A Travellerspoint blog

The Elizabethans of the First Colony

Roanoke Island's towns of Manteo and Wanchese

semi-overcast 15 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The weather guessers have been predicting rain for Wednesday ever since Friday of last week. Bob has been pooh-poohing it. But a cold front was supposed to go through Tuesday night, so I thought bad weather would be likely, and had decided to do something indoors if possible on Wednesday and to do outdoor stuff (like the Elizabethan garden) on Tuesday. Unfortunately there's not much indoors to do around here.

We got underway earlier than usual - 9:45 - and headed for Roanoke Island. Roanoke Island was the site of the 16th century English colony. It is now known as the "Lost Colony" because when supply ships arrived at the site, everyone was gone. It was named after the historical Roanoke Carolina Algonquian people who inhabited the area at that time. We got to Fort Raleigh by 10:40. Bob just does not believe that Roanoke Island is the location for the Lost Colony. He doesn't think that it is reasonable that ships could have gotten in there (past all the reefs off Hatteras), nor can he see why they should have even attempted it.
Old map in the visitor's center

Old map in the visitor's center


Since no one has ever figured out what happened to the original settlers, this area of North Carolina has capitalized on the mystery with fake half timbered buildings, olde wood paneling, and things named after Virginia Dare who was the first English child born in North America.

In any case, we got our NP passport stamped
Fort Raleigh shop Passport stamping area

Fort Raleigh shop Passport stamping area


and then walked around the visitor's center.

fireplace

fireplace

wood paneling to recreate Elizabethan architecture

wood paneling to recreate Elizabethan architecture


and saw the videotape about the settlement. Apparently Andy Griffith was in the Lost Colony play when he was young, and we were told that he is coming back here on Friday to do the lighting of the Xmas tree and perform.
Clothing and exhibits about the drama

Clothing and exhibits about the drama

Museum display

Museum display


Diorama of Lost Colony in the museum

Diorama of Lost Colony in the museum


The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site protects and preserves known portions of England's first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590. The story of the lost colony was told first in a 1921 film which was produced locally with a local cast. It was a 46-minute silent film titled “The Earliest English Expeditions and Attempted Settlements in the Territory of What is Now the United States, 1584-1591” and was released to schools throughout the State of North Carolina for educational purposes.
Bob walking through the visitor's center

Bob walking through the visitor's center


After that, we walked out to the 'fort' which is a puny thing - smaller than Fort Necessity!! And THAT was SMALL.
Fort reconstruction

Fort reconstruction


Bob walking into Fort Raleigh

Bob walking into Fort Raleigh

Another view of the fort

Another view of the fort


Monument at Fort Raleigh

Monument at Fort Raleigh


This monument commemorates building of the fort and later the birth and baptism of Virginia Dare.
Post card with the text of the Fort Raleigh monument

Post card with the text of the Fort Raleigh monument


Part of the trails signage

Part of the trails signage

large_2637.jpgSign about the Lost Colony

Sign about the Lost Colony


Bob was ahead of me on the path, and I turned up toward a self guiding nature trail, and sat on a bench where I could see the path thinking he would come on back because I didn't think there was anything down the path he had taken (I had the map).

But he went though the amphitheater where the play had been given, and exited by another path. After awhile, I decided to see where he was and I went into the theatre.
Looking out at the Sound

Looking out at the Sound

2113096-Lost_Colony_Theatre_Fort_Raleigh_City.jpgLost Colony Theatre

Lost Colony Theatre


Bust of Paul Green who wrote the play

Bust of Paul Green who wrote the play


In 1937 the first Lost Colony play was produced. In 1955, the Elizabethan Gardens opened to the public. By 1962, the last remnants of the controversial and historically inaccurate structures had been removed, when the Waterside Theatre was rebuilt in a more period-accurate architectural style.
Sign about Manteo

Sign about Manteo


But Bob wasn't in the theatre anymore. So I kept walking. Still didn't find him. I walked all the way up to the Elizabethan Gardens - thinking I saw him ahead of me - and then I walked to the parking lot where I found him about 11:55 waiting in the car.

Originally I had wanted to do the Elizabethan Gardens next. But I was too tired from all that walking, so I suggested lunch. I wanted to eat at Big Als, but it was closed. We drove all the way down to the other end of the island to Wanchese.
Road to Wanchese

Road to Wanchese


There is a Seafood Industrial Park there, and I was interested to know what that was - don't know that I am any wiser about it now.
1856679-Wanchese_waterfront_Roanoke_Island.jpgWanchese waterfront

Wanchese waterfront

Wanchese

Wanchese


There are two restaurants down there, but Fisherman's Wharf was closed, and Queen Anne's Revenge doesn't sound like a place I'd like to eat. I don't want her taking her revenge on ME.
Wanchese

Wanchese


So we drove back to Manteo and ate at Darrell's.
Sign out front

Sign out front

Specials board at entrance

Specials board at entrance

Inside of restaurant

Inside of restaurant


. Bob had she crab soup which was really thick, and a small salad. I had a cup of Dare County clam chowder, and
My cheese sandwich and spiced apples

My cheese sandwich and spiced apples


The clam chowder was completely different from any that I've had before. It wasn't milk based like New England style, nor was it tomato based like NY style. It was a clear broth with potato cubes, bacon and clams in it.
two types of NC clam chowder

two types of NC clam chowder


Then I had their sunshine cake for dessert.
Yummy Sunshine Cake

Yummy Sunshine Cake


The sunshine cake icing tasted just like orange sherbet, and it had miniature white chocolate drops pebbled into the outside of the icing.
This cost $24.09 plus a $4 tip.

By this time (1:30 pm), I had recovered enough to contemplate the Elizabethan Garden again. The admission there was $7 for seniors, but we could get a combination pass for $17 that would admit us to the gardens, the aquarium and the festival park. I was particularly interested in this garden because someone wrote, "The thing I liked a lot was going to the Elisibeatan Garden. .. I miss seeing the beatiful flowers and plants and sitting by the ocean and listening to the waves.." But the Elizabethan Gardens are NOT on the ocean.
Bob approaching the entrance

Bob approaching the entrance


Fountain

Fountain

large_297621962281260-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpgGoldfish pond

Goldfish pond

large_3378312-sign_Nags_Head.jpg
The garden is open year round. We visited in the late fall when the camelias are in bloom,
2281247-Elizabethan_Gardens_Roanoke_Island.jpgCamelias in bloom in December

Camelias in bloom in December


but in the spring, there are masses of blooming azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons, vines, herbs, bulbs and spring annuals peaking around the middle of April; sweet scented gardenias, roses,
large_2683.jpgQueen Elizabeth Rose

Queen Elizabeth Rose


magnolias, crape myrtle, lilies, hydrangeas and summer annuals reaching their height of bloom the middle of July; riotous summer bedding plants, hibiscus, chrysanthemums and impatiens featured in the autumn months.. The grounds are also home to .. ancient garden statuary and ornaments, many given by The late Honorable John Hay Whitney, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, and Mrs. Whitney; and to a 16th Century Gazebo.
Bob walking down a shady path

Bob walking down a shady path

122037142281258-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpg87445222281261-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpg
Bob holding the map

Bob holding the map


large_423075862281259-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpglarge_834009942281254-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpgBob in the Sunken Garden area

Bob in the Sunken Garden area

large_942115312281256-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpgKnot Garden

Knot Garden

Formal guarden

Formal guarden

574845472281262-Elizabethan_..oke_Island.jpg471305092084347-Statue_in_th..evil_Hills.jpg
The first spade of dirt was turned for The Gardens on the Coronation Day of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on June 2nd, 1953. We walked the mile long trail in the garden.
Path

Path


Live oak

Live oak


My mom is an iris judge so I looked and they do have some iris, but most of the garden is very heavily shaded, so I can't imagine that they do very well there.
Iris in the shade

Iris in the shade


While this is a garden in honor of the first colonist, it has many modern plants.
2699.jpg2700.jpg
I think the Elizabethan part is mostly hype based on the Lost Colony stuff. A real Elizabethan garden would have only plants which were appropriate to the time. What they call the Water Gate is just a wooden gate looking out over the water and has nothing in common with a real Watergate like they have in the Dockyard in Bermuda.
Fake "Water Gate"

Fake "Water Gate"

Elizabethan Gardens

Elizabethan Gardens

Elizabethan Gardens

Elizabethan Gardens

Elizabethan Gardens

Elizabethan Gardens

Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia)

Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia)


After I took a lot of pictures we left the gardens at 3:15

We went to Fishbones again to eat. This time, I had fish of the day mahi mahi (I'm not quite ready for steak yet) and Bob had flounder. The fish was good, but the vegetables (particularly the broccoli) were soggy. Last time was better.
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There was a beautiful red sunset, and the old rhyme goes - red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor's delight. So I thought well maybe Bob is right and we won't have rain tomorrow.

I see only about 6 other cars in the whole complex. There is a couple upstairs over this apartment though, and it sounds as though they are jumping rope up there or something. Bob hasn't taken to the Outer Banks at all. I told him it was just like Ocean City, and he said he hasn't ever been to Ocean City. I can see that in season the traffic would be a nightmare. We are planning to go back to Roanoke tomorrow to see the aquarium, maritime museum and festival park. We also have yet to see Jockey Ridge State Park.

December 1, 2004 Wednesday

But Wednesday morning dawned - a beautiful red sky.
large_2770.jpg
Sunrise 6:42

Sunrise 6:42


So who do I believe - the sunset sky or the sunrise sky? We started off about 10:30. And it rained. And was VERY windy. Bob said the car was getting sand blasted. He tried to wash the car Tuesday morning and succeeded only in smearing the salt around. If the environment is mean to his car, he's unhappy.
Sculpture at the entrance of the aquarium

Sculpture at the entrance of the aquarium


We were going to finish up Roanoke Island stuff, but it was miserable and wet so first we went shopping for some clothes for me.
Shopping Center early morning

Shopping Center early morning


Then we continued - decided to go to the NC Aquarium first because we figured that would be mostly indoors, and second it was included in our combination ticket that we bought ($8 admission, $7 for seniors).

There was a huge blow-up crab in the lobby with a sign saying "Happy Holidays from Sandy Claws". Bob took my picture in the grasp of the claws, but it was very soft focus because it wasn't very light and that makes the exposure time longer which he didn't realize (being used to film cameras).
Sandy Claws

Sandy Claws

This is a small but very nice aquarium - they start you out in the coastal fresh water environment where I got a nice picture of some tree frogs and lizards hiding in the greenery. I didn't see all of them there when I took the picture.
Tree frogs and lizards

Tree frogs and lizards


Snakes

Snakes


Fish in coastal fresh water

Fish in coastal fresh water


Then in the 'Wetlands on the Edge"
Wetlands

Wetlands


there were a bunch of alligators
Underwater view of an alligator

Underwater view of an alligator


(and a snapping turtle which I didn't see), a tank with water turtles (sliders etc) and an otter all visible above and below the water.
large_2792.jpg
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I found out that "pocosin" is not just the name of a place in Virginia but is something like a marsh or a bog.
Fish with crab trip

Fish with crab trip

lobster

lobster


Next was the Coastal Gallery which had pictures and videos and audio tapes about the various hurricanes and there was a TV screen with the current location of Tropical Storm Otto.

The Marine Community had a flounder, pompano, bluefish, conger eels etc.
large_2800.jpg
large_2480913-North_Carolina_Aquarium_Duck.jpg
After that was the Wreck Room
large_2798.jpg
Wreck Room

Wreck Room


2809.jpg
with a 1/3 scale model of the wreck of the U.S.S. Monitor which was sunk off Cape Hatteras. This was the largest tank (285K gal.) and had open ocean fishes like sharks, groupers, cobia and jacks.

Close Encounters has a tank with rays and horseshoe crabs and another one with various sea urchin's/sand dollars, hermit crabs and whelks that you could pick up and play with.
Bob at Close encounters

Bob at Close encounters


Shells, starfish and sea urchins

Shells, starfish and sea urchins


Then in the changing exhibits room they had a display of poisonous animals like sting rays, jelly fish, tarantulas, scorpion fish, diamondback, cottonmouth etc. Not for playing with
2812.jpgScorpion fish

Scorpion fish


jellyfish

jellyfish


2815.jpgsnakes

snakes


When we left at almost 1 pm, it was still a bit overcast so we drove down to Manteo (the Aquarium is out by the airport)
Manteo shopping Center

Manteo shopping Center

Manteo clock downtown

Manteo clock downtown


and parked on the street and ate lunch at a place called the Full Moon Cafe.
Restaurant outside

Restaurant outside

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant


Bob had the
Hunter Sandwich (roast beef)

Hunter Sandwich (roast beef)


and I had the
Hunter Wrap

Hunter Wrap


This was roast beef and cheese with onions and horseradish. I had root beer and a chocolate tort for dessert and the basic price before tip was $22.11.
chocolate tort

chocolate tort


It was still windy and wet, so we drove over to the Maritime Museum (around the corner)
North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island


but it was only open Thursday to Sunday. The North Carolina Maritime Museum of Roanoke Island is located in the George Washington Creef Boathouse in the George Washington Creef Park on the downtown Manteo waterfront.
North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island


We looked through the windows of the boathouse. It is billed as, a working boathouse which offers a look at local and regional maritime heritage "through displayed watercraft, exhibits, restoration projects, and traditional skills workshops." Apparently this is where the Elizabeth II (the replica of the boat at the Festival) was built. The lady at the aquarium told us that the Elizabeth II is in drydock for the year now.
Maritime Museum shed along the side of workshop

Maritime Museum shed along the side of workshop


There is also supposed to be an authentic shad fishing boat, the Ella View, made from native Outer Banks trees, which is an example of the historical boat developed over a century ago at Roanoke Island.
Old postcard - Building a typical local Shad Boat

Old postcard - Building a typical local Shad Boat


large_622438932011301-North_Caroli..oke_Island.jpg
1877 Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse 2004 Replica

1877 Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse 2004 Replica

large_2480930-Roanoke_Marshes_Light_Duck.jpgThe Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse


Looking out along the dock

Looking out along the dock


I walked out along the docks to the lighthouse. This is a replica of an 1877 screwpile lighthouse that was located offshore in Croatan Sound. It was decommisioned by the US Coast Guard in 1955. It has a short tower with the lantern on roof of the 1 1/2 story wooden keeper's house. The first lighthouse was built in 1831, but an adjacent landowner said it was on his land, so it was abandoned in 1839. In 1858 the second lighthouse was built atop seven metal piles screwed into the muddy bottom. It produced a fixed white light that could be seen up to eleven miles.

According to the Beach Bums page: After a few years passed, it was realized that the water in which the lighthouse stood was getting deeper. Originally constructed in four feet of water, the water level rose to a depth of thirteen feet, causing the lighthouse to flood. The rise in water also resulted in worm damage to the structure. In 1877, construction was completed at new location approximately one hundred yards from the previous lighthouse. It was decommisioned by the US Coast Guard in 1955

An attempt to move the structure to the mainland by an individual destroyed it beyond repair.

The replica was dedicated on September 25, 2004, and contains exhibits highlighting Roanoke Island's maritime heritage, including a history of the Marshes Lighthouse and its keepers. It is located along the waterfront walk of "Shallowbag Bay" just off the east end of Queen Elizabeth Street in Manteo on what used to be called the "sewer-pier" back in the early 1990s. The sewer treatment facility no longer exists and the pier has been completely renovated. I looked in, but it didn't look like there was anything in there except you could climb one flight to the light part. The other part of it was a workshop.
1877 Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse 2004 Replica

1877 Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse 2004 Replica


The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse


Looking back along the dock

Looking back along the dock

large_242209167682721-1877_Roanoke..04_Replica.jpg
I decided that it was too windy and wet to enjoy the Festival Park and we should come back the next day, so I persuaded Bob to drive out the north side of Roanoke Island to Mann Harbor on the east side of the Alligator River and then we circled around and went back across to our condo unit.

Bob thought he'd seen an ad for a restaurant called Stripers in Corolla, but I didn't see it in the phone book. I now know (because I took a picture of it) that it is upstairs in the same shopping center as the Food Lion. About 6:30 we started out to see if we could find Stripers, but we did not.
large_287873573128859-Trikes_and_o..ch_Corolla.jpg
It might have been closed. In the cold and dark, not much appeared to be open. (I later saw it in a photo I had taken on Monday.) We ended up at a fancy Italian restaurant called Nicoletta's
Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant


which charged $19 for a plate of ravioli (which they were out of). Bob got lasagna,
Lasagna

Lasagna


and i got ricotta cheese canatelli
Ricotta cheese canatelli

Ricotta cheese canatelli


(I kept wanting to say cavaletti which is a horse training jump) with dried tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli and mushrooms which was $21. I couldn't eat it all and brought it back to the condo. The total bill was $46.59 drinking water and with no dessert. And I don't think it was as good as Darrell's where we ate lunch yesterday.

There appeared to be a number of local workmen eating here, along with more nicely dressed people who were drinking wine and having a fine dining experience.

December 2, 2004

I called Fort Fisher and made a reservation for Sunday night. They are only open from 10 to 2 but they will leave a package for us. I also got the messages from my cell phone and picked up messages from our home phone. (A wrong number called us at 1:30 am on Tuesday and wanted someone to pick up the phone.)

We stopped at the Hess station on the way over to fill up with diesel fuel. Very good price. Then we went to the Festival Park. As we went in, we were told that there would be a 40 minute movie shown at noon (in 20 minutes) that would not be shown again until 2 pm. So we browsed a bit in the gift shop and then went into what we thought was the movie theatre. Someone popped in and asked if we wanted to see the movie TwoPath, that we were in the wrong place. That's one of the things that I didn't like about this place - there was no map of it that I could find. Without a map I found it hard to get a handle on where things were.

The movie was about the first few English ships that came to Roanoke Island and involved three native American's from three tribes - Manteo, Skyco and Wanchese. (Those are the three towns on the island.) It was very interesting.

Of course the ship was down in Wanchese having been hauled for repairs. People told us we could go down there and see it, but Bob didn't want to.

We went to the Adventure Museum part of the park. This is called an Adventure Museum because the displays are set up for participation. You can dress in Elizabethan costume and learn how 16th-century sailors navigated their ships.
Display on making a living on the sea

Display on making a living on the sea

Sailor on the prow of a vessel inside the museum

Sailor on the prow of a vessel inside the museum


There are exhibits on an Outer Banks Life-saving Station - much-needed in the early 1900s, when more than 1,000 ships wrecked in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. You can (as I did) "See if you could make your living in a traditional manner on the Outer Banks by “hunting” ducks in our sink box blind (The ducks are up above in the rafters - They had a laser target which told whether you had a hit and I didn't do too badly),
Me, pretending to shoot ducks

Me, pretending to shoot ducks


or shop around an early 1900s era general store.
Shelves of the General Store

Shelves of the General Store


There were also sketches and a life size model of the Roanoke Marshes Light which we saw in person yesterday
Sketch of the Roanoke Marshes Light

Sketch of the Roanoke Marshes Light


The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

We did walk around the reconstructed village
592862501949914-Exhibit_at_t..ark_Manteo.jpg7682732-Roanoke_Island_Festival_Park.jpg
7682734-Roanoke_Island_Festival_Park.jpgCamp set-up - bed side

Camp set-up - bed side


and watched the blacksmith make a nail,
Festival Park 're-enactor'

Festival Park 're-enactor'

Blacksmith making a nail

Blacksmith making a nail

large_2024189-Roanoke_Island_Festival_Park.jpg
and went out to the dock where the ship had been. They had an exhibition set up to show how the sails were trimmed.Sail

Sail


We spent about 2 hours and 40 minutes there before we left to go to lunch. While we liked lunch in downtown Manteo yesterday, I decided to either go to the Weeping Radish (which is a German cuisine brewery type place) or to T.L's Country Kitchen. We picked the latter.
Duck in the parking lot

Duck in the parking lot


This was a good choice. Bob had a tuna salad sandwich and fries for $3.89, and I had an iced tea (99 cents), and a large BBQ sandwich with cole slaw on the side
BBQ and cole slaw

BBQ and cole slaw


and potato salad for $3.99.
Inside of restaurant and our check

Inside of restaurant and our check

Since Bob didn't want to go back down to Wanchese, we went on back

When we went out for dinner, we drove south, but everything except the Sunset Grill was closed until we got to the Red Sky Grille. Unfortunately this was another place with fancy food at fancy prices. I ended up with "Unlucky Duck" ($21.00 listed on the menu as "Half duck roasted till crispy, served with a bourbon pistachio beurre blanc on Red Sky whipped potatoes, asparagus and seared scallops") which was nicely presented, but of which the best part was the cheese grits, and Bob had a bowl of she crab soup ($7) and a Caesar salad ($8.98 - Classic Caesar - Crisp Romaine lettuce and home made croutons dressed with creamy garlic & parmesan cheese... add wood fired shrimp, tuna, or chicken for $3.99). [And he doesn't really like Caesar salad all that well].

I wasn't able to finish my duck, so I took it home and ate it for dinner the next night. I was full so I didn't try one of the desserts, but they looked good.

===Friday December 3, 2004 ===

We spent most of the day in the unit consolidating and doing laundry because we check out tomorrow. When Bob was doing the wash (which was free) he said there were a lot of people walking along the beach picking sea grass. We've also seen people surf fishing out there

I ate the leftover pasta from dinner on Wednesday for lunch - it was in a foil container instead of the usual Styrofoam, so I put it in the oven. There was a TON of grease (probably butter) with it, and instead of draining it off, I picked up the plate and took it into the living area. When the plate tilted a little some of the grease dripped off the plate and was absorbed by my shirt. I tried to wash it out with cold water and soap, but I couldn't get it all. Now it is transferring to other clothes.

I did not utilize the pool because I thought Bob would insist on coming with me (no life guard) and he also said he didn't think with this few people here that it would be well maintained. There are only three or four units in our section that are occupied
Cat in the shrubbery near the pool

Cat in the shrubbery near the pool

Outside of the pool building

Outside of the pool building


Other people basking by the indoor pool

Other people basking by the indoor pool

Tommy's Market

Tommy's Market


We did not go to Tommy's Gourmet Market because we had heard it was pricey. Instead we went up to the Food Lion in Corolla to do our grocery shopping. I understand Tommy's closes in the winter. On our last day in Duck, we found out that Tommy's Market also has dinners to go. Instead of coming out in the cold and looking for a restaurant that was open, we could have bought something at Tommy's and eaten at the unit. These seem a bit pricey too.

I ate the leftover duck for dinner. Even including the $100 for the dentist, we've only spend $855 this week, which I think is pretty good. That's less than the average amount we spent while on the boat which was $1092/week and a lot less than the amount we spent on the cruise ship which was $1942 for the week.

Bob is NOT thrilled with the Outer Banks and says we need not come back here.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:36 Archived in USA

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Comments

Lots of interesting reading here. We passed through Roanoke on our road trip in NC some years ago and I remember the Elizabeth II and a nice cafe, but not much else - I think we were running late to get to our base for the night! Does Bob have a theory as to where the Lost Colony might have more likely been?

by ToonSarah

No I don't think Bob has an idea of where they might have been. But in order to get in through the shallow water they would have had to offload stuff off the big boats and ferry it in on a more shallow draft vessel. And they would have had to navigate the offshore reefs first.

by greatgrandmaR

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