GTS Touring Society in Death Valley, March, 2005


This was THE year for flowers in Death Valley. A banner year for rainfall caused the sprouting of a record amount of wildflowers. In fact, the 'Valley got more rain than it's seen in 93 years. Nobody alive has ever seen this many flowers in Death Valley, and it's not likely that anyone alive will again- A worker at Scotty's Castle said that it'll take 60 years for the seeds grown this year to germinate.

Naturally, the local news crews broadcasted this phenomenon across the airwaves, which in turn caused Death Valley to see a record number of visitors. While it's nice to see so many people interested in nature, it did pose its problems: Lodging of any kind was booked up long in advance, and waits of 2 hours for a seat in a restaurant were common! The poor workers in Death Valley were run ragged, often working multiple shifts every day for months. Traffic was higher than ever, especially with a number of roads having been washed out by the record rainfall. I barely captured an overturned Jeep Cherokee in the flowers; No doubt its driver was paying more attention to the flora than the road!

Still, it was a spectacular time to be there, and it was fun to go exploring some dirt roads with my friends Doug Kirk and Brian Coggins. Note the one hill in Chloride City- It's MUCH steeper than it looks in the photo. I managed to pick the wrong line heading up it, and dumped my bike in the most difficult spot (where I left my helmet in the photo). Fortunately there was no damage to speak of, and the hike to the top was worth it. The view from up there was even better than that from Dante's View (the road to which being closed anyway).

Some of these pictures turned out quite well, some didn't. Same with my joining of the panorama shots- some seams are indistinguishable, others are, well, not. Please be kind. ;-)

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By Ridgecrest  
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By Ridgecrest  
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Paiute Mtn  
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Paiute Mtn  
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Paiute Mtn  
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Doug Kirk  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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North of Ridgecrest  
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Stinkytown  
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Stinkytown  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Panamint Valley  
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Wildrose road closed  
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Wildrose road closed  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Green & Yellow Panamint Valley  
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Death Valley green tinged!  
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Death Valley green tinged!  
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Death Valley green tinged!  
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Death Valley green tinged!  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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Death Valley  
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AVI scan of Death Valley  
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Another dingbat SUV driver  
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Panoramic composite  
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Rain has exposed salt!  
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Rain has exposed salt!  
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Rain has exposed salt!  
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Rain has exposed salt!  
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Harmony Borax Works  
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Rain has exposed salt!  
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Harmony Borax Works  
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Green & Yellow!  
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Green & Yellow!  
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Green & Yellow!  
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Green & Yellow!  
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Campsite w/ Doug & bikes  
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Purple flowers  
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At Keane Wonder Mill  
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At Keane Wonder Mill  
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At Keane Wonder Mill  
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New plant life  
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Keane Wonder Mill  
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Kelly at the Mill  
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Fragile beauty  
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Keane Wonder Mill  
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Keane Wonder Mill  
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Doug gets the shaft  
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Then emerges from it  
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Ore gondola at Keane  
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Actually not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Water-filled cactus  
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Rode through water!!  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Not quite at Chloride Cliff  
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Different blue flowers  
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Different blue flowers  
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Doug moving past vent  
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Red flowers  
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At Chloride City  
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At Chloride City  
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At Chloride City  
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At Chloride City  
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At Chloride City  
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At Chloride City  
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See Helmet? Crashed KLR there.  
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Top of the world!  
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Panoramic composite of whole valley  
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Another composite of valley  
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Wind-scored rock  
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King of the 'valley  
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Entrance to Chloride City Trail  
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Entrance to Chloride City Trail  
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Lake Manley  
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Lake Manley  
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Sun setting on Funeral Mts.  
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Sun setting on Panmints  
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Snow on Panamints  
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Blooming creosote bush  
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Another type of flower  
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Another blue flower  
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Lights of approaching bikes  
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F/A-18s dogfighting overhead  
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F/A-18s dogfighting overhead  
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Lights of approaching bikes  
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Doug approaches  
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Doug approaches  
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Brian approaches  
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Brian approaches  
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Sun sets on three bikers  
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Salt formations in front of Mts.  
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Sunset over Lake Manley  
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Sunset over Lake Manley  
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Sunrise in Furnace Creek  
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Panoramic composite of Death Valley  
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Flower fields  
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Flower fields  
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Lake in Ubehebe Crater!  
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Lake in Ubehebe Crater!  
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Three riders of the apocalypse  
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Teakettle Junction  
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Teakettle Junction  
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The Racetrack  
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Panoramic composite of the Racetrack  
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AVI scan across racetrack  
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Standing water is mostly gone  
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Floor of playa  
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Floor of playa  
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Migrating Rocks  
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Migrating Rocks  
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Rock trail  
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Rock trail  
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The Racetrack  
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The Racetrack  
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By Ubehebe Crater  
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Brian by Ubehebe Crater  
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KLR by Ubehebe  
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Many flower varieties  
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Black mountain composite  
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Composite of duststorm in D.V.  
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Duststorm in Death Valley  
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Alluvial Fan  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field composite  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Flower field  
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Amazing sunset  
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Amazing sunset  
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Amazing sunset  
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Amazing sunset  
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Amazing sunset  
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Badwater salt path  
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Badwater: -282'  
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Sunset over Badwater  
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DEEP water at Badwater!  
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Brackish water  
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Sunset over Badwater  
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AVI scan of Badwater  
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Brackish water  
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1/2 the GTS Touring Society  
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The Johnsons  
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The Branches coming  
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Salt formations in water  
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Small fish in VERY salty water  
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The other 1/2 of GTS Touring Society  
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KLR at Devil's Golf Course  
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Devil's Golf Course  
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Branche family @ The Golfcourse  
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Branche family @ The Golfcourse  
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Devil's Golf Course  

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