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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Ouray, Colorado Invites You to Join us for Thanksgiving!

  
  
  

Tiny Town in the San Juan Mountains Gives Plenty to be Thankful for This Thanksgiving.

snow ouray3The holidays are upon us. We knew this day was coming, and have been looking forward to it for what seems like ages.

When one wakes up in Ouray, and looks out the window, it is impossible not to feel the holiday spirit. Nestled in a tiny box canyon, with unbelievable views in every direction, Ouray epitomizes the sense of community and hard work that is Thanksgiving.

A night at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is an ideal way to begin, or end the perfect Thanksgiving, with no dishes to wash!

Wake in the morning to freshly brewed coffee roasted by our very own Exotic Earth Coffee Roasters as you soak in the early morning light. Work up an appetite on a leisurely stroll on Main Street, window shopping and enjoying the clean crisp mountain air.

The Ouray Hot Springs Pool will be open on Thanksgiving from 4pm to 9pm!

Bring the kids, and enjoy a day at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool! With a variety of temperatures, and a lap swimming area, the Hot Springs Pool is a fabulous place to enjoy an afternoon or evening, soaking, swimming and playing. big turkey dinner, and guess who is sleeping alllllll night?!? 

Dinner is not a problem, but deciding on where to eat may be! 

snow ourayWe serve a very light fare in the morning: homemade muffins, fruit and a selection of juices and teas in addition to coffee, which is just enough to get you going in anticipation of a decadent feast later in the day! Of course, if a full hot breakfast is what you are looking for, no problem! In addition to restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, breakfast and lunch are on the menu as well!

Backstreet Bistro will be open from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.

It is hard to believe when walking up to the front door of the Backstreet Bistro that there is anything interesting inside, let alone room for more than a party of perhaps three or four people. believe me, this is not the case! From the moment one walks through the door and is greeted by at least one smiling face, a genuine, good dining experience is in the works.

Just off the menu breakfast and lunch is what you can expect here on Thanksgiving - fabulous baked goods, and Boar's Head meats. You surely cannot go wrong.

At the counter, the menu is listed on the wall, and what a menu! Everything from bagel sandwiches to eggs benedict for breakfast, and a variety of delicious sandwiches for lunch are listed, and the job is to decide what to try!

Beaumont Hotel- Grand Ballroom, Thanksgiving Buffet, Seating’s , Noon,2:30 & 5pm

Adults $34.95, Children, $17.99 (12 & under)

snow ouray2When imagining a refined, traditional Thanksgiving feast, a seating in the Beaumont Grand Ballroom is exactly what comes to mind. Offering turkey, ham and prime rib, with a variety of traditional sides from home-made stuffing to decadent pies, this is a Thanksgiving Buffet sure to please!

This property, redone to the exact specifications of its original glory, is a testament to the accomplishments of our forefathers. 

Amazing architecture and even better food combine to create a truly original experience - one not to be missed.

Bon Ton- Open 3-7pm- Reservation requested- Turkey dinner with all trimmings as well as a limited menu.

For as long as anyone cares to remember, The Bon Ton Restaurant has been a local favorite. Serving masterpieces for the palette, with class and attention to detail not often found any more.

Walking down the stairs into the restaurant is like walking back in time. From the moment the host greets you, til the moment you leave - full to capacity on the decadent deliciousness that is the menu, you will be transported to a place where you are the star, and your dining pleasure is the goal.

The Victorian decor in the Bon Ton is romance to its fullest, with soft lighting, and excellent service, your glass will never be empty!

Outlaw Restaurant- Traditional Turkey dinner- open 4pm-8pm

turkey1Cowboys like turkey too, and the Outlaw Steakhouse is here to provide!

With John Wayne memorabilia every where, and wooden shingles with messages from guests old and new, the Outlaw is a great place to enjoy an evening with friends and family, making new friends along the way as you enjoy an amazing traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Tap your toes to upbeat music and a friendly atmosphere, as you dig in to some of the best fixins around. Not in the mood for turkey? Well, never fear, the limited menu is also offering a variety of flame broiled steaks cooked to perfection! 

You can always expect excellent service here, and a Thanksgiving to remember is definitely on the menu at the Outlaw!

 

Each of these restaurants have the highest reputation not only in Ouray, but are known far and wide. The best part by far though, is that there are no dishes to clean or food to put away! After indulging in a most wonderful feast, now all that is left is to head back to the hotel, pick out a movie, put on your Thanksgiving pants, and relax and digest.

The holidays are off to a magnificent start!

See you soon!

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray and Ridgway Events in December, 2013

  
  
  

Ouray County is Your Holiday Headquarters this December!

wintertreeAs the Holiday season gets into full swing, our thoughts are often awash in a whirlwind of wish lists and party preparations. As we struggle through crowded stores searching for that special something, it is easy to become overwhelmed, eventually resorting to the ever popular gift basket filled with the same goodies we bought last year.

This year, take some time for yourself. There is no end to the possibilities when wandering the shops on Main Street in Ouray and Ridgway. The picturesque town offers a variety of options for even the most difficult person on your list, while at the same time, shopping takes on a vacation like quality. Not only are there wonderful shops, but there are a variety of excellent restaurants and exciting activities during the winter months!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: The Colorado River: Flowing through Conflict

mt.abrams3Join your fellows for this thought provoking talk by Jonathan Waterman, renowned author and photographer, as he delves into themany uses and dangers facing the Colorado River, one of the most dammed, diverted and heavily litigated rivers in the world. Travel the 1,450 miles of the Colorado with Mr. Waters as he guides us along his jouney as chronicled in his two books: Running Dry and the Colorado River: Running Through Conflict.

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway: Open Bard Poetry Series

Open Bard is a monthly poetry reading/performance series at the historic Sherbino Theater in Ridgway. This month's featured poet is Rosemerry Trommer from Placerville. The doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups to read and refreshments. Starting at 7:00 pm a nationally or regionally known poet from Colorado or beyond takes the stage. Following the reading and a short intermission will be an open reading during which audience members can read or perform their poetry. Open Bard is sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild.

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

skating.8Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: "Christmas Carol" Radio Show presented by the Ouray County Players at the Wright Opera House

This production, a radio drama, is a unique form of audio storytelling which relies on dialogue, music and sound effects to enable the audience to visualize the story. Radio drama was initially developed during the 1920's, losing some of its popularity in the United States when television became popular in the 1950's. Radio drama broadcast on the BBC continues to enjoy popularity. We hope that you enjoy this radio adaption of Dickens' classic, "The Christmas Carol".

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 10:00 am to 1200 pm at the Ridgway Elementary School in Ridgway: Weehawken's Gingerbread House Building Fun

bambyattubsEnjoy the holiday tradition of Gingerbread House decorating with Weehawken and our partner, Voyager. Each registered family will receive a gingerbread house to decorate as they wish from a wide variety of candies, frosting and more. All supplies are provided, however please bring wrapping for the base of your box, and any additional items you may wish to decorate with. This wonderful holiday tradition returns again due to generous local sponsorship. A $10/family donation is appreciated but not required to participate. Come join the festivities! Please remember it is ONE house per FAMILY not per child.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: "Christmas Carol" Radio Show presented by the Ouray County Players at the Wright Opera House

This production, a radio drama, is a unique form of audio storytelling which relies on dialogue, music and sound effects to enable the audience to visualize the story. Radio drama was initially developed during the 1920's, losing some of its popularity in the United States when television became popular in the 1950's. Radio drama broadcast on the BBC continues to enjoy popularity. We hope that you enjoy this radio adaption of Dickens' classic, "The Christmas Carol".

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Weehawken Ouray: Wise Voices from the East

sledhillWise Voices from the East: From Han Shan to Basho and Beyond A Day of Discussion and Curiosity with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer 
“No direction is better or worse, east is just as good as west. Those who know the meaning of this are free to go where they want.” These words, written by Han Shan in the seventh century, were part of the Chinese literary tradition that informed the work of the Japanese tanka and later haiku. In six hours, we’ll travel through over a thousand years of Eastern poets, including Han Shan, Kukai, Shikibu Izumi, Dogen Kigen, Basho, Ryokan, Issa, Chiyo-ni, and more, joining them as they explore themes of humility, grateful acceptance, non-duality, contradictoriness, love, freedom, courage and death. Fee: $95.00 per person

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Ouray School Multipurpose room: Weehawken's Gingerbread House Building Fun in Ouray

Enjoy the holiday tradition of Gingerbread House decorating with Weehawken and our partner, Voyager. Each registered family will receive a gingerbread house to decorate as they wish from a wide variety of candies, frosting and more. All supplies are provided, however please bring wrapping for the base of your box, and any additional items you may wish to decorate with. This wonderful holiday tradition returns again due to generous local sponsorship. A $10/family donation is appreciated but not required to participate. Come join the festivities! Please remember it is ONE house per FAMILY not per child.

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Ouray Public Library: Free Grant Writing Work Session: Locating the Appropriate Funding Sources

mt.abrams6Join the Ouray Public Library and the Community Development Committee (CDC) for a special grant-writing work session: Locating the Appropriate Funding Sources. All Ouray County nonprofit organizations are invited to attend the free sessions, which will be held at the library. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP by calling the Ouray Library during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by sending an e-mail to OurayPL@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Ouray Public Library: Ouray Library Angel Party Open House and Fundraiser

Celebrate the holiday season and support your local library. Join the Ouray Library staff and board members for its annual open house and fundraiser. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the holiday season and support your local library. Bring family and friends to enjoy snacks, sweets, and sparkling beverages at the library. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

elkA weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

Enjoy dinner (and karaoke every 2nd Friday of the month) at the Ouray Elks Lodge. Members and guests welcome. Varying menu. $7 per person

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

A weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Ouray Community Center in Ouray: 5th Annual Wine Chocolate and Cheese Festival

skating.8Join us for an evening of treats and delightful tastings of wine, chocolate, cheese and more! And an opportunity to buy the things you try! Dress in your best impression of Winter Wonderland and enter to win the most festively dressed. Vendors will be coming as far as Fort Collins! Music provided by Alternate Rounte. This event a benefits a different local non-profit each year. Deck the halls in Ouray on Dec. 8th 7 pm- 10 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 a the door.

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am at O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray: Tony Rosario Live

Come and enjoy an evening of dancing and revelry to the musical stylings of Tony Rosaio, highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, recording artist, performer, producer and teacher.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ouray: Yule Fest Victorian Christmas Holidays

A weekend full of festive activities, concerts, festivals, shopping and fun for the whole family. Search for the Ouray ornament in local shops and restaurants for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the Ouray business of your choice. Enjoy the holiday parade, get photos with Santa, enjoy a Christmas concert at the historic Wright Opera House. Events also include the annual Wine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival and much more.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: Dolce Voce - Holiday Concert

ouray ski hillDolce Voce, an 8 voice a cappella group from Montrose and Ridgway, will brighten our holiday with a delightful concert of music -- some old favorites and some new treats. The group always gives a fine concert.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Downtown Ridgway: Ridgway MoonWalk Art Outing, presented by the Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts

The Ridgway Creative District and Weehawken Creative Arts present a monthly gallery tour coinciding with the full moon! For October, we're calling it the Starry Night Lantern Parade. 
Come learn about all the amazing artists and creative folks that you might not know about around town!

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 6:00 pm to end at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: Dinner & Karaoke

This is a special dinner night at the Ouray Elks! All of Santa's helpers will be gathering to help fill stockings for Santa. A pot luck dinner is the order for the evening of fun and helping. Members and guests welcome. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - All Evening in Ouray County: Santa Delivers

uncompaghresnowEvery year, The Ouray Elks Lodge sends Santa out to give every child a special moment with Mr. claus himself! Whether you are a local, or just visiting, Santa has something special for your little ones! If you are visiting with us at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, just let us know how many boys and girls you have on this magical night, and the Ouray Elks will be sure to visit!

Wednesday, December 25, 2015 - All Day: CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas, and hopefully you have planned on a special night in Ouray, a living Christmas card!

Please stay tuned for a listing of local restaurants serving decadent dinners on this special night.

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright Opera House in Ouray: Bob Levy & the Intervention Band

An evening at the Wright Opera House with an ensemble of first class musicians who ply their trade with both joyful abandon and sensitivity. Bob Levy & the Intervention Band are a show not to be missed!

Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 9:00 pm to 12:00 am at O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray: the North Fork Flyers Live

fireworksnyeDance the night away with one of the most popular bands in Southwest Colorado!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - All Day: NEW YEARS EVE!

There is no better place to ring in the New Year, and say goodby to the old! With Fireworks at midnight, and a number of places to celebrate, Ouray brings in the New year right!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 7:00 pm til next year: Ouray County Fair Board New Year's Eve Gala at the Ouray County 4H Event Center in Ridgway

Box Canyon Winter (1)The doors open at 7pm for the Silent Auction with appetizers and a cash bar. Dinner from 8 pm to 9 pm and dancing from 9 pm till after midnight. The 2012 dinner menu featured Apricot Glazed Pork, gluten-free and vegan entrees are available upon request. New Year’s party favors such as hats, noise makers, etc., will be provided at your table and a glass of champagne at your table to celebrate. There will be two ways to celebrate … at 10pm there will be a live feed from New York for those who wish to celebrate a bit early. The traditional New Year’s Celebration will be at midnight. Each celebration does include a champagne pour/toast. There will be sparkling cider available as well. Designated drivers will be offered free non-alcoholic beverages all night.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 8:00 pm til next year at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway: The New Sherbino Theater New Year's Eve Party

Rock in the New Year at this popular Sherbino Fundraiser event! More details TBA.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 7:30 pm til next year at the Ouray Elks Lodge in Ouray: New Year's Party at the Elks

snowshoeing2Enjoy a night of good food, music and fun at theOouray Elks Lodge, a perfect location to watch the fireworks at midnight!

Stay tuned for more information on the perfect New Year's Eve Celebrations and dinner in Ouray County this year!

As you can see, Ouray is an ideal escape from the holiday rush. After a relaxing day on Main Street, or out enjoying all that the San Juans have to offer in the winter months, there is no better way to end the day than a long soothing soak in one of our all natural mineral hot spring tubs.

You can always save yourself time too - give the gift of the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs! No one will turn away a gift certificate for one of the best hotels in Southwest Colorado! We have a variety of packages available, and love to make a gift extra special! For the rest of this year, spend $200.00 on gift certificates, receive an additional $50.00 certificate. Keep it for yourself as our special gift to you, or give it to a loved one. Just remember to mention the Holiday Special when you call our front desk!

See You Soon!

Give the Perfect Gift orGive Yourself a much Deserved Escape!

 

 


 

 




 

 

 




 




 





 

Ouray Nordic Council Makes Outdoor Winter Sports Safe and Fun!

  
  
  

Skiing and Snowshoeing season in the San Juan Mountains is about to begin!

nordicadventure.2November is upon us, and Mother Nature has been smiling on Southwest Colorado. We have gotten some wonderful storms: just enough snow to coat the mountains, followed by beautiful sunshiny days that entice any one looking out a window to go out and enjoy.

Skiing in the San Juan Mountains is an amazing adventure, made perhaps even more of a once in a lifetime experience due to the reputation for extreme avalanche danger. The Ouray Nordic Council works through the winter months to maintain wondefulyy groomed trails, and maintain the most up to date information on the conditions of popular winter sport areas. Following a brautifully groomed trail does not in any way depreciate the wonder of the San Juan skiing or snow shoeing experience.

A division of the Ouray Trail Group, the Nordic Council is a group of families and individuals dedicated to maintaining not only the Ironton Park Trails, but a varity of other trails in the Ouray North Corridor to be accessible for winter recreation. Through the support of these families and local businesses, Ouray County can boast a variety of scenic areas for snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and other winter sports.

Of course, anyone can help. For a very small annual fee, you can become a member of the Ouray Nordic Council. Not only will you be helping to maintain the trails we all enjoy, membership has other benefits. The opportunity to win some great prizes not the least of which.

This year, the annual Nordic Council Dinner is going to be an event worth attending:

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, be sure to meet with old friends and new to show your support of an organization worthy of our respect. 

nordiccouncildinnerFor just $10.00 per person, attendees recieve:

nordicadventureNot only does the Nordic Council focus on providing safe, well maintaned trails for skiers and snow shoers, they also focus quite seriously on the safety of every individual who chooses to adventure in the San Juans. Avalanche safety is tantamount to their mission, and members are eager to share safety tips as well as the optimal skiing and snowboarding options given the time of your visit.

Regardless of whether you choose to join, be sure to always check with them prior to going on an expedition. The best part of a trip in the high country is to go to a spot that is at its peak for whatever activity you have in mond.

At the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs, our goal is to help every one of our guests enjoy the beauty of Ouray and the surrounding area safely. There is of course, no comparrision to a long soothing soak in one of our mineral hot spring tubs following a morning spent in the peaceful splendor of one of our awesome Cross Country Ski trails.

Let us help you to enjoy everything the San Juans have to offer, as you enjoy a special getaway of perhaps one day, or longer.

 

Ouray, southwest colorado

Ouray Ice Park - Best Ice Climbing in Colorado

  
  
  

The Sun Rises on Another Season at the Ouray Ice Park

ouray ice park ouray colorado

The beautiful autumn leaves are tumbling to the ground and the first snows of winter have blanketed the landscape around Ouray, Colorado. We know what that means... OURAY ICE CLIMBING SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!  If Mother Nature cooperates, the Ouray Ice season begins on December 14, 2013.  I would like to offer a hearty Colorado welcome to our winter visitors.

If you love winter and all of it’s activities, this will be the year to spend some time in Ouray.  As Manager of the Ice Park, I spend countless hours studying weather models, forecasts, and predictions for the season so we can plan our operations accordingly. Every model at my disposal suggests perfect conditions for the winter sports enthusiast. We have enjoyed a tremendously wet fall. This translates to a very healthy water supply for the ice making operations at the Ouray Park. The world renown backcountry climbs in our region have more water than I have seen in years. Park visitors can expect several new routes this year. We are opening up some terrain that has never seen routes before too.  I think they will offer excellent beginner/ intermediate climbing. Exact details will remain top secret until we begin releasing photos as the season draws near.

With significant support from the American Alpine Club & the Access Fund, Park guests venturing to the south end will enjoy new toilet facilities. These babies will be the flagships of the San Juans. One will be located in South Park above the slab routes and the other will take up residence at the top of New Funtier. The Ouray Ice Park is grateful for strong partnerships with these incredible organizations. Consider joining each today!

The Ouray Ice Park Kid’s Wall is getting a second pitch! OIPI has been working closely with the County and City to improve drainage at the base of the Kid’s Wall. Historically, our water has run onto County Road 361 (the Upper Bridge) causing serious issues for vehicular traffic. We were able to excavate most of the grassy slope at the base, adding about 20 feet of additional climbing to these routes. No more death slog for the little ones trying to get to the ice climbing. I suspect the only issue remaining for the kidos will be fending off the adults who wish to enjoy this excellent terrain.

Lastly, in an effort to gain a better understanding of Park use. OIPI has worked closely with the City of Ouray and San Juan Mountain Guides (OIP Concessionaire) to create a group use registration procedure. Our goal with the procedure is to gain a better understanding of who is using the Park and for what reasons. We absolutely DO NOT wish for this process to be limiting or cumbersome for our valued guests. We have also beefed up our Ice Farming staff. In addition to creating more high quality ice to climb these lads will be present in the Park connecting with the community. When you visit with one our crew please offer them a ride on your rope, bend their ear, share your likes and concerns regarding the Park experience. They are there for you. The Farmers will also be able to connect with most registered groups to ensure they are enjoying a positive outing.

As the sun rises on another season at the Ouray Ice Park, please remember it is FREE to use but not to operate. The Park is 100% donor supported. The local business community in Ouray is incredibly generous every year to ensure you have a great place to recreate. Please consider doing your part; patronize the local businesses that support the Park and remember to become an Individual Ice Park Member each year. I look forward to seeing every one of you in Ouray this winter. Please stop by the Ice Park hut near the Upper Bridge, I’m serving locally roasted coffee from the Exotic Earth.

Happy Trails,

Kevin Koprek

Manager, Ouray Ice Park

 

Guest Blogger:  Kevin Koprek lives and works in Ouray and serves as the Number One Ambassador for the Ouray Ice Park.  A former guide with San Juan Mountain Guides, he is a gifted climber and teacher as well as a great manager.

Photo: Courtesy of Head Ice Farmer Dan Chehayl for the Ouray Ice Park

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs is the closest hotel to the Ouray Ice Park and our Natural Hot Springs (only available to our guests) warm icy cold climbers and relax tired muscles.  We offer 20% off of lodging to our guests that purchase Ice Park Memberships all winter long.  

 

Start Your Adventure on the Ice Today!
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