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Rundown for the Week of March 26, 2004

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This Week: Desert Destinations

Dash off to the desert with us, into that verdant, desolate landscape of conflict and discovery. Pack your bags carefully. Always bring a map, but watches are optional -- you'll lose sense of time in no time.

photo: B. Adair

Mojave Road
by Benjamin Adair

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Walking alone through the Mojave Desert, try to pick up pieces of time and measure their past, present and future. Reporter Benjamin Adair traveled the disappearing road into the Mojave Desert, where he discovered faint imprints of life -- legends of a feisty 95-year-old "desert rat," operas written by a middle-aged dancer, and singing American Indians.

Savvy resource
Search for more stories by Ben Adair

(Additional support for Ben Adair's story comes from
the Web site Hearing Voices and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)

Web resources
Burro Schmidt Road:
Death Valley National Park:
Amargosa Opera House and Hotel:
Noah Purifoy sculpture garden:

photo: J. Gates

Bagdad Cafe
by Jim Gates

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Reporter Jim Gates makes his way to Newberry Springs, California, where the Bagdad Cafe -- made famous by a movie named after it -- welcomes thousands of visitors a year along Route 66. Boundaries blend and disappear in the casual, confortable environment. Stories are told by everyone. At the heart of the Cafe, Gates finds the dear and enduring owner Andre Pruitt.

Web resources:

Savvy resource
Search for more stories by Jim Gates

How NOT to get lost in the desert
by Kelly Markham

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At Joshua Tree National Park, reporter Kelly Markham learns how to escape the desert if disaster strikes. But first, she actually did get lost in the Mojave desert, and broke all the rules she hadn't yet learned. What did she learn? Bring a map.

Web resources:
www.nps.gov/jotr: Joshua Tree National Park
www.joshuatree.org/dihome.html: The Desert Institute
mac.usgs.gov/mac/isb/pubs/factsheets/fs03501.html How to find your way with a map and compass
www.nps.gov: National Park Service

Interview with Richard Branson?
A satire presented by the Marketplace Players.

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Eccentric entrepreneur Richard Branson spares no expense in his record-breaking travels around the world -- he even teleports out of the booth when commentator Diana Nyad is finished chatting about the future with him. And apparently she's quite the swimmer....

Postcard from Borneo
by Diana Nyad

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The intrepid Savvy Traveler host recalls a memorable journey across the island of Borneo, with the Dayak indian tribe. In 1981 Diana spent three weeks with the Dayak, one of the most remote tribes on earth. She learned that they had all they needed -- respect and laughter and plenty of food and resources. Today she wonders how the tribe is doing, and if they are still as innocent as they were so many years ago.

Sound Travels
Rhythm in the River

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On "Sound Travels," we travel with our ears as our guide. This week, we head off to the northeast Congo, where tribal custom says only men play instruments ... but music is so intertwined with life there, women find a way around it. Jim Metzner hiked the jungle and came across this group of women washing in a river. First, he heard voices, and then he noticed something curious -- the way they "play" the river, by slapping its surface with cupped hands and forearms. They change the pitch of their "drum" by opening and closing their hands. The beat goes on!

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