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Author Topic: Areas round Yellowstone in early August  (Read 631 times)

Mary Ann

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Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« on: April 14, 2017, 03:43:35 PM »
What's it like around Yellowstone in early August? We are driving 40 ft RV with Jeep Rangler Unlmited.
Places to see? Availability?
We are brand new at this🤗

jackiemac

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 04:32:23 PM »
Hi, it's beautiful and busy. Lots to see. Most popular place outside the park is in West Yellowstone called Grizzly RV, it's quite a big park and full hook up, showers, laundry, shop. Close to the town and right next to the west entrance. Close to the geysers at that end. There's a park that's much cheaper outside of the town too,
We thought it looked good, Bakers Hole. It's a bit out of town though but more rustic and not sure if full hook ups.

You can stay in Grizzly'so sister park in Gardiner,  although it is a smaller park with less amenities it's nice enough ith showers and laundry and in a nice town.  Close to Mammoth.  We drove in early morning to see the wolves just over an hours drive into park.

There are rv parks in Yellowstone but they may be booked up although some walk ins I think.

I'd recommend booking if you are nervous about not getting in somewhere although we got in OK and extended due to cancellation.

The Tetons are close by and very worth visiting too.  Gross Venture is nice, a few electric sites. One of the Coulter Bay parks has full hook ups too I think. Lots to see here too.

I'll dig out some other info later.  It takes ages to type out on tablet!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Mary Ann

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 09:12:32 PM »
Thanks Jackie & Steve so much for the helpful information! We just booked several nights in Grizzly👍
What's a good time to "line up" to get into the park-I'm sure it's a long wait.
We will definitely look into the Tetons as well.
I really appreciate you taking the time to be so helpful!!

UTTransplant

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  • Salt Lake City area
Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 10:32:03 PM »
I prefer getting to the entry gate by 7:00 - 7:30. Earlier is even better if you want to see animals. We have been at the West Yellowstone gate at 5:30 - 6:00 when we wanted to be in the Lamar valley to see the wolves. By 9:00 the lines are long. By 10:00 I find them unbearable. Note the lines decrease in the late afternoons, and there is still a lot of daylight in August.

Most of the time we stay at a Forest Service campground 3 miles north of town - Bakers Hole. It is a first come/first served campground with some electrical hookups and a number of sites that fit big rigs. Grizzly RV is good too, and the facilities are very nice.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

jackiemac

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2017, 04:28:15 AM »
Thanks Jackie & Steve so much for the helpful information! We just booked several nights in Grizzly👍
What's a good time to "line up" to get into the park-I'm sure it's a long wait.
We will definitely look into the Tetons as well.
I really appreciate you taking the time to be so helpful!!
No problem at all, that's what this forum is all about.

We were lucky to see the wolves which were at Hayden Valley.  You need to be up early.  The wolf packs change each year so if you are interested chat to the rangers.  In 2010 the biggest pack was in the Lamar Valley but apparently there were only 3 wolves there last year.  We also saw beavers, there were a couple that you could see during the day underneath a large bridge along the Lamar Valley where the bison tend to be.  If interested I can get exact location for you.  We didn't see grizzlies in the park but we did when we were at Gardiner.  If you plan to be around there let me know and I can tell you where we saw them.

I'd recommend the walk around the geysers from Old Faithful,  we were lucky and saw several going off. Norris  Basin is also a great area, betc aware of the sulfur gas as it can make you ill. Try to see the area around Grand Prismatic Spring too but get there very early or later as it was extremely busy and difficult, if not impossible to park.  Just down from there is great Fountain geyser and there are a few others around there too.

The waterfalls are great to see and you can go right down to them. Uncle Tom's trail can be a bit strenuous if unfit but worth it.

Look up the NPS website to get an idea of what there is and distances etc.

Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

jackiemac

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2017, 04:40:44 AM »
Thanks Jackie & Steve so much for the helpful information! We just booked several nights in Grizzly👍
What's a good time to "line up" to get into the park-I'm sure it's a long wait.
We will definitely look into the Tetons as well.
I really appreciate you taking the time to be so helpful!!

The Tetons are fantastic.  We did an evening float down the snake river and saw lots of birds and some wildlife.  Barker Ewing was the company we went with and booked in Dornans store in Moose Village.

Great coffee and Sandwich shop in Kelly just along from Gros Ventre, they also had great firewood. The old Shane filmset is close to there.

There is an elk refuge where you can wander around (a big field really).  Lots of cycle paths in the Tetons which take you for miles from what I could see.  Check out the websites and you will find lots of info.  As I said we stayed at Gros Ventre for $51 per night with electric hook up only.  It was a great pitch though and we just filled up water and dumped every 3 days or so. You could see Moose in the early mornings at entrance.  We also saw several Moose in the Blacktail Ponds area. You would do well to have some binoculars with you.

We also got the ferry at Jenny Lake and walked up to Inspiration Point and on to Cascade Canyon where we were lucky to see a black bear!

Unusually Oxbow Bend was very quiet for animal life, maybe we were there at the wrong time of year. We went early morning and at dusk.

Let me know if you need more info.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 04:43:11 AM by jackiemac »
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Great Horned Owl

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2017, 08:17:59 AM »
The Beartooth Highway (U.S. 212) from the NE park entrance to Red Lodge, is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. the road summit is just shy of 11,000 ft. but will be an easy drive in your Jeep. I tow my 5er over it with no trouble.

There is a gravel  road that off of 212, that goes to the top of Clay Butte. The view is fantastic, and the fire tower up there is now open as a museum. Make sure to stop and take in the view at the Rock Creek Overlook. There is plenty of parking, and a short trail. Along the way, The Top O the World Store is worth a visit.

On the way back. the Beartooth Cafe in Cooke City has very good food at reasonable prices. If you're into craft beer, they have over 50 varieties. If the weather is nice, I like their outdoor dining.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

jackiemac

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2017, 08:27:13 AM »
The Beartooth Highway (U.S. 212) from the NE park entrance to Red Lodge, is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. the road summit is just shy of 11,000 ft. but will be an easy drive in your Jeep. I tow my 5er over it with no trouble.

There is a gravel  road that off of 212, that goes to the top of Clay Butte. The view is fantastic, and the fire tower up there is now open as a museum. Make sure to stop and take in the view at the Rock Creek Overlook. There is plenty of parking, and a short trail. Along the way, The Top O the World Store is worth a visit.

On the way back. the Beartooth Cafe in Cooke City has very good food at reasonable prices. If you're into craft beer, they have over 50 varieties. If the weather is nice, I like their outdoor dining.

Joel

Agree with that road, fabulous. Good info on the beers and museum, we will need to check those out next time we are there. Thanks!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

UTTransplant

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  • Salt Lake City area
Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2017, 09:32:56 AM »
The Beartooth Highway (U.S. 212) from the NE park entrance to Red Lodge, is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. the road summit is just shy of 11,000 ft. but will be an easy drive in your Jeep. I tow my 5er over it with no trouble.
My concern with the Beartooth (which is truly as gorgeous as you could possibly imagine) is the other drivers. I can not tell you the number of times I have come around a curve and found another vehicle across the center line. I can adapt to that in my car, but with a trailer you don't have as many options. You will be able to enjoy the drive a lot more in your jeep. I haven't had the same issues on the Chief Joseph scenic highway though. We have driven Chief Joseph to the Beartooth to Cooke a number of times with the trailer. There are great FS campgrounds just up the Beartooth from Chief Joseph that are easy to get to with big vehicles.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

Great Horned Owl

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2017, 10:24:36 AM »
My concern with the Beartooth (which is truly as gorgeous as you could possibly imagine) is the other drivers. I can not tell you the number of times I have come around a curve and found another vehicle across the center line. I can adapt to that in my car, but with a trailer you don't have as many options. You will be able to enjoy the drive a lot more in your jeep. I haven't had the same issues on the Chief Joseph scenic highway though. We have driven Chief Joseph to the Beartooth to Cooke a number of times with the trailer. There are great FS campgrounds just up the Beartooth from Chief Joseph that are easy to get to with big vehicles.
Actually, there are four FS campgrounds along the highway between Cooke City and the intersection with Chief Joseph hwy. Fox Creek, Coulter, and Soda Butte are all suitable for big rigs. Crazy Creek is not. Fox Creek has electric hookups. Coulter and Soda Butte are often restricted to hard sided campers, due to grizzly activity.

In the other direction, Island Lake and Beartooth Lake are both suitable for big rigs, but the mosquitos can be ferocious.
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

UTTransplant

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2017, 10:42:37 AM »
Actually, there are four FS campgrounds along the highway between Cooke City and the intersection with Chief Joseph hwy. Fox Creek, Coulter, and Soda Butte are all suitable for big rigs. Crazy Creek is not. Fox Creek has electric hookups. Coulter and Soda Butte are often restricted to hard sided campers, due to grizzly activity.

In the other direction, Island Lake and Beartooth Lake are both suitable for big rigs, but the mosquitos can be ferocious.
And amazingly, those campgrounds between Cooke and Yellowstone have never been full whenever I have been by them! No reservations, but decent sites. People are always complaining about the lack of camping opportunities in the Yellowstone area, but these would,be great places to stay the night before getting into,the park. Stay here, then get up early for one of the no reservation sites in the park itself! We have stayed at Island Lake, and the mosquitos weren't significant in June. Might be worse later on.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

coxid

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 03:04:07 PM »
Some general information about YNP (some general items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Note- I have seen on this blog and others about somebody "day tripping" from YNP to GTNP. It is done all the time however, remember this is BIG country, you will be doing a LOT of driving. From the Grant Village visitor center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way or 40 miles. Then from Grant Village add the distance to your CG it will be a LONG days trip.

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise spotty.

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is  black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water!HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas have only pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line at the lower Geyser Basin 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area!

Sun- At YSNPs altitude the sun is intense (uv) have and apply sun screen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear sun glasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted  when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also).

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet! So don't be discouraged that you didn't have the time to see all of YSNP. Just plan on coming back another time!

I don't mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 Million visitors in 2015!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING TABLE ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice".  If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pad to fold up to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website. 

http://www.barjchuckwagon.com

tanglemoose

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2017, 11:07:00 PM »
They re did island lake campground on the Shoshone forest in beartooths... engineer must have forgotten there are big rvs... ha spurs are now shorter than before.. beartooths lake does have some nice big spurs. Won't be open this year until July 1st, 95 inches of snow still up there...
Enjoy park.... but head in real early, park is so busy... unreal... there is a web cam on west Yellowstone entrance to show how many cars are waiting to get into park...
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Mary Ann

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Re: Areas round Yellowstone in early August
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 06:27:00 PM »
The Tetons are fantastic.  We did an evening float down the snake river and saw lots of birds and some wildlife.  Barker Ewing was the company we went with and booked in Dornans store in Moose Village.

Great coffee and Sandwich shop in Kelly just along from Gros Ventre, they also had great firewood. The old Shane filmset is close to there.

There is an elk refuge where you can wander around (a big field really).  Lots of cycle paths in the Tetons which take you for miles from what I could see.  Check out the websites and you will find lots of info.  As I said we stayed at Gros Ventre for $51 per night with electric hook up only.  It was a great pitch though and we just filled up water and dumped every 3 days or so. You could see Moose in the early mornings at entrance.  We also saw several Moose in the Blacktail Ponds area. You would do well to have some binoculars with you.

We also got the ferry at Jenny Lake and walked up to Inspiration Point and on to Cascade Canyon where we were lucky to see a black bear!
Some general information about YNP (some general items apply to GTNP also)

YNP is about 45 miles E/W and about 65 miles N/S (2.2 mil. Acres total). The figure 8 loop road inside the park is about 140 miles around. The lower loop is 96 miles and the upper loop is 70 miles around and yes, it is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Whatever time that you think you will need to see YNP you better double it, or to say it another way is that you will see one half as much in the allotted time. The Bison think that they own the road (they do!) and will slow down the traffic to walking speed or all stop for 1/4 mile or more blocking both directions of travel, the thermal attractions also tie up traffic and with a 5 month long summer tourist season that coincides with a 5 month long road construction season and a 45 mph radar controlled speed limit it will take about a full day to see each loop and then you will only see the main attractions. In addition to the occasional construction delays they will also sometimes close whole sections of road (for uninterrupted night construction) between 10 PM and 8 AM in the morning, if you are running late and get caught at night in the wrong area it CAN be a LONG way around to your CG! (The entrance stations will have current construction information or go on line to check it out)

Note- I have seen on this blog and others about somebody "day tripping" from YNP to GTNP. It is done all the time however, remember this is BIG country, you will be doing a LOT of driving. From the Grant Village visitor center (extreme S/E corner of the lower loop road) to Jackson, WY is about 80 miles with Coulter Bay being about 1/2 way or 40 miles. Then from Grant Village add the distance to your CG it will be a LONG days trip.

Then there is the elevation- YNP ranges from a low at Mammoth- 6239 ft to 7784 ft at Fishing Bridge or higher if you go hiking! Drink plenty of liquids and pace yourself when walking.

I recommend that you get up EARLY, leave the CG and be back by 4 or 6 PM have dinner and be sitting in your recliner drinking a cool one when your neighbor drags himself back to the CG at 8-10 PM. Remember that from mid May to mid July in YNP the sun doesn't set until shortly before 10 PM then there is a long twilight.

Cell Phone Service- Only at the major visitor centers, otherwise spotty.

Clothing- Especially in the early or late season it is not unusual to have a 30 or even the occasional 40 degree temperature change throughout the day. Dress with easily shed layers of clothing. Also dress in bright easily seen clothing. I am sure that we all have been to a sporting event, parade or Disney World etc. and we blink our eyes and our partner/child has disappeared. My DIL was born and raised in HI, you guessed it, every Xmas, b-day or Father's Day I receive a Hawaiian shirt. One of them is  black with 4-5 inch dia. bright flowers. Not many of them in Wyoming and in YSNP, that is what I wear. If your partner has on a Violet blouse and a Orange scarf with a Pink hat I guarantee that she will be the only one within the boundaries of either NP. It can save you a few anxious moments.

Water- Now I will have to contradict myself, at the altitude of YNP yes, drink lots of water!HOWEVER, be aware that the flush toilet restrooms are are in the major tourist areas- Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Lake Hotel, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Old Faithful, Madison Junction etc. The geyser basins and other thermal attractions areas have only pit toilets. I have seen the pit toilet line at the lower Geyser Basin 25 or more feet long (bless the tour buses) So be smart about drinking your water and use the major tourist area R/Rs before leaving the area!

Sun- At YSNPs altitude the sun is intense (uv) have and apply sun screen, wear that old floppy wide brim sun hat, wear sun glasses!

If your luck is like mine Old Faithful will have just erupted  when you get there and you will have up to a hour and 10-20 minutes wait for the next one. Tour the O/F geyser basin while waiting for the next eruption. Old Faithful INN is a must see (meals are "OK" also).

We have lived about 110 miles (4739' elevation) from W. Yellowstone, MT since 1964, go there 3-4 times a summer (normally before Memorial Day and after Labor Day) and haven't seen it all of it yet! So don't be discouraged that you didn't have the time to see all of YSNP. Just plan on coming back another time!

I don't mean to scare or discourage you but to give you a heads up as to what to expect! After all there was 4.1 Million visitors in 2015!

When in the Jackson area I highly recommend seeing the Bar J Chuckwagon dinner show! If you go, MAKE RESERVATIONS and BE THERE EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR MEAL TICKETS/SEATING TABLE ASSIGNMENTS! They seat you by when you show up to get your tickets NOT by your reservation number. Tim, their fiddle player has won the "Idaho state old time fiddle contest 7 times and the US open fiddle championship twice".  If you decide to go you will sit at picnic type of bench seats/table, they get pretty hard, I recommend that you take along a blanket/pad to fold up to sit on. We day trip it there 2-4 times every summer just to see them! Disclaimer- We have no financial or other interest in the Bar J only that it will be the best $$ value for your money for your trip! Check out their website. 

http://www.barjchuckwagon.com
Unusually Oxbow Bend was very quiet for animal life, maybe we were there at the wrong time of year. We went early morning and at dusk.

Let me know if you need more info.

Thanks so much ch for this great information!!

 

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