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Rundown for the Week of March 4, 2000

Steinbeck Country
"A journey is a person in itself, no two are alike." You may recognize that quote from John Steinbeck's book, Travels with Charley. Steinbeck would have celebrated his 98th birthday last week. So today we journey to the place that inspired him, in search of the Nobel Prize-winning author and the man himself. From the central Coast of California, Rachel Anne Goodman goes in search of Steinbeck.

The Life of a Hotel Doctor
There is nothing more lousy, more unfair than getting sick on vacation. Plus, you're alone in a strange city with no clue where to begin to find a doctor. Well, take comfort, because the doctor may find you! The Savvy Traveler's Tanya Ott tells us how.

A Dog-Pull-Dog World
The Iditarod: this weekend kicks off what's called "The Last Great Race on Earth". Participants mush their way 1100 miles from Anchorage...to Nome. The Savvy Traveler's Geo Beach has a ringside seat from his Alaskan residence. And, being the good citizen that he is, Geo knows a little something about his home state going to the dogs.

The Longest Trip
Remember when you were a kid and a three hour drive felt like three years? We got this postcard from Douglas Hernandez about "the boring-est road trip in the world." Douglas' postcard was delivered to us courtesy of producer Kitty Felde and the community group Heart of Los Angeles.

Riding the Coattails of a Senator
Sometimes travel can be the Great Equalizer. Doesn't matter if you're booked into first-class or coach, you're still powerless if your plane's overbooked or you're hit with bad weather. But if you're the type to look for silver linings, you'll find that, during these delays, you just might meet some interesting people. Take James Reston, for example. Bad weather in Washington D.C. tied up traffic, making him late for his flight to Israel. Jim sent us a postcard last year, about the adventure that ensued as he made a mad dash for his flight. We thought, given the political situation right now, it's about time to hear this postcard again.

Interview: The Hidden Mardi Gras
Professor Barry Jean Ancelet of the University of Southwestern Louisiana has been a participant in 48 country Mardi Gras. As a folklore expert, he sees the phenomenon as a sort of culture spasm, a moving festival that allows its participants to engage in intense role-playing.

Deal of the Week
Happy Campers

Question of the Week
Women Travelers

Travelers' Aid
Money on the Road

Rudy's View
Keep on Truckin'

Culture Watch
Celebrating Spring in Budapest

Next Week
We head to Paris to explore some tunnels and systems underneath the city of lights.

"The length of the tour is tailored, I guess, to how sick you're feeling. Frankly after 20 minutes, you're ready to throw a bag over your head and tie it at the neck."

Tourists actually paying to explore the Parisian sewer system...sounds like another Bad Taste Tour. Better to take this one through the radio, I think. Of course there are some people who prefer to travel through the Internet:

"They're not actually alone because all of these other people who have these experiences vicariously, are pretty much along for the ride. I don't think those vicarious experiences are any less valid."

How to get where you're going when your modem's your guide....and the worst drivers in the world....during next week's journey with the Savvy Traveler.

Cassette Copies
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Rudy Maxa's Traveler Newsletter
Check out Rudy's monthly newsletter at www.rudymaxa.com.

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