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Gila Cliff Dwellings - 7 members in 16 triplogs have rated this an average 3.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 23 2018
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 728
 Triplogs 2,943

38 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2018
Booneman
Hiking1.50 Miles 259 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles      45 Mns   2.00 mph
259 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I made the long haul from Las Cruces to the Gila Cliff Dwellings NM to see the ruins and get a better feel for the area. I can see future trips to explore the back country. This place definitely has a remote or wilderness feel to it.
_____________________
Jul 02 2017
DarthStiller
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 Guides 15
 Routes 234
 Photos 6,048
 Triplogs 438

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2017
DarthStiller
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Because of how the queen beds are smaller in hotel rooms, our family didn't get a very good night's sleep before we did this hike. Fortunately, that ended up with us getting a very early start to the day. This ended up with many benefits. First was the first shot at the extended contintental breakfast at the hotel, then low traffic on Route 15 in New Mexico on the way to the ruins, and seeing a whole lot of wildlife along that drive. Natasha counted 13 turkeys and 8 deer. It got to the point that we saw so many turkeys that not only did I not stop the car any more, I jokingly gunned the gas to try to run one over in the attempt of a turkey dinner that I nearly was successful at :o . I got yelled at.

We stopped at the visitor centor since we were there so early that we would have been at the trailhead before the 9am open time. Natasha got the booklet for the Junior Ranger program and I got my obligatory refridgerator magnet.

the ruins were very cool, as expected. I've been so to many now that it's becoming easier to spot where restoration was done. Since we were there early, we again had the advantage to spend more time with the volunteers and ask things like where the hidden pictographs are. The corn cob room what pretty cool to see also. We spent some time at the museum by the trailhead after we were done checking out the stuff they have there.

Made our way down to Willcox and getting ready for our big hike of the weekend tomorrow at the Chiricauhua NM.
_____________________
Oct 13 2016
jameslcox44
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 Photos 2,568
 Triplogs 99

74 male
 Joined Mar 18 2012
 mesa,az
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2016
jameslcox44
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The drive from Mesa via Globe, Safford took 7 hours to Silver City, then another two hours to the site. There are Hot Springs in a camping area and cabins near the dwellings. The hike is short with a staff of several Park Rangers who are well informed. The drive back from Silver City via Lordsburg and I-10 took only 5 hours. It's an exceptionally beautiful drive up and the Dwellings are spectacular.
_____________________
Sep 02 2013
iborrego
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 Triplogs 348

26 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2013
iborrego
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Jul 07 2013
nonot
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 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2013
nonot
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fantastic!
Named place
Named place
Cliff Dweller Canyon
_____________________
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Dec 07 2012
cabel
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 2,681
 Triplogs 395

55 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2012
cabel
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
All who wander are not lost...just me.
Sep 25 2011
cindyl
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 Routes 7
 Photos 2,575
 Triplogs 218

47 female
 Joined May 15 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2011
cindyl
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Yep, I went to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and all I could take pictures of were flowers. :kf: :budrose:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...
Apr 23 2011
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 845

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Jordan Hot Springs - GilaSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2011
tibber
Hiking17.00 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.52 mph
850 ft AEG   3 Hrs   15 Mns Break40 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
Sarae
tiffhiker
writelots
GETTING THERE:
Friday afternoon after picking up a passenger in Tempe, picking up Wendy and Lilo, exchanging a passenger at Sarae's, getting some last minute groceries AND after driving the frontage road to get ahead of a traffic jam on the I-10 we finally got away from Tucson after 2:30ish. Once we got past Willcox, it was all new territory for me :) .
We made it to Silver City, walked the dog above the Big Ditch 8) , had a leisurely dinner at Jalisco's, filled Tonto with fuel and then headed on the very tight and windy road to the Scorpion Campground in the Gila Wilderness where we set up our tents in the dark and cold of night.
In spite of all the warm stuff I had brot, surprisingly it was a chilly nite in the tent for me. I don't think my sleeping bag is living up to the +20 degree rating at all (it only got down to the low 30s); it's VERY frustrating when you spend nearly $200 for something that doesn't work right; surely I can't sleep THAT cold.

DAY ONE -
The next morning we gathered everything up and after a short discussion a few of us hiked to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. It seemed like we raced through them. Ruins take time to see, feel and absorb :M2C: but apparently the rest of the folks didn't feel that way. But I guess we really did need to keep moving it along since we still had the main hike ahead of us that involved a couple miles of an uphill climb.

We shuttled the vehicles and finally hit the trail at 9:30ish. The first of the uphill seemed to go pretty fast until you get slightly past the meadow area where you slog it out on a gradual ascent for a couple miles before reaching the Pass at 2.5 miles. I was glad for the slightly overcast skies. The rest of the group took out like they were running from something (me?) :lol: but Wendy and Lilo hung back. I was hardly taking any pictures either.

After a short break at the Pass we headed down into Little Bear Canyon which was fasinating right off the bat. This is a nice little canyon that's fun to enjoy at a slower pace cuz there's a lot to see. I guess other folks see things faster than me ;) cuz once again I ended up at the back and was the last to arrive at the junction with the Middle Fork (about 4.5 miles from the TJ Corral TH). Here we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. This was nice so at least we got to soak in the view before heading up the stick of this lollipop route to Jordan Hot Springs.

Once again, everyone took off and Wendy, Lilo and I meandered along the trail being awestruck by the TALL canyon walls and admiring the trees and change of scenery :DANCE: as we made the 15 water crossings. In one area we heard this screeching as it echoed down to us. Wendy looked up and spotted a hawk going toward its nest. I didn't get to see this :( . She used my camera to try and zoom in on their location (sad to say I still can't see the nesting area in the photo; hopefully Wendy can).

We continued on and eventually reached the springs where folks were already enjoying the warm water. They directed us back to where the camp was, we changed, joined them in the spring, went back to camp, had an incredible fajiata dinner :y: that we cooked with many stoves due to the fire ban and then after some Irish drinking songs [-( retired to our tents at hiker's bedtime. I was using a new sleeping pad with an R-factor of 4. Along with being at a lower elevation than the night before, I was plenty warm :zzz: .

DAY TWO -
The next morning I woke with a headache :sk: left over from the nite before and in short order it became a migraine. After breakfast I popped an Immitrex, gathered my stuff and asked if I could hike ahead to the junction so I could get a jump on the day and be able to enjoy the trail and take pictures :gun: . You know how it is, when it's time to hike out, it's like horses back to the barn and I knew with this group, I wouldn't stand a chance in keeping up if I wanted to take very many pictures. However, I did have the keys to the shuttle vehicle so they couldn't totally abandon me :D .

I took off around 9:05. I enjoyed my solitary time walking to the junction even tho I spooked myself a couple times. I have a very vivid imagination and can be quite the scaredy cat so it didn't take much to get my heart to pumping a couple times :lol: . It was an absolutely beautiful morning. Even with the pics and movies I took, I kept a good pace at 2.3MPH and arrived 2.85 miles later at the junction around 10:15AM just as two of the hikers showed up behind me. The rest of the folks came along very shortly. We had a quick lunch here before we started on new territory down the Middle Fork.

I was still bound and determined to take a photo at each creek crossing as I had done the previous day from the Junction to JHS. This hike back to the Visitor's Center TH is quite fascinating as well. There's lots of changes in topography. Your feet never get tired because the constant creek crossings provide instant relief :) . A couple of the girls hung back with us for about 15 minutes but then as usual, Wendy, Lilo & I were alone again. There are some meadows, caves, and cool trees along the route. We got to see old and fresh beaver-cut trees. In one area, just as you think you might be done with your river crossings as you head up and over a hill, there's the water again.

We did run into quite a few folks at a junction and then we encountered the rest of our group at the Gila Hot Springs. From there it was like we were sucked into a wind tunnel as the canyon walls were no longer there to protect us. It was quite something. But even along here, the topography had a lot to offer. I know it's been a good day when I really didn't feel my backpack toward the end; plus today I had re-tied my boots in the morning and they fit much better :) . I was pleased.

We arrived at the TH around 2, shuttled vehicles, found some good deals in the 15% off "free entry parks day" Visitors Center and then headed to Silver City. We stopped at the Overlook to take in the Gila Wilderness and after a jaunt thru Pinos Altos looking for a lunch spot to no avail, we ate at Isaacs in Silver City. The food and service were great. Once again in Tucson I did some passenger exchanges and finally arrived back home at 11:30. (FYI - it was a windy drive most of the way)

:thanx: to Sarae for putting together the trip and thanks again to my mentor Wendy for being in the mood for a leisurely hike after your Royal Arch adventure.

DAY ONE -
The Ruins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg8zecvbaH0
Hike to JHS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRobFmJEx8M
DAY TWO -
Hike back to Middle Fork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuQKwyykBZc
Hike from Middle Fork to Visitors Center TH (and if you like Jethro Tull, you should enjoy this): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnAAwGaJaVE
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Aug 07 2010
RangerTRX
avatar

 Routes 1
 Triplogs 172

49 male
 Joined Apr 25 2008
 Peoria, AZ.
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2010
RangerTRX
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
These are some really nice dwellings. They are in great shape. Unfortunatly when discovered they were nearly intact with wood roofs and all. Vandals destroyed a bit of it in the early 1900's before making it a national park. Now 80% is original and the other 20 is to hold up the walls and stablize it.
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Oct 24 2009
Azbackcountry
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 Guides 2
 Routes 2
 Photos 502
 Triplogs 11

male
 Joined Sep 08 2008
 Az
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2009
Azbackcountry
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
180 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Camped out at little scorpion campground Friday night and awoke Saturday morning to a fly covered with frost! No wonder all I did was shiver and toss and turn all night, even though I was in a Big Agnes Crater 15* down bag and wearing capilene 3 pants and a merino wool midweight top. At one point during the night I got up and put on my montbell down jacket and then climbed back into the bag, still was miserable and cold the rest of the night. Took a short to the cliff dwellings and did the tour. They have volunteers at the dwellings you can walk inside and tell you all about them. Definitely worth checking out and the drive up from Silver city provides some spectacular views!
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May 22 2009
gpsjoe
avatar

 Guides 16
 Routes 123
 Photos 2,810
 Triplogs 140

77 male
 Joined Feb 13 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Gila Dwellings & Day Hikes, NM 
Gila Dwellings & Day Hikes, NM
 
Hiking avatar May 22 2009
gpsjoe
Hiking38.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking38.00 Miles   20 Hrs      1.90 mph
4,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I stopped at the Gila Visitor Center a mile from the Cliff Dwellings and asked about day hikes there. They gave me a sheet with descriptions of 5 day hikes. I did their hike #1, Little Bear Canyon/Middle Fork Loop and hike #3, West Fork Loop and several others not on this list.

Gila Cliff Dwellings - Tuesday, May 19
I did the easy 1 mile, 1 hour tour of the impressive cliff dwellings after driving in from Mesa, AZ and camped at the Upper Scorpion Campground. My photos have some pictographs from the dwellings that were pointed out to me by the volunteer guides at the dwellings. The estimates are that some 40 to 60 people lived in these structures until around year 1300.

Trail To The Past - Tuesday, May 19
Just 200 yards from the Upper Campground is the Lower Campground and this trail. It is less than 1/2 mile and there is a small ruin along with many pictographs. Since everybody has their own theory about who lived there, I can think the small ruin was the resident artist who was antisocial and wanted some nice walls to create his/her artwork.

Little Bear Canyon/Middle Fork Loop - Wednesday, May 20
As described by the Gila National Forest Service this hike starts at the TJ Corral trailhead about ½ mile from the campground. The first 3.5 miles feature panoramic views of the surrounding topography. The views change nicely as I entered Little Bear Canyon hiking the last mile to its intersection with the Middle Fork of the Gila River. The last ½ mile of this canyon is particularly beautiful with huge rock walls, a flowing stream and vegetation typical of a riparian area. Next is a 6 mile journey along the Middle Fork. The hike description says there are many stream crossings but no number is provided. I attempted to keep track of the number and ended with 30 crossings. This is either accurate or very close to the true number. These crossings were easy with the highest water just below knee cap level. Some of the best unobstructed views are standing in the middle of the river and looking both ways so I found the crossings enjoyable hiking the whole way in my TEVA sandals. There is a final mile to hike on the road from the visitor center to the trailhead which is a price that must be paid to do the loop. Total GPS distance for this hike is 11.5 miles. This hike has a good mix of changing scenery.

West Fork Loop - Thursday, May 21
The hike description starts this one at the TJ Corral trailhead but I started it at the parking lot for the Gila Cliff Dwellings. That way I could hike the mile on the road in the early morning and not at the end of the hike. From TJ the first 2.4 miles is the same as for the previous day's hike. Then I turned left and hiked 4 miles toward "The Meadows" and turned left on a trail that goes 3 miles to the West Fork. Once at the West Fork I added mileage to the described hike by turning right and going out and back down the West Fork about a mile each way. I finished with 13.5 miles for the day. The best part of this hike is the West Fork but there is about 9.5 miles of hiking before getting to the West Fork which is a bit much of panoramic scenery and not enough change in the process. A better hike might be to hike out and back on the West Fork and go down the West Fork farther than I did.

Tadpole Ridge - Friday, May 22
After the Thursday hike I drove about 31 miles down the difficult route 15 to the McMillen campground (at mile marker 12.8 ). Stayed there overnight and was hoping to hike the Tadpole Ridge trail to Tadpole Lake and back for a 14 mile round tripper. In the past 2 days the weather was cloudy with off and on drizzle that was not bothersome but Friday's weather featured low clouds, fog and finally rain. About 2.9 miles on the trail rain started but I continued anyway. After 30 minutes it stopped for a while and started again and never stopped after that. I made it in 5.6 miles before turning back. My torso and backpack had good rain protection. Everything else got soaked including my boots and socks. I liked this trail but my views were impeded by fog and rain so I must do it again under better conditions. This would make an easy shuttle hike of 8.5 miles one-way since there is a dirt road accessible trailhead at the end of the trail. Or it would be a long 17 out and back hike to do the whole trail or 14 miles round trip if the lake is the turnaround point. Elevations on this trip were from 7.300 feet to a high of 8,600 feet.

My plan for Saturday was to do a short 5 mile hike to Signal Peak (and lookout tower) that has a trailhead almost directly across route 15 from the Tadpole Ridge trailhead. I then would drive home after that. But the Friday rain did me in. When I got back to camp everything was very wet. I threw my tent and all the wet stuff into my 4Runner and drove directly home to a hot shower and dry warm bed. I guess I'm just a weenie after all. I will go back there.
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3 archives
May 19 2009
gpsjoe
avatar

 Guides 16
 Routes 123
 Photos 2,810
 Triplogs 140

77 male
 Joined Feb 13 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 19 2009
gpsjoe
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this one after driving from Mesa and arriving at the cliff dwellings at 2PM AZ time (3PM NM time). They close at 4PM NM time and some of my fellow campers missed out on that day because they didn't know the closing time. I just lucked out because I didn't know that either.

I have photos but the photos already posted cover the subject matter very well and my stuff would duplicate those.

The drive up route 15 from Silver City is 44 miles of winding road that could take 2 hours (1.5 hours in light or no traffic). Drove up 60 through Miami/Globe and 70 on through Safford to near Lordsburg and 90 into Silver City (about 300 miles). Drove back on I-10 at Lordsburg (about 360 miles but fast).

I camped at the upper Scorpion campground (no fees, water at the RV dump nearby, toilet, no trash removal). A short walk to lower Scorpion yields a small ruin and pictographs on the very short "Trail to the Past". Hiked more in the next 3 days to be covered separately.
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Become a skilled GPS user and it will set you free!
Oct 18 2008
BrettVet
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 Guides 15
 Routes 40
 Photos 335
 Triplogs 48

69 male
 Joined Apr 23 2004
 Tucson, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2008
BrettVet
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great day great walk. I took several friends. Campgrounds near the dwelling are closed due to flooding. Camped at Woody's corral just east of the bridge.
Named place
Named place
Cliff Dweller Canyon
_____________________
Oct 13 2008
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2008
Vaporman
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
1 archive
Jun 08 2008
PrestonSands
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 Guides 168
 Routes 149
 Photos 5,534
 Triplogs 1,317

42 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2008
PrestonSands
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
180 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
1st trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings with my wife and brother Alan. Pretty sweet ruins, and a beautiful area. Plan on a travel time of: all eternity from Silver City to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
_____________________
"I'm going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out." -Jim Gaffigan
Aug 02 2003
PaleoRob
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 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Gila Cliff DwellingsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking1.00 Miles 180 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.67 mph
180 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
average hiking speed 1.44 mph

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.

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