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evanhill
11-15-2007, 08:05 PM
I'm thinking of a base camp type of thing, so people can try out different skis and snowshoes (homemade pulk races?). Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. We could make it work another way, but that's my initial thought. Borrowing on the summer's successful organization, let's pin down a date first, and worry about location and itinerary second.

January?

Ed C
11-16-2007, 05:32 AM
That works for me. I have two or three bird hunting trips. I can always fit in a winter rendevous.

scothill
11-16-2007, 06:13 AM
I am in. Maybe we should plan sometime in Feb so snow is on the ground and we are past the holiday conflicts. Also that gives us time to find a spot.

Randy
11-16-2007, 07:14 AM
I'll say I'm tentatively in. We're getting ready to move to Spokane and I have a tentative weeklong meeting Feb 25-29 at this time. I'll see how the move, new job and getting the new house painted and stalls in the barn are going and let you know.

Ed C
11-16-2007, 07:30 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Randy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'll say I'm tentatively in. We're getting ready to move to Spokane and I have a tentative weeklong meeting Feb 25-29 at this time. I'll see how the move, new job and getting the new house painted and stalls in the barn are going and let you know.

</div></div>


Randy we are thinking about doing it this winter /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Bushcraft
11-16-2007, 07:59 AM
Count me in. I just need about a month's lead time on the where and when.

Allen

snakey2
11-16-2007, 09:00 AM
Just about anytime after Jan Is good for me. In my younger days I did a lot of XC skiing and can bring a couple of sets of waxless longer skis to contrast. Sounds like fun.

SuperBadger
11-16-2007, 09:01 AM
I'm in too. So far February is good for me, and a Friday-Sunday setup would be great. Either of the first two weekends would probably be best for me- the 1st-3rd or the 8th-10th.

Buck W
11-16-2007, 09:37 AM
I'm interested. Late January or February looks OK for now.

Randy
11-16-2007, 04:13 PM
Ed,

Thanks for the heads up...I'll pencil it in under 'this winter' in my planner /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

At this point I'm kinda like Bush, given enough lead and if this meeting doesn't get in the way I'll plan on it!

TwoRavens
11-16-2007, 08:38 PM
I can probably make it, work permitting. I don't have any skiing experiance.

OR_Wildfire
11-16-2007, 10:01 PM
I am interested, January or February works for me. I've got bc xcountry skis to bring and if I get my pulk built that too.

scothill
11-17-2007, 09:09 AM
At this point just given what I have accumlated over the last couple of years. I have 2 pair of snowshoes, three sets of xc skis of various kinds, and karvers. I also have a small snowmoble pulk that I want to try as a pulk.

I think we are focusing in on the first weekend or two in February. If that doesn't work for someone speak up now please.

idaho lad
11-17-2007, 07:23 PM
Your pretty close to my neck of the woods there Randy. Within about an hour driving time.

Jason
11-22-2007, 11:51 PM
Are you thinking about somewhere in Central OR, or do you have any ballpark idea. I'd love to come, and if I'm only a few hours drive away, it'll be easier to get the days off I need.

scothill
11-23-2007, 11:25 AM
The plan is to pick a date and then start looking at time. In order to guarantee snow figure it should be up near a pass, which limits things. The other thing we want to do is try to make it as central to everyone as possible. So far we have people form Central OR, Portland, OR, Spokane, and Seattle area. Frankly we talked about somewhere on the east side of white pass. As that seems to still be pretty central for everyone. The high country in OR finally has enough snow to do some sking on, but I am not sure about other areas.

Jason
11-23-2007, 02:16 PM
Roger that. I didn't know if the Oregon and Washington guys were each going to do their own thing, or make an attempt to stay together. I haven't tried XC skiing in years--------could be very entertaining! I've got snow shoes also, which are slower but "less eventful." /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

disillusionedpatriot
11-23-2007, 02:30 PM
I hear it's fairly feasible to climb St. Helens in winter.

http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/recreation/mount-st-helens/

SuperBadger
11-23-2007, 03:16 PM
I wasn't sure where White Pass was, looked it up on the google maps. Looks like it's pretty much half way between Portland and Seattle, and a little East. Nice location.

Jason
11-23-2007, 04:20 PM
I was kind of hopin' for the Mt. Jeff Wilderness.....

disillusionedpatriot
11-24-2007, 11:30 AM
I think I'll try to go also. Looks like Mt. Jefferson Wilderness is east of Eugene. I suppose if some other Seattle area folks carpooled down there.

If White Pass, I'm pretty sure the Dog Lake campground is plowed out for winter recreation. To get past Dog Lake there's a sizeable creek but no bridge last time I was there. If the bridge has been rebuilt it wasn't too far to the next Lake but there was a fair sized ridge to get up.

Jason
11-24-2007, 02:06 PM
Mt. Jeff is more like east of Salem (an hour north of Eugene)---------up the Santiam pass on the way to Bend.

evanhill
11-26-2007, 11:01 AM
Ok. Time to put a stake in the sand -- any objections to Feb. 1-3, 2008?

Bushcraft
11-26-2007, 11:02 AM
None here.

disillusionedpatriot
11-26-2007, 11:04 AM
Can't think of any. Do we know where we're going?

Instead of a trip where we bring all of our tons of stuff to show it off, any objections to going somewhere we might actually hunt a bit? Like some cougar hunting in the foothills east of White Pass?

evanhill
11-26-2007, 02:25 PM
well... folks from OR will not find it convenient to hunt in WA (out of state license fees).

That aside, I'm open about what sort of winter rondy this is. I initially threw it out there as a "demo weekend" for some different types of winter travel gear that folks could try out before buying.

That lends itself to camping at the vehicles and taking day trips from there on different gear. However, people could commit to a particular piece of gear (either owned or borrowed) to travel to camp with and then trade it off with someone else to try something else.

I'm not sure if your suggestion of hunting also implies traveling into and camping in the backcountry, or camping above, at, or below snow line. I definately thought this was an above snow line thing.

So, what do people most want to do with this? Camp at rigs and demo different gear in day trip mode, or travel into the backcountry for an overnighter, or just pass the time clotheslining snowmobilers?

What we choose has bearing on where we go...

Ed C
11-26-2007, 06:36 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">or just pass the time clotheslining snowmobilers?

</div></div> /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif Now you're talkin buddy. It's goin be a great rondy!! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

I would just as soon stick with the original plan. Look at some skis and some gear. I'll bring a big pot of venison chili. BS a whole bunch. Have a good time.

To do any serious cougar huntin you need fresh snow. You need to be 4 wheelin or walking at about 1:00 or 2:00 am. Cut fresh tracks and on em hard at 4;30-5:00am. Prepared to stop and call an hour or two after sun up. It ain't goin happen. If one wants to walk around with a gun and say he's cougar huntin that will work.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I initially threw it out there as a "demo weekend" for some different types of winter travel gear that folks could try out before buying.

That lends itself to camping at the vehicles and taking day trips from there on different gear </div></div>

Sounds good let's keep going in that direction.

Bushcraft
11-26-2007, 06:51 PM
Nothing says winter like an abundance of snow on the ground.

I'm open for any get together with the good folks that attend these sorts of events.

My preference would be a backcountry jaunt on skis, comfortably pulling a sledfull of luxury.

Ed C
11-26-2007, 07:07 PM
Sounds good! What about clotheslining the snowmobilers? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

I don't have any skis, but if you pull the luxuries in I'll follow you on my snowshoes. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

TwoRavens
11-26-2007, 07:17 PM
I don't have skis or snowshoes... maybe one of you can carry me (and my ZXR filled with luxuries) /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Buck W
11-26-2007, 07:50 PM
Feb 1-3 looks good for me.

I'd like the chance to try the Karhu's and ?, and I'll bring a pair of upper end Atlas snowshoes for anyone to try. I may be able to come up with some chili, too. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

TwoRavens
11-26-2007, 07:58 PM
PS, Feb 1-3 is OK with me.

I should have my 20* MOB and ST/Annex by then, so I' can bring them and the ZXR and X-Ray.

SuperBadger
11-26-2007, 08:29 PM
Feb 1st-3rd sounds good to me. I'll put it on the Calendar. I'll be back in town for my 21st birthday on Monday. I am fine with camping by the cars and trying out some gear, hopefully I'll be able to nab a pair of skis by then.

Jason
11-26-2007, 08:41 PM
Ed C is spot on about hunting cats. Buying an out of state license and tag sounds spendy too.

I'd be in favor of either camping by the rigs and taking turns going for jaunts, OR packing in a ways to set up camp. Leaving several thousand dollars in Kifaru shelters unattended near a road would be asking for too much integrity from the bottom feeders IMO. Mostly sitting in a warm tipi and laughing at blizzards while telling lies sounds like enough fun for the weekend, but sharing and testing snow gear would be great too.

Ed C
11-26-2007, 10:25 PM
Guys I have a lot of quarter inch braided nylon rope I can bring. It should work great for clotheslining. Evan promised we could try it out.

Randy
11-26-2007, 10:46 PM
At this point the dates look good here. I'll work my travel schedule to be a little closer to Central WA that week.

Ed, if we went up to one of the Sno-Camps on the Ahtanum you could test the clothes-lining thing 24hrs a day /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

You guys pick a spot-I'll be kinda busy over on the far-east side after Dec 20, so scouting an area this year is probably out for me.

OR_Wildfire
11-27-2007, 05:42 AM
Feb 1-3 works for me, I don't have to be back to work until the last week in February. I'm up for anything but am really interested in seeing/trying other BC ski setups.

kgk

snakey2
11-27-2007, 08:40 AM
I pretty sure the first 2 weekends of Feb. are ok for me. Whatever you do I'll try to be there. As for hunting I don't need to do it but would love to tag along with one of you Washingtonians (is that the correct handle for you guys since I only like to insult on purpose).

scothill
11-27-2007, 02:30 PM
That weekend works for me. As far as location snow is a must so I guess that we need to start paying attention to the snowfalls in various areas. I know that as of sunday we would be hard pushed to find enough snow in the Bachelor Santiam pass areas. Also if we can find a place with road access to wilderness we can avoid the snowmobilers except excursions for EdC and anyone else that is up for a wee bit of fun.

Randy
12-04-2007, 08:46 PM
The central Cascades should be loaded up with snow now! They were talking 2' over the weekend and we got about 14" just out of Yakima.

Any locales pinned down yet?

evanhill
12-05-2007, 08:47 AM
I haven't done any research on locales yet. I'd love to hear nominations. Here is what I think we're looking for:

- Accessible in winter without going to serious lengths (I think this means plowed by state)
- Not a snowmobile depot (which I think means near a wilderness area)
- Camping allowed at trailhead
- A way to get further into the mountains without dealing with snowmobiles or a ton of avalanche danger
- Probably not a snow park for the above reasons.
- Southern WA, either I-5 or 97 access

This would leave us with the option of either doing all of our camping at the TH, or traveling for Saturday night's camp. That might be a call that we make on the spot based on weather and the predilections of the group. I think it is a given that Friday night's camp will be at the TH.

So, with those things in mind, any nominations? How far in is Bumping Lake plowed in the winter? Doesn't seem like there would be snowmobiles up that valley because it is surrounded with Wilderness. Something on the slopes of Adams or St. Helens?

SuperBadger
12-05-2007, 09:01 AM
I've never been to Bumping lake before, but the slopes of Adams or St. Helens would be nice. I like the idea of camping at the TH Friday night and then heading out Saturday night for another camp- I agree that we'll probably make that call on the day of.

Randy
12-05-2007, 11:22 AM
The Bumping Road is plowed as far as Goose Praire. From there south on the road it is legal for snow mobile traffic once the road has been closed for winter. One option in that area might be to ski/hike/snowshoe about a mile up from Goose Prairie to the Bumping Crossing then up to the wilderness trailheads. The trail that goes back to the north parallel to the river has lots of flat camping area and plenty of downed wood for the stoves, also designated wilderness. Could probably use the parking area at the Boy Scout camp at Goose Prairie if we asked ahead of time and have a safe, secure place for everyone's rig.

I think the Pleasant Valley area and the Fife's Peak turn-out have some marked cross-country trails that might be good for beginners.

JBR
12-07-2007, 02:14 PM
I'd like to try to make it as well, but a) I don't have skis or snowshoes, b) I don't have a heated tipi YET (read: anyone have room for me and some libations in their tipi?). I would be up for camping at the TH the first night and maybe packing in a ways for 2nd night...or just packing in a little ways for both nights? If you think snow shoes at a mimimum are necessary I could look at picking up a pair...

evanhill
12-07-2007, 02:28 PM
My thinking was that traveling for the second night would partly depend on whether there was enough gear to outfit everyone. I have spare snowshoes and skis, and I expect others might as well.

c'mon, doesn't anyone from WA have suggestions for that part of the world? I'd hate to have to just pick a spot on the map...

snakey2
12-07-2007, 02:47 PM
Evanhill you know places in Oregon suggest those and let thems in Wash counter. Less driving for us if we stay here.

Randy
12-07-2007, 04:16 PM
Evan,

Bushwhack was talking about a short trip in from White Pass last year. Maybe on the PCT at the summit or from the Dog Lake Campground.

I'm in the middle of a move and all my gear and maps are packed up, so I'm just shootin' from the hip.

Jason
12-09-2007, 01:12 AM
I'd still like to attend if you guys can nail it down pretty quickly. I'm bidding on my vacation days for '08 right now.

SuperBadger
12-09-2007, 07:36 AM
Jason,
I believe the date of February 1st-3rd was decided upon.

Ed C
12-09-2007, 09:10 AM
Guys
Snow is coming down hard at morning feeding.
We can have it right here at El Rancho go broko. Elevation 100.
Plenty of room for tipis on the back alder jungle.
I will be able to ski down for evening feeding!

I'm sure Randy has more snow at his new digs. If things get real bad we can use his barn for a shelter. Build big open fires. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u200/gunnerratlouski/ElRancho009-1.jpg

Randy
12-09-2007, 09:51 AM
Y'all come over! When I was up there a week ago, not much snow yet, just cold and foggy. We'll actually be hauling the first loads of stuff this week, so hopefully it won't snow much til we get everything moved and the tractor and snow-blade hauled over.

We do have lots of space--5 acres of timbered land, big barn, dirt floors, lots of wood to burn and a big outdoor firepit/BBQ area. Not to mention 4 cross-country/hiking trails just across the driveway for those wanting to ski, snowshoe or hike.

scothill
12-09-2007, 02:11 PM
Randy,
Sounds great but that is in the Spokane area right. I think that is probably a bit far for most of us OR folks. Although whose to know....


As far as snow up on the very top there is enough to ski but if you go very low there just isn't enough. Leading to a very disappointing morning yesterday.

Anyone been upcountry in WA lately?

Randy
12-10-2007, 05:09 AM
Scot,

True enough, Deer Park would be a trek for the OR and western WA guys. Eastern WA supposed to get a bunch of snow today and then Friday thru Monday.

Sounds like the Cascades ie; White Pass lost a bunch of snow to the rain and warm temps last week, even closed down WP for skiing over the weekend.

evanhill
12-10-2007, 08:46 AM
Jason, that date is set. We're just hemming and hawing about location right now.

Bushcraft
12-10-2007, 09:13 AM
I was up east of Rainier in the Crystal Mountain/Chinook Pass area on Saturday and there is very little snow. Could have left the snowshoes in the rig instead of lashed to my pack.

No worries...we've a bunch of time until February rolls around.

Jason
12-10-2007, 07:34 PM
Roger the date. Just thinking that the location determines the length of the drive and possibly an extra day tacked on to each end of the trip for travel, so I wanted to request as few days as possible to save them for hunting season.

evanhill
12-11-2007, 09:40 AM
Gotcha. The areas that I'm looking at are:
- White Pass
- Mt. Adams Wilderness north of Trout Lake (really like this one)
- Trapper Creek Wilderness north of Cascade Locks

Either way, you're looking at driving most of friday, spending friday night and saturday night at the rendezvous, and then driving back sunday. Whether or not you'll need a recovery day monday after a bunch of driving is another question.

SuperBadger
12-11-2007, 10:16 AM
The Adams wilderness north of Trout Creek sounds like a good location. The Southern/Eastern Oregon folks won't have to drive to Northern Washington, and vice versa. Those are some good areas to keep an eye on anyway as the snow begins to fall.

evanhill
12-11-2007, 10:41 AM
good point patrick. white pass is a decent mid point if the bulk of folks are in the puget sound area, but when you start throwing in eugene, grant's pass, k-falls, and eastern oregon, mt. adams starts looking a lot more fair.

rough distances to trout lake according to mapquest:
4 hours from seattle
3.75 hours from eugene
3.75 hours from la grande
5.75 hours from klamath
5.5 from grants pass
2.5 from yakima
3.5 from bend
1.5 from portland

Jason
12-11-2007, 10:59 AM
You should also factor in bad weather, and subsequent bad roads that seem to foil the average driver--------and double commute times. A definite down-side to the weather that most of US look forward to.......

Bushcraft
12-11-2007, 11:22 AM
Perhaps I should whip up a table/graph that dynamically updates travel times according to real-time conditions and calculates the optimal rondy destination? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Bushcraft
12-11-2007, 11:24 AM
....not. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

evanhill
12-11-2007, 01:20 PM
actually Allen, what I was trying to picture in my mind was a weighted midpoint based on the locations of all confirmed attendees.

High School statistics class is a long way off, but I think I remember solving a problem like this by drawing a line from every point to every other point which resulted in a very clear dense region which was the weighted average midpoint. I have no idea what the math behind that would look like.

So, if you could get right on that...

Jason
12-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Come on Allen, I think that would be a GREAT project......

scothill
12-11-2007, 07:08 PM
Evan, I though our plan was to just throw a dart at the map? Sounds like Allen has a much better plan. Speaking for myself I would be a bit in awe of mad crazy skillz like that. Oh yeah I wasn't supposed to mention the dart...ooops

Jason
12-12-2007, 07:06 PM
Count me in now. I only had to add Friday to my days off to make it work. I'm excited! The bad news is the other NW Rondy and the big one in CO are not gonna happen since guys up the food chain already have those dates for themselves. I'll have to whoop it up with extra vigor in February I guess.....

disillusionedpatriot
12-13-2007, 02:31 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: evanhill</div><div class="ubbcode-body">actually Allen, what I was trying to picture in my mind was a weighted midpoint based on the locations of all confirmed attendees.</div></div>

Bad idea. Because of the curvature of the earth, it would be below ground.

snakey2
12-14-2007, 11:39 AM
A spelunking rendezvous, cool idea DP.

evanhill
12-14-2007, 01:41 PM
Actually, I think that puts us somewhere in Ape Cave on St. Helens. This works out well, because we'll be able to show Kevin and other naysayers a sasquatch /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Jason
12-15-2007, 02:45 PM
I can also forward any naysayers a photo of my MIL......

snakey2
12-17-2007, 02:19 PM
Is a date firmly set? I need to know soon cause my*boss got canned which means I'm on call every other weekend now and must schedule things much more tightly.

Jason
12-17-2007, 02:38 PM
As far as I know, it's Feb 1st-3rd. That's when I'm going anyway. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

evanhill
12-17-2007, 06:03 PM
Yes Snakey, those dates are set.

snakey2
12-18-2007, 07:53 AM
OK I'll work on unchaining myself.

SuperBadger
12-26-2007, 09:25 AM
Looks like the snow from yesterday gave a big boost to the higher elevations in the Cascades. I just heard a report from someone who went snowshoeing in the vicinity of Trout Lake, he said there was a pretty substantial amount of snow. Maybe chest deep.

scothill
12-28-2007, 07:27 AM
I went over and back Santiam the last two days. Definitely plenty of snow. Hoodoo is reporting a 6 foot base. I talked to Evan yesterday and he has narrowed it down to the Mt Adams area I think. He wants to call the ranger station to get some onsite reports before the final decision.

SuperBadger
12-28-2007, 07:46 AM
I think Mt. Adams will be a pretty good area. If the snowfall continues like this we will be in really good shape. I'll have to get my hands on some SST pins, or some other way to anchor my tipi in such deep snow.

SuperBadger
01-04-2008, 09:41 AM
I just scored a pair of free Tubbs snowshoes for the trip, so at least I'll be able to float on top of the snow one way or another if I can't get a set of skis. If I get the skis, the snowshoes are still coming along so that someone else could use them.

OR_Wildfire
01-05-2008, 07:00 PM
I have an extra pair of back country x country skis with NNN bindings. I've only got one pair of boots so if anyone has NNN boots they are more than welcome to try my old skis or my new skis. My old one's are pretty trashed, they are wax less double cambered, metal edged, fischer's. My new ones are alpina cross terrains, waxless and seem to be camber and a half, they have a lot of shape.

Anyway let me know if anyone wants me to bring both my skis.

kgk

SuperBadger
01-05-2008, 11:33 PM
Hey OR- how do you like those cross terrains?

OR_Wildfire
01-06-2008, 05:24 PM
I like them so far, haven't used them a lot yet. Plan to give them a go on a back country trip in Colorado next weekend on my way back to OR from Nebraska. I like that fact that they have a little less camber than my fischer's. I'm not good at it but it seems a lot easier to teli turn on the cross terrains than my old fischer backcountrys. I also think the cross terrains seem to climb a little better then the fischer's. They'll be at the rendezvous if you want to try them?

evanhill
01-08-2008, 08:34 AM
Patrick, I'll be bringing my wife's cross terrains with fritschi bindings on them. You should get plenty of ski time with your new boots.

There is a *lot* of snow in the oregon cascades, I expect the Trout Lake area is doing well too. I was pushing knee deep fresh again this morning.

For those of you planning on going, please email me at the address in my profile. I'll follow Allen's precedent of not publicly sending trip details. Rather, I'll send them via email to those who have given me their addresses.

SuperBadger
01-08-2008, 09:46 AM
Thanks Evan, I sent an email your way. I found a link to the Gifford Pinchot NF that lists the Trout Lake Ranger Districs number as (509)395-3400.

I am going to call them today and ask about the conditions up there, but I assume they're swimming in the snow just like the Mt. Hood area.

homoed'spard
01-08-2008, 08:43 PM
i don't have a 1000 tent but if you pards would let me i'd be glad to go. it sounds like a ton of fun and any time is good for me

Huntsman22
01-09-2008, 03:56 AM
uh oh.......this could turn interesting.

Ed C
01-09-2008, 04:03 PM
Nick: You need to register under your real handle
"**** for Brains"

OR_Wildfire
01-10-2008, 07:54 PM
I know Huntsman22 already offered up tyvek, but I also have a 9' role left over from siding my house. If anyone wants any let me know and I will bring it to the rondy.

kgk

homoed'spard
01-10-2008, 08:26 PM
http://www.fussy.org/****_you.gif

evanhill
01-11-2008, 09:30 AM
karl, some tyvek would be quite nice, thanks.

pard, you can go if "homo ed" vouches for you. sounds like an uphill battle /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

scothill
01-11-2008, 12:02 PM
Karl put me down for some tyvek as well please.

Buck W
01-14-2008, 08:53 AM
+1 on the Tyvek, thanks!

Buck

SuperBadger
02-04-2008, 07:47 AM
UPDATE:

NW Winter Rendezvous was a success! Pictures and writeups on the way. It was great to meet everyone.

OR_Wildfire
02-04-2008, 08:30 AM
Happy Birthday Patrick!

It was definitely a good time had by all. It was really nice to finally meet some of these characters. I'll post more later.

We should probably start a new thread this one is getting pretty long.

kgk