Going Bananas for a Good Cause

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Driving 10,000 miles in a miniature, beat-up car from London to Mongolia might not be everyone’s ideal method to travel around the world (or at least, about 1/3 of the world’s surface). However, this challenge, known as the Mongol Rally, is more than just an unconventional thrill for adventurers. The challenge also requires participants to raise a minimum £1000 for charity, the first half going to Cool Earth, an organization dedicated to protecting endangered rainforest in order to combat global warming, and the rest to the charity of the team’s choosing.

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Team Bananavan from gilmoresdrive.weebly.com

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From West to East: A Road Trip Journal (Part 3)

Taking a Quick Stop on the Pacific Coast Highway (Carl)

This is the third in a series of posts on a summer trip; see the second.

In Fort Bragg, the first thing we did was eat a substantial breakfast, since we had missed supper the night before. We ate at a curious Wizard of Oz themed restaurant called “Eggheads,” complete with a yellow-brick road (of linoleum tile) running through the center of the building. We asked the proprietor what had prompted the theme—had the young Judy Garland frequented the coastal town? Were the pots and pans castoffs of the Tin Man’s suit? As it turns out, the answer was rather more mundane: Eggheads’ bathroom is difficult to find. Those wanting to make the trip must go through the dining area and kitchen, exit into a lot behind the building, and hang a left around a corner before finding the small cottage hiding the commode nestled between a few sheds and next to some old gardening equipment. The circuitous route defeats expectations so soundly that, about thirty years ago, management decided to create a prominent trail for customers. When a dull saffron floor tile was chosen, the yellow brick road was born—and all of the many allusions to the Wizard of Oz which thereafter sprung up on the menu and storefront.

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From West to East: A Road Trip Journal (Part 2)

Carl on McClures Beach

This is the second in a series of posts on a summer trip; see the first here.

In the afternoon we were off, driving up the west coast without any real plans; we knew we wanted to be in Seattle in four or five days, but that intervening time period was ours to spend as we wished. From a quick glance at the map, we thought that Point Reyes, a national coastline a few hours north of the bay area, Continue reading

From West to East: A Road Trip Journal (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of posts on a summer trip. Sorry it’s not quite summer anymore; things have been busy, but hopefully I’ll get the rest of these out before too long!

A little bit of background: I spent this summer studying ancient Greek language at the University of Berkeley. In late May, a few days before I was scheduled to catch my plane at Hartsfield-Jackson airport for Berkeley, I invited a few of my best friends over to bid them a fond farewell for the summer. Suffice to say, we ended up on the roof at three a.m. discussing how incredible it would be to do a cross-country road trip after my class was over. Now, we had thrown around this possibility dozens of times before, but this time, everything was a bit different. For one, none of us was a kid anymore; Tyler, my next door neighbor, had just graduated from University of Georgia; my brother, Carl, is going into his senior year at Emory University; and Nick, a good friend from high school, and I are both going into our junior years (Emory for me, Haverford for him). Moreover, all of us were itching to get out of our quiet suburbs and see some of the world before the relentless march of years and responsibility would make it impossible for us to take the trip together.  Before we knew it, we were taking solemn oaths that we’d be hitting the road in shortly more than two months. Obviously, we did, or I wouldn’t be writing this now.

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