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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    Arolla storm day looks good. Moar...moar.
    Thanks Buster! As requested...

    Arolla Days 4 & 5

    Started to get in a nice groove as the days consist of getting up, riding, socializing, eating, sleeping and repeating. Just like the good old days of ski bumming. 'Cept now you can afford better booze.

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    The only conveyance at Arolla is platter lifts. This is about halfway up the first lift. I've always maintained that no better training for beginners and kids alike is to ride up surface lifts. You get to practice skills both riding up and down, and the legs can't help but get strong fast. Great to see my buddies kids riding these things all day (like 2 to 10 year olds), going to be a good crop of German ski groms coming up through the ranks here. Riding a board up 3000 vert of platter is a bit of work, but hey - sure beats walking.

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    Today I got to explore an area of the hill that I'd only been a couple of times previously. From the top platter you hike climbers right about 41 seconds and get to the top of a little rise that rises above hundreds of acres of skiing (think as big as the backside of Lake Louise's Summit area) in an area I believe is called Les Fontanesses. Fairly frequent closures of this area due to avalanche hazard makes riding it a fortunate occasion.

    Here "young" Benny (because of course there is an "old" Benny who is probably 20 years younger than I..., which is, of course less painful than "young" Benny's 30 year differential..) rips up the pow. The place was basically untracked and was open only for our riding pleasure (well and of course the other 6 skiers & borders we shared it with - guessing 4 of those other riders were of our group). And that's how it is here. You have the hill to yourself, and your friends (and kids). Why do my buddies keep coming back here year after year? That's why. And the snow. And locals. OK the wine and raclette are really good too. And the accessible couliors. OK, there's probably more, but you get the idea.

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    Young Benny in flight. Awesome riding with these guys, absolutely brought my game up. Oh the photos that these guys have of me! I bet they're great! To bad I haven't seen them eh Holly? Bastard.

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    Here's Holly slashing down a nice little face. Yeah, you're welcome Holly...

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    Holly looking for redemption by being a Euro-schmuck. Well played buddy. All is forgiven.

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    With all the ripper boarders in the group, the young groms want to be like Dad and his bros (and sistahs). They rip quite adequately on sticks, but as you know (or should know) there are just some conditions that are big fun on a board. And, hey, why not switch it up once in a while. Andreas councils the young shred betties in training and enlightens them in the single plank ways.

    And thus ended a most amazing day 4. A day spent on the board with little evidence of my boarding prowess. Holly pays penance and is redeemed through good board guiding and smoke lighting,

    Arolla Day 5

    The day dawns superb. Vivian and Tomba arrive. Laurent and Lynn come from Sion for a ski visit.

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    Laurent cruises on some untracked.

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    Lynne in the same zone. Did I mention that things don't get tracked out here quickly.... yeah, I thought so.

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    Mrs garyfromterrace (at least I hope she says yes) makes an appearance in good stead.

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    Hey, it's me. In the air no less! I really did want to come back up and hit it off the nose. Of course, as things happen while on Euro vacation, the wine and raclette get in the way....

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    ...And, of course hanging with Tomba takes precedence some times. Heyo Tomba!! Enjoying mid-afternoon apres ski with my favorite doggie, Vivian, Laurent and Lynne. The name of this perfect little watering hole is Buvette De La Chotte. The proprietor is a beautiful Swiss lady who will only speak French to you. I will now help you score points with her. Here's what you say:
    "Bonjour, je voudrais un trs grand verre de vin blanc, rsti avec du jambon et du fromage et une raclette. J'aime Arolla, veux-tu m'pouser s'il te plat."

    Small cautionary note. I believe her boyfriend is a swiss mountain guide. Be fleet of foot my friend.

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    The reason for not taking hospital air... You can call bullshit, it's OK.

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    Tomba was recovering from some knee work so no ski touring this trip ( we did have a nice tour here last year). But hey, at least I get a great afternoon nap time with my buddy.
    Last edited by garyfromterrace; 06-20-2018 at 10:34 PM.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
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  2. #27
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    OK, after a spirited crazy work session I return with the next installment. We leave Arolla full of happy ski stoke and ready for a taste of Italy. I'm so very happy to be hanging with Tomba again (oh and also Vivian, Charlotte and Olly) and visiting Italy once again. I absolutely love Italy because they love food. It doesn't hurt that it's also a painfully beautiful place of the planet. Though Cinque Terra had never been a place I had thought of much, Vivian and Charlotte had insisted that it was worth seeing, and photos I'd seen of the place suggested the same.

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    Tomba approves of the accommodations. Villa Bardi is amazing. Agro-tourism, it's a thing. A good thing

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    The view from the gorgeous patio/deck.

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    We go for a walk. It's a bit blustery, but we have the village to ourselves. And there's PALM TREES! Wow, we are in the tropics (says the Canadian lad). I get excited when I see palm trees, I don't see them much, sorry eh.

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    Tomba reviews the grounds of the Villa. The scent of chicken is strong. "Human, I am ready to feast on poultry. May I proceed?" He inquires.

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    Vivian and Tomba inspect the new bridge. It replaced the old bridge in the 1700's. I love Europe. Oh, and arches.

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    The next day we set out for some hiking in the hills. And eating.

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    Our first view of some spectacular scenery.

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    But first we must eat and drink. We're in Italy for christ's sake.

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    Me with wine, bread and several varieties of anchovies. I ordered another plate. Oh, praise Allah they were good.
    Last edited by garyfromterrace; 07-19-2018 at 07:36 PM.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
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  3. #28
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    The up starts.

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    Tomba investigates an older house. When I see a place like this I can't help thinking what life must have been like for the folks who lived here. No roads. Hiking to get food, water, wine. But man the views. Still, couldn't have been easy back in the day.

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    Vivian and Charlotte frame the destination.

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    My first wine vine study.

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    The down starts.

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    Tomba is pleased.

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    Some bouldering on the narrowest little rock stairs I have had the pleasure of viewing.

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    I believe I may have a thing for narrow little rock stairs.

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    And, narrow little streets too.

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    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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  4. #29
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    But enough of this drivel. It is Eatily. More food pictures!!

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    After the hiking, it was time for the seafood plate. More anchovies, tuna, squid, octopus. Heavenly.

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    So we also ordered the fried seafood plate as well.

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    Washed down with some local spirits. The perfect Cinque Terra day.

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    Is capped off with an amazing sunset.

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    Tomba is getting a bit on (he's 10), and he recently had knee surgery so following a pretty solid hiking day we both decided that a mellow Gary/Tomba day was in order. Flat ground village walking, some swimming in the ocean and the nearby river, some wine and fine food (OK no wine for Tomba, but no limits for his human) were on the agenda for my buddy and I.

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    Tomba insisted I take this photo. I think he's quite stunning in this pose.

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    No decent doggie outing is complete without finding a buddy! Even though the big guy was feeling the day before he still went out for a little beach frolic with this little guy. And Tomba even treated me to his patented "humping motion long after the dismount" move that has made many a young maiden blush. Thank you Tomba, I am truly in love with this dog and his antics.

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    But all this swimming and humping deserves a break so wine and Trofie is consumed. My first time trying Trofie, bloody amazing really. A lovey tomato basil pesto dish with fresh parm... oh yes.

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    More food. Olly and Charlotte are also happy, though they did suggest that our call (Tomba and I that is) to hang in the village was a very good one on this day. Apparently the crowds on the trails they had picked were atrocious. Tomba is a smart dog.

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    I am pleased with the largest amount of fresh truffles I have ever consumed. Placed lovingly on a wonderfully cooked steak and a positively divine bottle of wine.

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    When I suggested that the life here must have been hard, I believe that this photo (of a photo) pretty much illustrates that fact. A strong and swarthy people those Residenti di Cinque Terre.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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  5. #30
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    Tomba also was quite impressed with Italy, Cinque Terra and in particular the Villa Bardi. For here, only for the pleasure of canine guests, is a wonderful benefit.

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    Built in, porcelain doggie water bowls. Sweet!
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  6. #31
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    Great write up and pics. Thanks.


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  7. #32
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    Hochfugen, Rattenberg, Hintertux

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    Impressed right of the gate with Hochfugen. We park our car in a multilevel parkade, change into ski gear on completely dry concrete, walk 3 perhaps 4 minutes tops. And we’re buying lift tickets and getting on a gondi. Yes, Hochfugen I like your style.


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    A good number of our party wanted to ski groomers, so I obliged for 2 runs (OK 1.5) and then bid the crew adieu and went off on my own, well for most of the day anyway. I did this one and then convinced Vivian to come down it as well. No one else did the run all day. Me twice, Viv, once. That was the traffic on it. Yes, Hochfugen yes.

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    I found this little jewel mid afternoon and did about 8 laps on in. Left Middle gut, and the avi fence line were all mine, all afternoon.

    The next day was a tourist day off to Rattenberg we went.

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    We spent some of the day wandering around glass shops, watching some glass blowing, admiring some pretty impressive glass art. I bought some shooter glasses from an etching shop and watched some glasses get quite nicely etched. Rattenberg is not only a famous glass artisan mecca, but it also boasts (well perhaps that’s over-stating their enthusiasm a bit) that it’s Austria’s smallest town. Which begs the question – wouldn’t Austria’s smallest town be uninhabited? Hmmm. Or if there was a certain population that distinguishes a village from a town (say 500..), wouldn’t there be a bunch of ties??
    These are the things that keep me up all night.

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    While the rest of the crew continued perusing the glassware, I headed off on a little solo jaunt. Always been a museum aficionado, so I took off to check a little hole in the wall museum for a coupla euros. No idea what I was to see there. What I got was a most amazing little museum documenting the cutting, sliding down the hill on sled packed with lumber, getting to the river, floating them down rapids, hand logging show.
    These crazy cats loaded up huge sleds (like the kind you drive with the handles) with 2 or 3 big ass trees. Gotta be thousands of pounds. Then they pilot the sleds (think big ass runners) down steep ass terrain. Saw video of this from, I don’t know a hundred years ago. Absolutely all by hand (perhaps some horse, though I do not remember seeing any equestrian help). They were some tough hombres. The museum also had some remarkable bronze age shit.

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    Anyway, it was then off to the Castle. Rattenberg castle was the Bavarian duchy’s’ most important fortification in the Lower Inn Valley. (Plagiarised from Google BTW). We spent a goodly portion of time roaming around and admiring the view. The also put on theatre here in the middle of the grounds. Would be a very cool place to see a play indeed.

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    I love archways, absolutely dig them. This one was a good one for me. A quad, yep four of those little puppies lined up for my happiness alone.

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    After a day off I was itching to get some more skiing in. Hochfugen was an awesome hill (thank mags for the recommendation), and I'd heard also from mags that Hintertux was great on a sunny day (lots of alpine). Very true, but also true that the place has shit tons of pretty advanced terrain that doesn't seem to get hammered by skiers. In fact don't let the Euros fool you, it really is not that busy all the time. OK perhaps I have horseshoes up my ass.

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    Vivian (above) and I sessioned one area at least 7 runs. The light was great, the snow was amazing and it was reasonably steep. And no one, I mean no fucking one else was skiing this area. Weird.

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    My last ski hill meal of the trip. Fried potatoes, lovely sausage, beer. Fuel of the Kaiser I bet.

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    Do I lie about the no people? I do not. Vivian enjoys a home run, the gondi that I took a picture through is below us.

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    Ended the amazing Hintertux day with a wonderful traditional meal prepared by Olllie's dad. And many schnapps. Vivian and I will be back. Doesn't hurt that mrsgaryfromterrace's inlaws have a place 20 minutes from Hochfugen and 40 from Hintertux.
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    Last edited by garyfromterrace; 07-20-2018 at 06:23 PM.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  8. #33
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    A trip and a life well wrought, G.

    Bravo I say, bravo.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  9. #34
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    Thanks for sharing G. Looks like a great trip.

    And once again congrats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    A trip and a life well wrought, G.

    Bravo I say, bravo.
    Thank you Mr Highman!! Hope to do more of both (tripping and wroughting)
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Thanks for sharing G. Looks like a great trip.

    And once again congrats.
    Cheers Brit! And thanks buddy. Only took 79 tries to find the right one
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    ― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  12. #37
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    A mere 3 months after the initial installment I can wrap this baby up.

    The last coupla days were spent in Munich. The weather was perfect and the company better. Upon arrival it was beer garden time. Then a great time attending Ollie's B day party with a bunch of Ollie and Charlotte's (our Munich hosts) friends. A truly global lot those kids. Turkey, Austria, England, Germany, US including a handful of Canucks from all over our land.

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    The giant ceiling mirror made for an interesting angle.

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    I've mentioned that I've a thing for arches previously, however I must come clean that I also have a crush on columns. This was I nice one I thought.

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    Gargoyles are cool.

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    So while Vivian flies home and the kids go to work I head out Museuming. My first stop is the Museum of Egyptian art and this sculpture - Present Continuous. Created by the Dutch artist Henk Visch (in 1950). I immediately think of vomiting up beer and clamato off the Burfield double chair circa 1993. It probably freaked out the riders on the chairs behind us (all day) but I digress. I think about the deeper meaning. Does it connect man to earth via the blood that courses through most life on planet Earth? Is it symbolic of a man overloading mentally and spewing the excess in an infinite stream? I do know this - the nicknames that locals have nicknamed the sculpture include: Barfi, Ass, and Head Shot. Still, I like.

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    Following a good dose of Egypt, I headed to a medieval armour and weapon display. I've always admired a good suit of armour and some deadly ancient weapons and this place delivered. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum was well worth the price of admission (which may have been free because it was Tuesday or something... Anyway, off to be awed.

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    If you didn't know this - chain mail is really really heavy.

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    I was floored when I discovered this. A speed skiing helmut from the 1500's. Little did I know the ancients were into KL! But more surprises were to come...

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    A damn catchers face mask. Circa 1600 (I think), but anyway it totally blows the American's claim of inventing baseball! Ha, yanks. It was obviously invented in Bavaria in the 1600's.

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    This shot also includes the instruction manual for the weapon. Lovingly carved in some rare wood (perhaps) is an ancient carving of the "spearie eye poke". A go to move I would suggest for most knights.

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    The swords were primo. Would have liked to swing one round a little. I fenced for a short time and would like to feel how balanced these blades were.

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    The crossbow would have been a pretty imposing weapon to pretty much um, anyone, back in the day.

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    These models of the solar system from the 1,700's (guessing) were very impressive. So impressive in fact, that I felt like an absolute dumb ass. So here was a working model that's fairly accurate (making this up) and that there is not a snowball's chance that me, a human living in the age of technology, could make one of these from scratch. Not a fucking chance.

    Hats off forefathers.

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    Old maps are another of my many loves. This was a spectacular specimen. It's fun living in places that are blank on the map. I probably spent 20 minutes looking at this puppy.

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    On the way home I scoped out this comfy looking chair. For about $5k CAD. hmmm

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    This is the second time I've caught a good surf session. I'd like to try this sometime. Hope I have the balls for it when the time comes.

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    The big guy had a nice sleep with me and in the morning as I was packing I glanced over and Tomba was pretty sad. Me too

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    It was rather fitting that my last meal, and breakfast no less, was weisswurst, weisbeir, and a pretzel. All trips that I've done to Europe have been an absolute blast. It's never let me down for skiing, boarding, backcountry, eating, socializing, culture, diverse geography, weather, reacquainting with old friends. Sometimes though it's been only 8 out of 10 that were off the charts good. I would suggest that the sum of this trip and it's diverse locales made it a solid 10/10.

    Anyway, go to Europe sometime eh.
    Last edited by garyfromterrace; 08-02-2018 at 09:55 AM.
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  13. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Land of the Long Flat Vowel
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    Excellent stuff, Gary!

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