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Charlebois Loop II, AZ

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Guide 44 Triplogs  4 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
4.1 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 17.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,400 feet
Elevation Gain 944 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,855 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 - 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 31.38
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2017-03-12 survivordude
8  2016-11-18 fricknaley
12  2016-05-07 BiFrost
15  2015-01-10 The_Eagle
15  2015-01-10 rayhuston
10  2015-01-10 DennisWilliams
14  2013-12-19
Whiskey West-Red Tanks Loop
37  2013-11-16 outdoor_lover
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author arizonaheat
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 0
Photos 342
Trips 45 map ( 518 miles )
Age 63 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
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Preferred   Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:29pm
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0 Alternative
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A Master Search
by arizonaheat

Cactuscat and Arizonaheat were on the trail shortly before 7, our mission , Charlebois Loop II, from the Book (Carlson's - Hikers Guide to the Superstition Wilderness).

The minute I got out of my truck my mistress immediately wrapped her fingers gently around my heart, pulling me toward Miners Needle via the Dutchman. As she pulled me deeper into her confines a serene sense of calm and tranquility overtook my being. With Miners Needle in sight, the sun began to rise behind some of her peaks. The sky was soon aglow with various colors of orange. As we passed in front of Miners Needle the sun cast its first rays, caressing the summit and the eye of the needle.

We began the climb up past the Miners Needle and soon found ourselves on the Whiskey Springs Trail. By now the sky was a brillant blue that soothed the eyes. Our first stop on our journey was Whiskey Spring. It appeared as if it was not running, but there was a small pool of water.

We continued up the Whiskey Spring Trail to the Red Tanks Trail, where we would pass La Barge Spring, which is located about 200 yards off the trail. We made our way to La Barge Spring which was a green oasis in the desert, with a decent flow of water.

At the point where we left the trail to go to La Barge Spring we came upon a couple, camping right on the trail. The female counterpart of the group, when pointing to the direction of the spring, exposed a thicket of jungle so dense, that it made our Bull Basin bushwhack look like nothing. Cactuscat and I both agreed, we had just seen unwhackable bush.

From La Barge Spring we continued up the trail to where Red Tanks and Dutchman Trail intersect. From there we made our way up the Dutchman to Charlebois Spring, which has a good flow. On our way to Charlebois we passed through a large camp of at least 12 people.

We arrived at Charlebois around 10:30, distance to this point around 9 miles. We took about an hour break at Charlebois taking in the scenery and solitude, then it was back on the Dutchman for the return trip, which we would follow until it intersects the Bluff Spring Trail. The next stop was the magnificent, stately giant Saguaro that sports 57 arms and is listed in the National Registry. It is truly a sight to behold.

We followed the Bluff Springs Trail back to the Peralta parking lot. We located the actual Bluff Spring on our way and found it to still had a flow. We then continued down the trail a about 1/2 mile beyond where Bluff Springs and the Terrapin intersect. We deceided these flat rocks were a good place to take a break, so we removed our daypacks and began to sit down. I looked across the way and there was a rock with the sun shining on it just right, and Peralta's signature carved into it. Way cool.

From here we made our way the rest of the way down Bluff Springs, checking out the "trail" to Upper Barks, for a future adventure, and then back to the vehicle where it was time to celebrate the days adventure with some beer.

In summary we found and checked out four different springs, saw some unwhackable bush, touched one of the largest if not the largest saguaros known to man with 57 arms, and found a rock with Peralta's signature etched in it. It was truly another great day with my mistress, Lady Superstition, she treated us well. Total hiking distance for this hike with side trips to the springs is 16+ m

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2003-01-10 arizonaheat
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent of 19 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Charlebois Loop II
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Starting to get toasty out there so wanted to get back to the Supes while there was still some water out there for Gabby dog and not roast myself. 1 for 2 today.. Dutchman up to Miner's needle is one of my favorite stretches of easy hiking. As the trail gradually ascends, it awards spectacular views of Barkley Basin and surrounding areas with thousands of Saguaro. I love saguaro. After making the saddle just past Miner's needle, I headed down to Whiskey Spring for some new territory for me. Lots of water flowing in just about every creekbed still. Whiskey Spring was nice and shaded and there was a good camp spot there. Passed one guy who was on a 3 day backpack, coming from LaBarge who thought I was crazy trying to get to Charlebois in one day.. Rook.. Red Tanks trail was pretty straight forward, just follow the creek, crossing occasionally. I did actually lose the trail once but again following the creek got me to LaBarge Spring, where I met 2 backpackers also headed to Charlebois. Back to familiar territory but now I had a mission.. to find the MASTER MAP! I knew roughly where it was at but it eluded my last search. Never giving up hope but starting to doubt my location, I headed to a higher ground to get a broader view and when I turned around it was right there! :y: For me this was a great feeling of accomplishment. I studied the wall and appreciated the history before me for several minutes before heading to Charlebois. Met another guy hanging out right at the spur and told him about the sweet spot further back and invited him to come along with me. He agreed, I turned around and POOF! he was gone.. superstition strangeness.. I ate lunch and enjoyed one of my all time favorite spots in the Supes. Made my way back towards La Barge Spring and passed 4 more groups between there and the Dutchman junction. At this point it started to get hot. Mid-day, little to zero shade, and a steady incline with the miles racking up, I started to tire just a little bit. It was then I found the perfect break spot under a huge boulder right in the middle of the trail. Gabby and I literally just sat in the water for 10 minutes to cool off. Coming down Bluff Spring trail I was thankful I was not hiking the other direction! Made it to the Peralta superhighway and the parking lot in 7 hours. This 18 miles kicked my :pk: pretty good and Gabby hasn't gotten off the couch for 2 days.. = Another awesome Superstition hike!

    Lots of color out there but not quite in full bloom yet.
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    been wanting to get out in the supes. it's been a while. great weather forecast. made for the perfect day to get out there.

    dutchman: a super highway. saw a deer out by the coffee flat junction. nice cool breeze. early morning light on miner's needle is very nice

    whiskey spring: little snaggly here and there, but certainly a proper supes trail anyway. i enjoyed this trail. nice views up on the saddle, and some nice color in the cottonwoods.

    red tanks: i've been on other parts of this trail that are more appealing. again some snaggly stabby action but not really that bad

    charlebois spring: wow! very cool. definitely worth the trip. much more water than i expected. chatted with a couple of nice young ladies here.

    bluff springs: love this trail.

    peralta road is in very good shape at the moment. saw 3 people all day.
    Charlebois Loop II
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    6 friends and I had a great time backpacking this weekend. 10 people showed up, but three were just taking a day hike. The 7 of us hiked the Dutchman to Whisky Springs. Then we took Red Tanks back to the Dutchman, and passed 20 some Boy scouts on the way to Bluff Springs. Kurt had fun with the boy scouts heading up a hill, he would let them catch up, and then speed off again. Later the rest of us passed 3 Boy scouts on the side of the trail panting trying to catch their breath. Not to make fun of the Boy scouts, it is good to see them out there enjoying the great outdoors. Made camp at Charlebois where we had the entire camp to ourselves. We made our way out via Dutchman to Bluff Springs. Another great weekend spent hiking the Superstations with great friends. :D

    We found a few along the way, but not many.
    Charlebois Loop II
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I was planning to do something out of Canyon Lake, but I took a peek at HAZ Friday afternoon and saw that Dennis posted a Charlebois Loop II outing for Saturday. That has been high on my list of hikes I wanted to do and it was a chance to meet someone new, so I signed on.

    This was a great trip with great company. We started out with a beautiful yellow sunrise over the very green Barkley Basin. A look back revealed an orange glow on the Dacite Cliffs. It was a beautiful start to the hike.

    The Charlebois Spring area was beautiful. It was a great place to lunch, and nature provided us with a most entertaining frog song. Three of us spent a moment trying to record the ritual. Dennis had no such luck. Each time he pulled out his phone to record, the reeds became quiet. Put the phone away and they were back at it. Aah, forget the frogs. Instead, he pulled out some wonderful Scotch Whiskey and we shared a couple of sips. Thank you Dennis!

    On the way back, we took at stop at the Master Map. Interesting place. It made me wonder. We made good time along Dutchman on the way back. The older guys, being of the same age and sharing many similar interests from the 60's and 70's, probably took unfair advantage of Joe. I think the conversation about penny candy from The Corner Store and the Chick-O-Sticks for a nickel got to him. His pace had quickened to a no-talking pace when we were saved by a side trip to the old saguaro.

    Seeing the saguaro for the first time made me sad for what it had become, but I was heartened by what it once was. Magnificent! I showed the pictures I took to my wife and she cried. She loves saguaros.

    We made one more stop at a beautiful overlook along the Bluff Springs Trail. Stunning views, worthy of another round of the warming brown fluid. Thank you again, Dennis! That is such a beautiful area. So many places to explore in there, but I was more than content to sit where we were, admiring the beauty of this area, the warmth of the Scotch and good company.

    We neared the end of the hike with rain drops falling and the sun shining down into the slick rock area approaching Bark's Canyon. Dennis was hoping for a rainbow, which would have made that perfect. A quick hike up and over the hill and we were done. A great hike.

    Dennis, thanks again for the outing. It was great meeting you! Bruce and Joe, good to see you again! Sorry this is so late, but I was out too much this weekend and needed to spend time with the family.
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Decided to Join Dennis on his HAZ outing.

    Joe had a day of sweating to the 70's, hearing our arguments as to whether Roosevelt of Eisenhower was a better president, and what it was like to live through the Apache Wars. You just can't argue with 173 years of experience.

    Dennis and I are the same age and I learned that we both lived in the same small town of Novi Michigan and rode our bikes to the same "Corner Store" to buy Penny Candy as kids. Small Friggin' World.

    Perfect day all around. The Supe's always Rock, weather was exceptional, water was flowing and a great group of personalities was amassed.

    While eating lunch, the Charliebois Spring area revealed it's own version of the Budweiser Frogs. Ray said he thought they were mating calls going on no more than 5 feet from us and went to investigate. Cue shaggin' music, "Yep" that's what's going on.

    I'm used to taking Gatorade and Granola bar breaks while hiking, but Dennis does it differently. Probably the first time I've had Scotch with Lunch, and we had to take a Scotch break at a rocky outcropping on the way back. I look forward to our future 2 mile hikes.

    Good meeting you Dennis, Ray great hiking with you again, Joe.... #180.
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Headed out with the class of '74 & '75 to learn up on the decade leading up to the best decade ever. Overcast most of the day, very nice temps throughout, only breezy for the first couple of hours. Started off great finally getting to meet Jack volunteering at the trailhead!

    This classic loop in the western soups never gets old in my book. With a slight chance of rain it seemed perfect to enjoy a solid trail hike. The catclaw on Whiskey Spring 238 seemed comparable to the often feared Red Tanks 107. While near and dear, I enjoyed the hike in shorts accumulating only a few scratches.

    We lunched at Charlebois with Leopard Frogs engaged in an aggressive mating ritual in the pool between our group. Dennis liquored up the boys then we headed out in search of the Peralta Master Map. Stopped off at the 57? arm saguaro which is almost gone ( see video ). Along our return we passed a group of boy scouts, two smaller groups and a couple. The trailhead register gained FIVE solid pages in under nine hours. A nice enjoyable hike.

    [ youtube video ]
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Awesome loop trip out in the Superstitions. Went on this one with Danial, Michael, and Nick for some camping fun. We did this counterclockwise from the Peralta trailhead, and were only greeted with the occasional other hiker. Whiskey springs was brutal,we all donated some blood to the trailside Catclaw Acacia, Hackberry, and Scrub Oak. Red Tanks was better, but not without barrier. We ended up camping by Oak Spring, we were going to go all the way to Charlebois but this camp site was too perfect to pass up. The GPS coordinates for the actual spring took us on a bushwhack up the hill fighting more blood letters, but we didn't find any water. We got back to camp to find that we actually had some nice flowing stream water just to the south of us. The nice sheltered Oak grove gave us nice protection from the wind, and there was a great fire ring area with large downed logs to sit on. Slept like a baby, not too cold at all. We had a leisurely morning in camp and left by about 9:30-10 for the return trip. Thankfully mostly downhill on the way out, some great views of the Barkley Basin as you are descending the Bluff Springs trail. We managed to miss the 57 armed Saguaro, figured that would be hard to miss but we did. I guess I will just have to go hiking out here again. Finished up the trip with lunch at Four Peaks on the way home, fantastic. Great trip, worth doing again!
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The Master Plan
    Alex wanted to do the Charlebois Loop II and check out Trap Canyon for Ruins before continuing on to Charlebois in the Quest for the Master Map....Turns out Mike, Kate and Frankie and possibly Lee were going to be in the area as well and everyone was hoping to meet up at LaBarge Spring. Dave decided to join in the Fun after work on Saturday....

    Day 1
    The Weather wasn't looking good for Saturday Morning kickoff and as I drove in on Peralta, it really was looking like we might get wet, at least briefly...The Entire Ridgeline was missing, hidden in a large, ominous Cloud....Alex just beat me there and shortly thereafter, two large White Dogs showed up, which could only mean that Lee was there as well...Lee's plan was to Hike in on Bluff Spring Trail, while we had opted to go via Dutchman and Whiskey...

    And we were off....The Clouds threatened, but amazingly enough, never unloaded...But the Lighting provided, with the Clouds and the Sunrise breaking through occasionally was pretty darn good...I probably took half of my total Pictures on the first 4 Miles of the Trip...It was nice and cool and we made good time, taking a small break at the Coffee Flat Junction before the uphill began...We got most of the Uphill out of the way and then had to stop for a Photo Op that even Alex couldn't resist.... :D Saw our first Tarantula of the Trip on the way along the Dutchman as well...Next stop was Whiskey Spring...Alex and I debated about where the actual Spring was, as I hadn't found it when I did this area in April...Upon reaching the Flat Portion of the Trail along the Creek, I spotted a small Trail leading down to the Creek and took it with the intent of taking a Break there...Turns out, the Trough for the Spring was 20 feet away... 8)

    After the Break we continued on, deciding to Camp the Night at LaBarge with everyone else and backtracking to Trap Canyon the next day on fresher legs...I wasn't doing too badly considering I hadn't done a Backpack since Grand Gulch...My Pack was 10 lbs lighter than I had ever packed, which certainly helped...Was feeling an Arthritic Left Knee, but knew that going in, so I had started an Ibuprofen Regimen to keep the pain to just "annoying".... :sweat: We reached LaBarge in pretty good time after running into a Caravan of Horse and Mule Riders, but no one else was there yet...Lee, his Friend, Cupcake and Blanco showed up soon after that, followed shortly by Frankie, who had never hooked up with Mike and Kate...Lee took off for a bit to go exploring and in a bit, Mike and Kate showed up...Camps were set up and then Dinner, Socializing, and a Campfire commenced...And then Dave made it in, super flying from Peralta to LaBarge in 1.75 hours... :o A low flying Sheriff's Chopper tried to pull us over from Mid Air which seemed a bit odd, and we all had a good laugh about that...Lee and Company showed back up and finished most of the Evening with us. Everyone made plans for the next day, with Alex, Dave and I doubling back to Trap Canyon for most of the Day.... It was a good Day!

    Day 2
    Got up, said Farewell to Mike, Kate, Frankie, Lee and Co., and got started for Trap...We started a little late, but made the Entrance to Trap in good time and commenced with the Boulder Hopping up the Creek and into the Canyon...Several Cool Alcoves in there and for awhile we continued on up, but it was slow going with a little Bushwacking and almost constant Boulder Hopping and Bouldering. My legs were feeling a little Fatigue from the Day before and I didn't want to keep pushing, so eventually I stopped and just dinked around while Alex and Dave went further up...I leisurely went up a little further behind them, dinked around for awhile more and then casually started back out, taking little breaks here and there to just enjoy....I was almost back out of the Canyon proper when Dave and Alex caught back up to me...They didn't make it all the way to the back, it was just going to take too long, so they had turned around...I know Alex was a little disappointed, but he knew that it just couldn't be done on this Day....It was pretty much determined that the best, most efficient way to do this Canyon would be to try to Camp in it as far as possible and finish it from there...We Boulder Hopped back out and Hiked back to LaBarge...We took a Break and parted ways with Dave who was going to continue on out and head home...Alex and I were going to Hike over to Charlebois, look for the Master Map and Camp there for the Night....

    Alex and I made good time over to Charlebois, stopping to look for the Map, using the directions that Lee had given...He couldn't have described the Location any more perfectly than he did...It was right where he said it would be and we found it! After spending a little time there, we retrieved our Packs and continued on to the Spring...Found a Campsite, got set up and headed for the Spring, running into the two guys from Colorado that were Backpacking the same areas...Charlebois is pretty cool, it was my first time there...Lots of Water and the Sycamores were all Peaking with their Autumn Colors....On a nasty side note: A huge Thanks to someone for succeeding in thoroughly turning my Stomach with their "present" at one of the Pools...Someone took a Dump and left a Wrapped Tampon within a Foot of the Water! What the Hell is the Matter with People!!! :o :yuck: : rambo : ](*,) I made sure I took Water from "upstream"...Simply as disgusting as it gets...I hope....

    Sometime during this Day, I started to get a little Pain on the outside of my Right Knee...It was a little annoying, but since I didn't remember doing anything to actually "hurt" it, I chalked it up to good old Arthritis, continued my Ibuprofen Regimen, and chose to ignore it...It was on and off again the rest of the Day, but never was bad...My Legs tend to bother me a lot at Night and sometimes it takes quite awhile for them to ease up so I can get comfortable enough to fall asleep...This Night was no different...But it was another good Day!

    Day 3
    We both got up a little late, broke Camp and headed out...We had determined the Night before that we would go out via Dutchman and Terrapin, so we headed that way...Legs felt good and we made good time all of the Way up to Terrapin Pass...I actually surprised myself a little on the Uphill... :D The Views were spectacular from the Pass...Ran into the Colorado Guys up there and I took a few pictures of them, taking a short Break...

    About halfway up to the Pass, the Right Knee started flaring up again, but it was just annoying at that point...That was about to change...As we descended down from the Pass, the annoyance became worse and worse and my Pace slowed considerably...There were more ups and downs before we would reach the Terrapin/Bluff Springs Intersection and the Downhill became more and more difficult and painful...The Knee was starting to refuse to Bend and all of the Strength was going fast...My Pace on the Downhill sections slowed almost to a Crawl with Pain becoming more and more intense...We reached the Final Downhill and could see the Intersection, but I had to stop for a bit as it was becoming too much....Alex actually elected to finish carrying my Pack down the Hill and a little further, and then returning for his... ;)

    After the Break, it was a little better and I continued down the Hill to the Intersection and then up the next little Hill. Just that little bit was enough to put the Knee back into full protest...soooo...Alex generously gave up his Hiking Poles and I proceeded to practically use them as Crutches for the rest of the Downhill to the bottom of Barks Canyon...It was very slow going and Alex and I started discussing Options...It was determined that if I had to, I would spend another Night at the Top of Cardiac Hill before trying to descend it...That was the Stretch that I knew would be the biggest Nightmare for me...And I certainly wasn't going to attempt it in the Dark...But before we even got to the bottom of Barks, at one point, I gave up, the Pain was so bad...I dug out the Cell Phone...No Signal, so the only options for me was to sit down and completely give up or try to continue....I continued on at a frustratingly painful Snail's Pace, and we finally made the bottom and the Peralta Rock, where I took a big Break...

    I stretched and elevated for awhile and then it seemed that the Pain disappeared, just like that...Just totally weird and I didn't know what to think about what was happening...We started up Barks towards the last Uphill and there was no Pain at all and I could move just fine...Started the Uphill and I was still moving well...Halfway up and I started feeling it again...Got to the Top and it was in full Swing again with no flexibility or strength...But, it was early enough, so I went for Broke with the help of Alex's Poles...If it hadn't been for his Poles, I would have had to descend Cardiac Hill on my A**...But somehow, I slowly but surely got down, stopping at times when things really became almost unbearable.... When I got to the Escape, it was all I could do to keep from breaking down completely, I was so relieved...I haven't had that kind of feeling of Incapacitation in almost 20 Years....That last 3 Miles took us almost 5 Hours I'll bet and I was not a Happy Camper about any of it...I think I gained a few more Gray Hairs... :sk:

    Alex....What can I say??? You're not only a good Friend, but an extremely Patient, Understanding, Saint! I couldn't have done it without you and I owe you a Lifetime of something! What a Trooper and a Friend! You were also a Rock!!! And you Rocked!!! I just can't say enough...I will never forget, my Friend.... : app : : app : : app : :kf: :budrose:

    And was over...I can honestly say that with the exception of those last 3 Miles, it was a Great Trip! Can't wait for the next one...I think.... :sweat:

    Near Springs
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The first part of the trail was a repeat from two weekends ago when John and I did our Weavers Needle hike-- it was neat finally seeing the views without fog obscuring everything!

    We took a couple detours to see spring boxes and the master map, which was very cool! Overall, the hike was relatively flat, and we made good time (probably in part because my camera stopped working halfway through)!

    The last downhill back to the trailhead turned into a friendly race, with only a little bit of cheating involved. ;)

    What a way to spend a weekend! :]
    Charlebois Loop II
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The three of us got together for another hike in the Supes. We started from Peralta and made our way to Charlebois via the Whiskey Spring Trail. On the return Wally caught up to us near the junction of Dutchman and Bluff Springs. From there the four of us made our back to the jeeps. This was a fun day!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Peralta Trailhead
    7.6 miles east of the junction Idaho Rd / US-60. Turn Left on to FS77 which is Peralta Road. Follow FS77 5.6 miles to a left and up turnoff. Continue 1.9 miles to Peralta Trailhead.

    The trailhead has restrooms minus running water. The parking lot is huge. It does fill up in season on weekends. Since there are no lines the rangers ask that you park straight between the posts in the main lot. Please do your part with this simple request and make room for the next guy. 0.5 miles before reaching the trailhead is an overflow lot which is also suited for horse trailer parking.

    From PHX (Jct I-10 & AZ-51) 45.2 mi - about 1 hour 8 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 97.0 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
    128 GB Flash Drive... $14
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