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A Greater Yellowstone Adventure for Grandkids and Grandparents

Program Number: 14910RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/3/2013 - 8/8/2013; 7/27/2014 - 8/1/2014; 8/3/2014 - 8/8/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: West Yellowstone, Montana
Price starting at: $995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Intergenerational
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 11 years of age.

Explore the wild wonders of Yellowstone National Park with your grandchild. Investigate bubbling mud pots, hissing steam vents, spouting geysers, thundering waterfalls, animal diets and more during hands-on activities. Get a close-up look at the park’s carnivores at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, cast a paw print and discover how to recognize rarely seen animals using silhouettes and tracks.




Highlights

• Identify Yellowstone’s elk, bison, marmots, pronghorns and birds of prey using spotting scopes with the help of a naturalist.
• A kayaking excursion offers insights into Yellowstone Lake’s natural history and fisheries.
• Mountain bike and ride on horseback to discover new habitats and animals.



Activity Particulars

Hiking up to two miles a day on boardwalks, paved asphalt paths and stairs; some inclines and stairs. Mountain biking on gently rolling trails. One hour horseback ride and kayaking nearly four hours. Elevations of 6,666-7,800 feet.




Date Specific Information

8-3-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by University of Montana Western.




West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone is a lively community hugging the western edge of the nation’s first park. The town is surrounded by forests and rangeland and is an ideal entry point into a land of incredible beauty created by a violent geologic past.



Accommodations
Comfortable motel with heated indoor swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Yellowstone Lodge
  West Yellowstone, MT 5 nights
 Yellowstone Lodge
Type: Motel
  Description: A modern, comfortable motel in Yellowstone National Park's West Gateway Community, the lodge is within walking distance of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre and downtown. Remember, you are experiencing the atmosphere of a small, rural community and meal options are naturally limited. Meals served at local restaurants; sack lunches in the field. Please be aware that the single dietary requirement or preference that can be accommodate at this site is vegetarian - no meat. You may wish to bring supplementary items. Questions? call UM-Western Road Scholar (406) 683-7302.
  Contact info: 251 South Electric Street
West Yellowstone, MT 59758 USA
phone: 877-239-9298
web: www.yellowstonelodge.com
  Room amenities: Individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, Cable TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, hair dryer, clock radio, telephone with data port and voice mail, iron/ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, coin-operated guest laundry, deluxe complimentary breakfast, free wireless Internet available in lobby/laptop available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Varies. Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.
  Check in time: 4:30 PM
  Additional nights after: Varies. Seasonal rates; call for information (877) 239-9298.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration at motel between 4 and 5 pm. You will be staying at Yellowstone Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at11 a.m. with grab-n-go lunch to take with you. Airport shuttle departs at 11:30 a.m. You will be staying at Yellowstone Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A liability waiver is required by the outfitters for participation in the kayaking and horseback riding components of the program. You must complete the form choosing which activities you will participate in. Please mail these forms to your provider at the University of Montana Western. Bring a Golden Age, Senior or National Park pass if you have one.
  Parking availability:
Free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  West Yellowstone, MT
  Nearest city or town:  Bozeman
  Nearest highway: HWY 191
  Nearest airport:  Gallatin Field
  From End of Program
  Location: West Yellowstone, MT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

From Bozeman, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $68 per person. Call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 2 hours. 

 

Distance:

 

89 miles.

   

Reservations must be made at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938 for rates and reservations. Group shuttle departs airport at 1:30 pm. In order to take advantage of the group shuttle rate, your flight must arrive before 1 pm on Saturday and depart after 2:30 pm on Thursday. Arriving in Bozeman a day early or staying an extra day may be more economical than booking individual transportation. Family groups larger than three may consider renting a car; see additional info pg. 35

 

To Bozeman, MT

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Greater Valley Taxi
phone: 406-388-7938
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Group rate is approximately $68 per person; call for current rate.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Allow 2 hours. 

 

Distance:

 

89 miles.

   

Return shuttle must be arranged at least three days in advance; call (406) 388-7938. Group shuttle departs site at 11:30 am. Outside of the above scheduled times, individual transportation (not at group rate) can be reserved through Greater Valley Taxi (406) 388-7938 or Karst Stage (406) 556-3540 (72 hours notice required). Car rental and drop-off are available at the Bozeman airport; drop-off is not available in West Yellowstone or Yellowstone National Park.

 

West Yellowstone, MT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellowstone Road Runner Taxi
phone: 406-640-0631
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for information and rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes. 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles.

   

The West Yellowstone Airport operates seasonally; typically opening anytime between June 1 and 12th and closing in late September. The airport offers a Delta-Skywest connection. Call the airport for flight information (406) 646-7631. Call Yellowstone Road Runner Taxi (406) 640-0631 at least three days in advance for transportation.

 

From lodgings, West Yellowstone, MT

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellowstone Road Runner Taxi
phone: 406-640-0631
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for information and rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes. 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles.

   

The West Yellowstone Airport operates seasonally; typically opening anytime between June 1 and 12th and closing in late September. The airport offers a Delta-Skywest connection. Call the airport for flight information (406) 646-7631. Call Yellowstone Road Runner Taxi (406) 640-0631 at least three days in advance for transportation.

 
Driving Directions
  Belgrade, MT Travel 11 miles south on HWY 85 to HWY 191. Continue south 78 miles to West Yellowstone.
  Idaho Falls, ID Travel north 100 miles on HWY 20 to West Yellowstone.
  Yellowstone National Park When traveling any road in the Park, connect to and turn west at Madison Junction; travel west 14 miles to West Yellowstone. Call Yellowstone National Park (307) 344-2117 for road conditions, closures, construction, etc.
Elevation Note: Classes, activities and field trips take place at elevations ranging from 6,666' to 7,800'.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy hiking boots or shoes, water bottle and fanny or day pack to carry possibles. Grandparents may wish to bring a walking stick. Closed-toed shoes for horseback ride; no sandals.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome dinner, orientation and get acquainted activities.
(Saturday, August 3)
   
 Afternoon: check-in between 4 and 5 pm
 Dinner: Catered welcome dinner on site.
 Evening: orientation, introductions, get acquainted activity
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: The Wonder of Yellowstone: When, where, how, what, who, why? Fire's role in the ecosystem and the National Smoke Jumper Center/Junior Smokejumper Program. Yellowstone's great mammals: grizzlies and wolves. Mountain Men.
(Sunday, August 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on site.
 Morning: Intro to geology of the Yellowstone Caldera: molten rock, explosions, crater, hot spot, dome, steam vent, sulfide gas, mudpot, cone, earthquake! What's it all about? Pictures, kid friendly graphs, displays, hands-on. Mid morning break is structured large motor activity at city park. Overview continues with intro to Yellowstone's inhabitants from well known critters like mule deer, elk, bison, bears, bighorn sheep and wolves to lesser known, but equally wonderful, critters including golden mantled ground squirrels, ravens, pikas, pronghorn, marmots, otters and more. Who is predator; who is prey? Who lives out in the open? Who lives in the shelter of the forest and why? Who lives above tree line? Who lives next to the water or in it? Who lives on the cliff face? Fur, feathers, hair, scales; why? They eat that!!! What's scat? Owl pellets? What's in 'em? Grose! Discuss ethical behavior while in wildlife country. Find out how tracks tell a story. Begin working on your plaster cast of a paw print.
 Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walk to nearby, historic Madison Ranger Station which houses the National Smoke Jumper Center. Generations will separate for age appropriate learning activities. Grandchildren will be involved with the Junior Smokejumper Program; learn about the history of smokejumpers, fire's role in the ecosystem, fire behavior and suppression. Handle tools and a parachute and try out some physical fitness activities. Grandparents will head another direction to consider fire's natural role in the ecosystem, the history of smokejumpers, fire behavior and fire suppression. Walk to Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center for naturalist-led tour to see grizzly bears and a wolf pack, up close. The Center's primary mission is to provide the opportunity to Yellowstone visitors to appreciate these creatures who have been removed from the wild due to their dangerous behavior. Finding out about their natural history and why they are in the Center teach an important lesson of how man needs to shoulder the responsibility of helping bears stay wild. Seeing and learning about wolves helps show how important wolves are in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: Evening presentation: "Mountain Men and the Fur Trade Era." Mountain men were the first white visitors to the Yellowstone area; hear of great discoveries and tall tales.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: A Day of Discovery in Yellowstone: A kayak adventure on the great lake, hiking the Upper Geyser Basin and wildlife viewing.
(Monday, August 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on site.
 Morning: Field trip into Yellowstone National Park for kayaking on Yellowstone Lake, North America's largest high elevation lake at 20 miles long, 14 miles wide and more than 390 feet deep at its deepest point. During travel to the Lake area, stop where road intersects caldera rim to view and talk about the "Great Caldera". Kayak instruction and safety meeting at the lake. Interpretation during kayaking includes Yellowstone fisheries, human activity in the lake region and current volcanic activity in Yellowstone Lake. Kayak about four hours.
 Lunch: Picnic lunches on the lawn.
 Afternoon: Continue kayaking adventure. Mid afternoon, travel to the Old Faithful area to hike its geyser basin to experience all four thermal features - geysers, mudpots, fumaroles and hot springs. See them, walk through and feel clouds of steam, smell sulfur, hear hissing fumaroles or steam vents and bubbling, plopping mudpots. Enjoy a wonderland of unique features, beautiful colors and spouting geysers. Find out about life forms in boiling water. Geyser Hill trails offer exploration of the Old Faithful area. Several moderate hikes (altogether about 2 1/2 miles) on boardwalks, stairs, trails, asphalt paths; the trail to Old Faithful Overlook is moderately steep and rocky.
 Dinner: Dinner at Old Faithful Cafeteria.
 Evening: Evening return to West Yellowstone. Review ethics of wildlife watching and enjoy this optimum opportunity for wildlife spotting or.....a nap.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Yellowstone Caldera: Hiking a hot spot, a mighty canyon, thundering falls and a great valley.
(Tuesday, August 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on site.
 Morning: Field day in Yellowstone National Park begins with expedition to Norris Geyser Basin and historic Norris Museum, built in 1929. Hear about the Park's most active thermal area then walk a basin trail to explore its hottest, most exposed region. Walk 1 to 1 1/2 miles on boardwalks, stairs and asphalt or gravel paths.
 Lunch: Sack lunches in the Park.
 Afternoon: Continuing eastward, and still within the caldera, exploration continues to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone where lovely pastel shades describe perpendicular canyon walls, beautifully tinted by hot water's action on volcanic rock. Learners of all ages gain a sense of the canyon's immensity at Lookout and Artist's Points. Hike down into canyon depths for a sensory "HELLO" - thundering noise, churning waters, cool mist, unique vegetation zone. At the foot of 308' Lower Falls, see and learn about the canyon's geology and flora. Hiking back to canyon rim, upriver to magnificent Upper Falls and across Chittenden Bridge includes a look at waterfowl, perhaps osprey and water ouzel. Exploration continues into Hayden Valley for wildlife viewing. Hikes at Mud Volcano and Sulphur Caldron areas offer a final, heady blast of "rotten egg" sulfur and further examination of thermal features. Hikes range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 miles on asphalt paths, trails, boardwalks and stairs.
 Dinner: Catered dinner on site.
 Evening: Evening presentation: the rare and seldom seen - mountain lion, fisher, mink, wolverine, lynx, bobcat and mountain fox. Look at furs, photographs and pictures; compare silhouettes and practice identification. Where do they live, what do they eat, why are they rare and seldom seen? Short video.
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Yellowstone Caldera: Biking a riverside trail and horseback riding a forest trail
(Wednesday, August 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on site.
 Morning: Walk to biking headquarters for bike and helmet fit, instruction and safety talk. No experience necessary. Bike to trailhead. Two and 1/2 mile mountain bike ride on gently rolling trails that wind through tall stands of lodgepole pine and open meadows. Biking is on either the Rendezvous Trail system - West Yellowstone's training site for US Nordic and Biathlon Ski Teams - which encompasses 30 kilometers of trails OR, on nearby Riverside Trail which traces the original entrance into Yellowstone Park before threading along beautiful Madison River, one of the three headwaters of the Missouri River.
 Lunch: Sack lunch on the lawn.
 Afternoon: To trailride destination to meet your horse, find out about horse handling and tack. Together with mountain horses, beginner or experienced riders will enjoy a one-hour adventure on scenic forest trails. Riding quietly through prime wildlife habitat affords the opportunity to see deer, birds of prey, fox and other fur bearers that inhabit the Yellowstone area. PLEASE NOTE: Weight limit for horseback riding is 220 pounds. Closed-toed shoes; no sandals.
 Dinner: Dinner at nearby restaurant.
 Evening: "Talking Stick"
   
Accommodations: Yellowstone Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Tracks tell a story; hands-on. Yellowstone has become personal.
(Thursday, August 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on site.
 Morning: Your Yellowstone wrap-up brings the adventure to a meaningful conclusion. Finish discussion about how tracks and scat tell a story and put finishing touches on your plaster cast. Talk about other things that will be taken home - something that is invisible, that doesn't weigh anything; a thought, a feeling, a discovery. Time for goodbyes to new friends. Motel check-out.
 Brunch: 11:00 a.m. Grab-n-go lunch to take with you.
 Afternoon: Airport shuttle departs at 11:30 a.m. Best to schedule return flights after 2:30 pm.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  West Yellowstone, MT Yellowstone Historic Center
Organized as a nonprofit organization to protect, preserve, and display the rich travel history of Yellowstone National Park. For additional information, visit www.yellowstonehistoriccenter.org/home.php
  Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a "not-for-profit, AZA Accredited facility dedicated to providing visitors to the Yellowstone area an opportunity to learn about, view and ultimately appreciate the grizzly bear and gray wolf." For additional information, visit www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/
  Playmill Theatre
Providing live theatre in West Yellowstone since 1964. For additional information, visit www.playmill.com/
  Hebgen Lake Visitor Center
Commemorates and interprets the August 17, 1959 earthquake that triggered a huge landslide, moving at 100 mph, and deposited over 80 million tons of rock across the narrow Madison River canyon, damming the river and forming Earthquake Lake. The event measured 7.5 on the Richter scale and, at that time, was the third largest earthquake to occur in the lower 48 states. Twenty-eight people were killed during the earthquake. Bring up the website, choose Recreational Activities, then choose Visitor Center. For additional information, visit www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/
  Free Heel and Wheel
Bike and ski rentals available. For additional information, visit www.freeheelandwheel.com/
  West Yellowstone Visitor Center
Provides local, area, Yellowstone National Park and statewide travel information. Includes national park service desk and presentations. For additional information, visit destinationyellowstone.com
  Rendezvous Ski Trails
Rendezvous Ski Trails consist of over 35 kilometers of gently rolling, beautifully groomed trails that wind through tall stands of lodgepole pine and open meadows on US Forest Service ground. West Yellowstone winters offer reliable snow for a rewarding Nordic skier's experience. For the summer visitor, the trails offer a great place to walk, hike, run or mountain bike. Be aware that you may encounter wildlife such as bear, moose or elk so stay alert and be prepared. For additional information, visit www.rendezvousskitrails.com
  Yellowstone National Park
Please see the official web site for Yellowstone National Park. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Yellowstone National Park (True Books: National Parks)


Author: David Peterson


Description: Ages 7 and up. An introduction to Yellowstone National Park includes a look at its thermal features, wildlife, habitat and human history. Includes map, index, related titles, important terms and online sites.



Hey Ranger? Kids Ask Questions About Yellowstone National Park


Author: Kim Justesen


Description: Here are real questions - some smart and some silly - that kids ask rangers every day. This well researched, educational guide is fun to read and filled with fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes.



Who Pooped in the Park? Yellowstone National Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids


Author: Gary Robson and Elijah Brady Clark


Description: Accurate information that is fun to read. Kids will learn how to identify critter scat and tracks in a straight forward manner. Lots of extra detail is included such as how to tell the difference between similar looking tracks, why wolf scat has hair in it and much more.



It Happened in Yellowstone: Remarkable Events That Shaped History


Author: Erin Turner


Description: Discover true tales from Yellowstone's past that shaped its history including geologic events like the volcanic eruption that formed Yellowstone over 600,000 years ago and the massive 1959 earthquake that created Quake Lake. Read about wildlife, the historic Nez Perce flight and early tourists, Truman Everts-lost in Yellowstone and a great stagecoach robbery.



Wolf Pack, Tracking Wolves in the Wild


Author: Sylvia Johnson and Alice Aamodt


Description: Ages 10 and up. Pictures and text describe social interaction of wolves as pack members hunt, raise young and maintain their territory. Learn ethical observation skills and how to recognize tracks and markings.



Lost in Yellowstone, Truman Everts' Thirty-seven Days of Peril


Author: Lee Whittlesey, editor


Description: Read this true life adventure of the fifty-four year-old, nearsighted Truman Everts who visited the Yellowstone area with an exploration party in 1870. Although he was an inexperienced woodsman, he was determined to map and investigate the grand and mysterious Yellowstone country. After becoming separated from his party and abandoned by his horse, he wandered Yellowstone for thirty-seven days, injured, alone and with little food and shelter. Lee Whittlesey, Yellowstone National Park's historian, edited Everts' story which records one of the American frontier's most grueling survival adventures. Appreciate many early day photographs of Yellowstone National Park which illustrate the book.



Watching Yellowstone and Teton Wildlife: The Best Places to Look From Roads and Trails


Author: Todd Wilkinson and Michael L. Francis


Description: Pack this guidebook, along with your binoculars and enthusiasm, when visiting both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The authors identify numerous viewing areas for optimum wildlife watching and have included maps, color photographs, samples of animal tracks, driving tours, hikes and animal descriptions including behavioral information.



Yellowstone Place Names, 2nd edition


Author: Lee Whittlesey


Description: Yellowstone National Park Historian's well-researched and entertaining reference source for information on many of Yellowstone's place names and their origins.



Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country


Author: William Fritz & Robert Thomas


Description: Updated, classic roadside geology book for the Yellowstone Region explains current geological theories.



Mountain Spirit: The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone


Author: Lawrence Loendorf and Nancy Medaris Stone


Description: Drawing on the results of ongoing archaeological excavations and extensive ethnographic work among descendant native peoples, the authors discuss the many Indian groups, in particular the Tukudika Shoshone, who visited or lived in the Yellowstone area in prehistoric and historic times. The Tukudika or Sheep Eaters made skillful use of their environment and maintained an abundant way of life closely related to their primary source of protein, the mountain sheep of high-altitude Yellowstone.



High-mountain Two-manner: A Montana smokejumper recalls hitting the silk and the books in his college years


Author: Frank Fowler


Description: Related through letters written to his mother a half-century ago, blending past and present, the author describes his smokejumping years and the joy of working in the back-country amid the beauty of wild country. With roots in the east, a young man journeys west to attend college in Missoula, Montana and work summers for the Forest Service - three as a smokejumper - when the program was in its adolescence. Straight forward, inspirational and filled with love for the outdoors.



To Save the Wild Bison: Life on the Edge in Yellowstone


Author: Mary Ann Franke


Description: The author brings clarity and revelation to one of Yellowstone's most complex struggles by tracing the history of bison and humans into the 19th century and further into the national parks era. Here's discussion of bison management and park policy - the battle over brucellosis, snowmobiles and groomed winter roads, desires of Native Americans, bison and predators.



Decade of the Wolf, revised and updated edition: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone


Author: Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson


Description: Research and storytelling meld to document wolf recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Wolf biologist, Smith, and nature writer, Ferguson, provide an inside look at the Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Project ten years after the controversial decision was made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to reintroduce wolves into the park. Smith, wolf project leader who has worked with the Yellowstone Wolf Project since its inception, has studied wolves for 25 years. Ferguson, whose writing largely arises from intimate experiences, followed through the seasons, the first 14 wolves released into Yellowstone National Park. Their collaboration offers hard facts and 'impressionistic portraits of individual wolves that reveal their epic lives full of struggle and conquest.' Here is the history of the return of the top predator to Yellowstone.



After the Fires: The Ecology of Change in Yellowstone National Park


Author: Linda Wallace, Editor


Description: The ravaging fires of 1988 caused many scientists to predict long-term devastation which did not come to pass. This scientific summary by wildlife biologists, ecosystem and forest scientists and landscape ecologists discusses the many things that changed and did not change in the Yellowstone area. Realize the role of fire in the ecosystem and the resiliency of nature.





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