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The Dodge Journey (East) has been found

September 25, 2011

Congratulations to the Winner, Melissa!

For everyone else that participated in the real world search, you’ve been on an Amazing Trek, a journey into the World Wide World, covering untold miles, spanning a number of states. There can only be one winner of the car, so cherish the thrill of the hunt and the memories you’ve made along the way.

As for the rest of us, watching the live feed and working clues along the way, I thank you. It’s been a long and eventful weekend. And now it’s time to get ourselves into the World Wide World.

Wishing everyone the very best! Cheers!

(Until the next adventure)

Related:

Steven, as one of the creators of the Journey Search campaign, I just want to say thank you for all that you did to help make this thing great. You united a community and your diligence really kept us on our toes. We had a great time following along! -Mike

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Dodge Journey Search (East) LIVE updates – Day 2

September 25, 2011

I’ll be updating this page as information becomes available for the continuation of the Dodge Journey (East) search starting Sunday morning at 9am.

Be safe. Be courteous. Buckle up and drive carefully. Remember, there can only be one winner. Enjoy the adventure and make some memories. Cheers and Best of luck!

Physical Clues (in World Wide World)

Final location of the Dodge Journey (East):

16 Donut Point Ln.
Tenants Harbor, ME 04860

Final clue: Kenniston Realty in Rockland, ME

(photo courtesy of @ccarp816)

Message from phone call (paraphrased, courtesy of Spencer):

Good job, there will be no more clues.  You are within 15 miles of the Journey.

Main Street Prison Showroom -> Angeliques (Antiques) Thomaston, ME

(courtesy of Tobias)

Message from phone call (paraphrased, courtesy of Spencer):

Nice work. Be careful who share this number with. 99% of the people that are hoping to find the Journey, think they can find it from their easy chair. So, don’t undo all own your hard work.

The lands you will be traveling to will have many beautiful properties where you would like to park your Journey.  Look under the first rock.  One will stand out.  If you see it, give the owner a call.

Solution: Continue traveling north along Rte 1 to Rockland, ME and find Kenniston Realty.

Discussion: “The first (rock)” may be a reference to The First, a bank in Rockland along Rte 1, but before Kenniston Realty. This may have confirmed the direction. As this clue was paraphrased, it may have, in fact, been worded as “Look beyond the first rock.”

Red’s Eats at Wiscasset, ME -> Sign Store on Water Street for a clue in the window:

(photo courtesy of: @hendrey)

Message from phone call:

Nice work. First things first. Be careful who share this number with. 99% of the people that are hoping to find the Journey, think they can find it from their easy chair. So, don’t undo all own your hard work.

Blend in with the locals as you head north … check out some woodworking made by hard labor.

Or Better yet. We hear antiquing is huge around here, so why not do some window shopping. There’s one in particular that’s named after the owner whose name also rhymes with what she sells. In the window, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Solution: Travel further north along RTE 1 to Thomaston, ME and Main Street Prison Showroom, then Angeliques (Antiques)

LIVE Feed Clues

  • The Dodge “guy” hangs a ME life preserver
  • The Dodge “guy” eats  a lobster roll (not long after the “last” online clue) while sitting on a red seat 🙂

Slideshow Clues from Day 2 at 9am

>> Full set of pictures (Source: Dodge’s Facebook page)

  • Hominy Pot – New London, NH down 4A, right on Rt 11, intersection of 114
  • I89 sign – 1 mile from 93 (near Concord)
  • Hall and Water Streets intersection – Concord, NH
  • Northwood, NH
  • (more)
  • Shawshank Prison car – York, Maine
  • The Seashore Trolley Museum – Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Street sign – Kennebunkport, Maine
  • CALL sign – Portland, Maine

Final Clue: Call 207-420-8706 (BLOg, coincidence? maybe. maybe not.)

Message: Congratulations on getting this far but we can’t hold your hand for ever. This will be the last clue you’ll be able to get online. The rest will all require you get out into the real world. Head north and stop when you see the red seats. A few doors north from there, look for a sign.

Solution: Travel further north on Rte 1, to Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, ME [red s/eats]

Slideshow Clues from Day 1: Expanded Route (approx 110 miles)

>>Full set of pictures (Source: Dodge’s Facebook page)

  • Ticonderoga Ferry ->
  • Orwell, VT ->
  • Brandon, VT ->
  • Killington, VT ->
  • West Bridgewater, VT ->
  • Woodstock, VT ->
  • White River Junction, VT ->
  • Lebanon, NH ->
  • 4A South, Near Enfield, NH

Google Map of partial Dodge Journey (East) route

Initial Route, from Albany, NY to Ticonderoga Ferry, VT side (approx 125 miles)

See also from this site:

For more information, including How to Play, visit their YouTube channel.

Dodge Journey Search (East) LIVE updates – Day 1

September 23, 2011

I’ll be updating this page as information becomes available leading up to and during the Dodge Journey (East) search, officially starting at Saturday, 12 noon. You’ll find the latest at the top of this page.

Be safe. Be courteous. Buckle up and drive carefully. Remember, there can only be one winner. Enjoy the adventure and make some memories. Cheers and Best of luck!

>> Day 2 coverage continues here

Slideshow Clues: Expanded Route (approx 110 miles)

>> Full set of pictures (Source: Dodge’s Facebook page)

  • Ticonderoga Ferry ->
  • Orwell, VT ->
  • Brandon, VT ->
  • Killington, VT ->
  • West Bridgewater, VT ->
  • Woodstock, VT ->
  • White River Junction, VT ->
  • Lebanon, NH ->
  • 4A South, Near Enfield, NH

Notes: This is probably the best match for the final picture of a 4A south sign in the Journey slideshow.

Slideshow continues Sunday morning, 9am

375-mile clue

Solution: Schroon Lake, NY (Adirondack Marathon)

Note: We also see, on the bibs 87 (a reference to I-87 and 74, the road that runs east past Eagle Lake and to the Ti Ferry.

Apparently, this is the final online clue. The “final” clue is essentially the physical sign, already found.

25-mile radius? No.

Also, after the 375-mile clue is solved, we see:

Correction by Dodge on Twitter: When you solve the 5th clue vid it gets you within 375 miles of the Journey, not 25 as was written. More to come. Stay tuned.

Physical Clue, across Ti Ferry in VT

As reported earlier (bejones, 2:24pm), across the Ti Ferry into VT on 74, just before turning south on 73, a sign that reads:

This isnt the end
Its only the beginning
We cant wait to share
Where we went next
the journey is within 350 miles from here

Picture of the same (provide by Doreen Lyon, @jaredlyon’s Mom, on the hunt)

400-mile clue

Solution: Friends Lake, Chestertown, NY

425-mile clue

Solution: Lake George, NY (Queen of  American Lakes)

450-mile clue

Solution: Saratoga Springs, NY

500-mile clue

Solution: Albany, NY

Other clues:

Wild West Ranch, Lake George NY

Notes: Are the (missing) letters a clue?

Google street view to verify:

Eagle Lake, NY

Intersection – 74 and 73, across from Ferry, heading toward Mt Independence (south)

Google street view to verify:

From the other side, moving away from the ferry, approaching the intersection (note fish on pole):

Advanced clues (9/23, 10:00pm)

Picture #1 – Malta Drive In Theater, Malta, NY

>> Higher resolution version

Notes: The Dodge Journey is north bound (and the bikes are there, just blurred because of the Journey’s speed)

Could this be a reference to Paradox, NY? Paradox Lake? Conflicting directions as a Paradox? Pair of Docks?

Confirming shot:

Picture #2 – Ticonderoga Ferry

>> Higher resolution version

Confirming shot:

And for direction (VT side, looking towards NY):

Dodge on Twitter

We sent 2 pics to various sites. If posted and you can find them, they won’t lead to the car, but they’ll get you started (9/23, 21:12)

Gather your search party and stock up on beef jerky. The East coast #JourneySearch begins tomorrow at 12PM EDT. YouTube.com/dodge

See also from this site:

Google Map of partial Dodge Journey (East) route

Initial Route, from Albany, NY to Ticonderoga Ferry, VT side (approx 125 miles)

For more information, including How to Play, visit their YouTube channel.

Improving Dodge’s Journey Search campaign and contest

September 23, 2011

Dodge’s Journey search campaign and contest has rekindled my long love for treasure hunts. I’ve participated in many over the years: armchair, online and physical. It has all the right elements: clues to solve, an opportunity to explore, a sense of adventure and a treasure to be found. It hasn’t been perfect but there’s a lot to like.

The tagline “Search Engine for the Real World” and phrase they coined “exploring the World Wide World” were, in my opinion, brilliant.

The general or introductory commercial (below) was used to launch the campaign, create awareness, generate interest, and direct individuals to Dodge’s YouTube page for more.

The commercial itself, was a compilation of sequences, clues to locations, direction and route for each regional Journey search. Therein lied the primary problem. You could identify locations, direction, and route, up to a point within 20 miles (maximum), of the final location. And this creates an understandable conflict between armchair (“at home”) and physical (“on location”) participants.

On the day of the search, additional (radius) clues are launched, that for the most part, follow an already known route and direction. Only the 5-mile radius clue for the West search, contributed essential information on the path and proximity to find the Journey.

With that said, consider the following revisions for a future campaign and contest:

1) Launch an introductory commercial that leads to locations as a starting point only

  • Rather than give a way most of the (physical search) route and general location of the final destination (within 20 miles or less), before the search even begins, compile sequences, that identify locations, direction and route, to one or more starting points in a region for the physical search.
  • Use optional registration (with screen names) at the campaign site, e.g. Dodge’s YouTube page, to let participants identify locations, build the route, and record the final start point.
  • The campaign site should include a leader board and forum for structured and moderated discussion. This encourages maximum participation from all types: “at home” and “on location” treasure hunters.
  • Option: within one region search, there could be conflicting routes, multiple “starting points” (within 25-35 miles of each other) to spread the field out on the day of the search.

The physical search should continue to be held on the weekend and during the end of summer break for maximum participation. This treasure hunt should be as much an adventure, a mini-vacation, an opportunity to explore and create memories, as it is an opportunity to find a prize. After all, there can only be one winner.

2) Launch the larger (radius) clue, several days before the physical search begins

  • Several days before individuals begin to arrive at the starting location(s), launch the larger radius clue (200-300 mile), that reuses video segments from the introductory commercial, but for the specific regional search, adding clarity for some clues, most of which will be used to confirm predictions.
  • Add one or more new clues to the larger radius clue, to either further extend the route (by up to 20 miles or so) and/or confirm one of the starting locations.
  • This will create an immediate need and opportunity to re-engage, a race to solve, as the physical hunt quickly approaches.
  • The interactive Google map-based method of recording solutions can still be used but should be tied to the leader board, again encouraging “at home” participation as well as “on location” participation.

3) Physical search go live

  • When the (physical) search goes live, launch the next (radius) clue, again, giving all participants an opportunity to solve as well as creating a race to solve. For at home participants, the immediate reward is position on the leader board, i.e. who solved it first, second and so on.
  • Option: During registration, or at any time by updating their profile, let individuals identify themselves as an “at home” participant or (representing) “on location” participant. Tied to the leader board, everyone could monitor, “on location” participant progress.
  • Option: Rather than immediately unlocking the next clue, consider unlocking after a percentage of participants have correctly solved the prior clue. That way, a majority of participants, start at the same time to solve the next clue. This also creates an opportunity to control the pace of the search. The required percentage could even be progressive as the radius is gradually narrowed.
  • Each video clue will lead the “on location” participants to new locations, along an extended route, ultimately towards the final destination.

4) Final (radius) search clue

  • The final (radius) video clue, ranging 5-25 miles, would transition the “on location” search to a physical hunt governed by instinct and luck.
  • After solving the final clue, “at home” participants could drop a pin on their prediction for the precise location of the Dodge Journey.

5) At home participation prize

  • To provide an incentive for increased  “at home” participation, use either the final position on the leader board or closest to the actual location of the Dodge Journey, to award a participant up to $5,000.

Cheers!

Preparing for the Dodge Journey (East) Search

September 21, 2011

For those that are participating in the Dodge Journey (East) search, I thought it would be a good idea, to share some insight, recommendations and resources, with contributions by individuals here, including other Dodge Journey search participants. Hope you find this useful.


Warning: I’m aware that a number of individuals are either flying or driving long distances to participate in the search. The final (possible) location may have been identified, originally posted and discussed on Dodge’s YouTube board. Assuming they have a contingency plan, they may very well change the final location or resort to, according to the contest rules, “administer(ing) a skill-based tie-breaker.”


Start time

The Dodge Journey (East) search starts at 12 Noon, Saturday, September 24.

Get the latest

Visit the Dodge Journey Search (East) post and review comments for the latest discussion.

Preparations

The critical clue, in my opinion, will be the first one released. Is it 200-mile or 300-mile? What is their departure point, e.g. NYC or Albany? What other video sequences are added? Will they drop any?

In the West search 300-mile clue, they added Angelo’s deli, the map shot, and Emerald Bay. Angelo’s was, general speaking, along the already known route. The map confirmed the direction and route, after Placerville, towards the mini-mart and further along towards Highway 89. Emerald Bay was a specific location and they showed the Journey heading south.

In the Midwest search 200-mile clue, they gave us the starting point, Oklahoma City, and a new “main street” view – Sayre, OK. Oklahoma City was a surprising start point.

Unless you’re very familiar with the region, it would be a good idea to be review some of the regional city skylines, unique buildings, etc. – using Google image search, e.g Albany (100-mile range), Boston and Syracuse (200-mile range), New York City and Philadelphia (300-mile range).

Use Google image search and street view to explore places like Ticonderoga.

Weekend weather forecast

Driving conditions

There have been a number of reports of poor road conditions, closed roads and bridges due to Hurricane Irene, in New York, but especially Vermont.

Check local, state news and resources, for the latest.

It is illegal to drive while talking on a cellphone in New York, unless hands free.

Most importantly: Be careful, be safe and please drive responsibly.

Other driving considerations

Cell phone coverage

There have been a number of reports of limited to no cell phone coverage, due to terrain and Hurricane Irene. Check your carrier for normal coverage (maps):

Contact the carrier for the latest information.

Wi-Fi access

Due to limited cell phone coverage, Wi-Fi hot spots may be essential for the “boots on the ground.” There aren’t too many in the general search area, but here are a few that could be found:

  • Black Watch Memorial Library – 99 Montcalm St, Ticonderoga – (518) 585-7380
  • Panera Bread – 820 State Route 9, Queensbury, NY (518) 761-6957
  • Starbucks – 607 Aviation Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804 (518) 761-1284
  • Panera Bread – 3070 New York State Route 50, Saratogra, NY 12866 (518) 226-0095

Related:

“At home” partner

Due to limited cell phone coverage and limited number of wi-fi hot spots, it would be advisable to have an at home partner — someone who can watch the live feed, monitor Dodge’s YouTube page for clue availability, solve clues, conduct research, etc., while you drive. With that said, due to limited cell phone coverage, staying connected could be a challenge.

Final thoughts

Remember, there can only be one winner. Regardless of the outcome, be safe, enjoy the adventure, and make some memories.

Best of luck to all the boots on the ground! Cheers!

Dodge Journey Search (East)

September 15, 2011

From the two introductory commercials, there are three clues that identify a 90-mile segment of the Dodge Journey (East) route, showing it traveling north (from Magic Forest), towards Ticonderoga, then either leaving New York and moving into Vermont, as well as moving west past Eagle Lake.

Update #1: Added unsolved clues, including possible final destination.
Update #2: New location added: PJ’s Barbecue, Saratoga Springs, NY
Update #3: Location identified, Eagle Lake, NY. Google map updated.
Update #4: Edited version of possible final destination with clearer view of background added.


Warning: I’m aware that a number of individuals are either flying or driving long distances to participate in the search. The final (possible) location may have been identified, originally posted and discussed on Dodge’s YouTube board. Assuming they have a contingency plan, they may very well change the final location or resort to, according to the contest rules, “administer(ing) a skill-based tie-breaker.”


General search comments —

  • For each of the last two Dodge Journey searches, the final destination was a National Park: Eldorado National Forest (West) and Black Kettle Grasslands (Midwest). There do not appear to be any in New York and just one in Vermont (Green Mountain), but south. White Mountain, in New Hampshire is another possible destination (and only if they stick with this MO).
  • The final location for each Dodge Journey is used in the introductory commercials: creek location (West); hot air balloon (Midwest); bike removed from rack (East)
  • PJs Barbecue has not appeared in the known commercials or videos and will most likely be a radius search clue, provided the day of the hunt.
  • Eagle Lake may be a location for video footage alone, as it deviates from their apparent route, like the Midwest drive and intersection shot. Of course, crossing into Vermont by ferry, could be a bit of misdirection as well, like Emerald Bay in the West search.
  • There are conflicting clues, unlike the last two searches. The journey traveling south across the Twin Bridges, east into Vermont and west by Eagle Lake.
  • For the West search, with the two introductory commercials, the clue furthest west was Kyburz Garage & Mini-Mart, Kyburz, CA. With the launch of the 300-mile clue, Hwy 89 (quickly identifiable) and Emerald Bay were added, extending the route by about 15 miles. Not much was added with the 200-mile clue for the Midwest search. They did give you Sayre, OK  (which adds about 10 miles) but Elk City, OK was actually closer. Bottom line: it is possible with what we know before the hunt actually begins, the route could be extended up 15 miles.
  • You may not be just looking for a Dodge Journey at the final location. There could be a supporting cast: a trailer (probably to hide the Journey until show time), other cars and crew or it could be on private property. Here’s a shot on location from the Midwest search final destination (contributed by Jessi). See also this article from the West search about location.

Best of luck to all the “boots on the ground”!


1. Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge or Twin Bridges, NY

Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge

In the video, the Dodge Journey is traveling south along Interstate 87.

Notes: I fully expected this clue belonged to the Dodge Journey (East) route and combed through far too many images of arched (suspension) bridges. The breakthrough occurred by searching for parallel arched bridges. Google street view to confirm:

Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge - Google street view

2. P.J.’s Barbecue, Saratoga Springs, NY

Article: Portion of TV commercial filmed at PJ’s Bar-B-Q on Route 9

Notes: This was a great find by by Brad and will most certainly be used for one of the radius search clues, e.g. 100-miles. Expect to see a shot of this sign, location or reference to the food. This does not extend the route but may already provide a range limit.

3. Magic Forest, Lake George, NY

Magic Forest

In the video, the Dodge Journey is traveling north along Highway 9 (Magic Forest is on the east side of the highway).

Notes: A search in google reveals the location of the Magic Forest (google image search: uncle sam statue) and google street view can be used to determine location relative to the highway.

4. Ferry crossing, leaving New York, entering Vermont

Welcome to Vermont

In the video, the Dodge Journey is entering Vermont, traveling north.

Notes: This took a bit of detective work. First, you can assume that the Dodge Journey was traveling north from New York, crossing into Vermont. You also find that water creates a natural border between the two states. After checking the obvious highway border crossings, including a bridges, I resorted to ferry crossings and bingo – Google street view verifies the location:

Vermont crossing - Google street view

Here’s a great picture of the ferry crossing departure point into Vermont:

Notes: This was provided by Hadrian. Source: Wikipedia – State Route 74

5. Lake view drive, Eagle Lake, NY

The picture below, that made it’s way around earlier actually came from Panoramio. Using Google street view, there’s a Panoramio option in the south lake to view. It’s a definite match. It was mentioned this came from the Addison, VT or Panton, VT. That certainly is not the case.

Google street view to verify:

Notes: This location was properly identified by Kevin. The Dodge Journey is traveling west, the view is on the south side of 74.

Google Map of partial Dodge Journey (East) route, using introductory videos.

Final destination?

Like the sequence of the “family” exiting the Journey near the hot air balloon in the Midwest clues – this may very well be the final destination for the East search. Kayaks were a theme for the West search and the hot air balloon for the Midwest search. Bikes are on the rack as they cross the bridge in NY and pass by Magic Forest. There are a couple of inconsistencies however. The both the West and Midwest searches, the final location shot was tighter (reducing the chance of discovery by matching landmarks) and we see the travelers exiting the vehicle.

After the bike is removed, note the lake and mountains in the background.

Notes: Same shot with foreground images removed (courtesy of Cycling Zen).

Given that the Dodge Journey Search (West) started from a landmark city like San Francisco, Dodge Journey Search (East) will probably start from New York City, traveling north, toward the two known destinations (estimated route length: 225 miles). With the addition of the Twin Bridges location, this pretty well confirms NYC as the starting point, although Albany, NY, can not be ruled out.

Dodge Journey Search (Midwest) Clues

September 15, 2011

Update #1: MB Fence located, Midwest drive sequence located. Google map updated (and east of Elk City)
Update #2: Email clue points to Texola, OK. Google map updated.
Update #3: Location of other “main street” added – Sayre, OK.

Texola, OK

Note: A picture of this location was delivered as an email clue. Google map street view to verify:

Warning Texola, OK travelers. Is it out of range?

50-mile radius clue and Texola, OK. It sure appears out of range. Perhaps on the border-fringe?

The 50-mile clue has been released:

Solution: Clinton, OK

The 100-mile clue for the Dodge Journey search (Midwest) has been released:

Solution: Red Rock Canyon Cabins, Hinton, OK

The 150-mile clue for the Dodge Journey search (Midwest) has been released:

Solution: Sid’s Diner – El Reno, OK

The 200-mile clue for the Dodge Journey search (Midwest) has been released:

I’ll be posting new clues, locations, and other helpful information as quickly as possible. Best of luck to all the “boots on the ground.”

1. Starting point, Oklahoma City

Journey begins ...

Notes: This will provide the start of a 200-mile route. Unfortunately, this only adds about 10-15 miles to a known route.

Starting point – confirmation (Google street view)

Start - confirmed

Notes: This is the precise location. Google street view is two years old and does not show the the Devon Tower, under construction. The overpass, Interstate 40, street light, other building, including First National are a match. The Dodge Journey is heading south.

El Reno, OK – confirmation

El Reno

Dairy Best, Clinton OK – confirmation

Dairy Best - Clinton, OK

New “main street” view – Sayre, OK

Notes: This location was properly identified by George. Google street view to verify:

Notes: As pointed out by G. Carter and Andrea, the Journey is, in fact, turning east, on an intersection with 283, even though, the final location was north via 283.

Midwest drive sequence

The final location clue points to an open plain area, similar to those found in the “Midwest drive” sequences – off main roads, at the very least, with Elk City as a departure point. I’ve pulled shots from the 200-mile clue and introductory video to help piece together what is certainly, in terms of proximity, the closest to the final destination.

Between the water and trees in the background of the shot below and the “V” shaped section of trees a couple of shots below, some time spent examining satellite shots should help pinpoint the location.

Midwest drive

Notes: This particular shot includes water and a fence. Sun is on the same side and it appears to be the same time of the day – sunrise (before shadows are cast)

The introductory video has two other shots (0:06) and (0:31) that are most likely 1) part of the same sequence. Note the dirt road (dust kicked up by the Dodge Journey), ridge along side the road, general terrain, including contours, and position of the sun. The (0:06) segment was shot first, note the position of the sun, and lack of shadows (early morning).

This second sequence (0:31) should be fairly easy to identify by satellite imagery (although I spent a good checking the areas north and south of Elk City with no luck). More importantly, they are traveling North, if this was taken at sunrise (my belief) or south if taken near sunset.

Midwest drive (0:31)

Notes: This sequence was shot just north of the MB sign and intersection sequence. They’re heading south (back to Route 66).

Midwest drive, Intersection

Midwest drive

Notes: Not much to work with but this seems to be the identifying image for the Midwest search (like Hangtown Motel for the West and Uncle Sam for the East searches). Observations: Both roads are unpaved (so Google street view will be useless) with a line of telephone poles and power line poles, running parallel along the road.


 MB Ranch?

Notes: A number of astute observers (in hi-def) noted the letters MB, on the fence, to the right, which may represent a ranch or landowners. The road signs, unfortunately, cannot be read (although the first letter on the bottom road sign appears to be N)

MB Sign – confirmation (Google street view)

MB Sign & Intersection

Notes: A fantastic find by Jared Lyon. The MB sign and intersection with power lines.

Final location, shot #1

Final location

Final location, shot #2

Final location

For more information, including How to Play, visit their YouTube channel.