X Mid - Dan Durston

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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dagsands » Tue 04 Dec, 2018 10:03 pm

Yep, back up today. Still a May 2019 shipping date so those of you who join now get the same deal I got in the second release, get it at the same(ish) time and you got to hang on to your dollars for a couple of months longer. :)
If you've been tossing it up, maybe now is a good time to lock it in?

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x ... rer=9ALZDV
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby slparker » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 7:21 am

I see that 780 have been sold and he’s working on a two-person tent now.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Tortoise » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 7:25 am

I very nearly caved in - but just how many solo tents does one person need?? :roll:
Then I noticed the 4 season option that may not exist for a long time. By then my 4 season one/s should be justifiably ready for replacement. :D
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 4:19 pm

"Any new delivery (date) information Dan for those of us in the first drop?"

Last I've heard the production is on track or slightly ahead. The custom fabric has been ordered, produced and dyed and is now at the manufacturer. They sewed up one tent with the actual fabric and mailed it to me, so I will get that in a couple days and assuming it's all good then they'll get the green light to go for full production.

So the tents should arrive with Massdrop in early April and then ship out shortly thereafter, but of course it's still early so things could change a bit. Folks from the first drop will get the first ones shipped out from Massdrop and then the others will ship after but unlikely a whole month later (late May). More like a week - maybe two - so I'm optimistic they can ship out for the folks in the first drop in mid-April and late April for the rest.

Any pics of the double?

No I don't have any good pictures at present and even if I did it might be too early to fan the flames. I only have one prototype thus far. It's actually pretty good but I tweaked quite a bit of stuff for the second prototype to get the floor to 50" wide, so there's still a risk that the second prototype is no good. But fingers crossed it's pretty dialled and it doesn't take too much longer

Still a May 2019 shipping date so those of you who join now get the same deal I got in the second release, get it at the same(ish) time and you got to hang on to your dollars for a couple of months longer. :)

Folks that joined for the first drop (July) got a $10 credit for anything else on Massdrop plus a video Q&A with me plus first priority when the tents arrive, but all the second drop folks get is priority over folks in the third drop. So yours might ship out a few days or a week earlier but yeah about the same deal. But still, the tent is a super bargain. Competing tents are $350 typically and often have lower end hardware (e.g. no water resistant zippers) whereas this one is $199 because we are producing at volume, your funds let us avoid borrowing money for production (and paying interest on that) plus it's hardly marked up at all. Most likely a 2nd production run would be more expensive. I think Massdrop had to increase the order from ~950 tents to ~1200 just to get a lower price so they wouldn't lose money on it.

I'm not sure exactly how many tents Massdrop has on order but it's somewhere around 1000, so they may sell out this month and then that'll be it for a long while. We won't do a pre-sale for the 2nd drop until the first batch is delivered and the reviews are coming in, so it'll be spring 2020 for anyone that misses the first run. If it doesn't sell out this time then almost certainly one more drop in another 2 months will do it.

I very nearly caved in - but just how many solo tents does one person need?? :roll:
Then I noticed the 4 season option that may not exist for a long time. By then my 4 season one/s should be justifiably ready for replacement. :D

You could probably sell one of your extra used tents, buy a new X-Mid and still have money left over since it's such a fantastic deal :D

I'm not sure yet but I hope to do a solid inner for the 2nd run, so that would be spring 2020. Folks buying the mesh inner now may be able to buy just the solid inner then, or just sell the whole thing for 80% of what you paid to buy the solid one and you're only out $40 for a year of usage.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Lamont » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 4:32 pm

Thanks Dan.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby johnrs » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 5:37 pm

Thanks Dan
I am interested in both solid and mesh inners, are they detachable/interchangeable?
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Wed 05 Dec, 2018 6:29 pm

Yeah the inners are easily detached and removed, and thus will be interchangeable. You can see how the inner connects in the X-Mid video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9vOLs12KQE

But in short, there are buckles at the two peaks because these are quick, solid and easy to use, and then clips at the four corners (not quite as nice but it would be too heavy to use buckles everywhere). So to remove the inner it is two quick buckles and 4 clips. You can do this from inside or outside of the tent. Being able to remove it from the outside is a nice feature since you can get up in the morning, get packed up and out of the tent, and then remove the inner if the fly is really wet and you want to keep the inner dry.

To remove it from outside, you can reach in the two large vents to easily unbuckle the peaks, and then walk around the tent and unclip the clips just inside each corner. Then slide it out (or remove it via the door). With most tents you can't easily do that because the vents are too small or non-existent so you can't reach the peak connections. And most of them use clips everywhere which is a hard move if you can only reach one hand inside the vent.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 5:02 am

I wanted to share some photos of snow loading with the X-Mid to show why it is better than the typical trekking pole tent. The two main reasons why a lot of trekking pole tents struggle in the snow are:
1) At least some of the panels are not steep enough to shed the snow
2) Nylon sags as it absorbs moisture from the snow, so the tent droops and catches snow even easier.

Conversely, the X-Mid has very consistent panel slopes and they are steep enough to shed the snow so there is no weak link panel to catch snow. Plus it is made from polyester so it doesn't sag in the wet nearly as much.

Before I get into that though, I'll quickly mention this is the first X-Mid off the production line, so there are numerous subtle tweaks and improvements. For example, all the side panels are now one piece of material (rather than two sewn together) which gives a nicer look and eliminates some seam weight.

Here is the X-Mid 1P pitched in anticipation of a snowfall. After this photo I did add an extra stake near the midpoint of the long side to help prevent snow loading from pushing in too much on the sides which would reduce space inside (although just the vestibules). Notably, I did not deploy the peak guylines even though they would substantially strengthen the tent in these circumstances.
X-Mid Snow - 2.jpg


Here is the tent a bit later as the first snow starts to accumulate. You can see that even with a dusting the snow is already starting to shed off. There was negligible wind to assist with this.
X-Mid Snow - 1.jpg


A bit more snow and more shedding:
X-Mid Snow - 3.jpg


Now we have about 2 cm of snow. Any 3 season tent should at least be able to handle this, but many will actually look pretty bad at this point as the fabric sags and the snow is not shed. Here it has been very lightly snowing for about 8 hours - plenty of time for the fabric to absorb water - and the pitch is still looking good and the snow is shedding well - and keep in mind that this is without the peak guylines that really help under loading. This is what you would likely wake up to if you used it during a light snow fall in the shoulder season.
X-Mid Snow - 4.jpg


Now we have a total snowfall of about 5cm. It doesn't look like much on the tent because it is continually shedding snow, but you can see the grass is no longer visible on the ground. Of course the snow is accumulating along the side of the tent, so the stake here helps avoid any substantial inwards deflection. It has now been 10 hours and notice how the pitch is still taut. A nylon tent would be showing substantial sag at this point and thus would be deflected a lot more, so it would be losing its ability to shed snow.
X-Mid Snow - 5.jpg


A bit more snow yet. Despite calm conditions (so the wind is not shaking the tent to shed snow), you can see that the tent has shed all the snow and the pitch is still looking good.
X-Mid Snow - 6.jpg


And finally, here is 20 hours later after 15cm of total snowfall. You can see the tent is still generally in good shape. It would be no problem to ride a storm like this out without ever getting out to brush the tent off. You can see it is a bit loose along the ridgeline. This is because polyester has some stretch (not sag) and there is a substantial load around the base of the tent pulling on it. However, please again note that the peak guylines are not deployed. If they were, the pitch would be virtually unaffected.
X-Mid Snow - 7.jpg


So overall, I'm not marketing this as a 4-season because you would not want to be pitching this on a summit or exposed ridgeline during a winter storm, but if you want to take it out for a walk in the woods with a bit of snow in the forecast, it would handle it fine. If a big dump is expected then I recommend using the peak guylines.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Zapruda » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 7:06 am

Thanks for the update, Dan. Snow loading is definitely something I was interested in and the tent looks like it handles it well.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby north-north-west » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 8:03 am

Tortoise wrote:I very nearly caved in - but just how many solo tents does one person need?? :roll:
Then I noticed the 4 season option that may not exist for a long time. By then my 4 season one/s should be justifiably ready for replacement. :D


If and when the 4 season version comes out I will probably cave in and get one ((along with poles, although they add a bit much to the cost).
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 8:36 am

What do you want on a 4-season version? Solid inner? Generally beefier materials? More guyouts?

I would like to do a solid inner, but otherwise I think there isn't a ton to gain with a 4-season version (e.g. not a big market, and this may not be the ideal starting point for a mountaineering tent). If I did an "alpine" version it would likely have a solid inner + a few more guyouts, but really making two versions of the tent just to have more guyouts on one isn't much of an additional market. So my vision for what a product line might look like a few years from now is mesh or solid inner in the same fly, and then perhaps a lighter DCF version.

A handy feature in the winter (or whenever your fly is wet) is that you can easily remove the inner from outside the tent. So you can get up in the morning with a fly covered in snow, rain or condensation; and then step outside and remove the inner before packing up the fly. Easier to do that taking it down from inside while still keeping it dry.

To remove it, you can easily reach in either vent and unclip the two peak buckles. Then you walk around the tent and clip the 4 corners and then either slide it out or grab it via the door. That worked nicely this morning so I could remove the inner from this snowy tent without getting snow on the inner. This doesn't work as well with many tents because they either don't have peak vents, or the peak vents are tiny and they use a mitten clip that is hard to undo.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Nuts » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 9:10 am

A wind test would be good (for an Aussie '4 season' 'tent'). Snow shedding and / v's wind resistance seems to be the limit of these style of shelters.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 9:51 am

Snow vs wind shedding is a tough one because steeper walls are better for snow shedding whereas shallow walls are better for wind shedding (e.g. MLD Trailstar). It's a trade off, but one thing for sure is that you want to have consistent slopes so that there isn't a weak link. A bunch of steep slopes and then a flat one isn't going to work well in the snow, and a bunch of shallow slopes with one vertical one isn't going to work well in the wind.

So the best shape for overall performance would have consistent medium slopes, which is what the X-Mid has. Notice that there aren't shallow angled roof panels that catch snow, or are there any walls steeper than 65 degrees. So the slopes are actually remarkably consistent and in the moderate slope range (40 - 60 degrees).

So I think the X-Mid is about as good as theoretically possible for a two trekking pole shelter, and you would need to use a very different style of shelter if you wanted a substantial further improvement (e.g. a robust traditional pole set).

One other point is that while you can obviously catch some wind if you pitch this broadside to a stiff breeze, the tent does allow for you to really stake it down. There are two stake points at the door (one on either side), plus a stake point near the middle of this side, plus you can orient the peak guylines over in this direction to stake it down further. Overall it works quite well in any conditions you would reasonably encounter, but I'm sure you could give it a hard time if you pitched it on an alpine ridge during a wind storm. It does have some limitations and you'd want to be reasonable about using it.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby johnrs » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 10:44 am

Great piece of work Dan!
Oddly here in sunny Australia we do have a need for 4 season inners,
a lot of mainland walking is done in winter to avoid the heat
and Tasmania is 40 degrees south and mountainous so winter can arrive any day.

in terms of 4 season inners, nothing too extreme is required for us in Oz,
maybe 2/3 fabric liner, or 1/3 mesh in the top of the inners door panels.
Double zippers can help adjust airflow.
Probably best sold as an add on to the regular summer combination,

You may find you get quite a bit of interest from the UK in this winter spec but they have high winds too.
From memory the Hubba HP was popular in Europe at the time.

Thanks for your work here
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Last edited by johnrs on Thu 13 Dec, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby north-north-west » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 11:40 am

dandurston wrote:What do you want on a 4-season version? Solid inner? Generally beefier materials? More guyouts?

I would like to do a solid inner, but otherwise I think there isn't a ton to gain with a 4-season version (e.g. not a big market, and this may not be the ideal starting point for a mountaineering tent). If I did an "alpine" version it would likely have a solid inner + a few more guyouts, but really making two versions of the tent just to have more guyouts on one isn't much of an additional market. So my vision for what a product line might look like a few years from now is mesh or solid inner in the same fly, and then perhaps a lighter DCF version.


I like a tent in which I can be comfortable when the wind is really roaring through and it's pelting down with rain. Tasmania does tend to get some nasty stuff and in some areas sheltered campsites are infrequent (and a good view is near the top of my checklist for tentsites anyway). Solid inner with mesh on the upper door, similar to the Tarptent Scarp, but built as solidly as the Hillebergs. The peak guyouts may be enough to stablise it in those conditions but a couple of extra ones for security wouldn't hurt. And heavier fabric possibly - not really sure how well the 20d polyester would stand up to the sort of conditions I have sometimes encountered.. I still remember what it was like up on Eldon Peak with the wind hitting the 100kph mark and driving water through the fly. Not doing that again. (OK, serves me right for not taking the Akto.)

btw, I'm impressed with your frequent feedback here. I wouldn't have thought Australia was that big a potential market for you, so kudos for putting in the effort.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 13 Dec, 2018 5:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. It's interesting commenting on hiking forums all over the world. I've learned how much the Brits like green tents (so they can blend in to camp legally on others private property), and how much more popular solid inners are outside of North America. I've always thought of solid inners as being for the winter, but in many places they are popular year round. Even if in really sloppy wet, windy conditions I've always used mesh partially because I never really considered using solid outside of the winter (when it keeps the snow out better) and partially because I like being able to see out.

As for additional guyouts, I had mid-panel guyouts on some early prototypes of the X-Mid 1P but I decided to omit them. As a general principle, I don't like guyouts that pull a tent out of its natural shape. So if you have a guyout that pulls outwards in the middle of the panel, that's probably going to pull the tent inward somewhere else so you tend to get wonky pitches. These mid-panel guyouts do work if you refrain from pulling it out and just use them to prevent the tent from deflecting inward, but if you give people the opportunity to pitch it wrong then inevitably a fair portion of people will do so. So generally speaking I try to have guyouts that reinforce the natural shape, rather than pull it outwards at various points. Mostly that means guying out the tent from points where the pole structure connects to the fly (e.g. the peaks) or around the bottom edge.

Of those, guyouts that connect to the tents structure are by far the best, but all of these are already present on the X-Mid. So my view is that the X-Mid is currently a strong 3-season tent and that's really it's niche, and then if I was designing a 4-season tent for things like alpine windstorms and 50cm snowfalls then I'd likely want a more substantial pole structure in the tent. If I ever make a super light DCF version, I might leave off the peak guyouts because the tent is reasonably robust without them, so it would be less well rounded. More of a superlight "2 season" tent.

Back on the topic of mesh vs solid inners though, we are making the 2P version with both mesh and solid inner options. You can see the solid inner below. It has 25cm of mesh at the top so you can peer out and so it vents a bit.

X-Mid 2P Solid Inner.jpeg


"I'm impressed with your frequent feedback here. I wouldn't have thought Australia was that big a potential market for you, so kudos for putting in the effort."
Ha ha...yeah it's probably not....I don't know. I just like talking about the tent because I think it's awesome. I'd be embarrassed if someone added up the time. I like talking about it and I want it to be properly understood, so I comment on any misperceptions. Certainly I want tent to be successful but it's not really an effort to push sales because the production run is going to be sold out shortly anyways (900 of 1300 are sold) and then we won't have any more for another year or so. I will mention though that we are getting the first 1000 tents from the manufacturer (same factory as MSR) sooner than the last 300. So anyone ordering in the first 1000 is likely to get it in mid April, whereas folks thereafter are more likely to get it mid-late May.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby johnrs » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 12:15 pm

Thanks very much Dan
Based on Tasmanian experience
Could I suggest another 2 inches of mesh in the window??
For ventilation, heat and condensation removal?
Looks like a setup for nth american winter cold.

Any indicators for the weight and inner dimensions for the 2P model.

Anyway just my local point of view
Thanks
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 12:59 pm

Yeah it is close to a setup for North American cold. I've always thought of mesh inners for warm/humid and solid inners for cold, but outside of North America preferences aren't nearly this simple I'm learning.

I use solid inners for the winter so I don't want more mesh than necessary. Just enough to breathe a bit - I would actually probably do zero mesh if it was purely for me. But North Americans looking for winter tents is a pretty tiny niche compared to the global preferences for a partial solid inners for year round use. So somewhere in between in the sweet spot I'm hoping to hit - still solid inner that it helps in the winter but enough mesh that it works year round.

Anyways, I think I am going to change it up a bit. I do think it's a bit small and having it about 2" lower will make it easier to look out. And also there is a lot of seams in the mesh the way it's located now. So I think I can make it a bit lighter, simpler and more useful.

The 2P model is a pretty generous size. The floor is going to be roughly 50 x 90" (1.3 x 2.3m). Those pictures are actually sent to me from the factory, so I won't have that prototype until tomorrow to weigh. But the mesh version should weigh 36-37oz (1.0 kg). I'm not sure yet on the material specs for the solid inner but that's maybe 1.1kg.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Lamont » Fri 14 Dec, 2018 3:44 pm

"I do think it's a bit small and having it about 2" lower will make it easier to look out."
Yes please.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Orbita_Serenitatem » Thu 24 Jan, 2019 10:34 pm

Has anyone heard from Dan on other forums since late December?
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Lamont » Fri 25 Jan, 2019 3:56 am

Check Massdrop.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Sat 16 Feb, 2019 9:56 am

"Has anyone heard from Dan on other forums since late December?"
Sorry I forgot to check back....there doesn't seem to be a way to subscribe to this thread like some other sites.

If you want to get in touch at any time I'm on the Massdrop page for the X-Mid pretty much every day:
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x ... guest_open

Or you can post here and I'll try to remember to keep checking back. Or you can email dan@durstongear.com

I also got a website up for the gear at http://www.DurstonGear.com. There's more pictures and info on there, including a pic of the 2P.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 16 Feb, 2019 10:03 am

dandurston wrote:I also got a website up for the gear at http://www.DurstonGear.com. There's more pictures and info on there, including a pic of the 2P.


2 person :drool

EDIT. noticed specs are a couple of posts above.

Any news on when the 2 person will hit massdrop?
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Sun 24 Feb, 2019 2:47 pm

The 2P will be on Massdrop in a few months for a pre-sale. I get the next prototype in 2-3 weeks and I'm hoping that one is pretty much perfect. The current proto has all the major dimensions dialed in, but a few details to improve (e.g. vent shape). If this next one is pretty much perfect then we'd likely do a pre-sale for it before too long. It takes a bit to use it on some trips to confirm, and also to do a photo shoot etc, but my guess is a pre-sale in April/May with delivery around the end of the 2019.

If you want to be notified when it launches, I've started a sign up list at the page below. I'll sent a one time email out to this list when it goes live:
http://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-2p
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Rosscodj » Wed 27 Feb, 2019 2:06 pm

The 2P looks interesting. It appears that you've moved the door zip to the centre of the panel, instead of the tie-out point? (edit: I think I'm wrong, it just looks different because of the angle?)

In other news, less than 2 months till the X Mid 1P is due to ship! Can't wait to see it in person.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby dandurston » Thu 28 Feb, 2019 3:55 pm

Yeah the 1P is finally going to be in the wild. It'll be fun to read the reviews.

On the 2P the vent is moved from the doorwall to the end wall. The zipper is in the same spot but extends up a bit higher since the vent is not there. There are pros and cons of doing it either way. Having the vent on the end wall allows for a bit taller door, while having the vent on the door wall makes it slightly easier to operate and also allows the option of running a second peak guyline out from inside the peak for extreme conditions.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Rosscodj » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 8:38 am

Ahhh, it's the moved vent that got me, hahaha.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 06 Mar, 2019 8:30 pm

Just putting it out there, I know a lot of people are quite the gear connoisseurs and may have purchased out of curiosity rather than an actual specific need. So if after having a bit of fun with your Xmid and want to sell it on, please feel free to PM me. I call dibs ha ha. I should have joined the first drop but was a bit slow and besides, I am an impatient gal who would have wanted my hands on it right away ;-)
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Lamont » Wed 06 Mar, 2019 9:13 pm

Ha ha, someone has already beat you to it Muddy. I will put you in the queue though.
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Re: X Mid - Dan Durston

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 06 Mar, 2019 9:42 pm

Dang it- seems I am too slow all 'round. Thank you for adding me to the queue though, I will try not to tap my feet and drum my fingers too much while waiting ;-)
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