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post #126 of 148 Old 03-23-2010, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Current position: N 66° 09.630 W 169° 48.928

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March 22, 2010: 177th short message (11:20 a.m. CET)

First, the entire team would like to say Thank You for all the congratulations we received. It motivates us, it’s great. Thank you.

Regarding the weather it looks really bad at the moment. Chukotka is under control of two low-pressure systems and here, at the easternmost point, the wind changed from south to north. This, along with the low-pressure systems with storms, is well and truly raining on our parade right now.
Oh well, without the kindness of the good weather of the last days, we wouldn’t be here. Therefore we wait and prepare ourselves.
We use the time to sort and arrange the equipment, we try on our survival suits, we prepare the first aid kits, we repair and modify the technical equipment like lamps, telephones, notebooks, the wiring, etc., we break our Bunny Boots in, study maps, hold conversations with whale and seal hunters about the currents, the ice, weather and ice conditions. Furthermore we held a school and a cultural speech, received a special concert by the local dance group with traditional dances, took a shower, etc.

By the way, the bad weather is really controlling the entire of Chukotka at the moment. Almost all flights are cancelled.
Even flights from Moscow are unable to land in Anadyr. They were redirected to Magadan and then send back. Many people in the different villages, cities, etc. cannot come forth. They are waiting for connecting flights.

Once again, waiting is necessary – and that’s not easy. It costs just as much nerves as the actual driving. Well, let’s see.
By the way, Rudi is working on his Russian language skills and Victor is organizing like a pro again.

Regards,
Jan


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post #127 of 148 Old 03-24-2010, 08:46 PM
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post #128 of 148 Old 03-27-2010, 11:58 PM
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Can't wait to read the next update

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post #129 of 148 Old 03-31-2010, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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March 26, 2010: 178th short message (05:08 a.m. CET)

Good days are different.

Unexpectedly we had to leave our accommodation the day before yesterday because the person with whom we lived up until now, wanted to take a helicopter that was supposed to arrive but which didn’t arrive in the end. We only had a few hours to find a new accommodation and thus were running up and down the streets anxiously, asked people, the administration, the weather station, etc. Finally, we found a small, empty apartment.

Now – after rearranging and completely cleaning it in a heave-ho action – it is our apartment. Then, we had to move the same night. All of our equipment, tools, clothes, sleeping-bags, shoes, the whole rescue equipment, etc. – just everything – had to be moved. First we carried as much as each of us could take and walked to the other end of Uelen. Then a driver of a Russian Buran that also had a skid trailer came and offered to help us. Then the children came and in the end we were surrounded by people who held the things on the skid in place, accompanied us, carried things, talked and helped, etc.

Anyway, the move means more privacy for the team. Everyone has its own sleeping area now (or something similar to that). We have a table and a ceramic piece that was supposed to be a toilet bowl with a spray flushing. Oh well, at least we don’t have to carry water for the toilet.

Instead we have to carry fresh water which gets delivered to the outside and which we have to carry inside the apartment in buckets.

But much more that this little story annoy me the processes in connection with the US-authorities in Moscow. You can really get a flash because of their mindset and behavior. Concerning this matter, yesterday was once again a really sh*tty day. After receiving a nice letter on behalf of an American supervisor, we had to react fast.

The US-authority called Victor Burstein, the most deserving of all who helped us, without whom the expedition with American vehicles NEVER would have reached Uelen, to Moscow, to clarify some documents. Yesterday, these people actually asked for evidence to prove the existence of the expedition. You won’t believe that this is true. I was very upset about this.

Therefore, Victor is now traveling from Uelen!! To Moscow because the American Embassy is actually AMERICA. But nobody cares that the vehicles are American vehicles.

It’s strange that on the other hand we receive more and more inquiries by American magazines and newspapers who want to publish and describe the historic accomplishments of the expedition with the “oh so great American vehicles”. I cannot answer because it makes my stomach churn if I only think about how we have been let down by an American partner, how we hung in there despite it, how Victor has to crawl to Moscow now, etc.

Meanwhile we prepare ourselves and the vehicles and were also able to take a decent shower in the heating factory (even though I was a little bit surprised that Rudi wanted to take a shower again. He was able to enjoy a shower just a couple of days ago ;-)).



Quote:
March 26, 2010: 179th short message (05:52 a.m. CET)

Don’t give up and make the impossible possible.

Together with some very very special supporters and friends, Victor is in an airplane on his way to Moscow. He is a hero. Nobody except for him, the great people who supported us in Russia and the EE-Office including the Flugbörse in Germany, could have done this. Traveling from Uelen to Moscow in only two days.

Boy, I am so mad at some US-bureaucrats.








Regards,
Jan


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post #130 of 148 Old 04-01-2010, 05:58 AM
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You're not alone. The US government frustrates and annoys us too. Hang in there guys. I'm sure this will work out.



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post #131 of 148 Old 04-06-2010, 10:53 PM
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Hungry for an update

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post #132 of 148 Old 04-11-2010, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
March 31, 2010: 180th short message (09:11 p.m. CET)

Uelen surely is different from any other village that we have visited/driven through until now. It seems that time, language, habits and life take different ways here. Life literally happens on the streets here…
We received three invitations. Three visits with people/families that couldn’t have been more different, three experiences with impressions that can make you thoughtful.

Other than that, the days pass while we work on the vehicles. We relieve the cars from as much weight as possible, modify the tanks, change the luggage racks, open the roofs to make room for an emergency exit, mount the outboard engines, arrange the components of the lifting system, prepare the hydraulics, repair damages that occurred on our way from Lavrentia to Uelen, and so on…

By now the storm, which brought icy northern winds and a windchill factor of -40°C, has decreased. It controlled Uelen for the last few days and took everything but the kitchen sink. At least now we no longer have to wear hats and jackets when we are in our apartment. And until now thousands of ice crystals have blocked our view but finally a few centimeters have melted away from the windows.

I also sent a couple of pictures from the modifications in the garage, which has been built right on the beach. When we are lying underneath the cars, we are sort of also on Uelen’s beach.

Other pictures show chukot food and wood craft.
............
Quote:
April 1, 2010: 181th short message (01:37 a.m. CET)

How unusual.

I asked Victor to take the train from outside into Moscow on Sunday night instead of Monday morning. He arrived in Moscow on Monday morning at around 7 a.m. To get to his meeting with the German Embassy, he had to take the underground line. Only one hour later a bomb exploded on that same line.
Via my office we were promptly notified about the terrorist attack and were very worried. Also, because at that time we were not able to contact Victor via telephone. Later we heard that his cell phone was stored at the gate of the German Embassy. Everything is fine – guardian angels and good spirits seem to be with Victor nonstop at the moment.

How positive.

This morning we had a great start of the day. First we received extraordinarily good news from an authority in the United States, then Victor called to let me know that his meeting with the US-Embassy went great and then – almost like a coronation – we received a letter by the Russian administration, granting the PNY-expedition to officially leave Russia via the “non-border point” Uelen.
We appreciate the cooperation and would like to sincerely thank all involved people, ministries and authorities.
Quote:
April 1, 2010: 182nd short message (10:14 a.m. CET)

How annoying. Why should a day ever be completely good?

Some agreements don’t seem to matter all that much. Today, the women whom we rented the apartment from called and told us that we have to leave the apartment, even though we cleaned the whole apartment, fixed the water pipe in the kitchen and repaired the toilet, additionally to the agreed payment. Is that woman crazy? We have an agreement for a whole month. Boy, things like this annoy me so much.
Look like she is trying to take advantage of us. Especially, because – after I was really agitated – she offered us on the telephone to remain in the apartment if we paid the triple amount.
Whatever. We will not leave the apartment before the end of our month and thus are expecting – for the first time in Russia – troubles. Hopefully there are some people in Uelen or St. Petersburg where she lives who make her understand that this is not right.

The good news:

Today, we mounted and started the first Tohatsu Outboard engine for the first time after 1.5 years in which they have been transported (unprotected, in a lying position, standing, shaking-dust-and-coldness, on trailers, several rearrangements, ice and snow). At the second ignition, it worked. It’s just amazing. Let’s hope that the second outboard engine will do the same tomorrow.
Quote:
April 2, 2010: 183rd short message (11:47 a.m. CET)

Last night we were invited to join the audience during a dancing rehearsal of an Eskimo group. We were excited about a little mongoloid boy who learned a lot on those two hours of dancing.

We were able to fix the bad situation with the landlord in that we can stay in the apartment until the end of the agreed month to the agreed conditions. It was very difficult and cost a lot of nerves, but oh well.

Today we have a new problem. The GPS Spot emergency system doesn’t work and the awesome people from the manufacturing company are not capable or willing to call back, let alone find a solution for this problem. We (the expedition) were only planning to rely on it in the case of a necessary rescue mission. I am anxious to see how they want to fix this – anyway, it is unnecessary like a struma when things like this don’t work and especially if you have to sit at home all day as if you didn’t have other things to do, just because those guys can’t call back as discussed.

At least Rudi didn’t let grass grow under his feet. He visited the local power and heat supply station with the video/photo equipment and had someone explain to him how it worked. He was allowed to inspect the technology that keeps most everything alive. Nice men are there who will welcome us anytime. Especially Slava, the 70-years old chief-heater who looks like 50-60 and has muscles like a 40-years old bodybuilder, is very outgoing. Once and again we have been sitting together, drank some tea, listened to his story; sometimes no one says a word and everyone is in his own thoughts.

The living situation here is unique and special, here, on this two-rows-of-houses-wide piece of land between the Bering Strait and the lagoon in which Uelen is located. People adapt and live according to nature sets the course.
Quote:
April 06, 2010: 184th short message (12:34 p.m. CET)

The second Tohatsu Outboard engine is working and the modifications of the vehicles in the little garage progress.
However, there are parameters that keep us from starting the crossing of the Bering Strait at the moment. On the one hand we have to wait for the customs clearance by the Russian border and customs services; and on the other hand the weather situation is anything but ideal right now.
One storm/low pressure system is followed by the next. Strong winds from north do cause a strong concentration of ice in the Bering Strait, but due to the overall weather conditions a start is not possible.

We wait.
Quote:
April 9, 2010: 185th short message (11:51 a.m. CET)

If I didn’t know better, I would think the Bermuda is here. Slowly it is becoming eerie here.

First, we have to send Victor to Moscow where he only scarcely sidesteps the terror attacks. Then an earthquake happened in a close range to our location (at N 65.3 / W 170.7) yesterday morning.
We don’t know the entire context yet, but the wave that was caused by the seismic shock (which was measured with 4.7), seems to be responsible for that the ice along the coast of Uelen broke off completely in the morning hours. “Know me over with a feather!”
In order to get a better view of it we hiked for about 10 km along the crack until we were almost at “the three brothers” (a lump of rock before the cap). Interesting.
At the same time we meet some local hunters who make use of the broken ice to hunt and go fishing.

Regards,
Jan


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post #133 of 148 Old 04-11-2010, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for the update Jan, best of luck to you all.
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post #134 of 148 Old 04-12-2010, 08:39 AM
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Great update!

08 2Door Red Rubicon. Rock Krawler 5.5 Longarm Coilover, Polly rear Coilovers. AEV hood & wheels, 37"KM2s, JE Reel 1350 shafts, 5.38 Yukon gears, Superior axles, Shrockworks stubby, Fab Fours rear, sPod, Rebel Offroad brakes, Warn winch and lots more.

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post #135 of 148 Old 04-13-2010, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
April 12, 2010: 186th short message (06:41 a.m. CET)

Waiting, waiting, waiting. We are condemned to wait.

Currently we have extremely bad weather.

There’s a storm and it’s snowing for days as if Mother Holle was hopping mad. Furthermore, one low-pressure system is followed by another. By now there are meters high snow drifts along the houses and between the containers that are standing everywhere. In the meantime, temperatures have increased to around zero degree, everything is wet.

The cars have been finished except for the pontoons and hydraulics, but there’s no way that we can even think about starting. No one gets in or out. The storms control Chukotka. Not even the Russian Vestichots (track vehicles) are driving.

By now even the water trucks that supply Uelen with fresh water from a well that is about four kilometers away, cannot drive there anymore due to the huge amount of snow. Thereupon the tap water (kitchen, heater, etc.) has been changed to salt water since yesterday. The trucks can only drive a couple hundred meters onto the frozen lagoon and get salt water through a drilled hole for the power and heat supply station.

The days for the waiting – by now decimated – team members are characterized by discipline. It’s first priority and protects us. Rudi and I stick to it with grimly sternness in order to hang on despite all impressions. However, that doesn’t change the things that are happening around us and which we cannot influence. By now we had to part company by another team member. When I will be writing the book one day, maybe I can explain better what happened, what put a strain on us, what hardships we had to see and experience, how the things happened that were meant to happen – or were not meant to happen.
..........
Quote:
April 12, 2010: 187th short message (12:15 p.m. CET)

Due to the strong southern storm, the ice at Uelen’s shore and along the Cape drifted away 1-2 km from the shore after it broke off of the shorefast. It “anchors” menacingly, seems to observe us just like we do with it. If the wind turns, the crack is closed again within hours.

There are hundreds of seagulls and ducks cavorting in the crack right now. We have no idea where they have been hiding. Except for dogs and culled seals, we only noticed a few ravens the entire time.
Quote:
April 13, 2010: 188th short message (12:03 p.m. CET)

Yesterday evening, for a very short moment, there has been some ease in the storm.

It has been deceptively pleasant when the wind abruptly faded, the sky opened up, the remaining light of the day illuminated the water channel at around 8 p.m. The water purled, ducks and seagulls swam. The lashing, ice-cold northern wind was back again during the night and this morning. The channel no longer exists. It’s all ice. The water with about 35 gram salt per liter froze within 12 hours. Ice from the North keeps pushing enormously.

At the same place where the tearing edge has been just yesterday, there were sitting about ten hunters with their guns leveled this morning that were waiting for the seals to stick their noses through the breathing holes or the cracked ice into the air. Watch out.

Regards,
Jan


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post #136 of 148 Old 04-13-2010, 12:11 PM
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Sounds like a bad day to be a seal.



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post #137 of 148 Old 04-18-2010, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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April 14, 2010: 189th short message (10:16 a.m. CET)

Situation gets worse. Weather is still characterized by storm, snow and snow drifts. Difficult times. Brown saltwater at every occasion puts the icing on the cake.
Our freshwater resources: about 40 liters left. Let’s see.
..........

Quote:
April 15, 2010: 190th short message (11:33 a.m. CET)

By now we know how prisoners must feel. Hence we must behave well. They turned off our telephone for five days now (No, not what you are thinking. We did pay our bills right away, every time.) and this morning, the saltwater supply gave out because of a damage. Now the heater isn’t working either. Oh well, luckily we at least have our thick Mammut sleeping bags.
Let’s see.

Regards,
Jan


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post #138 of 148 Old 04-18-2010, 12:18 AM
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Hang in there, you guys are close to the finish. Thanks for the post

08 2Door Red Rubicon. Rock Krawler 5.5 Longarm Coilover, Polly rear Coilovers. AEV hood & wheels, 37"KM2s, JE Reel 1350 shafts, 5.38 Yukon gears, Superior axles, Shrockworks stubby, Fab Fours rear, sPod, Rebel Offroad brakes, Warn winch and lots more.

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post #139 of 148 Old 05-03-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
April 16, 2010: 191st short message (11:32 a.m. CET)

After intense studies of the weather conditions, we made use of a very little weather frame (ca. eight hours) right before the beginning of a new storm and made a tough six-hour ride, that led me to my limits, with a snow mobile and sled 100 km from Uelen to Lavrentia last night to wait here for a couple of days.

Amongst others, we hereby improved our communication possibilities considerably and are not completely cut off.

The next storm began less than three hours after our arrival, snow flurries started and last.
Quote:
April 19, 2010: 192nd short message (10:10 a.m. CET)

There’s a crazy storm going on ever since the night that we arrived. The hurricane doesn’t stop whipping snow across the Bering Strait, Uelen, Lavrentia, and so on. Not even for one hour. Storm and snow flurries everywhere. Tons of snow. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Meanwhile, in the city they prepare for the arrival of a multimillionaire/billionaire who has already been in outer space and who now plans to fly from Anadyr to Lavrentia via microlight.

As far as we understood with our limited Russian, a larger airplane is supposed to bring the microlight to Anadyr in parts. There, the crew assembles it. Then the boss flies to Lavrentia with the little bird. There it gets taken apart again and packed in a Cessna. The Cessna is supposed to bring the little plane over the Bering Strait to America. Upps. Furthermore, there is a traveler on its way to Uelen who plans to cross the Bering Strait via the Chukot and Eskimo way with a hunting boat in summer.

Wee, maybe we’ll meet one of them.
...........
Quote:
April 26, 2010: 193rd short message (07:08 p.m. CET)

Last Friday, during a weather frame which only lasted few hours, we flew to Anadyr with a special airplane of Chukotavia. The airplane made use of the short moment, in which there was calm weather, to make a hasty shipping of foods (amongst others) to Lavrentia.

After 1.5 months of futile waiting I decided the day before that further waiting doesn’t make sense any longer. Due to the heavy storms it is not possible for the team of the Russian authorities to arrive in Uelen, or rather to leave Uelen in a decent time frame. While we were waiting there for 1.5 months, only one single helicopter was able to fly to Uelen. We only left because we found the venturesome Skidoo driver who dared the nightly “escape” between two storms and who didn’t want to pass up this extraordinary chance. A hell of a ride. Insofar I can understand and accept the concerns by the official authorities. Meanwhile, spring storms have arrived at the Bering Strait. A crossing is completely out of question at the moment.

At the same time this means a high financial burden, as well as an interruption that takes at least several months.

For now I will go back to Germany to have some conversations and then decide how we will continue.

In order to continue, it is especially important that there is an alliance of partners who keep supporting the expedition in the future.

I would like to say thank you to the team of 2010 that has managed to proof a very very high extent of will power, endurance and courage throughout all the difficult situations we had to face. I am happy about what we achieved.

I would also like to thank the overly friendly and kind reception in Lavrentia during the last few days, especially to the administration, Victor and Marina for their heartiness, and to the staff of the well-kept accommodation where we were allowed to sleep.

Regards,
Jan


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post #140 of 148 Old 05-13-2010, 10:00 PM
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Thanks for the update. I hope that you guys can get the funding etc to get back on track. Its been a cool adventure

08 2Door Red Rubicon. Rock Krawler 5.5 Longarm Coilover, Polly rear Coilovers. AEV hood & wheels, 37"KM2s, JE Reel 1350 shafts, 5.38 Yukon gears, Superior axles, Shrockworks stubby, Fab Fours rear, sPod, Rebel Offroad brakes, Warn winch and lots more.

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post #141 of 148 Old 12-07-2010, 10:41 AM
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Any updates???

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post #142 of 148 Old 12-07-2010, 10:47 AM
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x2. You think they wave?

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OKAY FUCKMOUTH.
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post #143 of 148 Old 01-03-2011, 09:04 PM
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Just came across this thread, wow nice jeeps and great write up! Good luck guys!


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post #144 of 148 Old 01-03-2011, 09:43 PM
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I loved following this thread! Too bad that they ended or what ever happened.

08 2Door Red Rubicon. Rock Krawler 5.5 Longarm Coilover, Polly rear Coilovers. AEV hood & wheels, 37"KM2s, JE Reel 1350 shafts, 5.38 Yukon gears, Superior axles, Shrockworks stubby, Fab Fours rear, sPod, Rebel Offroad brakes, Warn winch and lots more.

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post #145 of 148 Old 02-11-2011, 10:17 PM
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even there web site ended. what happened?
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post #146 of 148 Old 02-12-2011, 10:34 AM
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Bummer. I was really hoping to drive up to NYC to join the welcome wagon when they arrived.



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post #147 of 148 Old 02-28-2011, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Locked in a basement
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reds black jk View Post
even there web site ended. what happened?
You can find the latest info here:

http://www.pny2009.com/

There have been no additional updates since late April 2010 as far as I know.



Dancin Dan is offline  
post #148 of 148 Old 09-06-2011, 01:10 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Santa Clara CA
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was this trip never completed?
deaththingy is offline  
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