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KTMrad

Rad 'n Doc Travel the World

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The next day, I wanted to have a problem checked out on the bike...a hesitation and power loss at certain higher RPM's at freeway speeds. So, we rode up to see the folks at Blue Moon Cycles. They didn't want to analyze it without the proper BMW diagnostic tool, so while there, I had the rear differential oil checked and changed. While it was being worked on, we checked out all the bikes in the shop's museum, all owned by John Landstrom. As we walked around, we were amazed at the collection he has there....WOW, WOW, WOW !

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Old sidehack road racer.

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Totally awesome !

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Wow, a Hercules with a Wankel motor !

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The owner, John Landstrom showed up on his old Beemer....I was very happy to meet the man.

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After being mesmerized by all the beautiful motorcycles and machinery, we headed back to Atlanta. The next day, I took the bike in to be checked by the local shop, BMW / Ducati / Husqvarna of Atlanta. They could not tell what the hesitation was without riding it for half an hour on the freeway, but figured it could probably be the coil acting up.  They spent a couple of hours checking out and analyzing my bike, but they really took care of me and charged me a minimal charge...great folks there !  They didn't have a coil in stock, so I decided to order one later on down the road.

Back at Mike's place, I admired what he did with all the motorcycle art, posters, paintings, etc. he has all over his condo...really cool !

After staying with Mike a few days, it was time to get back on the road and head south towards Florida.

Saying goodbye to my good friend.

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We departed Atlanta and had a long, boring ride on mainly straight roads across Georgia towards Florida.

To be continued....

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We arrived at Saint Augustine, our first stop in Florida and got a room for the night. This huge Oak Tree, over 400 years old was in the center of the courtyard....

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Met this cool guy who came over to talk while at the motel.

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Historic old lighthouse in St. Augustine.

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There were lots of sights to see, historic old forts and buildings, but it was crowded and we just weren't feeling in the tourist mode, so we got on the coast highway to continue south. Of course, found lots of beaches and had to let Doc out to play. I always enjoy seeing my buddy have a great time.

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A tasty East Coast IPA....

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After a few hours riding along the beaches, it was time to stop for a break and something to eat...found this really cool place "Johnny D's" across the street from the beach.

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After throwing some groceries down my neck, we continued South and got to Daytona Beach....unfortunately the beach was closed because it was after 5pm. I really wanted to get to ride on the "World's Most Famous Beach" !

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Doc looked bummed too, that he couldn't ride on the beach.

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So after Daytona Beach, we continued on South to get to my buddy Larry's house near Palm Bay. We rode through a lot of rain at night to get there late in the evening.

I knew we were going to have fun at my buddy Larry's, another one of my best friends who I've known since we were kids in the neighborhood about 45 years ago.

Stay tuned for more....

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Got to my friend's place, Larry and Simone...it was around Thanksgiving, so they made me a nice Turkey Dinner. Larry had bagged a couple of deer while hunting, so we had a venison dinner also....was delicious !

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We went to check out some local beaches.

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Stick boy was at it again...enjoying life !

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He likes coconuts too !

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Bravin' the waves....

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Love the Florida beaches.

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After a good afternoon at the beach, it was time for Mexican food and Margaritas.

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Crossing the bridge over the bay.

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Back at the house....Doc was rough housing it with Simone's dog.

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A walk in the rain.

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After spending a few days with Larry and Simone, it was time to depart on our way South.

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More Florida coast photos....really enjoyed following the coast all the way down.

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My buddy Mike, who I stayed with in Atlanta a week ago, said he would be visiting his Mom in Florida, so they invited us to come spend the night. Met up with he and his brother at a restaurant for another good time.

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Doc makes friends wherever we go, and he loves kids.

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Mike, his Mom and I...was thankful we had good friends to stay with again !

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Left Mike's Mom's house the next day for a relaxing ride south along the coast....I had never been to Key West, so that's where we were headed.

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We took many scenic side roads to avoid the major roads.

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Some really expensive real estate here, on the water.

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3 dogs having' fun.

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Stay tuned....

 

 

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We stayed in Fort Lauderdale for the night....

We belong to a couple of Dutch Shepherd Facebook Groups....one of the guys saw my post that we were passing through Ft. Lauderdale so he contacted me...we got in touch and wanted to meet....
So we met up with the first person ever from the Dutch Shepherd FB Groups....Lee Hicks and his Dutchie girl Justice. Funny how he saw my post, said he was in Ft Lauderdale and lived near a dog park. Just so happened the park was across the street from motel we stayed in...too cool !

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After the dog park, time to get on the road towards Miami.

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We rode all day down Highway 1 and coastal roads....when we got to Miami, the congestion started to be a chore, the going was slow with traffic lights at every block. So we got back on the freeway for a bit to avoid downtown Miami.

Doc and the rig get a lot of attention and we often see people giving us a thumbs up and snapping photos....here's one somebody took and found us on Facebook and posted to our page...

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We approached Florida City where Highway 1 starts down across the Florida Keys. I knew it would take a few hours to get down there and it was getting later in the afternoon, so we got a room.

In the parking lot next to the motel, there were these portable FEMA buildings that were being sent down to the Keys for disaster relief after the devastating Hurricane Irma that happened just a few weeks before. Sadly, many many people lost their homes, businesses, etc.

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Next morning after breakfast, it was time to head down the Keys. We got to witness the pure devastation from the Hurricane in many areas....sad to see. There were literally piles and piles of trash and debris piled up along Highway 1 all the way down the Keys.

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Was a nice home, total loss.

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This is one of the original roadway bridges across the water....it was decommissioned years ago...sections were removed so nobody could access it since it was unsafe.

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Underneath the new bridge with 2 lanes each way.

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Some erosion damage from the Hurricane underneath the bridge.

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We had a really enjoyable ride down the Keys, across the historic Highway 1 bridges, stopping many times to check out the little Key Islands. Almost all the State camping areas on the Keys were closed due to damage from the Hurricane.

We arrived in Key West and started researching places to stay....I knew it would be expensive down here. BUT, after searching a bit on the internet, we found a beach resort for a reasonable price (for this area) of around $110.

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It was right on the water, so Doc enjoyed cooling off.

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Chillin' out for the night.

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Had a good nights sleep to prepare for exploring Key West the next day.....

More is coming....

 

 

 

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Woke up the next morning and it was time to check out Key West....I've heard so much about this place, so really wanted to see what all the hype is about. We walked out to the parking lot, and there was a couple with a little baby and she wanted to say hi to Doc.

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The resort had some cool critters there....

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Once again, Doc was attracting attention....

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We got on the rig and started cruising around Key West....

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I think Doc was feeling the good vibes here, just as I was.

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Gettin' into the spirit of Key West.

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Had to stop at the infamous Hog's Breath Saloon.

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Cruise ship in the channel.

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Had to go here, of course....

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Cuba....only 90 miles away.

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Had to go find a local beach....it was pretty warm out, so Doc enjoyed cooling off in the water.

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We found historic Fort Zachary Taylor and had to check it out....

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Lots of history here....

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Interesting stuff here.....

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Some cannons that were found buried....

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Oh oh, Doc spotted this Iguana on the wall....

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C'mon Dad, I want to get the lizard !

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This one was huge....

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I found all of this to be very interesting.....

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Interesting facts about Zachary Taylor, 12th U.S. President....

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Those are some mighty big balls !

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And that concludes that part of the day....to be continued.....

 

 

 

 

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We stayed in Key West another night so we could see what else Key West had to offer the next day.

Went to Ernest Hemingway's house, but we skipped the tour.

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I have ridden the entire length of Highway 1 on the west coast in California....on this trip, we rode much of the east coast Highway 1. Here is where it ends in Key West.

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Went to check out some local watering holes and had a great time !

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These roosters and chickens are famous in Key West....they rule the streets, wandering all over town, the bars and restaurants....pretty cool !  I had to keep Doc away from them, because he was thinking...."hmmm, chicken for dinner".

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Interesting people....that guy with the hat could pass for Ernest Hemingway....LOL.

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Lots of good music and bands playing.

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Doc also enjoyed socializing and meeting people and other dogs.

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After another fabulous day in Key West, it was time to visit the famous Mallory Square and watch the sunset from the docks. Lots of people gathered around there.

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Just sittin' on the dock of the bay....

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Snoozing on the dock during sunset, after a busy, fun day.

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Next morning it was time to leave Key West....this is the view from the Ibis Bay Beach Resort where we stayed. Really nice staff at this place, reasonable price and great place to stay.

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We really loved our time in Key West. This place has a great relaxed, laid back vibe, friendly people, nice beaches. I've heard people sometimes go there and get sucked in and never end up leaving....I could see that happening, it's a very cool place !

After breakfast, we headed back up the Highway 1 bridges across the Keys, back to mainland Florida. Next stop would be the Everglades....it was getting later in the afternoon and wanted to spend time in the Everglades, so decided to go there the next day so we could enjoy the entire day there.

Doc passed out after another fantastic day of sidecar travel.

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Was really looking forward to riding to the end of the road in the Everglades.

On the way down, we went over a high pass....

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Then we went over an even higher mountain pass....

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We went to explore some Tree Islands, called "Hammocks".

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At the end of the road in the Everglades....the Everglades continue south for many miles, but past this point you have to travel by boat, Airboat, canoe, etc.

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Enjoying the cooler grass.

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After a nice relaxing break by the water, we turned around to head north again. Had to stop at a Marina to see if we could see any Gators out in the channels.....Oh Yeah, Baby !

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A Ranger came walking up to the people watching the Gators and Crocs...he proceeded to give a talk on the wildlife and mainly crocodiles and alligators....."Croc Talk". He was a very cool guy and I learned a lot from him, his name Timothy Taylor. Asked him since we were on the motorcycle, if we see any gators along the road, should we worry. He said no, just don't approach them and don't go in the water. He said on land, they pretty much don't attack anything bigger than them, and they avoid confrontation on land.

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He showed us the difference between alligators and crocodiles with these skulls and described their different habitats.

Do you know which skull is which ?

The one on the right is an Alligator and the one on left is a Crocodile.

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Snout shape: Alligators have wider, U-shaped snouts, while crocodile front ends are more pointed and V-shaped. Toothy grin: When their snouts are shut, crocodiles look like they're flashing a toothy grin, as the fourth tooth on each side of the lower jaw sticks up over the upper lip.

Also, Crocodiles tend to stay more in the salt water habitats, and Alligators more in the fresh water marshes and lakes.

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Unfortunately all these photos of the Crocs came out blurry, but the Ranger said some of them were 12 and 14 foot long....big ones !

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We saw some people who were working on some weather equipment....they saw us pull up and of course they wanted to meet Doc.

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There weren't many cars or people down here so it was really nice. We did see one other motorcyclist...we waved to each other, but i wanted to meet him, so turned around and he pulled over to meet us also. He had a big grin when he saw Doc in the sidecar.

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What a great, relaxing, peaceful day....just enjoyed riding through the Everglades and taking our time all day.....tomorrow, we would head to "Alligator Alley".

 

 

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We had heard of "Alligator Alley", a road that goes through the Great Cypress Swamp in South Florida, the Loop Road off of Highway 41. There are supposed to be a lot of Gators often sunning themselves along this road....well let me tell you, we were not disappointed.

 

Video of riding thru the swamp...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWEJmQSaeQg

There were signs that said the road was flooded...but we decided to go ahead anyway. There ended up being about 4 to 6 inches of water across many parts of the road.....not a problem.

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The Great Cypress Swamp was teaming with Wildlife...we saw lots of birds...and Gators !

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Doc spots a Gator...and starts barking at it as we're cruising along....he wanted to git the gators !

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This was one of the larger ones....my guess at least 10 feet long or more.

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Was really cool riding past these guys about 20 feet away.

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Doc on patrol, checking for gators and wildlife.

Doc and I were never in any danger...the gators would quickly dart into the water when they saw us, and when I let Doc out, I first made sure there were no gators close by.

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Well, that was one hell of an awesome little ride through the swamps.

 

Here are some videos...riding through the swamp, and Gators !

 

 

 

https://ducrad.smugmug.com/Trip-Videos/i-QwP55fB/A

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https://ducrad.smugmug.com/Trip-Videos/i-PtmDzrz/A

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https://ducrad.smugmug.com/Trip-Videos/i-fckJ9ds/A

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https://ducrad.smugmug.com/Trip-Videos/i-6JXSxhn/A

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That was an intense feeling, being so close to these wild Gators.

It was time to go get gas, and start to head north. We met this nice couple who work in the Refuge, we chatted for awhile.

 

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To be continued...

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It was time to head north towards Holopaw, Florida....to check out the Holopaw Ural Rally that my friend Stan Mcghee invited us to....we made a stop along the way for a short break at the Kissimmee State Reserve. I saw a sign for this and decided to take a few mile detour off the main road to check it out. I love finding places like this....a dry prairie ecosystem sanctuary...one of the largest dry prairies of this type in the world.

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After a nice break, we continued north and all of a sudden I felt a thumping coming from the rear end of the bike....I quickly pulled over onto the shoulder. Once I stopped, I felt the rear differential and it was very hot....I figured the custom rear differential for the 2 wheel drive system failed. I called Triple A and luckily, after awhile a flatbed tow truck showed up to pick us up. Many cars and motorcycles went by for over an hour, and only ONE local stopped to see if we needed any help. I was surprised to see so many bikers ride by and not one of them stopped.

The flatbed truck loaded us up and took us about 70 miles north to Holopaw, where the Ural Rally took place. 

The tow truck driver John Applebee was really cool and we had a great conversation during the drive, we instantly became friends.

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John Applebee getting ready to winch the bike onto the flatbed.

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We got to Holopaw Ural, one of the first Ural Dealers in the USA....

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Unloading the bike....

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Saying goodbye to John Applebee, the tow truck driver...we still stay in touch nowadays on Facebook.

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It was time to pitch my tent in the big field in the back behind the Ural Shop, where everyone was camping for the Ural Rally.

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Most people were out riding for the day, so we waited in anticipation for them to get back, to meet some new people and meet our friends Stan and Heidi Mcghee, who we knew only from Facebook.

 

More to come....

 

 

 

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