Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

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[FnG] RampantBunny
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:55 pm

Edit grrr: links not working (copy/pasting url does work ><)..ill have to look into it later its to late now ;), main link does work

Time for another update :rolleyes: ..nope not another volvo...just another ww1 trip, also to the Argonne, but together with another group of enthousiasts and a few different guides.

Also because i was there a few days longer then the rest, i got some time to meet up with the friends i made over there last year (and made a few new ones as well)..which of course resulted in drinking lots of wine in the local pub ;)

Just a few pics below, the rest can be found here

Lil house build completely out of WW1 leftovers
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German cemetery
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Various stuff found in a freshly plowed field
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German bunker (steps are so-called firing steps)
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Discoulored wood, due to the huge amount of copper in the soil (yes, shells and stuff)
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Inside the Vauqouis tunnels, German side, this is where they worked and lived for 4 years (especially opened for us)
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French Cemetery
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Ze dutch are ze comming!
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[FnG] Yasmin
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Yasmin » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:15 pm

Erm I see alot X :P
but the pics from the album are impressive :shock:
Good to hear you had nice weekend :D
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] LcNessie » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:31 pm

... Yup, quite impressive, indeed. Quite rusty as well What 90 years of neglect can do to a cast-iron machine...
With kind regards, Mathijs
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Da Kril » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:55 pm

[FnG] Yasmin wrote:Erm I see alot X :P
Looks OK to me. :wink:
(Kril ...fix ...links ...wif ...big ...stick!)

Fascinating stuff, Rampy! Looks like a super fun tour. :thumbup:

But I don't believe that lizard is really from WWI...
(can someone squish that thing before it gets loose on the forum plz?)

History is fun!
--kril out-- :cavalry:
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:43 pm

I'd love to know what i did wrong :chin:

And yes it is an extremely fascinating area (only 4,5 hours from where i live), where the history is literally is just lying around in the fields/woods, already contemplating when im gonna make another trip (somewhere between now and may, because after that undergrowth and bugs pose some challenges :mrgreen: )

@Nessie : It's 94/95 years already :P
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Yasmin » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:06 pm

[FnG] Da Kril wrote:
[FnG] Yasmin wrote:Erm I see alot X :P
Looks OK to me. :wink:
(Kril ...fix ...links ...wif ...big ...stick!)
:shock: :couch:
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:30 pm

Of course the bad thing about spending so much time in nature lately..you get infected by it :slaphead:

So this weekend i spent a night ..in the woods here ..with minumum resources..to experience my 1st baby steps in bushcrafting *sneaks from tree to tree..muttering hut hut hut under his breath*. It wasn't what we would call " wild camping" since it's an NTKC site but the only resources are basically a pump for groundwater and a hole in the ground :D I was lucky with the weather with quite a lot of sun, but also several showers that gave me the option to try out my tarp construction and my new tent.

At night around midnight i even got a visit from some wild boar :hunter: ..so it was a great 2 days/ 1 night. To bad on my way out i got into an argument with a tree root and managed to twist a knee with still 1,5 kilometers to go, luckily no serious injury done, it's just stiff and sore. all in all a great weekend, which will be repeated :D
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The camp site

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My camp

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Brewing some tea

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Tarp at night stove and candles providing light and heat

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It's a bird...
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Hanno » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:39 am

Glad you had a good time.

As I said on teamspeak for 'wild camping' I expect to be able to kill and bbq anything that moves and takes my fancy.

You should have dug a stake pit and you could of had wild boar for breakfast!
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Da Kril » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:30 pm

[FnG] Hanno wrote:As I said on teamspeak for 'wild camping' I expect to be able to kill and bbq anything that moves and takes my fancy.
Mosquito and horsefly soup FTW!! :rockin:

Nice photos, Rampy. Looks like a great time.
(sorry about the knee :| )

:mrgreen:
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:40 pm

I've been already back for a week from yet another trip to the Aronne (3rd trip in 6 months..this is becomming a bit to much for a hobby :oops: ). This trip was a lil bit different from the other two since it was a solo trip..no guides...just me, my knowledge and tons of "nature/wildlife" (lots of bugs, a tick, a roe and a deer :) ).

The trip had two defined goals;

1 Find the 3 former german cemeteries in the northern part of the argonne (IR124/RER 73, GR123 (with nice remnants of its monument) and the IR67)
Only one of the three is still the clearly visible (GR123), on the other 2 you will only spot, bits of concrete and in case of the IR67e an unmarked stone. It was very exciting though to actualy be able to find them since they are deep in the woods and not marked by any signs.

2 Look at the location of a former german camp behind the lines. These camps were dotted all around the Argonne. Not much is left of them but especially the remote ones are easily spotted because of the indentations in the hills where the wooden sheds were located, teracces dug in the hillside and lots of bits of metal, glass and if your lucky like i was a metal mug (dated 1915, squashed but still clearly recognisable). At some of em you will find a fountain or bunkers as well. This one was called the Romerlager and noone really visits it..and i now know why ;)

But enough words, time for pics :)

Day 1 arrival early afternoon, enough time to visit a small private museum in one of the smalle villages
American headstone (no idea why the name has been taken off)
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Ground finds from the area
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Carriage of a heavy machine gun
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Day 2 Off to the Romerlager " located in a steep valley" ..and they were right..they could have also mentioned the thick growth, just finding a way into the valley provided a nice challenge. I even found the original access trench, but that was totally unusable to get into the site.

Standing on the ridge of the valley, into that green wall i must go, the hill drops and maybe a 40 degree angle just were the ferns start.
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Finally found a way in, to more or less immediately stumble across a wopping great big hole.
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Yep thats pretty dense ...
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This will hopefully show the steepness of the hill on the top left you can see one of the indentations where a shed would have been, they will come in pairs with a small plateau in front.
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Lots and lots of stuff just lying around.
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Thats as far as i decided to go down, just below me is another drop (2 sheds), and i decided not to be more silly then i already had been, im about 15 meters from the valley floor at this stage.
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Day 2 bonus: The owner of the B&B I was staying in decided to take us up to Cote (hill) 304 early in the evening, despite his kidney stone (he's even more addicted to this area then I am ;) ). The ONF (french forrestry service) had been cutting new firebreak with heavy machinery, which always digs up tons of stuff.

Cote 304 was bombed by about 500 big guns for 39 hours at the start of the battle for Verdun in 1916, then the French and the Germans fought for 8 months over it (noone really ever captured it). The end result is a hill that is a lot lower then it used to be and its one big cratered area, no bunkers, no camps, no trenches.

Scrape the heel of your boot across the ground and you will find something, just look around and you will find something. This area is the definition of what the French call the "zone rouge" *(red zone). They don't like you digging in this area, which we of course didnt do :rolleyes: . I picked up a few schrapnel balls, 2 rings belonging to a timed fuze, 4 clasps a bullet and a french drinking bottle, say about 30 minutes work. We also found bits of shoe :? a messtin, to far gone to be salvaged, 4 german handgrenades, hinge of an ammo crate, pigtails and various other undifined bits of metal. It's a fairly shocking area, Marc's wife (also a ww1 addict) just refuses to go in there, she hates the atmosphere of the place.

Just some of the shells lying around
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Some of the stuff i picked up, the cup on the right is the German one i found in the Romerlager
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Day 3: off to find the 3 former cemetaries, these have all been emptied out during ww2 and the remains have been taken to several "collection" cemetaries in the area. No car will get you there, it's old fashioned hiking time :) since they are all in more or less the same woods.

On my way to rer73 i spotted this tiny litle bunker in the woods
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Found what was left of it, just bits of concrete.
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RER73, the remnants of the original monument were saved a few years ago and moved to a restored lager a few kilometres south. Historically in the wrong place but at least its partially saved
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What it used to be.. (this cemetary has quite a history and dates from 1914, started bij the IR124, later (1915) used mainly by RER73, but also other smaller units used it)
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Onwards to GR123, this one is easier to spot :)

The base of its monument, it used to have a big cross on top of it, this in now in the church of Vienne le chateau. (which i forgot to photograph, so now i'll have to go back again :wink: )
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WW2 love on a WW1 cemetary :chin:
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Look a trench ;)
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And onwards ..thattawaayyy!!!

Remants of IR67, unmarked headstone on its side.
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Last bits of the wall and some tiles, this wall used to run around the whole place and was partially intact in 2004, nowadays you would completely miss it if you didnt know what to look for.
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Then, after finally getting back to my car, eating something and having a drink, on towards the last stop of the trip (unplanned but pointed out by one of the B&B owners in the area). A french camp near La Harazee. It has not really been restored, but kind of cleared and has a road in front of it. They have made a reasonable job of it a few years ago, though in places it's crumbling again now. If you are ever in the area do visit it, it's easy to get to and quite a nice comfy stroll of maybe 20 minutes. You can go up the hill behind it if you leave the road, but I was done scrambling up hills and through bushes by that time.

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A well
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:P
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In the village is a French cemetary, you just have to stop by I think if it's that close
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Some of the rolling hills of the Argonne (east of the forest ridge)
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All the pictures that made the cut are on my website: http://rampy.lambik.com, left menu, "Argonne mei 2012" (yes yes yes one day ill think of my own domainname :P )

cheers
Rampy.
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Hanno » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:20 pm

Nice pics Rampy.

Its nice how nature has taken back these sites. I know that some of the monuments ought perhaps to be kept up
to help remember what happened, but over all I prefer the forest.
Plus if they were all clear and clean and in the open, it wouldn't be half as much fun for Bunnys to forage in.
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:19 pm

I definitely prefer the sites that are slowly taken back by nature too, their atmosphere is way more impressive than neatly cleaned and signposted monuments (even though these play a huge role in remembering).

but onwards to more nature, in my quest to go camping lighter and more basic prior to my holliday already a new bit if kit arrived, ...a hammock (not one of those net things but a high tech one, made of nylon and with an incorporated misquito net. In june i finally got a chance to try it all out and for the light traveler its a great toy :bedrime:

It was the same site as before so just a few pix of the new setup

Old tarp, old site, old backpack...new sleeping arrangements
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Nom nom nom
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I realy need to replace those lines with olive green paracord :ninja:
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Since I also recently got a videocamera as a present, I of course made some videos, which were then editted into a car sickness inducing, bouncing, 1 minute 5 seconds utube disaster ;)

ARRGGHHH why u embed utube no work!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6myQ_phw-k



EDIT: take the "watch?v=? out and replace by /v/ ... doh who came up with that one...
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] Da Kril » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:45 am

@ Rampy: video looks good; photos are amazing! :worship:

Just so you know — in case I don't post each time you post — I am (and have been, always) following all of your WWI exploits.
I find it fascinating, and am rooting for you to see/find more stuff and show it to us.

So, basically, thanks for all this — I'm grooving on it.

Just fyi,
--kril out-- :partyhat:
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] RampantBunny » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Thanks DK much apreciated and my pleasure :mrgreen:

Sadly my next WW1 trip won't be before feb 2013 :( due to staffing at work
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Re: Sometimes you gotta do what needs to be done ;)

Postby [FnG] pyxie.T32 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:38 pm

A great collection of photos there, some fascinating finds, a fair few stark reminders of human error and mortality, overall looks like a great trip, healthy, educational and good for the soul, if not your liver.
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