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Adv ride from Austin to birdsong outpost in dryden Texas

Joined
Jan 31, 2006
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Pflugerville (No. Austin) TX
Home safe. Awesome group, awesome ride. Thanks for everything. Great planning and route Ken, you know your stuff. Thanks John and Dave and Dao. Good seeing you again Bill.
By far, the best ride ive been on in Tejas! Cant wait for the next one.
 

Dao

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Aug 9, 2012
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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Home safe and sound as well.
Thanks Ken for putting all this together. It was beyond epic to say the least.
John, Dave, Scott... I had so much fun hanging out w/ you guys.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
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Harmaston, TX
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Finally made it home myself about 45 minutes ago, whew long day. Today's route got mandatory detours after the low water crossings outside of Junction were 3-5 ft deep running rapids. But no rain today, was a beautiful day.

Fantastic ride Ken! All new faces but it was a great group to ride with.

_
 
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Harmaston, TX
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

I see you got my best side in each of those photos.

First photo everybody's concerned, getting Dao's bike upright, assessing damage and he's just standing there checking his text messages. Lol

_
 

Dao

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Aug 9, 2012
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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

I
.... getting Dao's bike upright, assessing damage and he's just standing there checking his text messages. Lol

_
...no, I wasn't checking my text. I was seeing how much farther before we find us a Starbucks :lol2:
 

Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

I kept saying (to myself)...."these guys don't know where to find a starbucks...I have no idea why I'm riding with them..."

Here, they're quibbling about which way is the faster way to a starbucks...



... perhaps going through the tunnel's the quicker way to starbucks....who knows at this point.
 

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Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Maybe starbucks is on the other side of this mountain....


Ken, standing below, was the point man. He pointed for us to go to the left side. The line that Dave took in this pic is the right one to go up. My bike didn't want to go that way. Instead it deflected off to the other side, and threw me into a trench of nothing but huge jagged bowling ball size sharp edge rocks. I cleaned it, but it wasn't pretty to say the least. Ken had the best seat in the house. He was ecstatic, cheering me on to make that commitment! I puckered my way up that crazy last man standing stuff. Couldn't believe this hippo vstrom can do that kind of trenching. But those "gong" sounds coming off the skid plate was pretty **** annoying...
 
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Dao

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Aug 9, 2012
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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Speaking of skid plate...mine's a brand spanking new weld 86 skid plate. Somewhere along the trail, my bike just died, and it wouldn't start up.
QUickly found out my kickstand switch & a wire got clobbered...



The big square rock midway at the bottom line of this photo is probably what did me in when I scraped past it.

Got to use my brand new suzuki tool kit to unbolt the switch off the frame, cut the wires clean off the switch, stripped them, connected them, and then Ken offered me up some trick looking wire connector that will outlast a nuclear holocaust. All's well that ends well....but I'm going to send in a request to weld 86 to add a little more material under the switch on their skid plate even though I'm going to delete the safety switch off this bike for good.
 

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Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Butter up some more popcorn, SAB.

OK, since Ken posted up a pic of my bike taking a nap by the mud hole, I may as well put the blame on equipment malfunction....


She's sound asleep, snoring away...


photo op time...


I will say that said malfunction will rear its ugly head again before the trip's over....
 

SpiritAtBay

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Kerrville
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

i made more popcorn for one semi-paragraph??

(tapping foot)
 

Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Ken set us up with two cabins, as well as having the owner stock us up w/ a large tube of ground meat, hamburger buns, charcoal, eggs, sausage, cheese, tortillas, 2 cases of beer, and two 5 gal cans full of fuel.
All the comforts of home out in the middle of nowhere. IT doesn't get any better,nor as tranquil, as this.









 

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Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Man, all this posting is making me hungry....time to make me some grub...

WHich reminds me of these fabulous chalupas we had for lunch on our way into Dryden. This lunch plate and ice tea for $9...simply delicious!


Doesn't take much to make me smile when it comes to food...:eat:


Stay tuned...i'm off to do some family stuff for now.
 

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Vinny

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Austin, Tx
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Cool. I'm glad you are alive and well. More pics and story please.
 

Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

One point during the day, Ken wanted to lead us down a dirt service road that runs along the railroad tracks. So We got off pavement and started our dirt adventure here, in front of a church too. Good omen? Of course!:rofl:


From what I can remember, this was to be a short 5-10 mile run along the service road, and then we would come on out on the main road.


Ken pulled through once again. The riding was just simply amazing! We were bookin' it hard , taking no prisoners. Pin and :lol2:
Look at that winding dirt road along the railroad! :rider::rider:




Then midway, we had to climb up the side of a mountain, the same climb I described earlier:


Then after we got over and through to the back side of the mountain,

Everyone pulled over.
 

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Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

OK, I'm going to tie it all in.

The road had been washed out, eroded to the point that we had very few options open to us on these big ol' bikes.


ANd even if we did manage to make it through the soft sandy wash out, the climb immediately after that won't have any distance to get a run up it. You can see the hard right turn in the pic, with a bunch of boulders that had to be conquered while on the gas. We put a vote to it, and majority said, pass.



So now we get to go back down the side of the mountain, and at some point on the way back, we found an alternate path as it was so close to the main road. BUT! there was no easy way through it. Either go up an even nastier climb and possibly lead us to a dead end, or ride alongside the railroad track for a mile or two until we can bail out onto the dirt service road. Guess what we agreed to do?

CRAZY, ain't it! :eek2: I know! Not only that, it was drizzling too, so the black rocks and the railroad ties got slicker than ice.

After about a mile or two riding as close as I can along the edge of the rail, my bike got hypnotized by all the rail road ties whizzing by her, and well, she took a nap on me once again.



Scott had gone so far ahead, we couldn't even see him anymore. How much farther must we continue along the railroad track until we can get back on the dirt road? Ken noticed a dirt road on the other side of the track, so he jumped the track, went to the other side to scout ahead. That guy - he just blows my mind away w/ what he can do on his Tenere.



Then we see Scott coming towards us on the rail road track, lights flickering on hi/lo/hi/lo. We freaked out thinking he's trying to tell us a train's coming. SO we moved helmets, camelbacks, bikes out of harm's way.
Thank goodness, He brings news that the end of all this madness is but a 1/4, 1/2 mile away. The service road is right around the bend, and a mile after that, a gas station awaits us. So he spins the tail end of his KLR around by hand.:clap: like it weighs nothing.


By now, Ken had returned, saying the other side of the track is a dead end. SO we helped him jump the tracks again.


Then we rode on out of there. About a mile before we got on the road, the train comes down the tracks.


All that work, and still no Starbucks!
 

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SpiritAtBay

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Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

OMG!
ok. thanks. that was a good bedtime story.
look forward to next chapter.

:sun:
 

Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Our ride back home sunday was met w/ clear sunny skies.
We did a mix of pavement


and more amazing dirt roads. Look at how smooth these dirt roads are!!!:thumb:








One we got into Junction, we saw 1st hand the devastating effects that the torrential rain had done over the weekend.

 

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Vinny

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Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Thanks for staying up late to post. Good stuff.
 

SpiritAtBay

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Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Yep. good stuff indeed.

Thanks for sharing with us homebodies. Or this homebody.

:sun:
 

Dao

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austin
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

WOW! KEN,
Awesome footage. that hill from he11 needs to be pounded into submission again...and again! :lol2:
 
Joined
May 30, 2006
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320
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Spicewood, Tejas
Here's the ride report from our little advride from Austin to Dryden Texas to explore the Birdsong Outpost ranch owned by Mark Walker.

Mark was excited for us to check out his property and explore the possibilities of hosting more rides and rides down on his property.

Six of us made the commitment to make the ride.
Myself aka Kingham aka Kenaroo rode my trusty mount a 2013 Yamaha Super Tenere.
SilverBullet aka David: on his white and fairly clean/new 2013 Yamaha Super Tenere
Irondog aka John rode his new Trumph 800xc
Chiricuhua AKA Slagao rode his nicely set up KLR 685 Big bore.
Doa riding his new Suzuki V-strom 650
Finally Rocky Bill joined us for about half the ride down on friday on his KTM 1190 ADV.

Bill wanted to ride longer but short planning left his dogs home without a sitter and he wanted to make it back home before late so they'd be ok.

Friday morning:
Left my house about 7:45 for the trip down to bee caves to meet at Rosie's Tamale house for coffee and breakfast taco.

It was slightly misting out for the ride down and it was a hint of what was to come for the morning ride.

I settled down at rosies to wait on the crew to show up. I always smile as the old ranchers and regular people look at my "monkey suit" when I show up at a resturant ready to ride.

at 8:20 I started getting texts about the crappy Austin traffic and being stuck in it trying to get to our meeting spots.

Slowly riders started come in..
1st in Rocky Bill "traffic up this way is bad" he said taking off his helmet.

then the unmistakeable sound of a single cylinder thumper is heard charging up the the road and its Chiricahua on his KLR zips in the parking lot.

arrivng separate but at the same time Dao and Sliverbullet thump in.. both discribing the Austin traffic as less than to be desired.

Last to cruise in was IronDog.. with the same comment... LOL

Took a little bit to get organized and ready to roll. but we did about 9:15.

as we took off down Hamilton pool road, the sky opened up to a nice steady rain.. not hard but enough to get things wet.. Best thing is that all of us are seasoned riders and we came prepared with our rain gear.

the morning ride went fast and easy.. back roads to Fredricksberg and then into Kerville for a quick pit stop of gas. pretty uneventful.. all the roads were back country tar and gravel. a little slick on the cattle guards but fun winding roads of the hill country.
 
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Spicewood, Tejas
Re: 5/22-5/24 Adv Ride explore Dryden TX ranch property

Dao: You executed the perfect when in doubt gas it.. I've been with many riders that would have pussed out and dropped the bike. You.... my Friend.. gave it **** and won.. for that you win the iron balls award for the trip..
:rider:


Maybe starbucks is on the other side of this mountain....


Ken, standing below, was the point man. He pointed for us to go to the left side. The line that Dave took in this pic is the right one to go up. My bike didn't want to go that way. Instead it deflected off to the other side, and threw me into a trench of nothing but huge jagged bowling ball size sharp edge rocks. I cleaned it, but it wasn't pretty to say the least. Ken had the best seat in the house. He was ecstatic, cheering me on to make that commitment! I puckered my way up that crazy last man standing stuff. Couldn't believe this hippo vstrom can do that kind of trenching. But those "gong" sounds coming off the skid plate was pretty **** annoying...
 
Joined
May 30, 2006
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320
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Spicewood, Tejas
After our gas and go in Kerville.. we motored down Highway 39 t0 hwy 189 cut down 83 then west on 337. So I'm not a big fan of paved roads.. but I have to say these roads are not to be missed.. 39 runs parallel with the south fork of the guadalupe river, 189 runs with the Sabinal River and by lost maples state park. just beautiful area of texas. then... 337 is a road racers delight.. hilly and curvey... just the way I like my women.. (but I digress LOL). Just so much fun.. the sign counting how many motorcycles lives have been lost on that road kept me on my toes.. and there are a lot of corners that tighten that could put a rider out if they are running too hot into the turn.

it was too bad for Bill as he needed to head back toward austin to feed his dogs.. he left right when the twisties started...(next time bill)

we buzzed down to campwood and the rain started letting up.. saw some more harley riders in this area.. do we really got to wave at each biker we see???

we were hungry and buy the time we went north on 55.. it was time to refule one more time in rock springs..

we ment to go to the King burger but accidentally walked in Vaqueros diner next door. It must be new as we never remembered seeing it there.



it was actually very good.. the owner was a very nice lady.. large plates good food.. not cheap but worth it.
 
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May 30, 2006
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Spicewood, Tejas
Leg three day one

After that great lunch and refueling in Rock springs, We headed west on hwy 55 to get to pandale and then onto dryden

this would be our longest leg and it we had to manage our gas. this would haunt my heavy gas throttle on the dirt roads.

hwy 55 is pretty boring only as it's a little straighter than I like.. we sped up to make the miles go by faster. came up at 277 went north for a few miles and made a 70 degree left on hwy 189. another great running road.. not a curvy but still enough hills and turns not to bore you on this little 2 lane road. had to watch out a little as big storms washed across the road and there was debris that could bite you if you weren't paying attention.

189 runs in to hwy 163 and we rode south to the first dirt road of the ride. you can miss it if you are not paying attention but West Juno road is a great little pick me up of a dirt road that connects 163 and rr 1024. it has some really fun sweepers and cattle guard jumps..:rider: it's only 18 miles or so..but it a good primer for what is yet to come.. from West Juno rd. we head north west on RR 1024.. it's paved again but it's a two lane windy road that is fun.. there are a few turns that will scare you at speed if you are running hot.. I came within a few inches of going off the side of the road when I didn't reduce my speed enough.. it was a little too close.

RR1024 dead ends into Pandale road. best part of this interstection is pandale road turns to dirt as you head south. it's a wide dirt road that runs next to the Pecos River.

We took Pandale road to the Pandale crossing. Here is a great place to stop and jump in the Pecos and cool down if you are running hot.. Pandale crossing also has cabins and camping spots if you so choose to stop there.. it's nice and remote.

as we crossed the river it was time to make a decision
 
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Spicewood, Tejas
On to Dryden.

At this point.. we had two way to make it dryden. one was to keep going south on Pandale road to Langtry 24 miles and refuel and head to the ranch 45 miles

or

run another 53 miles west on Fielder draw road south on 349 to dryden then we'd have to go 20 Miles up to Sanderson for gas then back 20 miles to the ranch.

it was 2:30 pm so we thought we could get some more dirt miles in so we choose the longer route with more dirt riding.

I had two bars on my fuel gauge and thought I'd be good for 80 miles or so..
but Fielder Draw rd is so much fun.. I might Have gassed it a little too much. LOL.. I should have know when I gassed it off the second cattle guard and launched 100 ft down the trail and totally bottomed out the s-10. Super Tenere owners know that's not a smart thing as we all know how vulnerable the oil pan is to damage, even with my ADC skid plate. a quick inspection and no issues so it was motor on.

this area had gotten some really good rain and some of the low parts of the road had standing mud puddles.. one almost caught us all off guard. it was on a the bottom of a fast right hander with bad vision. didn't see it until we were right upon it.. Dao was the only one to go down.. not that he blew through the mud. more that he tried to go around the puddle with street tires and his front tire washed out.



we all had a laugh and helped Dao get out of the muck.. Dao.. you owe me a boot wash..LOL.

one thing with the rain.. I have never seen this part of texas so green and lush..
No other issues on the road except for watching a few baby heads on the road.. but no one popped a tire.. in fact.. not one flat the whole trip by anyone..

when we reached the end of the dirt I looked down and noticed my fuel light was blinking and said I have gone 30 miles on E.. OH Krap.. I'm going to run out of gas before we hit Langtry.. Luckly I filled up two of my MSR bottles.

We took 349 south to Dryden and headed west on hwy 90 and within a mile the s-10 sputterd out of gas.. Known fact.. my s-10 is good for 48 miles past e until it runs out..:lol2: Pulled out the MSR bottle and dump in the fuel and headed off again for another 9 miles and she ran out again. I had one more bottle full of fuel and everyone else was tight on gas I had 12 miles to go to hit the gas station.. as I poured the fuel in a big gust of west texas wind blew half of the gas away from my filler. that's not good.. Well.. I'll make it or start pushing.. I took it easy on the throttle and made it into town. filled up with 5.8 gallons.. needless to say I was on fumes..

we gathered the troops and head back to Dryden and onto the Birdsong Outpost. think we got in around 7:30 PM
 
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And the next morning...
that pretty much shows the ranch.. we only rode about 13 miles of the jeep trails.. as you can see it's pretty rocky. More enduro bike friendly than adv bike friendly.. but it was fun.

there is at least another 7 miles of jeep trails and the owner is open to cutting more trail if there is interest.

I also think we could put on a great 'desert race or hare scrambles there..

Property has great potential.

cabins are "rustic" to say the least. one step up from camping.. has propane stoves, hot showers, good water and ac.. but a good place to crash with your riding buddies... $75 a nite for a cabin is a bit steep for the accommodations but two queen size beds and room for 5 or 6 on the floor would make it a good cheap flop house for adv rides.
 

Dao

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Aug 9, 2012
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austin
Most definitely...the property indeed has great potential. it was a real treat to ride the Jeep trail that isn't all rutted up, like what you see at Hidden Falls. These two pics taken at the property.




Also, what the heck are these? They looked like some filling that came out of a cheap sofa , but apparently, it's not...


 

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Harmaston, TX
Can't say I recall that spot Dave.
Yeah all those blasted out mountaintops look the same from the road. East 90 just outside of Langtry heading towards Pumpville.

Good thing no BMW's in our group but neither Ken or myself would pull a bonehead stop in the middle of the highway anyway. What if that would have been a semi instead of a BMW? The Super Tenere would not have been so lucky, RIP for sure.

_
 
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Spicewood, Tejas
that crash looked scary.. just a momentary laps of concentration and boom.. things can go wrong..

almost happened to us on this ride.. when we went down the wrong road and turned around.. Dao decided he wanted to turn right in front of me when I was doing 30 mph. I just barely missed him and actually clipped his rear luggage rack with my hand guard.

it was just a second in the hours of fun.. but it can go wrong that quick..
 
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birdsong outpost.

not alot was said on the Birdsong outpost so I wanted to give my input of the ranch.

we already discussed and showed cabins.. pretty rustic but will work for all but those expecting 5 stars resort.. this is a 1 star resort but it has all the needed amenities to sleep, eat and clean up from a long days ride.

owner: Mark Walker was a great host. went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our stay and showed us the property.

Property: 5 sections of west Texas desert a lot of elevation change and rocks.
we rode 13 miles of jeep trails on the property. basically one loop around the property boarder roads. some good hills climbs. fairly technical for large ADV bikes.. what this place would be perfect for would be small bore (450cc) enduro bikes. there is so much opportunity here for a great trail system. Mark Walker is open to making trails and hosting events. we just need to find the time and energy to make it happen. This property will test the skills of the average rider. I wouldn't say it's beginner rider friendly. It's best handled by riders that already have some offroad experience. it's worth the trip to check out.. $25 fee is fair for entry on a private ranch with free reign to ride the trails.

I'd like to go back and ride more trails and do multiple loops and just spend more time exploring the property.. that's when you'd get a big bang for the buck for your stay and entry fee.

I encourage you to check it out for yourself and help Mark Walker make it into a better destination ride property for more to enjoy.

here is a photo from my gps tracks.. red is what we rode.. blue is other trails to be explored and linked with other trails.

 

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Good summary Ken. The ranch was definitely a nice place to visit and has much potential. Make a good one day stop on the way to Big Bend or just go there and spend a whole weekend. One thing you mentioned but I'll reiterate here is the owner was very clear that new trails can be made. I asked him twice to make sure. So basically you can go out and just ride anywhere and break your own trails and do your own thing that is something you do not find hardly any place.

_
 
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