :D



Its supposed to have a dustcap ?  :shock:

Thanks for the headsup - I'll go ask the guys about it.

I did mention that I like this forum ?

Trust me the pleasure is all mine - writing about it make me relive it as well

I'm just glad that people are 'homouring' me and my report...
 :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted:
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline wino

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« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2007, 06:32:28 am »
thoroughly enjoyed your report eisbein, words and pics :wink:
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2007, 12:14:42 am »
Thanks, Wino !

Long delay - sorry about that. Life have a habit of 'happening' - before you know it half a week has past.
For those still interested, here's day 7:
Dordrecht to Queenstown, the R61 through Tarkastad and Cradock. Then on the R61 to the N9. From there through Nieu-Bethesda to Graaff-Reinet.


The scenery (and houses) are waay different in that part of the eastern cape than what it is here where we live (Western cape) and the rural areas around us.
It looks like someone took a handful of houses and 'whacked' it into the mountain area with a cricket bat.
Around here the houses in little 'dorpies' would be all stuck together. The only explanation we could come up with was that some chief gave spots of land from his area to different people and that they built their houses (and eventually children's houses too) close together on their own little patch.



It was, shall we say, 'interesting' to drive through Queenstown. If I wasn't as wakeup we would have been driven off the bike about 3 times...

Out the other side towards Tarkastad on the R61 we had no doubt that we were heading into the Karoo.





Roads that stretch out forever and surroundings that becomes more harsh and dry


A little pass just outside Cradock:


At Cradock we had a Wimpy lunch (Mixed Grill !) and bumped into two guys that was on their way back home (Grahamstown) from the BMW gathering. 1200GS and a customized blue 1200GSA (With the reg number GSpot EC !). Very nice guys.

The road out the back from Cradock on the R61 towards the N9 was a little 'monotonous', so, yes, there was a time when I was almost longing for a inline 4 (blackbird or such). 'Aberdeen flats' might hint to what the scenery looked like. No photos...


On the N9 I was supposed to go right for about 2/3 km to get to the road that goes to Nieu-Bethesda. I gooi'd left for about 7 k's and realised the error of my ways as I saw Naude's pass (knew I wasn't supposed to). So I just made sure:



On the way back to the Nieu-Bethesda turn off:


Very nice piece of gravel - the little pass close to the N9 was 2nd/3rd gear mostly (especially two-up). Not because of bad roads but because of tight turns.



There was higher speed sections, but I wouldn't do too fast on this road as there are lots of animals (wild and cattle) that are everywhere. You could come 'round a corner and see a bull standing in the middle of the road ahead of you (like we did):





The little dorpie of Nieu-Betesdha:


We went to visit the 'UilHuis':
(more info at www.owlhouse.co.za)


Sauerkraut outside the Owlhouse:


One of the statues in the courtyard - notice the car headlight eyes !

Helen Martins decided to spice things up in the house using glass and cement.
This was as she left it - glass grinded into different 'grades' - sorted and stored for later use:


Grinding glass (this was in the 50's / 60's) she ended up having eye problems.

This is also in the courtyard (six meters high):


The view inside:


Vicky having a discussion with one of the locals:



When she was still around, 'Miss Helen' was heavily misunderstood, ridiculed and pushed out of society. She was labeled as 'mad'. In my view she was excentric, but certainly not mad. Now, 40 years later, her house, that was once a source of ridicule and a headache for the rest of the town, is now ond of the main reasons that the town survives.
Sad actually.
This is also in the courtyard - a 'self-portrait'. You can feel the yearning and the reaching out for acceptance, as well as the pain she must have had (and poured into this):


In the main road of Nieu-Betesdha:


Stand and wave, boys, stand and wave:



This was on the way out the other side on the way from Nieu-Betesdha to Graaff-Reinet.
Word of warning. If you are heavily loaded on a 1100GS with a passenger and you see this view, make sure you stop for a photo while the bike is still in 1st. I stopped so that Vicky can take a photo, put it into neutral as we coasted to a stop, gripped the front brake and felt the bike starting to slide back. The angle was too steep for only the front brake to keep us standing still. I couldn't lift my feet up long enough to step on the back brake because of the terrain, so I dragged my feet quite 'heavily' on the rockery that we were standing on, kicked it into 1st and let the clutch sort us out up to where I had sure enough 'left foot' to have my right foot on the break the whole time.
These were taken at that spot (well, about 2 meters lower than were we initially stopped...)


Always the trace of civilization as well (In the forground) *sigh*:


We ran into a pawbypaw:
He almost walked out of the photo ...




We arrived in Graaff-Reinet, looked up the local info desk and they put us onto this guesthouse:

More info at: http://www.rothmanstreet.co.za/

Inside:


Outside:


I can (without a doubt) recommend this place - the owners are friendly and very nice. The fact that the house that they live in is next to the one that you stay in makes for 'un-guesthouslike' privacy.
Very good breakfast and all in all a very nice place to stay in Graaff-Reinet.

Talking about 'nice and not so nice' - I'm not saying you should or should not buy from these guys, I'm just saying that I parked (with my fully loaded GS) in a parking spot (one of three in a row that was open) in front of this place, and their delivery bakkie arrived being all 'agro', hooting at me and eventually chasing me off to the next parking spot so that he didn't have to walk 2 meters extra to make his delivery (and no, it wasn't a loading zone). So not what I would consider bike friendly...


We had a wonderful supper at the 'ColdStream' restaurant (just on the left of the church as you go past it from Naude's pass' side). That, too, comes highly recommended. Try their kudu steak. You will not be disappointed.
They also make a very mean milkshake !

Not that much happened on the way to Graaff-Reinet on this day, but it was a very enjoyable day none the less. We enjoyed the scenery (most of it !), being on the bike, not being in the office and each other's company.

We had no idea what amazing scenery we had ahead of us the next day. We decided that it was gonna be a long day, so we would save the 'Vallei van Verlatenheid' for a another time, rather than 'charging' up and down while not really taking anything in. We'll have to go soon.

Next, the trip through Uniondale, Avontuur, De Vlught, Knysna and karatara.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 12:56:50 pm by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Uiltjie

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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2007, 01:28:33 am »
Ek is baie bly julle tweetjies het daar by my voorvaders se huisie aangedoen....  Stuur tog groete aan al die uile as julle weer daar aandoen!
"Sit vis vobiscum."
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2007, 12:44:58 am »
Day8: N9 through Willowmore and Uniondale, the R339 through Uniondale Poort, Avontuur, Prince Alfred's pass, de Vlugt to Knysna. From there on the Phantom pass to Karatara.

We got up the morning, had an excellent breakfast, a last chat to Zorb and Judy just to reaffirm what cool people they really are, got ready, packed and were on our way. I sprung a slow puncture on the backwheel (with the amount of k's and the weight on the back wheel I'm not surprised. The rear tyre got a little bit of a beating. Shallow cuts and general evidence of a slightly 'harder than road' life ...
So I stopped at the local hardware shop and got me some 'tyre weld' - its been better (slower) since. Didn't really want to do that, but there wasn't a puncture that I could see. Ah well.

Nothing much happened 'till Aberdeen where I quickly did a tyre pressure check (yip, I got a little digital pressure gauge before the trip but valiantly forgot it at home)

Lots of this type of scenery - it is a little unfair towards this area, as it is amazing scenery, but we were looking forward to some garden route and some gravel mountain pass:



We took a quick break at the Beervlei Dam (well, it was just the wall - wasn't really water on the other side to speak of...)



From there on to Willowmore where they didn't have unleaded :shock:
So I put in 1 1/2 liter to give us a little extra range, snapped some photos and were off.

These three came to beg, or at least that's what they intended before they met their nemeses in the form of my lovely pillion. Before they knew it they were posing for a photo. Diabolical money making plan thwarted :twisted:


We were kinda wondering about this:


we also bumped into two other beemer riders - two friends with a R1200RT and a 1150GS. They were just on their way back from Leshoto.

We could also see the scenery change a little - more green and becoming a little softer already. I think the couple of 'Poorte' that we went through helped as well.

"As die skraal wind waai oor nguni bosse op die pad buite Uniondale"
We didn't have a 'skraal wind' and I don't know what a 'nguni bos' looked like, but we were surely 'op die pad buite Uniondale':


I like the way the town starts to show a little more of itself as you come down, winding into town.

We got money from an ATM next to this :


I was wondering, this could just be a very promising enterprise - Make the unsuspecting clients like your exotic imported miniature cars, loan them the money to buy it and then use the third arm(s) of your business to sort out some issues if your repayments become, shall we say, 'less regular'.
The Don dunnot alika to be ay leetle uhh irregular, so he shalla we say, maka the problem go away. Capiche ?


We just quietly walked back to our bike and headed down the road. See ? It's not only Ewan and Charlie that end up with the possibility with meeting 'The Family' ... :shock:

We got some petrol at the other side of town (little caravan jobbie next to 3 pumps - you know the place)
Here I got a pleasant surprise: Sauerkraut (heavily loaded and two up) got (with adding that 1 1/2 liters from Willowmore) 17km/l while trying to keep him at 140 where I could (and it was safe). I thought that was purty damn good...
Maybe it was due to the fact that we were descending ?

The owner came from across the road (he's a biker too - long distance scratcher - he's taken his Fireblade from Uniondale to Cape Town in a day to do the toyrun, just to head back again the afternoon. Don't want to think about the speeds that they do). Very nice guy, so we ended up leaving about 15 minutes later with his well wishes. (He was nice, but we stayed a while as we didn't really want to tick him off - might be 'connected' if you get my drift ...)


We gooi'd left shortly after and headed through the Uniondale Poort:


Through avontuur:






Then we were greeted by this:


Prince Alfred's pass.

Like so many people have said - there is nothing that can prepare you for the scenery that is just about to unfold before you.



A photo just doesn't cut it:



Note to self - stop taking a leak next to the road when your pillion are ready with a camera...


You cannot begin to imagine the scenery.
If you or your pillion are 'sensitive' to heights, gets nervous easily or just don't like the idea of riding about 1/2 to 1 meter from the edge of a 20 to 50 meter (by the looks of things) drop with no shoulder or barrier, then you might want to consider an alternative route.
It's not that it is that dangerous, but if I cannot see far enough ahead (or around corners) to see a 'stofstreep' (the dust trail behind a car, not the forum member) coming my way, then I assume that other people are not gonna see me and drive like it is a one way for them. So then I tend to go slower and more left just to be less in an oncoming car's way.



It's been a while since I had a 'distance to height' ratio like this in any pass, never mind a gravel one with this scenery. The place is amazing !


You have to do this at some point (but you must not be in a hurry - the scenery and fresh air demands your full and unhurried attention.


When we started out our tour, we were going to come back from Dordrecht to Somerset East (family there). We couldn't get hold of them (yeah, that's how well we planned), so we decided the last day in Dordrecht that it was gonna be Graaff-Reinet and Uniondale. Initially I wanted to do Montague pass, but we have done it before. We were looking at the map and saw this (what looked like) gravel road snaking from Uniondale to Knysna, so we decided to take it. Up to that point I didn't realise that this was the same road that Trailrider's Epic tour had The Dogs pass by a couple of weeks before we were there. I thought that things started to look familiar (from the photos that TR, Spook, Soutman and others posted):



Then this removed all doubt:



Yes, we were 'loering'.

Headed into De Vlugt. I cannot make out witch one of these are "Red's Corner" but it looked kinda familiar:


R10 a shot (!) appeltiser in the shade of the the little (and only) shop.



The 'tannie' that was there vaguely remembered the Wilddogs, she said. I was thinking she must have had some SERIOUS memory issues while bumping her head a couple of times to NOT have remembered that bunch !
I thought about asking her how far ahead they were and if she think we could still catch up, but I didn't think that her and my sense of humour would be able to find too much common ground...

Little house opposite the road from the shop:


On 2nd thought, EVERYTHING in de Vlugt might just be 'opposite the road from the shop'.
I was thinking 'the hills have eyes' at some point (can you tell that I've been away from TV and movies for a while?).


We spent a little more time in the shade of the tree and then headed out.
It's also been a while since I've climbed so high in such a short distance. Breathtaking views all around.


Spot the fly fishing dude lower left (just before the river makes a turn).
This is indeed a beautiful piece of earth:



Some more gravel highway:




Some "just make sure you are not too fast 'round that corner" keep you awake moist road:



Next stop was at the t-junction where you can go straight (R339) to Knysna or take the R340 to Plettenbergbay.


Looking down the R340 to Plett:
(Autumn... gotto love it)



While Vicky was setting up that photo this is the one I took:


Some more "Al lĂ?ÂȘ die berge nog so blou" :


Another stop to appreciate the scenery:


*Puts on a David Attenborough accent*:
This is where we discovered the footprint of the "Adventurius Wildinium Caninius Gee-essius Anakeeheeus" - More commonly known as the Wild dog Adventure rider. How privileged we were to be in such great company ! :P



At a turnoff I decided it was time for some silliness again:


For those who can't see that far, this is the silliness:


(Upside down ma ..... ahh never mind)

This is also where we made the biggest mistake for the day: We didn't go down the turnoff that said: "Kom se pad"
:( :cry: :oops:

We were headed for the N2 just outside the Noetzie turnoff. I did not know that the informal settlement that you see there from the N2 stretched so deep in. It was an interesting ride to see all the shacks, houses and 'makeshift' ingenuity on the way to the N2.

From there it was a petrol stop at Knysna and out on the N2:


We went up the phantom pass and had a last 'rest' before we headed off to a cousin and her husband on a farm just outside Karatara:



Due to dusk setting in and it getting late we decided to take the N2 towards Sedgefield and then turn off to go to Karatara.

All in all it was a lovely day with a very pleasant 'progression' in scenery (for us anyway) from the Karoo to the KleinKaroo and down into the Garden route.
On the 'WEG' forum there was a couple of people that were talking about where your soul are (where would you 'find' it).
Mine is without a doubt in the Garden Route. Even the majestic Drakensberg over the Barkley pass (even though it was more awesome and breathtaking on a bigger scale) could not stir me like the scenery that waited for me and folded open as we came around that 1st bend from Uniondale Poort. The breathtaking view with the added familiarity (and that unmistakable Southern Cape / Garden Route smell) just had me.


Technically the road down Prince Alfred's wasn't that demanding (apart from what I described above). Normal rules applied for our style of two-up riding: Don't accelerate or decelerate too hard as it is uncomfortable for Vicky (and me). So down the pass (and mostly up as well on the other side of de Vlugt) it was 2nd and 3rd most of the time. At times when I could see far enough ahead (especially when you start getting into the plantation area after the Plett turnoff) I opened up a little to 80 / 100, but at that speed you might end up breaking too hard for a corner or some potholes/branches/whatever in the road. And why would you want to race past scenery like this anyway ?

When you get closer to the informal settlement I would suggest extreme caution at not too high a speed. There are anything from (non looking) pedestrians to stray dogs to 'seepkiskarre' to shop trolleys to cattle that can be right in front of you at any bend.

Once again we settled in for very good food, better company and lots to relive from the past couple of days.


From here the plans were: Hang in George the next day, then chill in Klein-Brak from where we would go to Oudshoorn (Robertson pass) through Calitzdorp, Huisrivier, Seweweekspoort and then (eventually) on the N1 and home.

The next chapter will then also be the last.


Until then: Hasta la Vista, baby.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 12:58:08 pm by Eisbein »
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Stephan

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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2007, 06:12:43 am »
Eisbein, am enjoying the report and pics so much I've decided to forgive you for testing my impatience!  :lol:  :lol: Really stunning scenery I agree.
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Oppad

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« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2007, 07:31:17 am »
Eisbein

This is a remarkable trip with remarkable pics. Loved the Dordrecht, Barclay-East Elliot bit where I spent a lot of my youth. You did not pass through a town called Cala perhaps?

Thanks for putting it together in the way you do.
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #52 on: May 15, 2007, 08:14:47 am »
Thanks, Stephan and Oppad for the kind words.

Doing the writeup is also more for selfish reasons sometimes (I relive the trip as I have to think about it and sort through the photos).

It really is a very pleasant bonus if other people enjoy sharing the experience with us (and maybe see some places that they wouldn't have known of otherwise).

I'm pretty sure that more 'dogs are gonna end up in Trailrider's valley after all of the posts about the area. I don't know of another place where you can get all of the different types of scenery, climates, sea, coastlines and roads all within a 100km radius.

The Eastern Cape is amazing and majestic for sure, but it also is a 1000 km away. We can get to the Southern Cape comfortably in a weekend...

Southern Cape / Klein Karoo / Garden Route rocks !
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Extreme Velcro

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« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2007, 09:30:39 am »
The brooding Gothic pics of the church are amazing - I can just feel the energy !!!!!

Brill stuff all around.......
 

Offline Trailrider

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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2007, 09:33:18 am »
Quote from: "Eisbein"
Headed into De Vlugt. I cannot make out witch one of these are "Red's Corner" but it looked kinda familiar:


Great report!!!

You are standing on the spot. She fell over wanting to turn in there by the tree in front of the shop  :D  :D  :D
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2007, 09:53:32 am »
Quote from: "Oppad"
Eisbein
You did not pass through a town called Cala perhaps?



Can't remember seeing the name - I'll go and retrace again and see...


Again, thanks for the encouraging feedback everyone !
EV, that church feels 150 years old.
I can just imagine being in the UK and all its heritage - a friend of mine was in the church/cathedral where the 1st king of england was crowned. He said it really was something to stand in a church that is a couple of hundred years older than South Africa...

I still want to go. Motorcycle tour from London to Ireland and Scotland...
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Extreme Velcro

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« Reply #56 on: May 15, 2007, 10:01:16 am »
Quote
can just imagine being in the UK and all its heritage - a friend of mine was in the church/cathedral where the 1st king of england was crowned.


This is something I have such a yen for - a sense of history with all of its glory.  My family is German and when I have visited, there is just this feeling when you walked on the cobblestones of how many others (right to Roman times) have walked before you.  The churches defy description sometimes and although one might hate the system that built them, you can't deny the emotion and the incredible detail that went into them and each thing by a master craftsman and by hand - no machines - OVERWHELMING STUFF !

Ooops, mini hijack there - didn't mean it.  It's just something I cannot get over.  It's given me an idea for "jou ma" so....

I envy you your unbelievably beautiful trip - just plain stunning.
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #57 on: May 15, 2007, 10:09:56 am »
Thank you !
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline Trailrider

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« Reply #58 on: May 15, 2007, 10:11:13 am »
Quote from: "Extreme Velcro"
This is something I have such a yen for

I hope you have a pound too  :wink:
 

Offline Eisbein

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« Reply #59 on: May 15, 2007, 10:24:15 am »
Quote from: "Trailrider"
Quote from: "Extreme Velcro"
This is something I have such a yen for

I hope you have a pound too  :wink:


 :laughing3:
02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away