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johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 6:54 AM
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The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR
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I am finally sitting down to begin writing this report. Until just now I had forgotten. Two weeks of R&R has made my mind and memory soft, but I feel ready to write it now. I am planning on making it episodic, and hopefully, I can strike a balance between pointlessly short, and pointlessly long. If you notice any inconsistencies, feel free to point them out. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Partner j_ung


Jul 12, 2010, 7:01 AM
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Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 7:14 AM
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j_ung wrote:
Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue

That was the trailer. I am writing Episode one right now.

Here is a sneak peek just for your patience.

The most epic buttshot in history!


Mainline


Moonlight


Spinal Exam


Mystery Route



gmggg


Jul 12, 2010, 7:23 AM
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j_ung wrote:
Will there be a trailer or something to watch while we wait?

Tongue

What would be the point?


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 8:18 AM
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Part One: The Early Years

So I find myself at the New Paltz bus station, but find isn't exactly the right word. Lost is perhaps even less accurate, but had a sort of truth to it. I knew with cartographic precision were I was geographically. I certainly knew were I was going, that thought having pervaded my thoughts for the last four months, but nothing else was clear.

Twenty four hours earlier I was getting on to a Greyhound Bus, A few before that I was sitting in the station. Chaotic, to say the least, the Atlanta Greyhound station was not the most welcoming start to my journey. Smack dab in the bad part of town and housing at least a few convicts who were transferring prisons, the station did little to assuage my fears that my backpack would be stolen, and that I would arrive sans gear to my destination. Being the neurotic worrier that I am, I replayed every worse case scenario in my head. Arriving in a rainstorm and dying from hypothermia due to a lack of tent was the worse I could think of. Arriving without climbing shoes seemed almost as bad.

Those fears were irrational. If they actually came to pass, they would have been nowhere near as bad as envisioned. However, one fear was real. It filled me with a gnawing doubt that made me reconsider the whole trip. If I arrived without gear, I would find a way to climb. This fear would leave me stranded for six weeks with nothing to do no matter how much gear I had.

My friend Josh Robertson's death less than a month previous had left me mentally shaken. It was as if all the climbing experience I had ever accumulated had simply vanished, and in it's place, was nothing but fear and doubt. I was no longer the climber I had grown to be, cautious but calculating and able to silence fear. I was the thirteen year old me, consumed by irrational worry. My only climbing outing since the accident ended in major disappointment. My climbing ability was replaced by pure terror. On a no hands rest, I felt certain I would fall at any moment. At every opportunity, I placed half a gear shop's worth of gear.

Could I be healed? That question played over and over in my head on the bus. My only entertainment for the ride was a collection of Kafka stories. Perhaps, I would have been better served by a Bible. I could only read half a story at a time. The ride was not particularly smooth, and I am prone to car, now bus, sickness. Night fell, but sleep would not come. The bus might as well have been forty degrees on the inside. The seats were hardly comfortable. However, had Greyhound provided me a king size bed, I doubt I would have slept. The constant transfer stops and long layovers in the fluorescent lit stations ensured that my next day would be a tired one.

Thus, I arrived in New Paltz, tired, mentally weary, unsure. With almost ninety pounds on my back and a steady rain coming down on my head, I ambled towards Rock And Snow, the local and somewhat legendary climbing store. I had been planning on getting a ride with someone going up to the cliffs, but the rain, in addition to making me wet, canceled that plan for me. I would have to hitchhike the old fashioned way, which meant I wouldn't be able to fill up my collapsible water jug. I would have to somehow wrangle myself water once I arrived.

The worse thing about hitchhiking isn't trusting your life to complete strangers. The worse thing is that when a car passes you on the side of road, it appears to accelerate significantly as it passes you. Not only does this sensation mean that another car has not picked you up, but the cars all seem to be intentionally burning you off. I must have walked close to a mile in the mud before a car picked me up. I am glad they did, as I doubt I could have walked much farther. There were three people in the car that acted as my savior. They were college students and musicians and they were going up to the cliffs to smoke some pot. I was glad for that.

My first close view of the cliffs took my breath away. They seemed to go on forever and were imposing, despite looking like 300 foot tall road cut. When my new friends dropped me off I was again alone. Weary, I set up my tent in the first site I saw and made a meager dinner of undercooked rice, a staple for the next week. Now, I had two separate but both equally pressing concerns. I needed more water, but I also needed to see the cliffs. For water I needed to go down to the convenience store. For cliffs, I had to go to the cliffs.

Luckily for me, the map given to me by one of the rangers displayed a path that could accomplish both of these goals. This was how I set off for my first journey down the carriage road, one I would be wholly sick of by the end of the trip. I would not have to wait long for my rock seeing desire to be quenched. Almost immediately across the bridge from Camp Slime, I encountered my first boulders and my first friend. The boulders were soaked, but Douglass Weiss would prove to be both a stable and trustworthy companion in the coming weeks. At this meeting however, we exchanged some brief words, and I went on my way.

When I came to the uberfall, I was both impressed and intimidated. Horseman (5.5) with its steep hanging dihedral not only looked hard, but I had heard it was easy for the grade and more like a 5.4. Before the trip I was overjoyed with the prospect of endless steep moderates, but now they did not look so moderate. I went up to feel the starting holds. They were slick from the rain, but didn't feel like they would be good even if they weren't. The gnawing doubt grew stronger.

I made my way along the carriage road and down the East Trapps Connector Trail, AKA the stair master. When I came out on the road, I was greeted with plentiful honks from motorists who were upset with me for sharing their road. I made it to the store without getting mowed down by an SUV and paid my 3 dollars for a gallon of water and 8 dollars for a sandwich. I knew I was getting screwed, but I needed the water and my rice dinner didn't exactly fill me up. The sandwich was sub par, but I was so hungry that it didn't matter.

I walked the 1.5 uphill miles back to camp and, exhausted, fell asleep. It was around four in the afternoon. I slept like a baby.


Partner j_ung


Jul 12, 2010, 8:44 AM
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So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 8:50 AM
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j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

Well I do love climbing.


bill413


Jul 12, 2010, 9:34 AM
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j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

He's implied he went back up the stairmaster. That could count as climbing (a la soft-porn).


moose_droppings


Jul 12, 2010, 9:43 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
Part One: The Early Years

So I find myself at the New Paltz bus station, but find isn't exactly the right word. Lost is perhaps even less accurate, but had a sort of truth to it. I knew with cartographic precision were I was geographically. I certainly knew were I was going, that thought having pervaded my thoughts for the last four months, but nothing else was clear.

Twenty four hours earlier I was getting on to a Greyhound Bus, A few before that I was sitting in the station. Chaotic, to say the least, the Atlanta Greyhound station was not the most welcoming start to my journey. Smack dab in the bad part of town and housing at least a few convicts who were transferring prisons, the station did little to assuage my fears that my backpack would be stolen, and that I would arrive sans gear to my destination. Being the neurotic worrier that I am, I replayed every worse case scenario in my head. Arriving in a rainstorm and dying from hypothermia due to a lack of tent was the worse I could think of. Arriving without climbing shoes seemed almost as bad.

Those fears were irrational. If they actually came to pass, they would have been nowhere near as bad as envisioned. However, one fear was real. It filled me with a gnawing doubt that made me reconsider the whole trip. If I arrived without gear, I would find a way to climb. This fear would leave me stranded for six weeks with nothing to do no matter how much gear I had.

My friend Josh Robertson's death less than a month previous had left me mentally shaken. It was as if all the climbing experience I had ever accumulated had simply vanished, and in it's place, was nothing but fear and doubt. I was no longer the climber I had grown to be, cautious but calculating and able to silence fear. I was the thirteen year old me, consumed by irrational worry. My only climbing outing since the accident ended in major disappointment. My climbing ability was replaced by pure terror. On a no hands rest, I felt certain I would fall at any moment. At every opportunity, I placed half a gear shop's worth of gear.

Could I be healed? That question played over and over in my head on the bus. My only entertainment for the ride was a collection of Kafka stories. Perhaps, I would have been better served by a Bible. I could only read half a story at a time. The ride was not particularly smooth, and I am prone to car, now bus, sickness. Night fell, but sleep would not come. The bus might as well have been forty degrees on the inside. The seats were hardly comfortable. However, had Greyhound provided me a king size bed, I doubt I would have slept. The constant transfer stops and long layovers in the fluorescent lit stations ensured that my next day would be a tired one.

Thus, I arrived in New Paltz, tired, mentally weary, unsure. With almost ninety pounds on my back and a steady rain coming down on my head, I ambled towards Rock And Snow, the local and somewhat legendary climbing store. I had been planning on getting a ride with someone going up to the cliffs, but the rain, in addition to making me wet, canceled that plan for me. I would have to hitchhike the old fashioned way, which meant I wouldn't be able to fill up my collapsible water jug. I would have to somehow wrangle myself water once I arrived.

The worse thing about hitchhiking isn't trusting your life to complete strangers. The worse thing is that when a car passes you on the side of road, it appears to accelerate significantly as it passes you. Not only does this sensation mean that another car has not picked you up, but the cars all seem to be intentionally burning you off. I must have walked close to a mile in the mud before a car picked me up. I am glad they did, as I doubt I could have walked much farther. There were three people in the car that acted as my savior. They were college students and musicians and they were going up to the cliffs to smoke some pot. I was glad for that.

My first close view of the cliffs took my breath away. They seemed to go on forever and were imposing, despite looking like 300 foot tall road cut. When my new friends dropped me off I was again alone. Weary, I set up my tent in the first site I saw and made a meager dinner of undercooked rice, a staple for the next week. Now, I had two separate but both equally pressing concerns. I needed more water, but I also needed to see the cliffs. For water I needed to go down to the convenience store. For cliffs, I had to go to the cliffs.

Luckily for me, the map given to me by one of the rangers displayed a path that could accomplish both of these goals. This was how I set off for my first journey down the carriage road, one I would be wholly sick of by the end of the trip. I would not have to wait long for my rock seeing desire to be quenched. Almost immediately across the bridge from Camp Slime, I encountered my first boulders and my first friend. The boulders were soaked, but Douglass Weiss would prove to be both a stable and trustworthy companion in the coming weeks. At this meeting however, we exchanged some brief words, and I went on my way.

When I came to the uberfall, I was both impressed and intimidated. Horseman (5.5) with its steep hanging dihedral not only looked hard, but I had heard it was easy for the grade and more like a 5.4. Before the trip I was overjoyed with the prospect of endless steep moderates, but now they did not look so moderate. I went up to feel the starting holds. They were slick from the rain, but didn't feel like they would be good even if they weren't. The gnawing doubt grew stronger.

I made my way along the carriage road and down the East Trapps Connector Trail, AKA the stair master. When I came out on the road, I was greeted with plentiful honks from motorists who were upset with me for sharing their road. I made it to the store without getting mowed down by an SUV and paid my 3 dollars for a gallon of water and 8 dollars for a sandwich. I knew I was getting screwed, but I needed the water and my rice dinner didn't exactly fill me up. The sandwich was sub par, but I was so hungry that it didn't matter.

I walked the 1.5 uphill miles back to camp and, exhausted, fell asleep. It was around four in the afternoon. I slept like a baby.

johnwesely wrote:
Wow, that was long.

SlyWink


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 9:55 AM
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moose_droppings wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
Wow, that was long.

SlyWink

Nobody is perfect.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 9:56 AM
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bill413 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
So far so good. It had better involve climbing soon, though. What's porn without p***y? A freaking romance novel, that's what. Tongue

He's implied he went back up the stairmaster. That could count as climbing (a la soft-porn).

Just getting you guys into it slowly.


ensonik


Jul 12, 2010, 9:59 AM
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Holly shit.

Based on the sheer amount of pointless horsehit drivel you post on this site, I didn't think you had it in you.

Bravo. Well done. I actually look forward to reading your next entries.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 10:06 AM
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ensonik wrote:
Holly shit.

Based on the sheer amount of pointless horsehit drivel you post on this site, I didn't think you had it in you.

Bravo. Well done. I actually look forward to reading your next entries.

That's just practice.

Edit:
Also, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 12, 2010, 10:07 AM)


sp00ki


Jul 12, 2010, 10:21 AM
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OMG JUST POST THE REST


ensonik


Jul 12, 2010, 10:33 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
lso, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool

Sly And he has a good memory.

Seriously, the Gunks is amazing. Just came back from a road trip there 2 weeks ago, so I'll probably see a lot of parallels.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 11:50 AM
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sp00ki wrote:
OMG JUST POST THE REST

It doesn't exist yet. I will write another entry tomorrow.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 11:52 AM
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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
lso, since you have posted at least 5 posts about my pointless posts, roughly 13% of your posts are even more pointless than mine. Cool

Sly And he has a good memory.

Seriously, the Gunks is amazing. Just came back from a road trip there 2 weeks ago, so I'll probably see a lot of parallels.

That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.


ensonik


Jul 12, 2010, 6:03 PM
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johnwesely wrote:
That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.

Being a programmer, I don't look up very often (how can you tell an extrovert programmer; he looks at your feet), but you may have seen me.

I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.


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Jul 12, 2010, 7:15 PM
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I saw you on Sunday after the rain.


johnwesely


Jul 12, 2010, 10:30 PM
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ensonik wrote:
johnwesely wrote:
That is when I got back. Maybe we saw each other.

Being a programmer, I don't look up very often (how can you tell an extrovert programmer; he looks at your feet), but you may have seen me.

I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.

Nope. Were you training for something?


(This post was edited by johnwesely on Jul 12, 2010, 10:32 PM)


ensonik


Jul 13, 2010, 6:03 AM
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johnwesely wrote:
ensonik wrote:
I would have been the n00b wriggling his way up Belly Roll with 40 cams, 2 sets of nuts, doubles on tricams, full set of hexes, a backpack (containing 5 liters of water, first aid kit, head lamp, thermal blanket and 20 or so rap rings), 11 shoulder slings and spare climbing shoes hanging on his haul loop, having just commited to the squeeze chimney wich is a full 10 feet off the deck, proceeding to scream like a small child that there is no fucking way to get through this, and that he'll surely die, finally finding the great handhold on the right and pulling through only to have a crowd making fun of the tears and snot rolling down his cheeks. That would have been me.

Nope. Were you training for something?

I keeeeeed, I keeeeed.

I'm a n00b nonetheless, so I guess you could say I'm training to become a climber.

(My partner is my 12 year old son, so I stitch pretty much every route I do and pretty much never run it out, so I do carry a lot of gear)

(Hitting refresh repeatedly, waiting for the second entry)


johnwesely


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He's the One They Call Dr. Feelgood

It is around six in the morning. The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me. Breakfast is as meager as the previous night's first dinner. In fact, it was the last nights previous dinner. Rice and beans, this time with some honey and a dash of cinnamon. What was disgusting when hot less than a day ago was now delicious when cold. The unrinsed rice had a grainy patina. The dessicated beans were hard and mealy. It didn't matter. My stomach didn't care.

After my gourmet breakfast, I wanted to go climb. It was time to see how feasible a solo climbing trip really was. Rather unsure of what the day held in store, I racked up and made my way to the Uberfall. I had heard from almost every source that the Uberfall was the place to find partners at the Gunks. It was a weekday, but I still figured that finding a partner would be a matter of minutes. There might not be a line of people waiting to climb with me, but there would be at least something similar to that. At least, that is how I imagined it.

Once at the Uberfall, I knew my expectations for finding partners were going to need to be drastically diminished. Only two or three other parties were climbing the frequently gang banged routes at one of the world's most crowded sections of cliff. None of them looked like people that I wanted to climb with.

If there is one thing you must know about the Gunks, it is that it is infested with noobs. Not just new climbers, but hordes of people with more money than sense. I wasn't wearing sunglasses. I don't own sunglasses. I have a pretty high tolerance for bright light. I was in no way prepared for the amount of shine coming off of the average Gunks rack. If I wasn't careful where I looked, I risked burning my retinas or worse, seeing some of the sloppiest belaying and leading anywhere in the world. Belayers using double ropes that obviously didn't know how to belay with singles. Belay techniques that left ATCs handsfree for seconds at a time. The Horror, The Horror...

However, I digress. If you skipped the above paragraph because it sounded like an elitist rant against the poor hapless noobs, I will summarize for you: finding competent partners was going to be hard. Therefore, rather than jumping right on the rock as I had anticipated, I spent a few terrifying hours solo bouldering.

I hoped the time that had elapsed since the accident would have numbed the fear, the terror. When I strapped on my rock shoes and attempted my first climb on Gunks rock, that hope proved to be more than a little naive. The climb was wiggles, a fifteen foot 5.1. From the ground, it appeared to be somewhere between a steep staircase and a ladder. On route, my observation proved to be correct. That didn't matter. The first move was easy as was the second. By the third, my hands were sweaty and legs were shaking. I was going to die. I was going to fall off that massive ledge. I knew it. My movements became jerky, robotic. I never felt more insecure. Despite the fear, I knew I had to push on. It would be easier to climb up than down. If I was ever going to get better, I told myself that it needed to start there. One more move. It was easy and I knew it. A fairly fit toddler could have done it, yet to me it seemed so difficult. One more move. Ten feet off the ground now. Sweating bullets. I am getting pumped on a 5.1. At this point, I am a firm believer in mind over matter. I reach the topout. The top is incut. The feet are huge. I can't do it. barely fifteen feet off the ground, I am immobilized. The only thing I can do is downclimb. With the lack of grace or technique I displayed on that descent, it is a marvel that I didn't get hurt. I was the worst climber in the world and was on a six week solo climbing trip.

At this point, I did the only thing I could. I bided my time. I still bouldered around, but now, I was not venturing more than a few feet off the ground. For two hours I putzed around. Finally, I saw a group that looked approachable. They were two young guys on Rhododendron (5.6), and most importantly, they didn't look like they were going to kill themselves. I approached them, and asked if I could jump on there line real quick. They obliged, and I told them my name was John. "Wait, are you John Wesely," asked the taller of the two. I told him that was the case. "I am Dr. Feelgood," Dr. Feelgood replied, and that was how I met my first member of rockclimbing.com.

I ran up Rhododendron, a super fun but kind of short hand crack, cleaned their anchor, and asked if I could climb more with them. they both agreed to let me stay on board because I had an extra rope. First we did Baby, a 5.6 offwidth followed by delightful jug hauling. Feelgood's friend led the first pitch, and Feelgood led the second. The climb went smoothly, but when we got to the ground it was my turn to lead. Needless to say, I was more than a little worried.

We decided on doing Bloody Mary, a two pitch 5.7. I was nervous, but I was there to climb. I climbed upon the boulder that marked the start of the route and placed my first piece. This was a zero pride lead. I placed gear every three feet. I must have been shaking the entire way. At the start of a traverse I placed a piece but didn't extend it for fear of falling an extra few feet. I was in rope drag hell from that point on, but luckily, I was done with the hard climbing. I finished the route, exhausted, but I knew that I could do it. The uncertainty was gone. It was going to be hard, but I was going to be healed. We finished that day climbing Shockley's Ceiling. It was my first day of climbing in the Gunks, and I was already being loaded up with classics.

Next Time:
The Day the Trapps Fell Down.


boymeetsrock


Jul 13, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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^^^Worthless without pictures...



(just kidding. keep it coming! ...and add some pics damn it!Smile)


johnwesely


Jul 13, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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boymeetsrock wrote:
^^^Worthless without pictures...



(just kidding. keep it coming! ...and add some pics damn it!Smile)

The next one will have pics.


ensonik


Jul 13, 2010, 11:58 AM
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Registered: Jul 14, 2009
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Re: [johnwesely] The Long Awaited, Much Anticipated, Notorius, Hopefully not Overly Laborious, Lonestar Gunks TR [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
The Sun beats down on my tent, waking me

Were you at camp slime? If so, how was that? At a minimum, is there water? I always end up at Creekview which is dirt cheap but faaaaaaaaar .....

johnwesely wrote:
...but hordes of people with more money than sense

So apparently, you did see me.

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