Just five miles out of town...
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Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:36 am quote
fledermaus wrote:
Love that last picture of yours. Keep up the good work....while you can.
Yup, counting down the days before the Gods Of Weather shut my lil pony down, but this weekend, sandwiched between weeks of rain, they were fairly forgiving, and I made the most of it. ...tho I miscalculated the shortening days y'day afternoon and drove home in the cold dark....

Also discovered that that heavy rain had oddly turned the gravel roads perfectly smooth -- maybe it's the combination of rain with the huge-tired giant tractors and combines? not sure what or how, but the washboards were gone and the gravel itself has been buried beneath hard-packed, damp "dust" -- so that I could cruise deep through the wheat stubble, feeling utterly isolated beneath enormous skies.

Found a new isolated cemetery among the fields, as well, and looking it up online discovered a Wikipedia list of dozens more, so that'll give me something to look forward to in the spring. Looking at the dates on the headstones I'm once again reminded what a hard life it was out here 100 years ago, and how intimately everyone was with loss.

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Last edited by tdrake on Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:03 am quote
Wow! What a landscape!

Love that "two sisters" stone.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:38 am quote
Perfect Fall Friday afternoon. Winter wheat has brought back some color and even the migrating geese were celebrating Vespas.

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Flying V Goose Salute

Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:07 pm quote
Friday afternoon I was all set to leave the office at 2:00 -- clear as a bell out, frikken 65 degrees! In November! -- literally packing my bag, when the woman across the hall yelled "what room is the meeting in?" Aaaaargh, shoot me!

And today I'd hoped to get in a good long, cross country, haul, tempered my sins while out with hard partying friends Friday, up early, more mid-60s in the forecast -- when I realized this is probably the one and only day I could rake up dry leaves and clean the gutters without having to chip out ice.... Aaaargh....

But then I got a sweet, if typical, three hours in on the V.

Gravel was sorta dusty but still hard packed and offering long smooth stretches. I slipped off my helmet and donned a beanie...and then a couple minutes in slipped off the beanie. So nice...and so odd to be on the bike feeling overdressed. Guess I didn't need the longjohns.

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Outside the micro Cordelia chapel.

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Inside the micro Cordelia chapel (featured in lots of pics above). At some point I'll get a decent recording of the pump organ....

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Winter wheat after a wet October.

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Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:09 am quote
Nice pictures, TD. It's good to see you're still getting out.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:14 pm quote
Michael B. wrote:
Nice pictures, TD. It's good to see you're still getting out.
Thanks! Between reality and the short days it's been tough getting out while it's light, and I keep thinking I'm down to the last ride....

But this afternoon I flaked off work early, and it was utterly phenomenal and worth braving the cold, rain, and 30 mph winds. Put the new balaclava and cheapo mitts to the test!

The mitts probably would have (finally!) kept my hands warm...if I hadn't kept stopping to take pics. Stood in the howling cold for about 15 minutes watching the sun set and the sky turn salmon. One of those "this is what it's all about" rides for sure.

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Hooked
2005 et4
Joined: 23 May 2015
Posts: 277
Location: oshawa ontario canada
Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:57 am quote
Beautiful shots from a beautiful part of the U.S.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:58 am quote
duane1 wrote:
Beautiful shots from a beautiful part of the U.S.
Thanks! And, yeah, always grateful for getting to live here.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:17 am quote
I'm starting to see the appeal, and necessity?, of electric gear!

But I'm way too cheap for that stuff, so, Sunday, under 45 degree clouds, high winds and occasional rain, I donned: fleece tights, zip-in quilted pant-liner, zip-in rain barrier and heavy riding pants; and up top Smartwool t-shirt, Smartwool turtle-neck, heavy wool sweater, down vest, light down puffy, heavy winter riding jacket; cheap winter gloves in mitts, and about five layers of various wool around my neck!

On Saturday, under identical conditions, with one layer less, I utterly froze after two hours.

But Sunday I made it out for three until being chased home by rain, managing to make it in wet but warm before the deluge set in.

In other words, a beautiful day.

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Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:26 am quote
Ha ha, I can see you manipulating the scoot on the bridge, looking left and right if a car is coming. It's difficult to see if the roadway is wet or not...were the metal plates slippery?

Just extend the tailpipe with a hose and tuck it under your jacket
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:46 pm quote
Michael B. wrote:
Ha ha, I can see you manipulating the scoot on the bridge, looking left and right if a car is coming. It's difficult to see if the roadway is wet or not...were the metal plates slippery?
Ha, exactly that! Three cars did indeed wind up coming over, and yep, I had to skitter the scoot out of the way...which surprised me cuz this bridge connects nowhere with nowhere else.

Plates were dry (for the moment!) and yeah, I bet they'd be horrible in the rain!
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:45 am quote
And then it snowed.

But not before freezing me arse off on one last, long, often muddy, ride. I woulda explored this road further on down into the canyon in the backdrop, but when I dismounted for the pic a huge, three-headed dog came down and stood mid-road, barking "abandon hope, all ye who enter," and I took that as a sign to roll elsewhere.

What an amazing, 7,000 mile first season this has been. Rough year in lots of other ways, so I'm especially grateful for this journey that took me away from myself and deep into the wonder that opens up just outside of town.

And now begins three months of slogging thru slush and waiting...waiting....

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Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:14 am quote
TD, the dog's name was Fluffy and if you play harp he will fall a sleep and then you can pass. Haven't you learn anything from the movies?
TD, you need to go on a tour. There is no feeling like it.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:57 am quote
Michael B. wrote:
TD, the dog's name was Fluffy and if you play harp he will fall a sleep and then you can pass. Haven't you learn anything from the movies?
TD, you need to go on a tour. There is no feeling like it.
Yeah, I'm still totally itching to do some real touring -- just finishing up Neal Peart's Ghost Rider and probably about to watch The Long Way Round for the umpteenth time....

Since my wife gives me the stink eye every time I mention a bigger bike, I think the plan for next year is to trailer and do base-camps, and then I can keep my riding to two lanes and twisties.... Tho that ain't quite as romantic as just hitting the road for a couple weeks.
Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:44 am quote
So...your wife wouldn't be willing to ride as a pillion?
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:41 pm quote
Michael B. wrote:
So...your wife wouldn't be willing to ride as a pillion?
No...god no!

It took me nearly two decades to let her ride one of these myself, much less talk her onto it.

Which is fine, in part cuz she is the most accident prone person I've ever met, and also cuz we do spend tons of time together and it's healthy to have independent lives, as well.

So, I gotta admit that whenever I see a pillion my first thought is "my god, man, that defeats half the purpose!"
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:23 pm quote
Suck it, winter!

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Member
Vespa GTS 250ie
Joined: 12 Dec 2016
Posts: 11
Location: North Texas
Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:57 pm quote
I can see my bucket list is growing again.

Great pictures and incredible landscape!
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:17 pm quote
Aaaand we're back! Felt so, so good, but after record snow-freeze and about six weeks with five inches of hard-pack ice covering the roads, it's one big gravel trap out there. Still, wow, abstinence is not my forte.

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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:24 am quote
tdrake wrote:
Aaaand we're back! Felt so, so good, but after record snow-freeze and about six weeks with five inches of hard-pack ice covering the roads, it's one big gravel trap out there. Still, wow, abstinence is not my forte.
Yayy! Good to see this. Back in the groove (with camera, of course).

Gravel, schmavel.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:08 pm quote
"Memory knows no chronology." Out for two hours today riding last year's well trodden trails, and my brain was utterly convinced last fall was just last weekend.

Given how divided the country seems these days, I was quickly reminded of how nice it is to be out where all the pickups wave when you pass by.

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Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:39 am quote
After last week's glorious Friday afternoon ride, I promptly came down with a pesky little cold and spent the ensuing three-day-weekend in bed, cancelling plans to drive up North to see my kid (sometimes you just gotta invite yerself, dammit; cue the last verse of Cats In The Cradle)...and then the temps out here plummeted, the skies grew gray and ominous, and the snow returned.

Dark, cold, gray...whiny, old, depressed....

But yesterday the clouds briefly parted and the temps climbed to 35 and I came back with a vengeance...for the first half of the ride, at least, cuz that blue sky was mighty tentative and then it was mighty feckin' cold out there.

So I ducked in to my favorite tiny chapel, still surrounded by nearly a foot of snow, and played its wee, 1883 vintage pump organ for as long as my frozen fingers could handle it, which wasn't very long. ...and I'm gonna see if I can post a one minute clip here...

32 and equally grim this morn as I post, but the robins are in migration and there's a riot of birdsong leaking in thru the windows, and I do believe that it was a year ago today that I drove over to Missoula to buy the Vespa, so hope springs eternal.

There's a pic of the chapel interior, above, from November -- currently the windows are all shuttered and it was too dark for a pic, other than this static video:

https://www.facebook.com/tomdrakemusic/videos/10101095011255864/

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Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:09 pm quote
First hint of spring under rare blue sky.

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Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:23 am quote
That's a nice pic TD, indeed.
Here in Toronto we were fortunate enough to get some warm spells
throughout the winter season, so I've been able to put 720 km on the scoot and 80 km on the CB300F so far this year. But all commutes.
It's difficult to get out of this humongous urban area
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:07 pm quote
Michael B. wrote:
That's a nice pic TD, indeed.
Here in Toronto we were fortunate enough to get some warm spells
throughout the winter season, so I've been able to put 720 km on the scoot and 80 km on the CB300F so far this year. But all commutes.
It's difficult to get out of this humongous urban area
We usually get a break in the winter but not this year...just utterly hammered!

My bro lives in Upstate NY and it was so warm and dry out there this winter he clocked hundreds of miles on his road bike...so it seems like when we get dumped y'all get mercy, and vice versa.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:13 pm quote
Alright, finally some decent weather and free time and I've been making the most of it!

Brutal winter and spring here and I keep coming up against washed out roads, and much of the hardtop is still treacherously covered with gravel-traps, and, of course, every ride has me scanning the horizon to outrace the next rainstorm, but as of last weekend I gots heated grips and longjohns and will not be deterred!

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Hmm...won't be visiting my favorite cemetery very soon....

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Enthusiast
2016 Vespa Sprint 150 3V
Joined: 07 Jul 2016
Posts: 57
Location: Southeastern Wisconsin USA
Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:30 am quote
That's one wicked pothole! Yikes!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:57 am quote
Man, you're starting 2017 off with a bang! I haven't even been out wandering yet. Great pictures.

Yeah, that is a bit of a pothole....reverse speed bump? In Wisconsin, we'd have signs up a quarter of a mile away for a fraction of that. In Illinois, well, meh.

Ride safe, and don't forget your camera!
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:46 pm quote
Witness and Behold the Mighty Splendor!! (Cue the choir...)

6:30 PM and I was whining about something pointless on FB; a friend said "shut up and go ride your Vespa," and so I did. Nice night!

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Enthusiast
2016 Vespa Sprint 150 3V
Joined: 07 Jul 2016
Posts: 57
Location: Southeastern Wisconsin USA
Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:36 am quote
What a beautiful pic!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:11 pm quote
tdrake wrote:
a friend said "shut up and go ride your Vespa," and so I did. Nice night!
That advice is golden! Friend's not bad either.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:54 pm quote
fledermaus wrote:
tdrake wrote:
a friend said "shut up and go ride your Vespa," and so I did. Nice night!
That advice is golden! Friend's not bad either.
Right? She's a psych prof, so clearly her advice was steeped in research.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:07 am quote
No I will not meet with you on a Friday afternoon for an emergency meeting you were supposed to schedule a week ago! Not when it is 55 and sunny out and it is Friday, Friday! NO!

So, way back in mid-November, driving back from Thanksgiving in Portland (ah, the first flooding of the winter -- should have seen the writing on the wall back then and moved to Arizona) I noticed a couple nicely paved roads about thirty miles West of here, over in WA, leading.... Leading I dunno, or didn't know, where -- somewhere that was nowhere which is, these days, the anywhere I seek. So home to spend a winter zooming in Google.maps satellite images and planning, plotting, biding my time. Five months in the cramped cell of winter, plotting my escape....

Most of my rides take me East, since I can get out of town on onto empty roads in about 2 miles, and heading West takes me past our own strip malls and what constitutes "traffic" around here, and then over to Pullman and thru their miles of student-housing apartments, all of which destroys my illusion of living in Mayberry, but y'day I decided to carpe some fresh, high-dollar WA state blacktop, and also to drop 2,500 feet down to the Snake river, thereby briefly amping up the ambient temps by about 8 degrees. And so West I headed....

And I was not disappointed.

To new roads, and a new little valley I'd never seen, and then down, down, down the more familiar and oh so smooth twisties, like an ice-cube sliding down Elle Macpherson's warm thigh.

..well, her thigh maybe 20 years ago (my gawd, Google says she's now my age! How did that happen?)....

I realize these aren't the most brilliant photos, but it was, trust me, the most brilliant ride.

Ah, spring, as if you needed a reminder of how much winter sucks!

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2,500 feet of descending windingness, followed by, you guessed it, 2,500 feet of ascending windingness. Yes please!

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Yes, my brain is small and well suited to my small life, like the immense pleasure of seeing for the first time a new little valley 30 miles from where I've spent nearly 30 of my years, and to find it covered by some sweet and winding pavement.

Addicted
GTS 300 ie - traded in; Honda CB300FA; Honda Ruckus scooter
Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 735
Location: Toronto, Canada
Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:45 am quote
TD, you're busted! Caught you on Advrider. Now you're "It".
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:24 am quote
Michael B. wrote:
TD, you're busted! Caught you on Advrider. Now you're "It".
Ha ha! Yes -- I'm expanding my addiction.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:48 am quote
"2,500 feet of descending windingness, followed by, you guessed it, 2,500 feet of ascending windingness. Yes please!"

No arguments there.
Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:54 am quote
I expected little from last night’s ride – it was a dull Wednesday, or I felt dull and it was a Wednesday, I guess -- it was cloudy, gray and cold, and I had about an hour before supper to quickly retrace my usual, seemingly worn out route.

So off I went, as it started to drizzle, but about five miles out I decided to hit the highway instead of my backroad, and then, back off the highway ten miles out, I decided to try some new damp gravel roads….

The first dead-ended about five miles in, in what could have been a sweet little valley with a small stream, but it was a Redneck Culdesac, crowded with newish, middle class homes full of people trying to get away from people, living right next to other people trying to get away from people – and the most striking feature: “No Trespassing” and “Private!” signs on every other tree and fence post. ATVs and the occasional confederate flag…. Five acres of freedom butted up against your neighbor's acres.

I turned around, figuring I’d head home, but soon found another gravel road leading, I knew, East, strangely smooth and damp, and therefore dustless, and I assumed it would bump me back out onto another highway. And it did, but not before winding through working farms for a good twenty minutes of absolutely blissful adventure. Well, the kind of “adventure” an old man can have between work and supper – there’s probably some A. A. Milne quote appropriate here, but that would be too cute, and it’s bad enough to be riding a bright green Vespa on gravel farm roads.
Anyway, new roads! New farms and barns! Only a vague sense of where I was going.

And, most importantly, I’d crossed the line separating the “No Trespassing” ex-urban, commuting misanthropes from the generation-deep working farms, where everybody waves as you pass. Miles between each house, clean yards, and, aside from the machinery, a world that hasn’t really changed in over one hundred years.

And there it was: that feeling. The rush of a new discovery found latent in the most familiar of environments, like rummaging around in the garage and suddenly you find it, a tool you’d misplaced years ago and assumed was long, long gone.

This is why we ride.

I got back on the highway and zipped back toward home, turning first on to my familiar backroad so that I could check out my favorite, hidden graveyard, now that the county had repaired its flooded-out road. Up its little incline, kill the engine, and slip off my helmet, remove my earplugs…to a rush of birdsong. Not a bird in sight, but at least half a dozen different species singing in the spring. The grass lush between the stones….

Oh, great god Vespuvius, let me have a few more days like this; let me remember I love the things nearby, those things right around me and just out of sight. Let me long less for change and appreciate what is so close at hand. Let me ride deeper into the familiar. Let me trespass and appreciate the freedom of owning nothing but the wheels beneath me.

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Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:52 pm quote
Doppio
Set out this morning for what turned out to be a very "meh", windy, cold, one-hour ride over the same old same old.

Ate lunch. Took an awesome nap beside the fire. Slowly woke up...

...to a beautiful afternoon. The woman said "you could take another ride." What woman ever says that? My god I'm a lucky man....

So off for an incredible three hour ride. So clear, the green coming in, so blue. Once out of each town I passed maybe one car, tops. So perfect.

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Colfax, WA

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Palouse, WA

Molto Verboso
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 1561
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:26 pm quote
Busy and rainy, but when I can sneak in an hour and the rain's let up, oh me oh my-oh....

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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 la Negrita 2015 GTS il pipistrello nero
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 6162
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:00 am quote
They just keep coming! Nice work!

I like the cemetery one from earlier with the flower next to the broken stone. Pretty cool.
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