Category Archives: field trips

New Mexico Bucket List – M ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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This time we are going to visit two places – one I am very familiar with and the other I have never visited. First we will see the Malpais Lava Flow/Valley of Fires and second, Meow Wolf.

The Malpais (pronunciation) Lava Flow is right up next to the Valley of Fires. The lava flows one right into the next. It is a large, rough area of black lava. There is a day use area, a small camping area, and the highway runs right through the center of it. Once you get into it, it is beautiful and not at all barren. The pockets of lava hold water and dirt, which allows gorgeous plants to thrive in a fairly protected environment. The area is also home to many different animals and is a bird-lovers paradise. The trails through the malpais are lovely hikes. This beautiful area is located in the south-central part of the state, in the Tularosa Basin, near Carrizozo.

Malpais is a Spanish word for “badlands.” It is often used to describe lava flows and is actually given to more than one place in New Mexico. There is another site,  El Malpais National Monument found about 130 miles northwest of Carrizozo, up in the Grants area.

We have stopped while driving through the malpais several time, allowing the girls to climb on the rocks. It is fun to see what they discover and to allow them to get their wiggles out on the trip from Albuquerque back to my parent’s home.

Screenshot 2019-05-15 at 3.40.04 PM

Now for Meow Wolf. This is located in Santa Fe and I really don’t know a ton about it. It is considered an art collective. It is an immersive arts experience and includes architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance, and more (from the Meow Wolf website). The experience will give interaction with fantastic realms of story and exploration. With secret passages and portals into alternate worlds, it will certainly be an experience.

I have looked into it a few times when we were planning to be in the area but have not yet gone. It looks to be an interesting experience, especially for those with older members of the family rather than fairly young ones. I have been told that youngsters enjoy the place, too, but not sure it was a good fit for my girls. A couple of them get pretty overwhelmed by light flashes and super loud sounds so we have bypassed it for now. However, a family member has now been and said that it looks pretty good for the girls. Of course, they are also older. So maybe our next trip to Santa Fa will include a stop at Meow Wolf.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Christine @ Life’s Special Necessities
Kimberly @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
Wendy @ Life On Chickadee Lane
Yvonne @ The Life We Build
Jennifer @ A Peace Of Mind
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest To Teach
Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–
* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – L ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Billy the Kid.

You know the name, right? He was put on trial in Lincoln, NM, which is right around the corner from where I grew up. We drove through all the time. And I have enjoyed the Billy The Kid Pageant every time we have gotten to go. A few years ago, we took the girls.

During the weekend of the pageant, there are the expected vendors and food things. But the neatest part, by far, is the re-enactment of the last escape of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War. This war is considered probably the most violent time in NM history, when the cattle barons, cowboys, store owners, and the law were all at odds. The pageant portrays the main figures of the time, including the cowboy Billy the Kid.

L lincoln pageant

The episodes of the pageant are based on historical facts of the notorious Lincoln County War, and in particular its focus is centered upon the best remembered of its fighters, Billy the Kid. The Pageant portrays many scenes to include the killing of John Tunstall which precipitated Billy’s wrathful vengeance, the Battle of Blazer’s Mill in which the courageous “Buckshot Roberts” stood off Billy and his twelve cohorts, the siege of the McSween House, up to Billy’s incarceration in the Lincoln County Courthouse and his remarkable escape. – from the Facebook page for the Billy the Kid Pageant 

Lincoln itself is an historical site, with 17 preserved buildings. 7 are open year round and 2 other are open seasonally. The courthouse is a fascinating building to go through and to view the court room where Billy the Kid was to be tried. (As a fun side note, we got to hold one of our practice trails in that courtroom when I was participating in Mock Trial in high school.) There is also a visitor’s center that includes information on Billy the Kid, Lincoln, the Lincoln County War, and the area.

Lincoln vacation 2013 - torreon

Look at these faces from 6 years ago standing in front of the torreon in Lincoln, NM.

One of my favorite buildings, and it has been since I was a child, is the torreon. It is a round building with plenty of places to watch from and where the towns people went for safety in the event of an attack. I have always found the building interesting and there are lesson plans on the site for learning more about the building.

Another historical place I would like to share this time around is the Loretto Chapel. This is a fascinating building in old Santa Fe. When Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy came to the NM territory back in the 1850s, he found a need to educate the girls. Thus the Sisters of Loretto opened a school for girls. After quite a few years, the Sisters were able to start construction of a chapel in 1873. It is Gothic in style and fashioned after a chapel in Paris. The architect, however, died before stairs to the choir loft were completed.

The access was going to be difficult since the loft was so high. To build the staircase would take up too much floorspace or too much of the loft space. So, the Sisters prayed a novena (9 day prayer). One the final day, a carpenter showed up and built a spiral staircase. It is beautiful. But there is something really special about it.

The staircase is considered miraculous. It includes two full spirals yet has no visible means of support. There were no nails used in the construction, only wooden pegs. Additionally, the wood is a rare wood not native to the American SW. When the staircase was completed, the carpenter disappeared without comment or pay. The Sisters were not able to locate him.

This staircase still stands in the beautiful Loretto Chapel. Just a short walk off the main square in Santa Fe, it is definitely worth a visit.

Other L places to consider in New Mexico –
Las Vegas, NM – This is my birthplace and there is a beautiful lake, Storrie Lake, in the area. There is a hotel here that was a Harvey House (La Castaneda) and a historic hotel (The Plaza). There is also a museum dedicated to the Rough Riders, the group that Theodore Roosevelt recruited to do some of the fighting in the Spanish-American War.

The Lodge – A hotel in Cloudcroft, NM. I mentioned this in the C post.

Lotta Burger – A fabulous burger place that is found only in NM, though there are several locations throughout the state. Their green-chile cheeseburger is highly recommended.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – K ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Today, we are going to look at three different K-named sites.

First up –

Kasha- Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

K Kasha katewe rocks

This national monument is located a bit north of Albuquerque but south of Santa Fe. It is a natural site that features cone-shaped tent rock formations. These formations are the result of volcanic explosions long ago in the Jemez volcanic field. (Remember the Jemez Springs post last week?) These formations are made up of pumice, ash, and tuff that are protected on the top by boulder caps.

There are two different hiking trails, of differing levels. The tent rock formations are beautiful but so are the slot canyons. The layers of rock are stunning. Take a look at the video to see more.

In addition to the rock formations and hiking, there are bird watching opportunities and unique opportunities for geologic observations and study. There are junior ranger activities available at this site. The BLM site for Kasha-Katuwe has some teacher and student educational materials available, also.

Kneeling Nun 

This is the rock formation that is found above the copper mine coming up next. It is so named because the Apache Indians thought this formation looked like a kneeling nun. There is a local legend that talks about how the rock formation came to be. When Coronado and his men were looking for gold, they had a run-in with native people and many were wounded. The wounded were brought to the monastery that had been built. One of the nuns caring for the wounded fell in love, which was punishable by death. She prayed instead to be turned into stone and that was granted.

Kennecott’s Santa Rita Copper Mine

This one is the complete opposite of the tent rocks we just discussed. This is a large open mine that has been in continuous operation since the 1800s. There used to be the town of Santa Rita where now there is a large open pit. Mining of copper started with shafts and tunnels. Eventually, though, all that could be extracted in those ways had been take out so something had to change. Thus, the open pit mine was started. It is quite the site, as you can see in the video.

Here are a couple of links for you to view more information on the mine.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation

Only In Your State

Hope you are enjoying the stops along the way in New Mexico. I know I am enjoying learning more about my home state because even though we spent lots of time visiting places while I was growing up, and I have taken my girls many places, there are still lots of lovely places I have not been in New Mexico.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – J ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Tackling J was fairly easy since my mom and dad helped me make up the list.

Jemez Springs

Jemez Springs is about a hour north of Albuquerque and is home to natural hot springs that contain something like 17 different minerals. The small city of Jemez Springs has a rich history that dates back hundreds and hundreds of years. They trace their ancestral roots to migrating peoples who eventually settled down into pueblos, some of which are estimated to have housed 30,000 people.

The historic site includes ruins and walls that originally encased the hot springs. There is a visitor center and an interpretive trail.

The Spanish came to the area in the 1500s and established missions. After a while, more and more people came to the area. In the 1800s, the area became a large tourist destination. The possibilities were realized after one of the springs erupted into a geyser. And the rest, as they say, is history.

There are many buildings in the town over 100 years old, many still in use, though likely repurposed from their original intent. There are restaurants, inns, spas, and more.

The hot springs are fed by the heat from the Valles Caldera, a national park in the valley that is one of the world’s super volcanos. (Look for more information on Valles Caldera when we get to V.) There are underground springs in other places around the area, located on public lands that you can visit, as well.

Jemez Mountain Trail

There is a two-lane road that runs around northern NM that has a pace all its own. The Jemez Mountain Trail run through the mountains and takes you by several interesting places. Bandalier National Monument is one of those places and you can click the name to head back to the New Mexico Bucket List post on our visit there. Along the way you will also visit volcanos, missions, see animals, and visit historic places, including Red Rock State Park. Lots to see on this trail that is a nice little day trip from Santa Fe or Albuquerque or Los Alamos.

There are a couple of other Js that I could include by I think jewelry will be better covered under the letter T, with turquoise. That will be a fun one, don’t you think?

Thanks for stopping by.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – I ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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This week we are heading to the northern parts of the state to check out the fun found there. Ice caves, volcanoes, and hot air balloons will take us on a fun few days of activity.

Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano

Found in the far NW corner of the state near Grants, the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano are open year round. There are two distinctive opportunities here – fire and ice. The ice cave is located in the lava flow from the volcano, which has a flow of 20 miles long. The cave is in part of the collapsed lava flow that created a single cave with the right geologic features to essentially create an ice-box. The cave temperature never rises above 31°F. The annual rain fall and snow melt seeps in, creating additional ice accumulation each year. There are two trails available for walking, one going to the ice cave and the other to the volcano.

International Balloon Fiesta

Each fall, what seems like thousands of balloons congregate in Albuquerque, NM. It is a week and a half or so of daily mass ascensions, glows, and entertainment. It is a glorious sight to see all of the balloons rise into the air and hang there, slow moving around. If you are lucky, “the box” will be working and the balloons will be able to rise, go around and around the valley in a box figure, and the land again on the balloon fields. It is amazing to see the balloons up close and see how big some of them are. There are beautiful ones, shaped ones, figures you’ll know, and figures you won’t. There are sponsored ones and fun ones. Balloons to make you smile and some to surprise you. If you are lucky, you might go up in one. Some of my family has been able to serve on a balloon team, helping get it in the air, chase it after it ascends, and then help it land.

This is a sight to behold if you can. There is nothing like it, especially if “the box” is going strong. A definitely joy.

We were able to visit the International Balloon Fiests in 2015 and I created a hot air balloon unit for my girls to work with before we left so they would understand more about the balloons. We also did a hot air/cold air experiment.

Thanks for joining us this week!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Blogging Through The Alphabet I image

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

abcblogging image lg

You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – H ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet H image

I feel like I have been inundating you with posts the last couple of days and I apologize for that. I have gotten behind on a couple of things since I took several days off last week to attend the Teach Them Diligently convention last weekend here in town. It was a lovely few days with wonderful speakers and a great vendor hall to explore. The girls even had a good time. I’ll share more soon but for now, on to the ABC Blogging and the letter H.

Hubbard Museum of the American West

This is a museum that is found in Ruidoso. It is a fabulous museum with lots of artifacts and examples of the things of the American west. There are five different parts to the museum – the outdoor sculpture “Free Spirits at Noisy Waters”, Images of the West, From Here to There, Anne Stradling Family Collection, and Carousel Horses.

One of my favorite parts is the outside statues titled “Free Spirits at Noisy Waters.” This is an exhibit that feature 8 horses that are 1 1/2 times normal size. They are large and lovely. You can get right up close to them and it is just lovely to wander through all of them. There are several horse breeds represented in the sculpture – Standardbred, Morgan, Arabian, Paint (mare and foal), Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, and Thoroughbred.

Inside you find the rest of the exhibits. From Here to There features modes of transportation in the American West, from different carriages to a chuck wagon to a hearse and more. There are over 20 examples. There is also a collection of saddles. Images of the West looks at how the west has been romanticized and includes lithographs, paintings, prints, bronzes, carvings, and kachinas from the Museum’s collections. The Anne Stradling Family Collection has various items that she collected over the years, with the dream of founding a Museum of the Horse. When she became ill, she offered the colletion to the Hubbards and the museum of her dreams came about. This collection is what she found and kept through her life from the age of six. There are three beautiful carousel horses on display at the museum, also.

This is a lovely museum to visit and has a collection like none other I have ever seen. It is a visit I definitely recommend if you find yourself in south central NM.

Hatch Chile

Hatch is THE place to get your chile from. There is nothing like it for taste and flavor. You might get some heat, too.

The chile that comes from Hatch just tastes better. Even here in central TX, I watch for the signs at our local HEB to see when their Hatch chile is coming in. Getting a bunch of it fresh roasted and packing it up for the freezer is something I try to do each year if I can. It is just the taste of NM.

Honestly, I haven’t visited Hatch during chile season but it would be such an enjoyable thing to do. One of these days . . . Until then, you can order Hatch chile online if you can’t find it locally. And it is totally worth it!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Join us at the link up!

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Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

 

New Mexico Bucket List – G ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

This week we are on letter G for our trip through New Mexico.

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We are going to start in the far southwestern corner of the state with the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Quick pronunciation tip – the G is more of an H sound for Gila (Hee-luh).

The Gila Cliff Dwellings are located about 45 miles from Silver City on a twisty-turny road that they recommend allowing up to 2 hours to drive. This area was home to the Tularosa Mogollon people in about 1200 AD. They created their homes out of natural cliff dwellings. They also used natural stone to build their homes in the cliffs, to create rooms. There is evidence of about 40 rooms in the dwellings. The one mile loop trail will take you through natural environments, to the naturally eroded cave areas, and to rooms that you can enter to see the original timber lintels and support beams intact.

The Mogollon peoples of the Gila were farmers, tilling the land to grow squash, corn, and beans. They hunted game and wove the natural materials into items to trade with other communities and cultures. They grew and cultivated cotton, weaving it into cloth. They were also skilled potters, with evidence of their black-on-white designed and brown bowls with black interiors found in many places.

This is a national monument and is run by the National Park Service. It is located in the first designated wilderness, the Gila Wilderness. There is also the Gila National Forest surrounding the area so there are lots of opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Ghost Ranch is currently a national education and retreat center owned by the Presbyterian church. It has had many other lives, though, also. Being in the desert southwest, there were native peoples that inhabited this land long ago. The Navajo were some of those but were eventually run off by the Spanish who settled the area. It was bought in the 1930s by Arthur Pack, one of the nation’s first environmentalists. It was during his ownership that Georgia O’Keeffe first came to Ghost Ranch, which gets its name from a rumor spread that the land was haunted by evil spirits.

Pack opened Ghost Ranch as a dude ranch, where folks could come and stay. It served as respite for a wide variety of people, from nuclear scientists to artists such as Ansel Adams to Hollywood stars such as John Wayne to world record holders such as Charles Lindbergh. When O’Keeffe visited, she fell in love with it. She eventually convinced Pack to sell her a small part of the ranch and she lived there as often as she could.

The terrain is different than you might expect being a high desert. But then, maybe not. It is stark and beautiful and is widely praised by artists for the kind of light the area produces.

And last but not least, the Giant Pistachio.

This is a fun, side of the road stop close to Alamogordo. The area has several pistachio farms and one of them has placed this giant pistachio in their parking lot to grab attention. It does so! And every time I see it come up in my mom’s Facebook page, I know she is getting gifts for someone!

G Giant Pistachio 2

photo credit Lee Ann Longbotham

The 30 foot pistachio marks one of two country style stores run by the McGinn family. They also have tours of their pistachio farm and winery. The tours run about 30 minutes in length, according to the website. Definitely pick up some of the flavored nuts. We have some red and green chili pistachios sitting on the counter right now!

Everyone loves a stop for something weird and wonderful. I think the Giant Pistachio qualifies.

Have fun exploring New Mexico!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

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