Four Trips To Pebble Creek…

Pebble Creek Trail Yellowstone IMG 9217

July 2019

By llll



I first heard about the Chase in the news August 2017, read a couple of articles about the treasure hunt in New Mexico and didn’t think more about it. A few weeks later it bounced back via a childhood friend that also had heard about the treasure hunt. This time I learned that it might be hidden in the Yellowstone area and now it caught my attention. I started looking in to it and all of a sudden I got struck by gold fever!

The recap below is just a very condensed version of the events, maybe I’ll write something longer later on. Many fellow searchers can probably recognize themselves in the struggle; great confidence and high hopes, disappointment and frustration, giving up and going at it again -it has been a roller coaster!

four trips to pebble creekI first went to Pebble Creek in Yellowstone in September 2017. I did not have much time and didn’t find the treasure, I e-mailed Forrest my solution and put it aside. A couple of weeks later when I looked through my photos from the trip I realized that I had made a simple mistake.

I went back in mid June 2018. I found a very good hiding place that matched the last clue but found nothing. I sent an e-mail that described where I had been and that I was flying home on the 24th. Then I went to see the Black Hills, the Great Plains and other places.

four trips to pebble creek copy

Scrapbook 188 arrived on the 21st and made me go straight back to Pebble Creek. The scrapbook led me to a tall pine that was easy to climb. When I first visited I felt that this was the place but couldn’t connect it to the poem until I read the story in SB 188.
I found nothing and gave up once again.

Odd questions and answers started to appear on Featured Questions the following weeks. At the end of the summer I was convinced they were ”blinks” aimed for me (confirmation bias!). I arrived at Pebble Creek late on the 24th of August, searched everywhere for four days and went back home on the 29th.

four trips to pebble creek copy 3Even though I didn’t find the treasure I still believed the treasure to be at Pebble Creek. Scrapbooks and questions kept coming and in late September I believed the treasure to be high up in the pine, covered in pitch. I had seen the football-shaped pitch all the time but didn’t climb up to it because it was a bit difficult to reach and it looked all natural.

four trips to pebble creek copy 2On June 13th this year I was back, climbed the pine and the football turned out to be just a normal burl. I sent off an e-mail and then went on a ten day trip to the Bighorns, Great Plains and the Beartooths.
Before I flew home to Sweden I went back to Pebble Creek one last time to check and say goodbye.four trips to pebble creek copy 4It has really been a great adventure, Pebble Creek will be with me forever and I have visited places I have dreamt of since I was a kid.
Thank you Forrest and the Thrill of the Chase!








61 thoughts on “Four Trips To Pebble Creek…

  1. Thanks for sharing and glad you had a great adventure. I’d be interested to hear your idea that utilizes the TACAN system. I’m well versed on how the system operates and do not understand how you decided that [take it in] and [canasta] translate to a military system. VORTAC is a combination civilian beacon with TACAN capabilities. Huh ….

  2. They say that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. With that in mind you may find me and other long time searchers locked in a padded cell. We are all laughing and talking incoherently about the treasure and our perfect solve. Pictures and articles are pinned to the wall with strings connecting them in a spider web of conspiracy.
    Shall I welcome you to the club? No??
    You managed to avoid the padded cell and the men with butterfly nets. You were smart enough to visit other places on your way home. The Bighorns, Great Plains, the Beartooths, the Black Hills, the Great Plains and other places. That was your genius and the perfect solution. You got to see places that you dreamed about. Make your way through Santa Fe next time.

  3. I truly do not see a tree as a blaze, nor any tree that needs to be climbed up. Your TACAN is specialized knowledge, not useful at all. You had a nice trip and got some exercise, but your theory didn’t include important parts of the poem and seem to jump around without any basis to include the use of grid coordinates.

    This reminds me of a question by Seeker to Forrest at MW on Aug 6, 2014

    Seeker asked “Other than the poem describing how to locate the Trove and one of its purposes to encourage people to get out of the house and away from electronics, is the poem designed to convey a deeper significance? Is there a subtle message you are sharing with the reader and hope they realize?”

    “No Seeker,
    The poem is straight forward with no subterfuge in sight. Someone in an email asked me if I didn’t know where the treasure was, and could have the answer to any clue in the poem, which would I choose. I think that question is so funny and it makes me wonder how Jenny’s readers might answer it”.f

    Seems like your theory does not fit as being “straight forward with no subterfuge in sight”f

    Just Say’n

  4. Thanks for sharing. I too discovered a special place when I went BOTG that will always be with me, even though there was no treasure chest to be found. I tried a few arm chair solves in the Pebble Creek area (That pebble that FF mentions in My War For Me just took hold for a while). But in the end I abandoned that idea as I could not marry the poem to the area. Glad you had a wonderful time seeing a lot of our wondrous country.

    • What a nice adventure glad u had a safe trip. I look up in trees as well. 🙂 ha ha just in case. But I do doubt he climbed a tree.

    • IIII – thank you for posting your solution. You are persistent and tenacious! We have wolverines climbing trees in yesterdays post (for a food treasure), and a searcher climbing a tree for treasure in today’s post. Nice reminder to look UP.

    • I agree. It does seem a little odd. Why was IIII climbing a pine tree? and what about the Wolverine in FGM 23 climbing trees? Then there’s Dizzy Dean and the 10 foot ladder. I don’t think it’s in a tree, but then what do I know.

  5. That is a great story, I love the last picture.
    It kinda says hidey spot.
    Glad you had a great adventure.


  6. That last picture is pretty cool. Welcoming and…foreboding…

    Luke: “What’s in there?”

    Yoga: “Only what you take with you.”

  7. IIII,
    I really like your determination. I will agree that solves can take a few trips out to narrow down your area of search. Yes, photos and or videos of your search area are a must because sometimes our focus tends to be on everything around us and we miss what is right in front of us or vise -a-versa.
    To me you are in a way right, indulgence is up high, in trail elevation that is. The way I see it the chest is even higher that the hoB, heavy loads has about 75′ increase above hoB and water high has about the same increase in elevation above heavy loads. So where would that put the blaze? Yet to figure that one out.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas for your search IIII.
    Good luck,

    • Bur;

      You are right, it “can take a few trips out to narrow down your area of search.

      YUP- YUP – Sure is easy to not focus on what is right in front of ourselves.

      I agree that Indulgence is up high – elevation wise. How much above hoB, I am not sure. Not yet sure on some of the other elevations. I will just have to wait and see I guess – Like you, the Blaze is not yet in ficus. 🙁

      Maybe after a cup of coffee, a clearer picture will emerge – 🙂 JDA

    • Hi Bur,
      I found very interesting your statement: “the chest is even higher that the hoB, heavy loads has about 75′ increase above hoB and water high has about the same increase in elevation above heavy loads”. It looks like that you have solved all clues in poem before the blaze.
      In one interview Forrest was asked about hoB:
      LONDON: But you didn’t answer my question, who is Brown?
      FENN: Well, that’s for you to find. If I told you that, you’d go right to the chest.
      Bur, if you already know where the hoB why you don’t go right to the chest?

      • Andy S,

        Well that might be a good question. All I can say is the blaze is the issue for me. I have what I consider a few options but the “been wise” is throwing me off. The options I see at water high are only seen from there, I should add one can be seen at the “put in” place. I feel time is also my issue. I only have two days in my area when I get the chance to search and coming from the flatland of Florida I have to take a day when I get there to get use to the altitude. Anyway back to the blaze- I feel like I’m not understanding “something that stands out” because like I said there are a few things that do and I haven’t searched them all at this time yet.
        I need more time there or more trips and for some of us searchers time and money for trips there is not a lot of.

        As far as the statement Forrest made I believe it’s meaning is if you know where the true hoB is you on the right trail heading towards indulgence.

        How is your solve going Andy?

        Well good luck,

        • Bur, I am completely agree with your conclusion that “if you know where the true hoB is you on the right trail heading towards indulgence”.
          I’m also from the flatland (Missouri) so when I come to high altitude areas I just use 1-2 days for fly-fishing – it’s very good adaptation for BOTG.
          My recent solve just only bring me to “Put in below the home of Brown” – IMO it’s clue #3 in the poem. I can’t say now what is Brown and where the hoB is located. Maybe later – after one more BOTG there. All searchers keep their secrets before they have realized that there is no TC in this area (like in recent “Pebble Creek BOTG”).
          About the blaze – I got some idea about this object from TTOTC book and in my next BOTG I hope I’ll be wise enough to recognize it.
          I also wish you good luck with finding the blaze.

      • Hi Ken,
        I had only 3 BOTG during last 2 years since I have joined the chase. But each time I have started BOTG only if I have the solution for the hoB. In Q&A with Forrest we have:
        “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt.” My question- Is there more than 1 home of Brown? Thanks, Jill
        No Jill, there is only one home of Brown in my poem. F”
        Thus, it’s very easy to find in Rockies WWWH and even canyon that is go down. But it should be the hoB within some distance around (NFBTFTW). I know that many searchers start BOTG right after they found WWWH and think they can figure out the hoB during the search.
        I think that it’s a big mistake – they just waste their time.
        In interview and Q&A Forrest clearly said us: the hoB is a key for solving of entire poem. The blaze is definitely not a key – it’s just final point of destination.

        • Andy S: “In interview and Q&A Forrest clearly said us: the hoB is a key for solving of entire poem.”

          Clear as what?

        • Thanks for the link, Jake.
          I agree that for successful BOTG searcher has to know both WWWH and the hoB. Definitely that WWWH is start point we we know that there are many such points in Rockies. But since the hoB is only one it should be only one correct combination of WWWH, CD and the hoB.
          That was my point: start BOTG only if you found this combination (even if your hoB is very elusive).
          Forrest is definitely very smart and we need to filter each his phrase and word.

          • No problem but it looks like it went POOF!
            Not sure why….
            Anyway, yes, unfortunately we need to filter his every word.

        • Just looked up the quote – I didn’t find it – maybe Forrest never said it – Like Colokid asked – Andy, can you provide a source? – JDA

        • Colokid… That Fenn comment is a Featured Question with Forrest over at MW…February 23, 2018

          Does his comment really say anything significant other than there is only 1 home of Brown in his poem? I doubt it… and don’t believe it helps.

        • Thanks for finding the quote Ken – I agree, all he says is that there is only one hoB – In The Poem – JDA

        • Thanks Ken/JDA,
          As always, many interpretations are possible. If we took this to mean he is actually answering the question (whether there are many HOB’s similar to the many WWH he stated) then it could be significant.

          But as you guys point out, the answer is ambiguous at best. Probably why I never bothered to copy this one down in my notes.

        • I never archived it because it was not clearly significant… I only remembered that it was fairly recent. A good tool for those type of comments is to use the search feature at the top of the page. Enter key words[No Jill]. If it has been discussed here at Dal’s scroll down and it will show where.

    • hi Virginia. i have always enjoyed your posts.
      no, i dont think the chest of the poem is in yellowstone park. i think yellowstone is the treasure, the whole park. i think the chest of the poem is a simple wooden box at the Draper museum in Cody. but thats just me. (for now, but maybe someone else will get it eventually)
      bye Virginia!

  8. I also went BOTG after SB 188 to a spot in Bear Trap Canyon that I still think about. A place where water channelled by a large brown rock outcropping. I also ran into a bull there and we eye-balled each other for about 9 minutes. This one seemed timid and eventually bolted away allowing me to cross the creek and continue my quest.

    Watch out climbing pine trees in the wild. When I was a kid I was climbing a tree to get my frisbee during a round of folf. I got it and as I climbed down the branch I was currently supported by broke. I rapidly slid down the last 8 feet to the ground. A jagged branch near the bottom caught my neck and gave me a good scrap from sternum to chin. I was extremely grateful it didn’t slice me open. Now a days I have noticed a lot more pines seem to have weaker branches. Thus the why of my warning. I also don’t think with the chest unlocked it would be in a tree.

    Good luck in your future endeavors IIII.

    • Idle, you have a great point about the chest not being in a tree and it being unlocked. I also do not believe it’s in a tree. If it was, it would be wrapped in cable which could hold strong for a little time, but nobody knows how long the tree would last with fire, mud slides, avalanches, or wind storms, etc. IMO chest is somewhere more secure. I think it’s not visible unless one knows where to look. Maybe its camouflage with surroundings or covered with something like a big rock or rocks, but even so, mudslides and avalanches ….who knows. I keep thinking that if I were to hide a chest that could last some time, where would I hid it??
      Thank you for that pine tree warning. Good reminder for everyone to stay safe climbing trees, and bring a friend in case the tree doesn’t want you in it.

      • ” I keep thinking that if I were to hide a chest that could last some time, where would I hid it??”

        The longer I have searched the more I keep feeling like the only logical place that could hold his treasure safely for a 1000+ years would be exposed bedrock. Watching shows like Gold Rush they always dig down to bedrock and I really can’t see any other way to hide something that dense with the lid unlocked. My gut however does feel like if the chest is on/in a rock outcropping than a pine tree is close nearby (kind of like chapter 21 in TFTW). As for the cable around the chest, who knows, but he has mentioned Cable and cordage before.

        @Zap, a little curious if you feel anything else could hold up for a 1000 years besides exposed bedrock?

          • To add a bit. You could hide the chest inside of a petrified log–way inside if it is hollowed out. If it happens to be in an area where people have shops making jewelry out of this petrified rock you would be in an area filled with “Treasures new and old” from the same source.

          • Sparrow;

            Have you ever lifted up a large piece of Petrified wood?
            A log big enough to hold a 10″ X 10″ X 5″ bronze box – even if it were on it’s side would weigh hundreds of pounds. Even hollowed out, we are still talking about 60 to 70 pounds. Is Forrest going to carry this up a mountain? I think not. Could he hollow out such a log in the mountains with battery powered tools – without being seen or heard? I again doubt it. A good idea, but just not well thought out – in my opinion. 🙁 JDA

          • JDA—-

            I in now way meant that Forrest would carry a log of petrified wood on his back. What I was suggesting is that it is possible Forrest (even as a young boy) discovered a hollow petrified log. Big enough to crawl inside. If it went back a good ten feet, you could hide the chest deep inside that log. I’m not saying I believe this to be the case—it is just one idea I had had once.

            I saw an advertisement of gem stones made from petrified wood. And immediately I thought “Treasures NEW and OLD”.

            But perhaps you’re right—not well thought out. lol

          • The chest would not be able to be rained on snowed on or even scorched in a fire if it was 10’ deep in a petrified log.

            I in my opinion believe the chest to be covered up by something that is somewhat exposed to the elements. FFhas mentioned bones in the sun so I can’t see it being buried deep in anything.

          • Petrified tree should hold up for thousands of years and is a possible blaze but there are not many areas where they are.
            A hollowed out petrified tree with a hole being 10 ft deep that someone can crawl into may be a trillion to 1 or more.

            I can see the chest being slightly buried at the base of a petrified stump but it still comes back to the shortcut problem where these areas are sparse.

          • Sparrow;

            I suppose that that would be possible, but hard to imagine. Step #1 the log has to be hollowed out somehow. #2 it has to topple over into a bog where
            mineral rich water flows. The fiber in the wood has to be replaced by minerals over a long, long time.

            What forces were present to create a hollow log 10′ long? What forces caused it to topple over into the boggy soil etc. etc. etc.

            Who knows though – Stranger things have happened. I visited the petrified forest in Arizona as a kid. All of the petrified logs I saw were solid – but who knows what nature can create? JMO – JDA

  9. Group thoughts…
    What distance are we thinking is logical between his car and the hidey spot… one mile, one and a half… is walking 4 miles (two trips) in an afternoon with a 20 lb pack plausible? Is riding a bike (done it tired) still on the table?

    • Hi Chris;

      For my latest solve, the distance between the parking spot and the hidey place is about 3/4 of a mile – so a total of 3 miles. I think that a bike could have been used, but use it to help carry the load, not to ride – except ride it back down the hill once Indulgence is placed where Forrest wanted it to reside. JMO – JDA

      • P.S. most of the trip distance is “Off-trail” so riding a bike would be hard. JMO – JDA

    • After about a year of hearing and seeing most of Fenn’s interviews, I thought about 3 miles one way 12 total miles only if he left his sedan when the sun was coming up.
      Now after hearing and seeing many more interviews and knowing about the back injuries he suffered being shot down and seeing him walk slowly including a statement he made a few years ago about having to sit down after walking 50yds, I decided to lower the possible mileage traveled to less than a mile. About 4 miles total although he could have stretched it to 8 miles total knowing he could sit down and rest his lower back now and then.

      1-2 miles one way max for me.

    • chris c- the answer to your question is in Forrest’s comment about leaving your search partner in the parking lot where your car is.
      the distance from the parking lot to the chest is very short. maybe 50 yards? depending on how full the parking lot is and your walk to the front door of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. IMO.
      i think the reason he says to leave your search partner in the car is because 1. they will think you are crazy and wont want to go with you. 2. you wont have to split the prize with them. and 3. it only takes 10 minutes to take (a photo) the chest and go in peace, smiling all the way back to the car.
      also, no you cannot ride a bike inside the museum.
      of course im not talking about the bronze box here. just the chest. the chest, bronze box and treasure are three different things. oh, and then theres the end of his rainbow which will come into play later on.

      i think.

    • chris – I think ff walked a little less then 1/4 mile one way – I stopped at a red light and I drove 1 mile from the light – and to me there is no way he would of walked farther then that at his age and the way his health was – I don’t think that he would of looked for a place to hide the tc – where he had to walk to far and to me a mile or farther then that is to far

    • For my current solve here are my thoughts:

      The place he parked his car (sedan) is about 500ft from where I am going to look. Many people stop and admire the views here. Many people have been 500ft from the treasure (if it’s there).

      If one walks from where the car is parked to the creek then the distance to where I will search is 200ft. I know people have been at this location because I find pictures on the web from this spot. Maybe some searches in the past have told him they were on this road and stopped to admire the views. They didn’t think to actually start looking from here and kept going on the road and began their search farther away not knowing they had solved the first two clues.

      There are no trails in close proximity to this location.
      It is definitely not a spot where many, if any, people would hike up and explore but is is possible.
      It would be difficult for an 80 year old to carry 40lbs up along the creek but 20 lbs would be manageable.

      After September I’ll know if I am correct. I probably won’t find the treasure but my wife and I will have a wonderful time in the Rockies. It’s the thrill of the chase!

    • Chris,
      My latest solve is 3 miles from car to hidey place. I understand it may be 12 miles total, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe ff said he “walked” it. Paraphrasing here, but he said he made 2 “trips”.
      Maybe he walked, biked, or used an ATV for part of it? Although ATVs are pretty loud if he wanted nobody to see him hide it….

      • Hi Neal: I think that might be pushing the total distance. Paraphrasing, but it’s close: “If you can’t make two trips from your car to your solve in several hours, don’t go.” 3 mph is an absolute maximum for very high-speed hiking (with 22+ pounds) at 5000 feet a.s.l. If you’re 79 and at 6000+ feet, I’d lower that max average speed to 2.5 mph, and that’s if you’re on a trail and the slope is modest. (And we strongly suspect Forrest was not on a trail for much of the journey.)

        I translate “several” as 3 or 4, maybe 5 at the most. So mathematically, 12 miles total in 5 hours could be done, but I think it’s pushing it.

        My personal limit for one-way distance is 2 miles, i.e. 8 miles total. And I don’t believe Forrest utilized any modes of transportation from his car to the hidey spot. (Otherwise, no necessity for two trips, which adds risk.)

        • Hi Zaphod. Thanks for those details and that specific quote.. You are probably right about pushing it on 12 miles at 79-80 yrs old. The terrain I’m looking at doesn’t look too rough from my armchair…guess I’ll have to see when I go in a month BOTG.

        • I can add a data point to this discussion of distance.

          Every other day I hike 3.5 miles round trip up a hill in my back yard while carrying 60lbs of weight as a form of exercise, the relevant part of this is that 32 of those lbs is tied to my ankles. I can only describe it as feeling/looking like I am walking in slow motion, and in my opinion about the speed of an 80 yr old that is not as fit as ff.

          This round trip hike takes me 1hr and 20mins. I climb up about 750′ at a extremely steep slope at the top, and down again on other side.

          this is in the rocky mts above 5000′

          another thing to consider that nearly every trail I’ve ever hiked in the rockies, they start at a small slope at beginning/trailhead, and get steeper as you get further from trail head, (with some exceptions.)

          so the “graph” of time is not linear, it is curved steeply.

          long story short, a 1 mile hike one way is ridiculously short even for an 80 yr old. one would have to take hr long naps to get the time up to “several hours” for the four parts of the trip.

          3 miles one way on the other hand, could end up with a 2000′ vertical ascent by then, and take 2hrs going up (yes even an 80yr old could do it if normal fitness). 1hr going back down. so 6hrs for two trips, possible but not probable.

          which leaves a window right around 2 miles in my opinion.

    • Back in the early 80s I lived out in the countryside and had to take a school bus to high school. If I missed it after school, I had to walk home 8 miles because I didn’t have a quarter for the payphone.

      That walk took me 2.5 hours and I didn’t break a sweat even though our house was on top of a high hill. The walk was just boring is all.

      I think 2 miles one-way is not too far, but three miles is too far.

  10. Chris, the answer to your question is found by finding f’s reference for the word “few”. You can also answer other ATF’s when you find out where the word “few” is referenced from. To find that, takes other ATF’S along with some imagination and the Bighorn medicine wheel, if you can believe that. Start with the ATF of when he wanted bells found, the year 12016. You can see spoke numbers: 12,20,16 from this. Along with the 24th spoke, take the opposites on the wheel. So, the 12th spoke is opposite the 27th spoke, the 20th opposite the 5th spoke, the 16th spoke opposite the first spoke and the 24th spoke opposite the 9th. When you trace it on the wheel, looks like an “asterisk”. If you add up these spokes: 1,5,9,12,16,20,24,27= 114. If you look at the differences of the spokes, you will notice they all have a 15 difference. So now, go to the book, page 15, the page with the only asterisk, if you count all the words on this page you will get 114 words. The word “few” is on this page as the 113th word. Now, go to the poem, the 113th word of the poem is the word “that”. This answers the key from the ATF: A “few” are in tight focus with a word “that” is key. This keeps you from having to guess on some magical word but see what f is saying. It’s not the word but the number that you take away, 113. With 113, you can get 4 values: 1+1+3=5, 1,1+3=14, 1+1,3=23, and 113. So 5,14,23, and 113. Now the rest is up to how you interpret other ATF’s. But, since he walked less then a “few” miles, we can see that since he took for one way trips that possible answers are: less then, 1.25 miles, 3.5 miles, 5.75 miles, or 28.25 miles. We can throw out 28.25 miles one way, because he’s just not going to walk two marathons plus in two trips. So we are looking at a one way distance of just less then 1.25 miles, 3.5 miles, or 5.75 miles.
    Any of these distances could be used to police your solve. If you use the ATF about, if you are walking long distances looking for the treasure you’re walking too far, and combine it with the line in the poem, Not far, but too far to walk, the ATF defines “too far” as “long distances”. So, this gives you, Not far, but long distances to walk. You could then drop the 1.25 mile answer. But that depends on how you want to interpret.
    It’s all on finding the reference to the word “few”. Sorry this is so long, but to go into how you come to all this would be even longer, so I thought I would just share the answer, up to you if you want to believe or not. I wouldn’t post if I wasn’t very sure. One thing, at least it shows how a searcher can use ATF’s, the book, and the poem. For me, my solve confirms for me, there are a few words in the poem that will not help, for me, counting them up, I get 23. As far as my walk, one way is roughly 5 miles. Which would mean “few’ is 23 for me. To use say 1 mile one way or less, you have to ask yourself, why would f tell us to not carry the whole thing back in one trip? If it was just a mile or so, no problem to carry it back in one trip. But if it is 3-5 miles, that is a long distance and would be reason why we shouldn’t carry it back in one trip.


      Featured Question with Forrest: Life’s tangents
      CustardQuest Treasure Hunt IV Location Ideas
      *Sage says don’t try and carry it home in one trip (Posted Feb. 26th, 2016)

      • Thanks JDA , I have not heard that . What is your take on that comment , if i may ask .

        • JPE I know you directed this your question directly to JDA, but I hope I can jump in on the discussion. I find it interesting that in this statement he says “home” instead of “to the vehicle”. I know it would be too difficult for me to carry it back to my house in one trip. Another thought would be back to “HOB”, hinting that HOB is not very close??? Just throwing everything out there for discussion.

        • JPE;

          I think that “home” in the answer was just the slip of the tongue – Forrest probably meant “car”.

          “Sage” means wise, so – the wise person would not try to carry Indulgence back to his/her car in one trip = My interpretation of what Forrest said. Thanks for askin’ JDA

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