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Title: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (1952)
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              Bryce Canyon
                         NATIONAL PARK • _Utah_


    [Illustration: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR • March 3, 1849]

                UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                     Oscar L. Chapman, _Secretary_

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                      Conrad L. Wirth, _Director_



                               _Contents_


  Panorama of Bryce Canyon                                       _Cover_
  Geology of Bryce Canyon National Park                                4
  How to Reach the Park                                                8
  Roads and Trails                                                     8
  Administration                                                      10
  Naturalist Services                                                 10
  Museum                                                              10
  Free Public Campgrounds                                             10
  Accommodations                                                      10
  Transportation                                                      12
  Saddle Horses                                                       12
  Post Office and Communication Service                               13
  Miscellaneous Services                                              13
  Cedar Breaks National Monument                                      15



                           _Historic Events_


  1866      Capt. James Andrus in command of a military expedition from
            St. George, Utah, crossed the Paria River a few miles south
            of Bryce Canyon.
  1872      A. H. Thompson, geographer of the Powell Survey, sketched
            the topography of the Pink Cliffs eastward to Rainbow Point
            and ascended Table Cliffs. Lt. W. L. Marshall, topographer,
            and G. K. Gilbert and E. E. Howell of the Wheeler Survey
            mapped, described, and illustrated for the first time the
            features of the park north of Campbell Canyon.
  1874-76   Scattered settlements established in the Upper Paria
            Valley. Ebenezer Bryce, for whom the park is named, ranged
            cattle in the area. The region that includes Bryce Canyon
            National Park studied by Capt. C. E. Dutton. View from
            Sunset Point described (1876) by T. C. Bailey, Deputy U. S.
            Surveyor.
  1877      Cannonville and Henrieville founded.
  1905      The Paunsaugunt Plateau, which includes the park, set aside
            as Powell National Forest.
  1923      Bryce Canyon National Monument established by Presidential
            proclamation.
  1924      Act of Congress authorized the establishment of Utah
            National Park, subject to extinguishment of private land
            titles.
  1928      Name changed from Utah National Park to Bryce Canyon
            National Park; park established.

    [Illustration: Decorated Capital]

Bryce Canyon National Park includes some of the most interesting
exposures of the Pink Cliffs formation, whose rocks are among the most
colorful of any forming the earth’s crust. The major beauty spots of the
area are found where forces of erosion have cut back into the plateau,
forming amphitheaters or wide canyons filled with pinnacles and
grotesque forms.

Most of the park area, with some 30 miles of Pink Cliffs, can be seen
from Rainbow Point, at the southern end of the park. Included in this
panorama are such beautiful amphitheaters as Black Birch Canyon, Agua
Canyon, and Willis Creek. In addition, there are magnificent views
across “the land of the purple sage” to Navajo Mountain, 80 miles to the
east, and to the Kaibab Plateau and the Trumbull Mountains to the south,
the latter 99 miles distant.

In reality Bryce is not a canyon; rather it is a great horseshoe-shaped
bowl or amphitheater cut by water erosion into the Paunsaugunt Plateau
and extending down a thousand feet through its pink and white marly
limestone. The character of the area is well indicated by the Paiute
Indian name, “Unka-timpe-wa-wince-pock-ich,” which is translated as,
“red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon.” The largest
amphitheater is 3 miles long and about 2 miles wide, and is filled with
myriads of fantastic figures cut by weathering influences. Its domes,
spires, and temples are decorated in all the colors of the spectrum.

The area was reserved as Bryce Canyon National Monument by Presidential
proclamation, June 8, 1923. The act of June 7, 1924, authorized its
establishment as Utah National Park when certain conditions regarding
land acquisition had been met. The act of February 25, 1928, changed the
name from Utah National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park and
materially increased the size of the area. On September 15, 1928, when
all alienated lands within the proposed park area were transferred to
the United States, in accordance with the act of June 7, 1924, Bryce
Canyon National Park was established. The park now embraces more than
36,000 acres under Federal ownership.

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the areas of the National Park
System owned by the people of the United States and administered for
them by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. In these
areas the scenery and the objects of historic, prehistoric, and
scientific interest are carefully preserved and displayed for public
enjoyment.



                Geology of Bryce Canyon National Park[1]


_Regional Features._—In Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks the type of
scenery peculiar to the plateaus of southern Utah and northern Arizona
attains its most complete expression. Layer upon layer of shales and
sandstones have been carved into architectural forms, astonishingly
alike for size and color. The long stretches of even skyline seen on
approaching the parks from Cedar City (west), Panguitch (north), and
Grand Canyon (south) give an impression of extensive flat surfaces that
terminate in lines of cliffs, but viewpoints within the parks reveal a
ruggedness possessed by few other regions. The canyons are so narrow, so
deep, and so thickly interlaced, and the edges of the strata so
continuously exposed that the region seems made up of gorges, cliffs,
and mesas intimately associated with a marvelous variety of minor
erosion forms. The parks might be considered as mountainous regions in
which departures of many thousand feet from a general surface are
downward rather than upward.

The canyons and adjoining terraces are spectacular illustrations of
erosion. They show with diagrammatic clearness the work of running
water, rain, frost, and wind, of ground water and chemical agencies
active throughout a long period of time. The horizontal tables and
benches, broken by vertical lines that in distant view appear to
dominate the landscape, are normal features of erosion of plateau lands
in an arid climate. The tabular forms are the edges and surfaces of hard
strata from which softer layers have been stripped. The vertical lines
mark the position of fractures (joints)—lines of weakness which erosion
enlarges into grooves and miniature canyons. As they entrench themselves
in horizontal layers of rock that vary in resistance to erosion, the
master streams and their tributaries are developing stairlike profiles
on their enclosing walls. Cliffs in resistant rocks and slopes in weak
rock constitute risers and treads that vary in steepness and height with
the thickness of the strata involved. Thus near the south entrance to
Zion Park the edge of a layer of hard conglomerate is a vertical cliff,
its top a platform. Above this platform a long slope of shale, broken by
many benches developed in hard beds, extends upward to the great cliff
faces of West Temple and the Watchman. In front of Zion Lodge a slope of
weak shales leads upward to a cliff of resistant sandstone above which a
slope of shale extends to the vertical wall of Lady Mountain. In Bryce
Canyon the rim road is on the highest tread of a giant rock stairway
that, as viewed from Rainbow Point, leads downward in steps 30 to 400
feet high to the flat lands 3,000 feet below.

    [Illustration: _View of multicolored formations from Bryce Point_
    (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)]

The streams at work in the parks, though relatively small, have steep
gradients, including rapids and waterfalls, and are supplied with
disintegrated rock material swept from the ledges by torrential rains
about as fast as formed. They are therefore powerful agents of erosion,
especially in times of flood. The fresh, sharp, angular profile of
mesas, ridges, and canyon walls and the extensive areas of bare rock are
maintained by the rapid down-cutting and prompt removal of rock waste.
The resulting land forms reflect the aridity and the topographic youth
of southern Utah and contrast strongly with the rounded hills, broad
valleys, plant-covered slopes, and deep soils of more humid regions.

_Geologic History._—A large part of geologic history is revealed in the
canyon walls of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Just as Grand
Canyon is the best known record of ancient geologic history, Zion Canyon
records most clearly the events of medieval geological time, and Bryce
reveals much of modern geologic history. The story of Zion begins where
that of Grand Canyon ends, and ends where Bryce begins. The rocks
exposed in these three national parks incorporate the records of a
billion years.

    [Illustration: _Generalized section of sediments in Zion and Bryce
    Canyons_]

  Age of rocks      Formation

                                    lava
  Eocene       Wasatch: Pink Cliffs                ROCKS IN BRYCE CANYON PARK
  MESOZOIC
  Cretaceous   Undifferentiated: Gray Cliffs
                                    sandstone
                                    shale
                                    coal
  Jurassic
                                    gypsum
               Carmel               limestone
               Navajo sandstone:    cross-bedded   ROCKS IN ZION PARK
               White Cliffs         sandstone
               Kayenta-Wingate
  Triassic
               Chinle: Vermilion    shale,
               Cliffs               sandstone,
                                    ash and
                                    limestone
                                    fossil wood
               Shinarump conglomerate
               Moenkopi: Belted     shale
               Cliffs
                                    sandstone
                                    oil            RIM OF GRAND CANYON
  Permian      Kaibab limestone

A study of the rocks of Zion and Bryce Canyon shows that during the last
200,000,000 years the region comprising the parks has witnessed many
changes in landscape and climate. At times it was covered by the sea, at
other times broad rivers traversed its surface, and at still other times
it was swept by desert winds. Most of the rocks were laid down by water
as gravel, sand, mud, and limy ooze. They have been converted into solid
rock by the weight of layers above them and by lime, silica, and the
iron that cement their grains. Embedded in the rocks are fossil sea
shells, fish, trees, snails, and the bones and tracks of land animals
that sought their food on flood plains, in forests, or among sand dunes.
The most conspicuous remains are those of dinosaurs—huge reptiles that
so dominated the life of their time that the Mesozoic is known as the
“age of dinosaurs.”

The accumulation of some 8,000 feet of strata (Mesozoic and Tertiary) on
top of 4,000 feet of older (Paleozoic) beds, which are exposed in Grand
Canyon, may be considered the first of three major events in the
development of the marvelous landscapes of the Zion-Bryce region; it
provided the material from which the huge scenic features were later
carved. The second event was a regional uplift which elevated the
previously low-lying top beds of the series (Wasatch, Pink Cliffs) to a
height of nearly 2 miles above sea level. As a result of this movement,
the earth’s crust was broken into huge rectangular blocks by north-south
fractures or faults. Three of these great faults can be seen in the
vicinity of the parks: the Hurricane fault in the Hurricane Cliffs, west
of Zion; the Paunsaugunt fault in the cliffs of Bryce; and the Sevier
fault along the Mount Carmel Road between the two parks.

In consequence of the uplift the third major event, the present cycle of
erosion, was initiated. The streams became strong and swift and so were
able to cut deeply into the underlying rock and carry away the land
waste. In this process the streams have removed many cubic miles of
rocks, which, if replaced, would fill the present canyons and build up
their bordering land to the level of the lofty Markagunt and Paunsaugunt
Plateaus. The gigantic features of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
mark a stage in the process of erosion that began long ago and which, if
continued without interruption, will convert the present rugged
landscape into plains near sea level.

_Distinctive Features of Bryce Canyon._—In its regional setting Bryce
Canyon National Park is the southeastern border of the extensive
Paunsaugunt Plateau. It comprises two areas of strongly contrasted
topography that meet in a line that marks the rim of the plateau and the
top of its bordering cliffs. Back from the rim the plateau surface on
which the park buildings and the automobile roads have been constructed
is generally flat land traversed by broad, shallow valleys in which
erosion is inconspicuous. Below the rim erosion has produced a region of
remarkable ruggedness. It might naturally be supposed that the beautiful
amphitheater at the head of Bryce Canyon had been carved by waters
pouring down from the plateau above. But the plateau streams contribute
nothing; they flow away from the rim. The chief sculpturing agents are
the rain and snow that fall directly into the canyon. In producing the
amazing variety of erosion features the streams have been aided by frost
that pries fragments from the cliffs and by chemical agencies that
decompose the rock and supply its vivid color.

The development of the park landscape was made possible by movements
within the earth’s crust which brought originally low-lying strata to an
altitude exceeding 8,000 feet. Streamways on the flat top of this
uplifted block were little affected, but with greatly steepened
gradients the streams around the borders of the newly made plateau
became powerful. The Paria and its swiftly flowing tributaries have cut
deeply into the face of the Paunsaugunt and carried billions of tons of
ground-up rock to the Colorado. At the present time erosion by Bryce
Creek, Yellow Creek, Willis Creek, Podunk Creek, and many smaller
streams, is causing the plateau face to retreat northwestward, and these
streams are taking into their drainage areas channels that formerly
carried waters northward to Sevier River.

The drab-colored landscape along the southeast border of the park has
been developed in alternating beds of shale, coal, and sandstone
(Cretaceous age); in the resulting erosion forms, slopes, mounds,
rounded ridges, and valleys with inclined or steplike sides predominate.
The brightly colored rocks that form the topmost cliffs and terminate
abruptly in such headlands as Steamboat Mountain, Bryce Point, and
Rainbow Point are resistant limestones of Tertiary age (Wasatch
formation). They erode as vertical walls (Pink Cliffs), which weathering
has developed into the astonishing display of architectural forms that
make Bryce Canyon distinctive.



                         How to Reach the Park


In going to Bryce Canyon National Park the motorist turns east from the
main highway, U S 89, 7 miles south of the town of Panguitch, Utah. From
that junction it is 25 miles to the park. This road follows Red Canyon,
a brilliantly colored little gorge which is often mistaken for Bryce
Canyon itself. The approach to Bryce is unusual; no evidence of the
canyon is visible until the visitor walks to the rim and suddenly has
revealed to him the great sight in all its breath-taking beauty.
Improved highways make Bryce Canyon National Park easily accessible
except during the winter.

Travelers by rail may reach the park over the Union Pacific Railroad to
Cedar City, Utah, the gateway to Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon
(North Rim) National Parks and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Motor
buses of the Utah Parks Co. operate to those areas.

Main bus lines operate from Salt Lake City and Los Angeles to Cedar
City, where passengers going to the park may transfer to buses of the
Utah Parks Co. On prior notice, connections may be made with the Santa
Fe Trails System at Marysvale or Panguitch.

United Air Lines serves Salt Lake City, and from there passengers may go
by Union Pacific Railroad or bus to Cedar City. Air service is also
available from Los Angeles by Western Air Lines, with stops at Las
Vegas, Cedar City, and Salt Lake City.



                            Roads and Trails


The National Park Service has completed an excellent road, 20 miles
long, which follows the high rim the full length of the park plateau.
Short spurs lead to such scenic places as Inspiration Point, Bryce
Point, Paria View, Natural Bridge, and Rainbow Point.

    [Illustration: _Bryce Canyon National Park_
                      Drawn by R. M. Montesano January 1947 NP.B.C. 7012]

                             ROAD DISTANCES
                       To points Outside the Park

        To Salt Lake City                                 270 Mi.
        To Los Angeles                                    573 Mi.
        To Cedar City                                      85 Mi.
        To Panguitch                                       26 Mi.
        To Cedar Breaks                                    67 Mi.
        To Zion Canyon                                     89 Mi.
        To Grand Canyon (North Rim)                       161 Mi.
        To Grand Canyon (South Rim)                       305 Mi.
        To Capitol Reef Nat. Mon.                         125 Mi.

                        To Points Within the Park
                          Checking Station to:

        Fairyland                                         1.2 Mi.
        Headquarters                                      1.6 Mi.
        Bryce Canyon Lodge                                1.8 Mi.
        Sunset Point                                      2.4 Mi.
        Inspiration Point                                 3.0 Mi.
        Bryce Point                                       4.7 Mi.
        Paria View                                        4.4 Mi.
        Natural Bridge                                   12.5 Mi.
        Rainbow Point                                    18.2 Mi.

                             TRAIL DISTANCES
                            Sunset Point to:

        Navajo-Comanche Loop & return                     1.5 Mi.
        Inspiration Point                                 1.0 Mi.
        Sunrise Point (Rim Trail)                         0.5 Mi.
        Bryce Point (Via Peek-a-boo Trail)               3.75 Mi.
        Campbell Canyon-Fairyland Loop & return           6.0 Mi.

The roads are open during the spring, summer, and fall. Those in the
vicinity of headquarters are kept open throughout the winter, except for
brief periods during and immediately following storms.

Fine horseback and foot trails have been built in the interesting area
under the rim. They lead into Queen’s Garden, Silent City, Fairyland,
Wall Street, Peek-a-boo Canyon, and other more remote points—each with
its distinctive form. Trails are all easily traveled in good weather;
horseback trips can be arranged in half- or full-day units to suit the
individual. Inquiry should be made before attempting a trip, as stormy
weather sometimes makes the condition of these trails uncertain.



                             Administration


Bryce Canyon National Park is administered as a unit with Zion National
Park and Cedar Breaks and Zion National Monuments. The representative of
the National Park Service in immediate charge is the superintendent,
whose post office address is Springdale, Utah. All comments regarding
service in the park should be addressed to him.



                          Naturalist Services


Each evening illustrated talks are given by members of the staff, who
also conduct short hiking trips into Bryce Canyon every day of the
summer season, according to schedules posted by the naturalist service.

Visitors are urged to use these facilities, which are provided free of
charge by the Government.



                                 Museum


At park headquarters the National Park Service has established an
official information office and museum which is open daily throughout
the main travel season. Here park visitors may secure information and
free publications regarding this and other national parks. The museum
exhibits cover such subjects as geology, biology, archeology, and
history. The Zion-Bryce Natural History Association maintains a stock of
publications, maps, and transparency slides which are for sale at
reasonable prices in the museum. They are designed to assist in a better
understanding and appreciation of the region.



                        Free Public Campgrounds


An attractive public auto camp, maintained by the Government, is open
from about April 15 to November 15; however, these dates vary according
to weather conditions. Pure water and sanitary conveniences are
provided, and groceries and campers’ supplies may be purchased at the
Bryce Camp store. Camping is limited to 30 days a year for each party.

For those not carrying their own equipment and desiring to visit the
park after the closing dates of the lodge and camp, there are camps near
the park where accommodations can be found at any time of the year.



                             Accommodations


An attractive lodge is operated by the Utah Parks Co. from about May 30
to September 25. It consists of a central building and cabins. The
cabins are standard and deluxe types, the latter having private bath,
porch, and fireplace.

    [Illustration: _Roads connecting Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon,
    and Cedar Breaks_]

    [Illustration: _Bryce Canyon Lodge_ (_Union Pacific Railroad
    photo_)]

Meals are served in the lodge dining room.

There is also a cabin development which is open from about May 1 to
October 30. Here are available a cafeteria, food store, and sleeping
cabins. The cabins are equipped with electricity, running water, double
beds, table, sink, shelves, and chairs.

As prices are subject to change from season to season, no rates are
included in this booklet, but they may be obtained from the Utah Parks
Co., Cedar City, Utah.



                             Transportation


Motorbus transportation and all-expense tours to Zion, Bryce Canyon, and
Grand Canyon (North Rim) National Parks, Kaibab National Forest, and
Cedar Breaks National Monument are furnished by Utah Parks Co., Cedar
City, Utah, during the summer season and by special arrangement during
the remainder of the year. An automobile trip from Bryce Canyon Lodge to
Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, Paria View, Natural Bridge, and Rainbow
Point and return is offered during the summer.



                             Saddle Horses


Saddle horses may be hired by the hour or day. Daily escorted trips are
made into the canyon and to Natural Bridge. Special guide service, if
available, may also be obtained. Riding outfits for women may be rented
at the lodge.



                 Post Office and Communication Service


Bryce Canyon Lodge is provided with post office, telegraph, and
long-distance telephone service. The post office address during the
summer season when the lodge is operating is Bryce Canyon National Park,
Utah.



                         Miscellaneous Services


Fountain service is available in the lodge. Photographs of Bryce may be
purchased here, and laboratories are maintained for developing and
printing.

Curio stores, specializing in Indian handicraft, are operated. Curios,
post cards, and other items may be obtained at the cabin camps, which
also carry a complete line of foodstuffs.

    [Illustration: _Trails lead to the fantastically eroded formations_
    (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)]

    [Illustration: _Motorists park on overlook for view of Cedar
    Breaks_]

Garage service, including storage and repairs, is provided near Bryce
Lodge during the main season. A regular service station, located on the
highway near the lodge, furnishes gasoline, oil, tires, and batteries
from approximately May 1 to October 30. Garages and service stations
outside the park usually operate throughout the year.

A registered nurse is on duty at the lodge when it is in operation.



                     Cedar Breaks National Monument


Twenty miles east of Cedar City, within the Dixie National Forest, where
the high plateau breaks away to the west, is a great amphitheater called
Cedar Breaks, in the Pink Cliffs formation. The more spectacular part of
the formation was established as a national monument by proclamation of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 22, 1933, and placed under the
administration of the National Park Service. The monument embraces an
area of 6,172.20 acres of federally owned land.

While Cedar Breaks is cut from the same geological formation as Bryce
Canyon, there is a marked difference between these two scenic areas.
There are not countless numbers of outstanding temples, spires, and
minarets in the Cedar Breaks bowl, but Cedar Breaks is on a more
gigantic scale and has a greater variety of tints. The Pink Cliffs here
have a thickness of nearly 2,000 feet, and 47 different shades of color
have been distinguished.

The heavily forested rim attains an altitude of 10,700 feet. The cliffs
are white or orange at the top, breaking into tints of deep rose and
coral. The high elevation also affords an excellent distant view of
mountains and desert.

The Utah Parks Co. has provided a comfortable lodge with an attractive
dining room, lobby, and rest rooms. Sleeping accommodations are
available in cabins operated in connection with the lodge. Groceries,
campers’ supplies, gasoline, and oil may be procured. Cedar Breaks Lodge
is open from about June 1 to September 20.

A free public campground is maintained where water, cooking fireplaces,
and fuel are furnished.

The season of accessibility varies with weather conditions, but is
usually from early June to the first of November. On account of the high
altitude, snows persist until late spring. During the summer season, the
National Park Service maintains an information office and small museum
near the parking area at Point Supreme.

    [Illustration: _Cedar Breaks_]

  “Let no one say, and say it to your shame,
  That all was beauty here until you came.”

National parks are established “to conserve the scenery and the natural
and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the
enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave
them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Please
cooperate in maintaining and protecting this park. The following
observations are made for your guidance:

Preservation of Natural Features.—Trees, flowers, vegetation, rocks,
mineral formations, or any animal, bird, or other life may not be
disturbed, injured, or destroyed; and formations, rocks, and other
natural features may not be defaced by writing, carving, or otherwise
marring them. Since the park is a sanctuary for wildlife, hunting and
the use of firearms are prohibited.

Camping.—Camp only in established campgrounds. Keep your camping area
clean. Be Careful With Fire. Lunching and picnicking are permitted only
in public auto camp.

Disorderly Conduct.—Proper conduct is required of all visitors for the
benefit of others who are entitled to get the fullest possible enjoyment
from the park.

Pets.—If you are carrying a dog, cat, or other pet, you may take it into
and through the park provided it is at all times kept on leash or
otherwise under physical restrictive control. Pets are not permitted in
public buildings or on trails.

Trails.—Do not attempt to make short cuts; to do so you may endanger
yourself as well as others using the trails. Before attempting more
difficult trails seek advice from a park ranger.

Automobile Regulations.—(a) _Permit._—A charge of $1 for each automobile
is made at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. One permit is good for
both parks, and may be used during the remainder of the year in which
issued. Trailer fee, $1 additional.

(b) _Careful driving._—The roads in the park are built purely for scenic
purposes, not as high-speed thoroughfares. Observe speed limits and the
usual rules of the road; keep to right; do not park on curves; pass cars
going in the same direction only when the road ahead is clear and the
vision unobstructed. The speed limit in the park is 35 miles per hour.

Park Rangers.—The park rangers are employed to help and advise visitors
as well as to enforce regulations. When in doubt, ask a ranger.

   _For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
        Office, Washington 25, D. C.—Price $3.75 per 100 copies_

                                        U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                                                 REPRINT 1952 O-F—980327



                                Footnote


[1]Condensed from “A Geologic and Geographic Sketch of Bryce Canyon
    National Park” by Herbert E. Gregory.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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