D2D and the Arctic Circle on a Ural

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Spicy McHaggis, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    EDIT: I'll post my comments about the people and the Ural at the end, once the report is done.

    Every good trip involves some planning...
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    All packed and ready to go.
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    One last picture before I hit the road.
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    And off I go...
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    On the 7 hour ferry ride to Skagway.
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    And so ends day #1. A total of 7 miles. 6 from my house in Juneau to the ferry dock, and then 1 mile from the dock in Skagway to the campground.

    Up next...day two - or - The Yukon Quest begins.
    #1
  2. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    Day two begins with some breakfast and gassing up (both from the breakfast and for the moto).

    Heading N on the S. Klondike Highway out of Skagway...my Yukon Quest has begun.
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    One of MANY gas stops I would make along the way. This is also where I met Andrea (looking at camera) and Brian (over A's right shoulder). The other group...I never saw them again.
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    A Russian Ural, and a Pinzgauer. Not shown - two BMW's. We've got the Eastern Bloc covered.
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    Night two - Moose Creek Campground, just West of Stewarts Crossing, Yukon.
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    Day 2 miles: 353.
    #2
  3. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 3.

    Up and on the road at about 730am. Destination unknown. Actually, I do know where I am going...NORTH.

    Black bear.
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    Moose. They were within 1/4 mile of each other.
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    At the intersection of the Klondike and Dempster Highways. For those who don't know, the Dempster is the only road in C eh N eh D eh that runs to the Arctic Circle. This one actually goes to Inuvik, but I won't be going that far.
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    The first 5 kms of the Dempster are paved...then it goes to anything from nice smooth dirt, to 6" deep pea-sized gravel, to riding on hard rock, and back to smooth dirt.

    The front fender on a Ural doesn't do much to protect the headlight...
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    Ruh-roh Raggy, looks like rain!
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    The Tombstone Mountains. Friggin' AWESOME.
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    Looking good...and running GREAT!
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    I ran into these guys on the way up...they were heading back from a 2-day run to Inuvik.
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    Kary (sorry...don't know how to spell his name!!!)
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    Dave (JuneauDave)
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    Ben (Squonker)
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    Heading North...
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    Day 3 ends in Eagle Plains...an oasis almost exactly 1/2 way up the Dempster.

    Day 3 miles: 302.
    #3
  4. TheMule

    TheMule Been here awhile

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    Too Cool!!:lurk Keep it comin'!!
    #4
  5. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    This is great!! Your photography is spectacular. Of course, the scenery must help some.

    I wasn't expecting this one. Made me laugh. Thanks!

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    #5
  6. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

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    AWE! COME-ON! This was just getting good!
    #6
  7. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    What a great trip:D Thanks for sharing.
    #7
  8. GSbiker

    GSbiker new and un-improved

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    Excellent pics. Keep em coming. :lurk
    #8
  9. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 4...the Arctic Circle and Dawson City.

    Eagle Plains is only a few KM's from the Arctic Circle. I woke up in the morning, and completed the first goal of this Adventure.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you...my 2007 Ural GearUp at the Arctic Circle in the Yukon.
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    ...and for those who think a Ural can't do a 1600+ mile trip in some of the most remote parts of the Great White North...I present to you...
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    After many pictures (as you can tell!!!), it was back to Eagle Plains to gas up, and begin the trip South to Dawson City.

    Got gas??? I took along 6 extra gallons of it. And I needed it.
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    Arrival in Dawson City. Dick at the Downtown Hotel has a nice area set up in the back for washing motos. Good thing, cuz the dirt on the Dempster is a nice mix of dirt, mud, and pure calcium chloride, which is used to keep down the dust.
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    After getting settled in and unloading the Ural, it was time to meet up with the friends that I had made along the way.
    That's me in the blue Ural shirt, with (going clockwise) Klaus, Brian (HomeOnTheRange) and Andrea, Dave (JuneauDave), Sander (from Holland...!!!), Marty (Sgt Marty), Mike, Ben (Squonker), and Kary. :freaky
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    We had a few beers...and it was time to walk back to the B&B where I spent the first night. Something's not right in this picture...why is it so light at midnight? :lol3
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    Day 4 miles: 311.
    #9
  10. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    After getting a really good nights rest at the B&B, I moved to the campsite to meet up with the other fellers...mostly KLR riders. There was a BMW in camp (JuneauDave); we all figured he must have gotten lost since he wasn't hob-nobbing with the Beemer riders that were in the hotels downtown.

    Chillin' on the deck at the Downtown Hotel.
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    The Ural was taking a rest...as was I.
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    Dawson City from the Dome.
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    Sander testing out the Ural...
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    ...and posing next to his Yamaha TTR...
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    Sander is from Holland, and is working his way from Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego. He's already conquered the Dalton to Prudhoe Bay, and he should be back from Inuvik by now. Ride safe, good friend. Ride safe.
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    Tent City at the campground.
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    Tools? Someone has tools out? Everyone comes running...to "help"...!
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    Ben's (Squonker) KLR650. He's a real Ice Road Trucker, and one helluva guy. He's from Britain, but calls himself a Canadian. Poor guy is confused...!
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    Dave (JuneauDave) surfing porn at the campsite. C'mon Dave, can't you just wait till you get home???
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    You don't have to have a big moto to do this trip. Here's a TW200 and an XT225 to prove it!
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    And now I come to the "adult" part of the trip...also known as the Girls of Dawson.

    That evening, Sander and I decided we wanted to go out and have a beer at a local bar "The Pit". Turned out to be one of the best nights of my life.

    And now, I present to you, The Girls of Dawson...
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    Wait a second...those aren't girls...!!!
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    On the way back to the hotel, Sander figured he'd try out the accommodation's on the road...
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    One a.m. in the land of the midnight sun. Everyone's already asleep.
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    Day 5 miles: Zero.

    EDIT: Dammit, I forgot to get rid of the red-eye. Oh well...! :D
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Fixed your thread title... lovely ride, scenery and hotties.. :thumb

    :lurk
    #11
  12. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Day 6 - another non-riding day for me, but one of the best days and nights of my life.

    Friday is the official D2D (Dust 2 Dawson) day. Things start around noon with a poker run, then a steak dinner/banquet at 630pm, followed by the Motorcycle Games in front of the Downtown Hotel at 9pm.

    I took today as a recovery day, after the previous nights...fun. No poker run for me, although it sounds like it was quite a beautiful trip of about 100 miles.

    This nice lady rode past in the morning, picking up empty beer cans and bottles. We had quite a few to donate!
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    Back downtown, just hanging out and talking. Soon enough it would be time for the motos to start lining up.
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    But first - ICE CREAM!!!
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    And hey wait - a few beauties I had missed the night before. I guess most jewelry shops aren't open at midnight...
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    At the banquet, Dave (JuneauDave) brought his local paper that showed a picture that looked EXACTLY like Andrea. Apparently she graduated just the other day, AND was the valedictorian! Congratulations, Andrea!!!
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    Here's the gang at the banquet.
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    They close off the road for the games, and motos start lining up around noonish. I don't know the exact count this year...but there were a LOT of motos!!!
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    Andrea and Brian.
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    Ummmm....
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    Downtown Hotel.
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    Friar Mike...!
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    Sgt. Marty...!
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    Legion, probably tellling some lie...
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    Got a few pictures of the games. They included the slow ride, cone weave, blindfold ride/stop, and the bucket drop. Favorites included the balloon toss, and of course the weenie-bite.

    Here's the winner of the weenie-bite, Alida, doing what she does best...
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    And a few other nice attempts. Gotta love their style!
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    If not for the alcoholic beverages I had partaken of, I would have entered the Ural into the competitions...but I don't think anyone wanted to have me plow into their parked moto!!

    Back into the Downtown Hotel...hanging out with old friends...relaxing...
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    And then back outside for some photo-ops with some admirers...
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    As the night wore on...we closed down the Downtown Hotel...
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    And with nobody else on the streets (it was 3am, afterall) we decided - hey, what better to do than overload a ladder!!!
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    Andrea..."I've got a tripod!"
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    Ben (Squonker)...
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    Sander...
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    Brian (HomeOnTheRange)...
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    Marty (Sgt Marty)...
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    That's it from this night. None of us wanted it to be over, and we knew that we were all heading our separate ways in the morning.

    Day 6 miles: Nada.
    #12
  13. Sevoman

    Sevoman Ever Vigilant

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    Great pictures and writing. Thanks for sharing.:clap

    :lurk

    Sevoman
    #13
  14. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Cool Beans! Were there any other outfits present?
    #14
  15. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Nope, I was the only hack there.
    #15
  16. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Day 7...time to say goodbye to new old friends.

    Saturday morning arrived...I only got about 4 hours of sleep...but with no hangover I felt pretty darn good!

    Ben and Sander took the Ural for a little ride, and then I took Claire (French girl that works at the campground) for a quick spin around the campground. She loved it!
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    We had plans to meet for breakfast at a bakery at 1000, and sat on the benches and sidewalk talking, making sure we had everyones email address and contact info.
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    We had to wait in line for the ferry across the Yukon river. Andrea and Brian were heading the same way I was, so we were in line together.
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    Here they are on the ferry...Andrea's obviously got the ADV salute down!
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    It was off on the Top of the World Highway, heading towards Chicken, Alaska. I somehow managed to be ahead of Brian and Andrea, and got these great pictures of them as they passed by.
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    Just another amazing day with a breathtaking view, along the TOTW Highway.
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    Back into the US of A (no more talking funny, eh!).
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    And once in the US of A...construction.
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    I had to enter back into the Yukon for the route to Skagway. This picture was taken just inside the border along the Alaska Highway.
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    Finally...a grizzly.
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    Pulled over to get a picture of this truck, and the lady in the truck leans out and asks "Want me to show you my tits?" I said no thanks, this picture was for my son...!
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    Kluane Park.
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    I overnighted at the Burwash Landing "Resort". It was a bed, warm shower, and a good nights rest. It was a VERY long day and I was glad to get in. After the late start that morning, a massive headwind in the afternoon, and the rain...I was pooped!

    Day 7 mileage: 378 miles.
    #16
  17. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Day 8

    Woke up, got some breakfast, and hit the road about 830am.

    I had a mission today...get to Skagway so I could make the ferry the next morning at 0700. No problem.

    Stopped in Whitehorse - you gotta watch out, they've got some damn low flying planes up there!!!
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    A beautiful emerald lake on the S. Klondike Hwy.
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    The Carcross Desert. As you can probably read, it's the smallest desert in the world.
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    Getting back into the elevation on the pass going South to Skagway.
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    I got to the campground, pitched the tent, and realized I had no way of waking myself up early to be at the ferry around 5am. A Forestry Service worker had an extra clock that he lent me (thanks again!) and I was off to sleep.

    Day 8 mileage: 286.
    #17
  18. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    Day 9: Returning home.

    I was the first one at the ferry...you can see one of the 3 cruise ships that would make Skagway a port of call that day.
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    On the ferry, I managed to catch a few hours of sleep. When I woke up, I saw the Mendenhall Glacier outside the window. The glacier is only 1.5 miles from my house...I knew I was back.
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    Riding off the ferry...
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    And into the arms (kind of) of my son...
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    Day 9 mileage: 7 miles.

    Fin.
    #18
  19. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
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    I said I would write some comments about the trip, the Ural, and the people. Well, here they are.

    The trip.
    AWESOME. The Dempster has got to be one of the toughest roads in N. America to ride. Mad props to the guys who did it on two wheels, cuz I know that 3 wheels was tough enough! And crazy mad props to the two guys (Klaus and Mike) who did the trip all the way to Inuvik in ONE day. Fookin' nutz, fellers!!!

    The top of the World highway is amazing. Pictures never do things justice, and this was no exception. I will never forget the incredible scenery.

    The Ural.
    What can I say.

    I had complete confidence in her the entire way...and nothing - NOTHING - occurred that would make me reconsider doing the trip again. Fuel mileage was anywhere from 25-30mpg. It's a beast on the hills and going through the mountain passes. But it gets it done.

    You MUST know your bikes limits. I knew from the start I wouldn't be able to keep up with anyone on the pavement, and I was right. But on the dirt I was doing the same speeds - if not a bit faster - than some of the regular motos (only because they were riding slower!).

    I ended up changing out the pusher at 3350kms. The Dempster highway took it down to darn near nothing, but it was still good enough to call a spare. For those taking notes, I am running the stock Uralshinas.

    Being the only sidecar - and a Ural at that - at a gathering like this - you are sure to get attention. And chicks. Lots of chicks.

    The people.
    From my first meeting with Brian and Andrea at Pelly Crossing, to the final breakfast at the bakery with everyone...well, it was wonderful.

    Brian, Andrea, Ben, Sander, Marty, Klaus, Mike, Dave, Kary, MotoMac - thanks to each and every one of you for making this the ride of a lifetime. As happy as I am getting back home to the family, I still am feeling a little depressed about not being on the road and meeting up with you guys at camp for a beer or two and a bunch of good stories.

    To everyone else that I met but didn't spend as much time with...thanks. To all the beautiful women that sat in the sidecar, and that Sander and I met while conquering Dawson...a VERY special thanks to you!

    That's it. Now I'm bummed because I just relived the entire ride once again through the words and pictures...and once again it is done.

    Guess it's time to start planning for next year...
    #19
  20. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    Excellent :thumb
    #20