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Insights Into Jim’s Packing Science

Insights Into Jim’s Packing Science

Packing for a Cross Country Trip is Like Preparing for a Marathon Getting ready for a cross-country trip requires some mental gymnastics! We’ve only got one shot to pack up the truck before we head west. Better to be well organized from the start. We knew it was going to be tight, especially since we were taking a few containers of personal items to our son, Ross and his family, who live in Portland, OR. We actually started the packing process back in April when we unloaded the contents, of our sold Ranger Tugs R27, from our truck into the garage. I sorted through it all and weeded out things we never used. Then I put most of the boat paraphernalia into containers that would eventually fit neatly in the bed of the truck. Once we depart home there's no chance we’re turning around, unless it’s Lisa who’s not in the truck. We are fairly familiar with the drill and…

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Ready And Waiting At The Factory – Kismet A Ranger Tug R29S

Ready and Waiting at the Factory – Kismet a Ranger Tug R29S

When does a boat become a boat? My thoughts are... “when it is ready to float and cruise!” Based on the final assembly production photos we just received from the factory, it appears Kismet, a Ranger Tug R29S, is ready to become a boat. The Ranger Tug R29S sports a larger head than our R27. There will also be more privacy with the head being positioned in the stateroom. The stateroom is a step up for us, having slept on a V-berth for the last six years on the R27. We are also loving the spacious under bed storage area. There will be plenty of natural lighting, more elbow room in the galley for better maneuverability. We had our new Kismet built in the same Hero Red as our recently sold R27, as this is our favorite boat color. You just can't beat the photo op of a bright red hull sitting on deep blue water. You might also notice the brows around the…

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Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous

Coming Home to Charlevoix, Michigan for the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous! Charlevoix Michigan was home to the Ranger Tugs Cutwater Boats 2017 Charlevoix Rendezvous. What a spectacular setting for this years event. Lisa and I have a fondness for Charlevoix as this was once our homeport. That was before we became enamoured of trailering our Ranger Tug all over the United States. So being in Charlevoix again was like coming home. Arriving on Monday morning, for our 3-day event, we had nothing but clear sunny skies while greeting attendees as they arrived. With 40 people in attendance, we had boaters from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, Ohio, Kentucky, Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Also in attendance were sponsors and representatives of Reed Yacht Sales, Manitowoc Marina and Volvo Penta. The event was also sponsored by Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats and Global Marine Insurance. By the very nature of being able to trailer these boats, Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats have…

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Construction Of The New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Construction of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S

Marrying the Hull of the New Kismet Ranger Tugs R29S Having something built from scratch, such as a house, car or in this case a boat is usually best left to the professionals. As you’ll see from the following photos there is evidence that a tremendous amount of thought and mindful design goes into building a boat, before and during manufacturing. There is a coordinated effort, before the actual production starts, to have on hand all of the hardware, wiring, hoses, batteries, glass, lighting, engine, generator, electronics, solar panel, seating cushions, tanks, etc. This ensures production occurs smoothly and on time. If not planned properly, I could see how delays and backlogs in production could very easily happen. In this case our new Kismet was complete almost before we knew it, that’s because of the efficiency of the professionals at Ranger Tugs… they know how to build boats and they build them well. In the past, when we've ordered a…

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Nice Article On Crew Of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

Nice Article on Crew of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

TRAILER BLAZING! Sea Magazine just did a fantastic article about the crew of Kismet in their August 2017 issue. Find out more about this amazing lifestyle choice. Go where you want to boat with less restrictions, less weather restraints and more affordability. Use your boat as an RV when traveling to distant cruising grounds. For the best fun of all, get out on the water and meet up with other Ranger Tug owners, from all corners of the country, at Factory or owner held rendezvous. Become part of the community! That new VolvoPenta Engine will be taking Kismet on some big adventures, by land and by sea! Hope we see you there. #RangerTugs, #VolvoPentaNA #VPtakesme #VolvoPenta Kismet Sea Magazine

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Construction Of The NEW KISMET!

Construction of the NEW KISMET!

UPDATE on the NEW KISMET! Having sold our Ranger Tug R27 a few months ago, we ordered a Ranger Tug R29S, we'll take delivery of our new Kismet in August 2017. So, we are spending the summer boatless! Lots to do at home while we prepare to travel west to Seattle, next month, to take possession. This tug, with a sportier look and a Volvo Penta diesel engine, will take us to some exciting cruising destinations with a quieter, more stable ride. Our new tug will be just a little bit bigger, but still trailerable. Yes, Kismet will look good again in that Hero Red hull. Looking forward to a little more room to accommodate our growing grandchildren. One of our new goals is to share our love of boating with them for many years to come. Construction photos to come soon!

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Kismet Is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Kismet is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Boaterhoming Cross Country – Time to head home! – Our 2016 boating trip in the Pacific Northwest came to an end. What an adventure it was! We will be boaterhoming cross country, back to our home state of Michigan. A slight delay on the first day of our road trip! After we dropped our grandson off at his parent's house, we started the trek home. Within minutes we were on I84 heading east along the Columbia River. If you notice in the photo (above), we are stopped on the shoulder of the highway. Unfortunately we blew a tire on the trailer and had to have a tow service meet us on this busy road to change the tire. Not a fun experience with all that traffic zipping by. Immediately after, we had to drive to the nearest tire store to get a new tire. This whole process delayed the start of our trip east by several hours, but this stuff…

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Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On The Columbia River With Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On the Columbia River with Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks for the First Time! – Silas didn't hesitate leaving his Mom and his cozy home in Portland, Oregon to go boaterhoming Cascade Locks with his Papa and Ana. We're happy he feels comfortable enough to take off with us like that – Do you think he's inherited the adventure bug DNA? We didn't drive far, that wasn't the mission. Cascade Locks is a city in Hood River County, Oregon, about 25 miles miles from Portland. The name came from a historic set of locks built to improve navigation past the Cascades Rapids of the Columbia River. We'd cruised to Cascade Locks last fall and stayed in town at the city marina. So we were familiar with the area and knew about this small campground located in the heart of the town very close to the marina, on the river, across from the old lock. We wanted to camp with Silas and take advantage of a learning opportunity…

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Boaterhoming In Portland, Oregon

Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon

Getting a Good Night's Sleep While Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon! – We didn't waste much time in getting back to the states after our cruising adventure in the Broughton Islands (British Columbia, Canada). Our route was a fairly fast track back to the States to boaterhoming in Portland, OR. After an amazing rendezvous of Ranger Tug owners in Roche Harbor, Washington (San Juan Islands), our sights were set on trailering Kismet south, to Portland to visit our son, Ross and his family, Sarah, Silas and Hadley. Since we wouldn't have a lot of time to spend in Portland, we decided not to put the boat in the water. Instead, we opted to park in front of Ross and Sarah's house for a few nights before we took our 3-year old grandson boaterhoming for a few days. Ross and Sarah have a limited amount of space in their cozy home, so we thought, why not just sleep in the boat while parked…

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Lagoon Cove Marina – Last Stop On Our Broughton Island Adventure

Lagoon Cove Marina – Last Stop On Our Broughton Island Adventure

Lagoon Cove Marina – A Must See When Cruising the Broughton Islands – This day was somewhat bittersweet! Although we were still in the Broughton Islands, we were heading south to our last stop, Lagoon Cove Marina, before high-tailing it 254 miles back to the USA. It was windy and the water was rough when we departed Pierre’s Echo Bay for our 25-mile cruise into Knight Inlet and finally, our last stop in the Broughton Islands... Lagoon Cove Marina. This is a full service marina located at the north end of E. Cracroft Island, just southeast of the Broughton Archipelago. The setting is well-protected from all sides and offers vast scenic vistas from almost any angle. We’d heard great things about the hospitality at Lagoon Cove Marina, so we were glad we had time to include this little gem in our summer's cruising activities. As we pulled to the dock on a beautiful sunny day, we were greeted by friendly staff and…

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Famous Pig Roast At Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina

Famous Pig Roast at Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina

It's All About the Pig Roast! – We first heard about Pierre's Echo Bay while we were researching the Broughton Islands for our 2016 summer cruise. We made a point of visiting their booth at the the Seattle Boat Show earlier that year while we were collecting information for our upcoming cruise. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry were at the booth when we stopped by to see what they were all about. Their reputation proceeded them, as we already knew about their famous feasts from other boaters. In talking to them and others at the show, we gained a little glimpse into what we could expect that summer as we explored the Broughton Islands. Our trip would not be all wilderness and wildlife, if we charted the right course, our experience would be interspersed with theme meals at unique and colorful floating marinas. Pierre's Echo Bay, being one of the standouts. Because of these little outpost communities spread out around…

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Visiting Billy Proctor – A Living Legend In The Broughton Islands

Visiting Billy Proctor – A Living Legend in the Broughton Islands

Visiting the Billy Proctor Museum – The next morning, after arriving at Pierre's Echo Bay, we took a short walk. We made our way over a bumpy well-worn path starting at the marina, over a bridge,  through the woods and finally a big open field, to Billy's Museum. Billy Proctor, fisherman, logger and beachcomber, is a living legend in these parts. Billy was born and raised in the Broughton Islands. Over the years he has gained a vast personal knowledge of what it was like to live in this remote area. Billy started collecting the impressive memorabilia found in his museum when he was just five years old. The collection highlights a rich and colorful life spent in the Broughton Islands. Billy has written several books and has more stories to tell of his life in this wilderness than anyone in the area. While visiting the museum, we bought one of his books, titled Heart of the Raincoast so we could…

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Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel In The Broughton Islands

Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel in the Broughton Islands

Pierre's Echo Bay Lodge and Marina is Famous for Their Nordic Themed Feasts – Less than 2 miles away from the previous nights anchorage in Shoal Bay sits Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge and Marina. We arrived early morning for a 2-day stay. Before making our way to our assigned slip, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tank. This is a chore we prefer to do on the way into a marina. That way, when we leave early morning, we don't have to wait in line at the fuel dock. After coming out of the wild, with several days spent watching for bears, whales and eagles, we found ourselves, once again, immersed in a busy and unique, floating community. Pierre's Echo Bay is well-known, by boaters in the Pacific Northwest, for their central location in the Broughton Islands and the owner's flamboyant nordic roots. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry have created a haven for boaters in the Broughton Islands with a decidedly nordic flare, a reflection of their…

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Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole For Bad Weather

Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole for Bad Weather

  Shoal Harbour is Located Close to Pierre's Echo Bay at the North side of Gilford Island – After lunch, we stayed a couple of hours relaxing in the Burwood Group, it was that spectacular. Our plan was to anchor for the night in Shoal Harbour. En-route there, we explored while cruising in and out of Scott Cove and eventually Pierre's Echo Bay, taking a quick spin around the famous floating marina (we had reservations secured for the next day). After our exploration cruise, we arrived into the north arm of Shoal Harbour as planned – late afternoon. The harbour is a well-protected, shallow watered, anchorage. Navigating into Shoal Harbour can be a little nerve wracking, as one needs to negotiate a narrow channel before entering the harbour. Its called Shoal Harbour for a reason, I would guess, many parts of the bay are “shoaled.” With that said, we found a spot in five feet of water at low tide. Shoal Harbour has a logging operation located in the…

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Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Burdwood Group – A cluster of low lying islands – One of the interesting features of the Burdwood Group Islands are the white shell beaches. This grouping includes Denham Island, Walker Islet and a few other unnamed islands and islets. We stopped for lunch during our day-long exploration on our way to Shoal Harbour. The surroundings were amazing, almost dreamlike with pointy islands all around. It helped that it was an extremely calm day with glassy water below us reflecting the mounds of islands nearby. Above us, the sky was intensely blue at the height of the day, we felt saturated in warm color and dreaminess. It felt like time stood still. We were soon joined by a couple of sailboats, they coasted by as if they were gliding on half-set Jell-o. The Burdwood Group Islands are a popular spot for kayakers. We can see why. I would want to return to this group should we ever make it back to the Broughton Islands. It was that amazing! We made…

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Peace And Quiet In Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Peace and Quiet in Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Simoon Sound – A Sure Thing for a Bear Sighting We left Kwatsi Bay late morning to head back west into Tribune Channel and eventually Simoon Sound. First, we wanted to explore the length of Tribune Channel while also looking out for a spot to anchor for the night. Our preferred choice was Macintosh Bay, but the best spot was taken. We proceeded further back into O’Brien Bay and found a nice spot in the north corner of the bay with a good view of a level shoreline and wide open beach area where we hoped to have a black bear sighting at low tide. Simoon Sound is located on the north and east sides of Wishart Peninsula between Tribune Channel and Kingcome Inlet. The sound is also a reserve of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Captain George Vancouver anchored here on Discovery and Chatham in 1792 Entertainment for the night? Bear Watching! Sure enough, at 5:15 we spotted a small black bear walking on the rocks…

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Can’t Get Enough Of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Can’t Get Enough of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina More fog greeted us this morning. We watched it slowly roll into Viner Sound the night before. Never have seen this much fog in our lives! So, today was another exploration cruising day. We enjoy poking into little coves, around islands, up bays, rivers or sounds, just to see whats there. It must be the inquisitive nature and wanderlust in our blood and our ongoing desire to see as much of the Broughton’s as we can this summer. Our end goal today is a return visit Kwatsi Bay Marina. Soon after we departed Viner Sound, we cruised through a group of islands called Burdwood Group. We were scouting potential anchorages for when we come back through. We moved slowly east into Tribune Channel, once again, but saw no whales, however we did see a great many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, way off in the distance. After a delightful afternoon cruise we traveled the final…

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Cruising To Cover More Territory – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Cruising to Cover More Territory – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Cruising Along a Fluid Highway Around the Islands – When exploring new cruising territory, like we are right now in the Broughtons, we will often spend the whole day traveling in and out of bays, coves and sounds. We’ll skirt around islands and stick our bow into a shallow inlet to investigate the setting. Our day will be spent watching for wildlife, especially bears foraging for food along the beaches. With limited time in the Broughtons and with so much territory to cover, it just makes sense to maximize our exposure this way. We usually have a trip planned out ahead of time, one that leads to an anchorage at the end of the day. While exploring, we might stop to take in an exceptionally scenic spot and pause for lunch. We’ve been known to spend hours watching bears sunning themselves in grassy low-lands near the water. Our favorite sighting was at Brem Bay, Toba Inlet near Desolation Sound, where we got…

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Dreaming And Conspiring At Joe Cove – Eden Island, Broughton Islands, BC

Dreaming and Conspiring at Joe Cove – Eden Island, Broughton Islands, BC

Joe Cove – Located on the South Side of Eden Island – Today we moved a whopping 12 miles. It was a foggy, damp and still day, everything looked grey and green, even the water. We were determined to head back out into Queen Charlotte Straight in our quest to find those allusive whales. Again no luck on that front, but the fog made our cruise through Arrow Passage, Sunday Harbour and Misty Passage that much more remarkable, from a visual perspective. We can only imagine what it would have been like on a sunny day. We entered Joe Cove on Eden Island to find complete solitude – we were the only boat to use the cove for shelter that night. Guess now is as good a time as any to talk about how it felt to be out in the wilds of British Columbia for three weeks. We have anchored out a good deal during this trip and most anchorages have no viable walking…

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Settling Into Waddington Bay For The Night – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Settling Into Waddington Bay for the Night – Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Waddington Bay – Located Off Bonwick Island – After waking up to a thick fog, we departed Goat Island and cruised up Knight Inlet for seven miles in search of whales. Having no luck finding any, we retraced our path through extremely calm water, moving in and out of the dense fog to make our way to the mouth of Knight Inlet. We skirted into a channel by Midsummer Island and out into the base of Queen Charlotte Strait. Still idling through heavy fog, not seeing much past the bow of Kismet we went up Arrow Passage, still looking for whales. With none yet to be seen we moved on into Waddington Bay, off Bonwick Island where we found a wonderfully scenic and remote location to drop the hook at the end of the cove in 15-feet of water. We spent two days on the hook watching, unsuccessfully, for bears grazing on shore and dinghying around the bay chatting with boaters anchored nearby      We were the…

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Alert Bay – An Aboriginal Cultural Destination – Broughton Islands, BC

Alert Bay – An Aboriginal Cultural Destination – Broughton Islands, BC

Welcome to Alert Bay –  Having provisioned in Port McNeill, we were good for another two weeks while exploring the Broughton Archipelago. First stop, Alert Bay, an aboriginal cultural destination. Alert Bay is home to about 1,300 Namgis people, a First Nations band within the larger Kwakwaka'wakw nation of northern Vancouver Island. The members of the village community coexist side-by-side, in harmony with the largely non-native population that resides in the village on the south-side of Cormorant Island. We tied up at the Government Marina for a few hours. Our mission was to walk around the village, grab some lunch and visit the U’mista Cultural Centre Museum. The Centre is a First Nations Museum collection of historically significant masks, totem poles, photos and educational videos of the area and there way of life. First we walked the docks at the village marina. Lots of old fishing boats and a few unusual pleasure boats and yachts graced the harbor docks. Next, we headed up into…

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Port McNeill For Provisioning – Vancouver Island, BC

Port McNeill for Provisioning – Vancouver Island, BC

Port McNeill – Back to Civilization for a Brief Moment Port McNeill, located on Vancouver Island's northeast shore on Queen Charlotte Strait, is a gateway to the remote spaces of the Broughton Archipelago. An old base camp for loggers and named after Captain William Henry McNeill (Hudson Bay Company), Port McNeill was settled back in 1936. We were in need of many things... phone service, wifi, water, groceries, post office and drug store. Before we could go back out into the wild, we needed to take care of some business. Port McNeill is a very walkable town, we found everything we needed within a short distance of the marina. We stocked up on food at the local grocery store and were surprised that even Port McNeill, on Vancouver Island, has a hard time getting supplies. Lisa had wanted to buy chicken and couldn't find any, a worker in the meat department said the chicken only came on certain days of the week,…

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Goat Island Is In The Village Group Of Islands – Broughton Islands, BC

Goat Island is in the Village Group of Islands – Broughton Islands, BC

Stopping at Goat Island on Our Way to Provision at Port McNeil – It had been 11 days since we had been to a grocery store and the boat cupboards were getting bare! We certainly had enough canned goods, so we wouldn't starve, but we craved fresh produce. Also, our fresh water tank was about empty. With that in mind we departed Sullivan Bay Marina for a scenic cruise within the Broughton Archipelago past Pierre’s Echo Bay Marina and Knight Inlet to an anchorage at Goat Island, it was a 20-mile run.   At Goat Island, we found low lying islands surrounding our anchorage. Calm with blue skies all day, but woke to a dense fog in the morning. Only one other boat anchored with us tonight. It was an interesting trawler with lots of toys on it. The next morning we woke up to heavy fog but not heavy enough to stop us from venturing out to meet slack tide at the top of Hanson…

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Sullivan Bay Marina, A Floating Community – Broughton Islands, BC

Sullivan Bay Marina, A Floating Community – Broughton Islands, BC

Sullivan Bay Marina is on the Edge of the Broughton Archipelago –  After two peaceful nights on the hook at Turnbull Cove we pulled anchor to head a short seven miles to Sullivan Bay Marina. We timed our stay at Sullivans to coincide with their prime rib dinner, a weekly, scheduled event. Sullivan Bay Marina is a remote floating island community, only accessible by boat, sea plane or helicopter. Besides dockage there are many float homes, a convenience store, fuel dock and restaurant.   Lisa taking photos while Jim drives the boat. When we arrived we stopped at the fuel dock to top our tanks. We were warmly greeted by staff and other boaters when we arrived. We checked out the nearby grocery store to see what the offering were and ordered our cinnamon rolls for the next morning. Fresh produce was what we craved, but the prices were of course quite high – understandably. Lisa immediately asked Jim for a two-night stay.     …

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Slow Dancing Our Way Through The Broughton Islands – Turnbull Cove, B.C.

Slow Dancing Our Way Through the Broughton Islands – Turnbull Cove, B.C.

Exploring Picturesque Waterways On Our Way to Turnbull Cove – After enjoying only a one-night stay at Laura Cove, we decided to move on. Having limited time to explore the Broughtons, we need to stay on task. Our day’s charted course consisted of a cruise through Sutlej Channel past Sullivan Bay Marina. Then we cruised up picturesque Dunsany Passage and Grappler Sound into the pristine and remote Kenneth Passage.   We were rewarded with a two-bear sighting this morning in Mackenzie Sound We passed by Turnbull Cove, our days final destination, for a sightseeing cruise and black bear hunt in Mackenzie Sound followed by a cruise to Little Nimmo Bay. During our chart review with Anca, at Kwatsi Bay Marina several night before, she had told us there are often black bear at the end of Mackenzie Sound. This is where the mountain river dumps into the sound providing good feeding ground for bears. Anca also mentioned the mountain views were specatular. When we arrived at the…

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