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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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76 Comments leave one →
  1. Reload796 permalink
    September 25, 2011 5:15 pm

    Rumor is she is not of age to claim the prize… Let’s see if this turns out to be another Midwest scandal!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 25, 2011 5:30 pm

      Oh, I sure hope not 😦

    • Karl Mims permalink
      September 25, 2011 6:14 pm

      I think there was at least 10 minutes between the time she arrived and appearing on camera, I’m sure they checked all her ID, etc at that time.

    • September 28, 2011 11:55 pm

      This is the winner, Melissa. Thank you for complimenting me by thinking I may not be 18 yet, but I am 25 years old. lol Thanks everyone for the congrats and you guys all did a great job! I just barely won it because there were other people there within half an hour.

  2. September 25, 2011 5:25 pm

    Thank you Steve! It is hard to find honest people out there, but your blog shows that not all is lost! best of luck and see ya on the next hunt!!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 25, 2011 5:28 pm

      Thank YOU! I really feel like I’ve connected with a bunch of remarkable individuals. All the best!

      • September 25, 2011 9:06 pm

        Agreed, great job, Steve!! I live in Bellingham, WA and played the East Coast Journey on the couch. Your work kept me in the hunt and I hope to on the ground IF (crossing fingers) dodge does this again. Good work sir!

  3. Hadrian permalink
    September 25, 2011 5:38 pm

    Steve,

    Awesome job this weekend!!

    I’m in the process of signing up for tweleve.org. Would like to list you as the referrer. What is you user id there? If you would rather email it, post your email again and I will contact you.

    Thanks,

    Hadrian

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 27, 2011 12:45 pm

      Hey Hadrian. Sorry about the delay in responding. It’s been a while since I’ve been on Tweleve … so had to jump through some hoops to recover: T_Hunter Cheers!

  4. September 25, 2011 5:49 pm

    thx! it was fun!

  5. Isoruku permalink
    September 25, 2011 5:56 pm

    Found where exactly?????

  6. Mike H permalink
    September 25, 2011 6:01 pm

    Copied wrong link:

    Think it was here:
    http://www.vrbo.com/209826

    • G. Carter permalink
      September 25, 2011 6:13 pm

      They got it for a cut rate discount too, now that it is off-season. 🙂

    • Grimedog permalink
      September 25, 2011 6:52 pm

      haha i was using that site to look for rental in vt

  7. Grimedog permalink
    September 25, 2011 6:50 pm

    I guess taking the ferry was the paradox, it was 350 miles from albany also

  8. Kevin permalink
    September 25, 2011 7:39 pm

    I have to say once again thanks to Steven for this blog. it was one of the reasons I decided yesterday to give this whole search a shot, and it ended up being a fun experience. I will be following you on Twitter and hopefully another search similar to this happens again and I can have something else to read and refresh constantly

    • Spencer permalink
      September 25, 2011 8:00 pm

      Just got back from Rockland. Boots on the ground was a blast! We ran out of the house as soon as the cell number came up on the screen around noon. I recognized it as a local Maine cell #, as I live in the Lewiston/.Auburn area up here. Unfortunately, left the power cord for the Mifi and my laptop at home in our rush! Red’s Eats was an easy one for us, as we had been exploring that area a couple of times earlier this month. There is always a traffic jam in Wiscasset center, so you get to look at everything there as you wait for the cars to start moving again.

      I knew about the prison store also, as I had thought about Christmas shopping there a couple of years ago.

      Thanks Steven for hosting this site! The virtual hunt was a ton of fun. When we saw it was in Maine this morning, we got really excited!

      The last few clues we had to do without internet at all, and it was so much fun. We came within 3 miles of the final destination, just by luck, then had to turn back to get home to let the dogs out. Still, lots of fun and a a great journey. I said to my sister the best thing to do would be to get lost and happen upon it. We were heading down 131, when I figured it was time to turn around for home. We didn’t even have a good map to look at.

      On our way up to the Midcoast, two cars passed us going around 90 mph on Route 1. Not cool. 😦 One was from NH and it was a blue dodge with a young dude driving. Racing him was a white SUV with RI plates. People can kind of suck. I’m glad they didn’t hurt anybody. Saw the dude in the blue car pulling out of the Wiscasset street where the sign shop was heading south. Hope he went the wrong way!

      There was a young lady sitting on a bench in front of a little building next to the prison woodcraft store in Thomaston. We asked her and she told us about Angelique’s. Saw her tell two others also. We wondered if she just happened to be there, or was part of the hunt.

      The Real Estate place was on a corner that you had to drive by because of a detour in Rockland center. Pretty funny.

      All in all, what a trip! Thanks again to Steven and everybody. Maybe next time, we’ll get closer… 🙂

      • Nick permalink
        September 25, 2011 10:50 pm

        It was certainly an interesting way to structure a contest. Penalizing people who, in good faith, participated by getting out in the world wide world through varying degrees of expense and varying degrees of effort. Rewarding those who might roll out of their own comfy bed around 11:00am, turn on their computer and say, “Oh, I recognize that building,” and probably know how to dial a phone number.

        The clue 5 “good job” slide which said the Journey was within 25 miles was put up by mistake on Saturday revealed that Maine was not in the original plan. It was a file that somebody should have deleted or at least moved out of the Live folder after the change in plans. I would love to know what the original destination was. It might offer those who went into the world wide world, as encouraged by Dodge, a modicum of solace.

  9. Charles permalink
    September 25, 2011 8:10 pm

    Sucks that Paul passed right by that final clue on his way from Journey End to Reds Eats. If only….

  10. closebutnocigar permalink
    September 25, 2011 8:26 pm

    Steven,

    I want to thank you for all your help. I was within 15 miles of the Journey when it was found. I had a blast in the world wide world. Dodge got it right on this one. It’s not the destination, it is the JOURNEY.

    signing off

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 25, 2011 8:33 pm

      Thanks for checking in … 15 miles!! So close. Well, you definitely have the right perspective on this. Had an adventure, did some exploring and made some memories. Wishing you the very best!

  11. Matt permalink
    September 25, 2011 9:25 pm

    just wanted to pass along my thanks to you steven! Living out here in lubbock, tx, this is the most excitement I have had in a long time! Till next time, thanks again!

  12. September 26, 2011 12:21 am

    Thanks again Steven for all of your work! Had a great time. God Bless!

    • Spencer permalink
      September 26, 2011 12:39 am

      They just posted the winner’s video on the dodge channel on youtube. At the end it says “thanks evryone” IS THAT A CLUE???? Missing letter! 🙂 Just kidding! Been on the road too long today thinking about clues… Thanks again everybody!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 27, 2011 5:02 pm

      Mike. I can’t begin to tell you how great it was to speak with you 😀 I’m glad you made the trek with your son, had an adventure, made some memories (and sampled the culinary delights along the way :)). All the best!

  13. NJ Deb permalink
    September 26, 2011 1:18 am

    We had a couple of amazing days. We Netizens who could not join the race with the “boots on the ground” all came to a party anyway. We had laughs and mysteries and adventure. We had sadness and anger and the paradox of Dodge saying no more online clues then giving out more.

    I got to see parts of states where I had been before and parts (especially Maine) where I have never been. Yes, it would have been nice to see it for real – but just of think about before the Net when the best we could do were books on the library.

    Just a silly contest to promote a car – yet I feel like I went to a cool party this weekend. Steven – thanks for being a great host.

    Maybe they will hid the Midwest one again!

  14. September 26, 2011 3:17 am

    Hi, the other Spencer that was on the ground here. We pulled a Lebron James on this contest. Not saying that we were favorites or anything, just that when it came down to crunch time, we buckled and we buckled hard. My college roommate and I were among the first two, as far as we could see, to find the sign by Red’s Eats at around 12:30pm, as we had overshot Portland (thinking they were going further north) and came in from the north instead of the south off 295. We then proceeded to scour the town looking for antique stores for the next two hours before finally wising up and heading north on 1. Completely dropped the ball and squandered our lead (if we did ever in fact have it). By the time we got to Rockland and were looking around, after all the stopping to ask along the way, it abruptly ended. Talk about a bitter drive home to Connecticut. We came so close and when I look back at how much distance we covered and how much of this beautiful part of the country we were exposed to, I’m far less bitter about all that dead time searching around Paradox lake and over in Vermont as well. Indeed, it turns out, it was all about the Journey. Unfortunately some competitors journey’s were far less rigorous than others (and I don’t just mean by distance traveled to get to the starting point, but distance traveled and time spent once the journey began). My only complaint to Dodge really is that people had the opportunity to wake up this morning in their comfy beds in Maine or east New Hampshire, and just scoot on out and join the pack. I’m not saying they didn’t have a right or anything–this isn’t my contest–I’m just saying it really tipped the scales. It’s just a little unfair that some of us followed the whole trail through New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire all day Saturday and slept in cars, only to be bested by locals who had a massive leg up over the terrain and landmarks in Maine. What they should have done–if they really wanted to make it all about the Journey–is registered vehicles at the Ticonderoga crossing by that 350 mile sign on Saturday and only allowed those cars to be eligible. I really hope this girl was in it from start to finish, just for my own piece of mind.
    Anyway, enough complaining from this Journeyer. I don’t want to make anyone feel like they competed less than we did or deserved to compete less. I just wish this would have worked out on a more even scale than it did, for everyone involved.
    Thanks so much, Steven, for all your hard work and dedication to making this a great experience for as many people as you possibly could. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had a blast with all of this. How many times in life do you get to do something this exciting? It made me feel young and I’m only 23.
    A weekend that i’ll never forget. I just wish I had a brand new Dodge Journey to help jog my memory every now and then.
    Cheers to the Journey!

    • September 29, 2011 12:03 am

      This is Melissa and I promise you that I drove from Virginia all night Friday night, started the search in Albany after 2 hours of sleep, slept in my car again on Saturday night, and did not cheat to win the car. I would have been pretty mad myself if I went through all of that and a Maine or New Hampshire local had jumped in during the last few hours and won it. I just wanted to make sure you and everyone else knew about that.

      • Steven Barley permalink
        September 29, 2011 8:27 am

        Hi Melissa Melissa. Is there an echo in here? 😛 Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to drop us a note, and no worries, I think many of the factual aspects of your story have emerged and were covered here. Congratulations again. You represented VA well 🙂

        Since your husband is in the military, it’s possible you may be in my neck of the woods – Hampton Roads, Va. If that’s the case, shoot me an email: puzzles2crack@yahoo.com. I’d love to hear more about your adventures.

        Cheers!

  15. B. Good permalink
    September 26, 2011 7:33 am

    Thanks for hosting this blog Steven. It really was fun watching and trying to figure out clues along the way. Now back to the World Wide World.

  16. justandrew permalink
    September 26, 2011 8:37 am

    I haven’t seen a wrap up of the other clues – the missing letters in the commercials specifically. Was that some kind of off red herring or was it meaningful – or has it even been solved?

  17. Mike permalink
    September 26, 2011 9:13 am

    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!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 26, 2011 11:29 am

      Hi Mike. Thanks for the kind words, for following along :D, and more importantly, creating a remarkable, and clearly successful, campaign.

      Whether at home or on the ground, you had many, with imaginations fully engaged, chasing clues, exploring parts of the country, driven by the thrill of hunt.

      And when you have time, I’d love to connect with you, or someone else on the inside, to reconcile some of those unresolved “clues” 😉 … but for the moment, I’m sure the entire team is, as well, transitioning back to the World Wide World.

      All the Best and Cheers!

      • Marcia permalink
        September 26, 2011 7:46 pm

        Steven,

        My sister and I got back last night from Lake George and our hunt for the Journey. We want to thank you muchly for all of the information compiled here. It was invaluable to us. Even though we didn’t come close to winning, in our minds the whole experience was SO WORTH IT!!!!!

        Best to you!

      • Steven Barley permalink
        September 26, 2011 8:24 pm

        Hi Marcia. So glad you found this helpful but even more thrilled that you got out into the real world and made some memories. Cheers!

    • September 26, 2011 1:49 pm

      Hi Mike. Congrats on the contest. I’ve been following along/participating for two weekends now. Great idea. Home run.

    • September 26, 2011 7:57 pm

      Congratulations to you Mike and the entire development team! Super super job of keeping us totally engrossed from start to finish!!

      My sister and I (ages 63 and 64, respectively,) started out in Buffalo on Friday and drove to Lake George. We had gotten obsessed with this contest ever since I watched the commercial on TV on Sept. 8.

      We then set out for VT at 6:30 AM on Sat. morning. Drove to Lake Dunmore area since that’s where we thought the Journey was. We realized after we got there that the views just were not as we had thought. We were looking, though, at an awesome Mt. Moosalamoo at the east side of the lake, half shrouded in clouds and fog. Made for beautiful photos. After driving all around the areas from Salisbury and points west, south and east, we got the first 3 clues from 12:00PM to 3PM. But then we weren’t able to stay connected to the online site till we got back to our motel past 8PM. We enisted the help of our brother who was back in Buffalo. He helped us with the last two clues and gave us updates on the photos and clues that were being shown on the projector screen in the barn. For some reason we decided to stay clear of Shoreham and the Ferry area and Mt Independence on Saturday. I guess we figured Dodge would change the site after learning that so many people were going there to find their car.

      We decided, after learning that the Journey was heading east toward NH, that we would start the search on Sunday going further East. My brother found a road in Tinmouth, VT called Journey’s End Road. After much thought and consideration and mapping, my sister and I made the decision that this must be where the Journey was hiding. It looked as though, from the satellite view, that there was at least one barn on this road. It was in a very remote area and far from view of the other roads. We planned our route. My sister wrote out the directions in a text document so we could access them from her laptop without having to get online. We again left at 6:30 in the morning, this time for Tinmouth. It was supposed to be only an hour and 16 minute drive. We grabbed breakfast at McDonald’s and again set out for the gorgeous state of Vermont. It was going to be a lovely, warm day this time. As we got closer to the town of Tinmouth, we noticed a church in the town of Wells that looked very similar to the church with the distinctive spires that we had seen online the night before that was one of the photo clues. We were so excited when we saw that church since we thought it was so unusual. We couldn’t check the photo gallery online at that time (to compare) since we had no connection to the internet. We thought sure, though, that we were on the right track and would indeed find our Journey on Journey’s End Rd. (We later found two other churches with similar sprires like that in other places in VT. But that was much later.) When we reached the site where we thought the Journey would be all we found was a few small houses including a very small barn. The barn had a sign on the door that told us that trespassers would be shot if they were caught there. Alas, there was no Finish Line, no Journey, no crew, no nothing. Only a sign that made us make a beeline out of there ASAP!

      We rode around the area looking for an extension to Journey’s End Rd but there was nothing. Only lots of dirt and rocky roads that we may or may not have ridden on much to the potential detriment of my sister’s muffler. We kept driving here, there and everywhere and eventually decided to take the ferry back to NY. We, at that time, had no more clues since we weren’t getting connected. When we got to the ferry there was a long line of cars waiting in line. We made the decision to not go back to NY but would wait for our brother who could give us more info. While sitting in the parking lot near the ferry landing a man came to our car and told us to leave. Here we were, two old ladies, getting kicked out of a parking area! The man told us that the area was teeming with hundreds of people, all part of a game to find a car. The owner of the property was concerned and wanted no one there who shouldn’t be there. So we left the area. We kept searching (rather blindly) since we had no internet. Our brother did help us with more information but it was only intermittently. It was then that we made another decision to just go back home to Buffalo. If we had had to keep going east into NH and then maybe ME, then we would have many many hours of driivng back home. By that time we were way too tired to even contemplate that idea. My sister had work the next morning and just couldn’t take the day off. So we travelled back home and as it was didn’t get back till late evening. But, even though we were sorely disappointed that we couldn’t proceed with our journey, we were elated that we had made it so far and that we had even gone on the journey in the first place. The whole experience is one we will never ever forget and one that we will talk about for many many years to come. We both want to thank you, Dodge and its people for putting this whole thing together. It was awesome, what you did!!! We loved every single second of it from start to finish. The beauty of the Adirondacks and of Vermont was spectacular and an added bonus to our already wonderful and exciting trip. The photos I shot were some of the best scenes I’ve ever taken! So to Dodge and to all of those involved in thinking up this endeavor…a thousand thanks and KUDOS!!!!!

      And bring on another one soon! Please?

      Marcia

    • Michelle permalink
      September 26, 2011 9:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Mike and the rest of the team! What an incredible gift you gave to all of us who participated in these searches, no matter which WWW we were immersed in. The first two searches were already over by the time I heard about the contest, but how exciting to see that the last one ended up only an hour away from where I live! Please let’s do this again soon–do you guys have any plans for the weekend???

  18. September 26, 2011 10:13 am

    Thank You Steve. I never knew there were soooo many ways to hunt down all the visual clues that you and others found. It was an amazing trip across the US. If there is ever another hunt please let me know so I can watch and learn. Pat (Dennis’s wife)

  19. Michelle permalink
    September 26, 2011 11:33 am

    File this in the “Can’t Let Go” column! Did anyone notice that on the western side of the point leading down to Tenants Harbor/St. George where the Journey was found is…Route **73**? Evil or helpful? LOL! Doesn’t matter, I had a blast this weekend.

    And Steve, I left this message as a reply to one of your posts yesterday, but I’m not sure you saw it, and I really want to pass it along: “I just want to thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into these blogs over the course of the contest. You’ve made it possible for so many of to have such a wonderful experience. A nerdy high-five to you! (That’s me as the nerd, BTW.)”

    This is the first time I’ve done anything like this, and I learned A LOT from it! Mostly, from watching your posts, about what NOT to do. I am charged up and hope to have time to get involved with more of these in the future. So thanks again!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 26, 2011 11:40 am

      Thanks for catching that Michelle, as a matter of housekeeping, I am planning to go back through posts and comments, to pull together “left overs” or stuff we “can’t let go” … LOL.

      Glad you had a blast this weekend. I did as well. I would have liked to spend a bit more time cracking clues and was pretty busy, maintaining the blog, etc but no regrets at all.

      I had to step out into the World Wide World last evening … so I have some catching up to do on posts and replies … but thank YOU for the kind words (fellow nerd :-P) … until the next adventure brings us together. Cheers!

      • Michelle permalink
        September 26, 2011 3:08 pm

        Right on! I’ll check you out on Twitter (not much of a follower 🙂 to see if you find any interesting puzzles to tell us about.

        BTW, I e-mailed WCSH tv in Portland (wcsh6.com) and suggested this would make for a fun story. They have a reporter dedicated to the midcoast area who does a lot of human interest stuff. Not sure if anything will come of that, but I’ll let you know if it does.

        Take care & the best to you!

      • September 28, 2011 1:50 pm

        Steve, well, if you’re going to do a retrospective, there are a couple bits I never saw anyone mention, but that I picked up along the way. Don’t know if we can ever get confirmation but…

        A while before the physical East Coast search began, I looked up the Journey Search campaign’s production/direction crew on adweek.com. I noticed that there were 3 creative directors. I Googled them and was able to find their social media profiles etc. One of them (Joe Staples) was clearly very, very into cycling. I got an idea in my head that if he was the primary creative director for the East Coast spot, and given the “final shot,” that maybe the Journey was going to be hidden someplace that biking could be helpful (if not required) to reach. It seemed like a plan that a creative cycling-enthusiast might come up with.

        As search-awareness grew, and everyone was wondering whether Dodge was going to have a plan-B, I saw Joe Staples Tweet from the Detroit airport 2-days before the search was scheduled to begin. Obviously Dodge is an important client for W+K, and with their Oregon office handling the Dodge account, maybe they have to visit Detroit frequently, anyway. But I had a gut feeling they were working out urgent, last-minute adjustments to the search. After that, I thought it was a lot less likely that cycling might remain part of the search. And on Saturday evening, it all went out the window.

        During the search, someone here on the blog mentioned that they had figured out what kind of bike was used in the ad, and that it was really high-end. I know nothing about bikes, but it made me feel good about my original idea–that a creative director’s personal passion had made its way into the search. In the “can’t let it go” department, I’m still curious if I was right. 🙂

  20. Corrine Little permalink
    September 26, 2011 12:30 pm

    Thanks so much for the fine work on the journey we were in Ks. and had done the west search and got with in an hour of the journey when we got the word it was found! So my son who lives in upstate NY decided to take on the East with his daughter for a birthday surprise for her ,we my granddaughter and I here were there support team on the web.Your insite and clues were really helpful.We decided that it was best that he go home when the clues put him over 7 hours from the where the journey was.But they got to spend some really great time together and took so great pics on the way to remember there journey!! Thaks again!!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 26, 2011 1:50 pm

      Hi Corrine. Thanks for the kind words. A coast-to-coast, family endeavor 🙂 And what a great birthday surprise … an adventure and treasure hunt. All the best!

  21. Spencer(the other Spencer from Maine) permalink
    September 26, 2011 1:35 pm

    Just a comment on people being able to roll out of their beds. I doubt that many in this area did that. We had been working on the search all week through the web hints and didn’t even find this site until late in the week.

    i bumped into a guy at Angelique’s who was from Rockland, and he was not the winner. You can’t be much more familiar with the area than him.

    The winner was from VA, a long trek up to VT/NH/Maine, and she also slept in her truck one night. She deserves the prize for sure. It hurts that we were just about right behind her, but that is the chance you take. She was also on her own, with help from home on the web.

    We spent Saturday driving around NH, before the slideshow even began. We just went with our gut, and figured it would not be in VT/NY, like most people thought. We had a feeling it would be on the coast. A great part of success in this endeavor was always going to be a bit of good luck.

    Anyway, it was a lot of fun and a couple of gorgeous days of exploring in the NE.

  22. Spencer(the other Spencer from Maine) permalink
    September 26, 2011 1:43 pm

    One question: Did they actually give a clue at the end about donuts and mosquitoes? That was a dead giveaway if so. We had been off line for a couple of hours then, and the last phone clue said “no more clues”.

  23. jonathan permalink
    September 26, 2011 1:48 pm

    Hi from Jonathan and his wife Krystie,

    We had a blast! We left long island, ny Saturday night at 10:00 pm. We drove all night long to about 2 hours east of the last clue left that night because we thought it would end in maine. We had a pretty good headstart and at Portland, Maine we decided it HAD to be at journey’s end lane which was south of owlshead. We went without any clues, but it wasn’t in either house. So, at about 1pm on Sunday we were about 10 minutes away from the final destination! After we didn’t find it, we caught up on clues from you guys and started searching for the antique store that rhymed. We got up to the final 15 minute clue but were banking on no more internet clues like Dodge promised, so we missed the clue that pointed us to the road. Thanks for all your help on this Journey we had so much fun and cannot wait for there to hopefully be another.

    Jon and Krystie

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 26, 2011 5:28 pm

      Hi Jon and Krystie. Thanks for taking the time to share your story and adventure. Glad to hear you had a blast and I know you made some great memories. I always chuckle a bit, knowing that they wanted everyone to get out in the real world, but most, I imagine, were moving so quickly, that many of the locations you moved through were a bit of a blur in the rear view mirror 🙂 All the best!

  24. September 26, 2011 2:55 pm

    I uploaded a few pictures of my roadtrip through Maine, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFUUpSxty88&feature=channel_video_title it was a fun journey. We were at the prision showroom at 5pm when I got the call from a friend saying the Dodge was found. Thanks for all your efforts in helping all of us as we searched. We spent Saturday searching in Vermont and Sunday up in Maine.

  25. September 26, 2011 3:12 pm

    Melissa: Maybe this will work better. This is Melissa (the east coast winner) again
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:19 AM

    Melissa: Thanks. It was a crazy couple of days for everyone! It was mostly fun but sometimes very stressful and frustrating.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:30 AM

    Melissa: Yes my husband is in the military. That’s why we moved to VA and it is why he couldn’t go. He has to get permission to go a certain distance from his duty station and we didn’t have enough time for him to request permission.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:35 AM

    Melissa: carmelita: That’s awesome. After I was halfway back to VA my husband said I should have asked for a souvenir, like the red finish line tape, a chicken, or “shorts guy”s shorts! Lol

    Melissa: I still haven’t been able to catch up on sleep. I left VA Friday night at 7, slept 2 hours before the car went live at noon, slept 7-8 hours in NH, drove to Maine, then drove back to VA. I got a 1 1/2 hour nap in before my 2 year old woke up.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:38 A

    Melissa: I get to pick the features, colors, etc up to a certain price amount. Then they build it and send it to my local dealership.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:41 AM

    Melissa: I posted this earlier: A few doors north of Red’s Eats there was a sign store. In the middle of the store with all of their signs on display, there was a sign that had the next clue (a phone number). It was a phone message. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it told you to head north to see woodwork made by hard labor and to window shop in an antique store named after the woman that owns it and it rhymed with what she sells. If you got back on Rt 1 North it took you to Thomaston where they had a store with woodworking made by prisoners and Angelique’s Antiques (where the next clue was in the window).
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:42 AM

    Melissa: The barn was at a farm on Port Clyde Rd. My family members were searching the internet for my clue answers. They were watching this, but there were so many guesses all over the place. They mostly kept to google searches.

    Melissa: I used Google Maps on my iPhone most of the way, but GPS built into the car would be WAY better. I was not watching the road as much as I should have been! lol
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:45 AM

    Melissa: Thanks heresahintful! Thanks everyone that has said “Congrats” to me!
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:45 AM

    Melissa: Yes. Just south of Thomaston, right on the coast. The ocean was right behind the barn!
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:47 AM

    Melissa: When I got there, they had me run through the red tape right outside the barn door, then go inside to sign a few forms before they could let me go in the barn. So by then I was a little calmer, but still shaking and it hadn’t sunk in until I was on the way back to VA
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:49 AM

    Melissa: Thanks! I have had TONS of practice on long drives with no sleep. In the last 7 years I have moved from IL to California and back at least half a dozen times. Plus I just moved from CA to VA in August. Every time we drove and usually we didn’t stop except for gass and food.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:51 AM

    Melissa: I don’t remember that truck, but there were cars everywhere with all kinds of plates.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:51 AM

    Melissa: My sister searched “barns in rockland, maine” on google images. After the 13th page of pictures she saw the barn (I texted a picture of the sign with the barn picture). Then they tried google maps satellite view to try to find possible barns. It was a lucky guess to try that barn first!
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:53 AM

    Melissa: 2nd place showed up about 20-30 minutes after me. The next one was about 5-10 minutes after that. Then I just saw a bunch of people showing up after that. It was a close race! Good job everyone!
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:55 AM

    Melissa: They didn’t see any barns at the marina on google maps that looked like the one in the picture. They were thinking Journey’s End Marina until I found the picture of the barn.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:54 AM

    Melissa: There was no “jump” from New York to Maine. I was in New York and Vermont as the clues came out. Then they had photos showing on the live video that were photos of things on the road. So you had to have someone on the road to follow the clues.
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:59 AM

    Melissa: Chris: I am the Melissa that won, and believe me…it WASN’T rigged! The whole time I was thinking “I hope I am at least close behind the winner because if I am nowhere close to the end when they find it I will feel like I had no chance. Then I was so surprised when I won!
    Sep 26th, 2011 10:58 AM

    Melissa: Yes, I was in the Marines too. For the Marines it is ooh rah! lol
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:07 AM

    Melissa: They had me sign waivers agreeing to be on camera and swearing that I had no inside help from someone that worked for Dodge or anything before they let me go in the barn. Then they told me how to do the greeting and told me to sit in the car until they cut the live feed. That’s why it looks “scripted” or “awkward”. I also didn’t know what direction the car or camera was when I first walked in, so I kind of hesitated and paused before I walked the rest of the way in

    Melissa: They interviewed me right after they cut the live feed of the barn. There was a guy with a video camera when I ran through the red tape, so I believe they did get that on video.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:11 AM

    Melissa: I wasn’t acting so excited because I am not the type of person to jump up and down screaming like that. I will smile or laugh when I am excited. At that point I was 945 miles and 45 hours into the trip and exhausted. Plus it didn’t sink in right away that I had actually won

    Melissa: PS: To anyone trying to “follow” me on twitter, I only made this twitter account to get on here. I won’t be using it for anything else. Sorry

    Melissa: Angelique’s had a phone number with a message saying to look for real estate under the first rock you see. I went to the next town on Rt 1, which was called Rockland. There was a real estate office with a picture of a barn for sale. If you called the number they told you to look for that barn.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:27 AM

    Melissa: I texted a picture of the photo of the barn to my sister. She googled “barns in rockland, maine” and found the same barn in the 13th page of google images. Then they used google satellite maps to find a barn that looked right and it was a lucky find!
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:28 AM

    Melissa: My sisters were in IL with multiple laptops and my husband was in VA with a laptop. They would watch the clues, search for the answer online, then tell me where to go. Some of the clues I had to look for because they couldn’t find them online. Jon: Yes that is the barn! The crew had been living in the farmhouse.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:33 AM

    Melissa: I didn’t have to work, but my husband did. So I had to drive all night back to VA to be with our 2 year old. I was able to sleep 1 1/2 hours when I got home, but that is all I have had since we started out from New Hampshire at 9am Sunday!
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:37 AM

    Melissa: My husband is in the Marines too. He called his boss last night and told him what happened and that he might be a little late (which he was by about an hour…oops!) I thought it would all be over in the middle of the night Saturday at the latest. So I figured I could drive home all day Sunday, but it went WAY longer!
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:43 AM

    Melissa: I didn’t take the Journey home with me. The one they had in the barn was not mine. I have to order it and it will come to a nearby dealership.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:44 AM

    Melissa: I left VA Friday night at 7pm, slept 2 hours before the car went live at noon, slept about 7-8 hours in NH, drove to Maine, drove back to VA, slept 1 1/2 hours, then I had to get up with my 2 year old.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:45 AM

    Melissa: The only option they told me was that I get the car, $7,000 to pay toward taxes, and I get to pick the color and other options up to a certain amount limit. I haven’t set all of it up yet, so I don’t know all of the details.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:47 AM

    Melissa: This is the first time I have left my 2 year old overnight. When she woke up Saturday she asked my husband where I was and he said “Mommy is busy getting a new car!” and she said in a very excited tone “FOR ME?!” lol
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:48 AM

    Melissa: I slept in my car on the side of the 4A road in Enfield on Saturday night.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:49 AM

    Melissa: They didn’t say anything yet about me not being able to sell it, but I am keeping it. We have a Dodge Ram already and we are happy with it.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:52 AM

    Melissa: The runner up showed up about 20-30 minutes after me, the next group was maybe 5-10 minutes later, then I saw a bunch more people filtering in after that.
    Sep 26th, 2011 11:57 AM

    I am glad a young military family won the car, congratulation to you Melissa nice find. Steve she is from VA that should make you feel good. Thanks to Steve, Cheers to all see you on the next hunt.

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 26, 2011 4:19 pm

      Thanks for capturing this Ed – it was trapped in moderation, so I took a moment to format. Great story and glad to hear she’s from VA 🙂

    • MikeK permalink
      September 26, 2011 7:41 pm

      What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

      And congrats to MELISSA !!!!!

    • September 26, 2011 8:58 pm

      Love love love Melissa’s story!!!!! She played the game like a total winner and deserved to win the Journey! I have learned a lot just from hearing how she approached her search and how she never gave up no matter how tired and frustrated she was. I commend her for having the courage to spend the night all alone in her car on rt 4A. Would I have had the guts to do that, I asked myself? No way. But maybe next time.

      Anyway…

      Congratulations to Melissa!!

    • Crystal permalink
      September 27, 2011 10:47 am

      Congrats Melissa! I am really happy for you and your family!! Great Job and enjoy!

  26. September 26, 2011 3:53 pm

    I completely agree, other Spencer. Once I found out the winner’s story it was so nice to hear that it went to someone who had a tough, long road and completely deserved it. I’m surprised we didn’t see her or run into her at some point since we slept in the car off of 4A at Enfield too. I cannot believe she was able to do it alone. That baffles me. We had two of us on the ground and two separate people back home working the net. Still felt like we were under resourced. What a crazy 36 hours. God I hope they do this again.

  27. Nick permalink
    September 26, 2011 7:16 pm

    If anybody is still interested, the Wild West Ranch sign in Lake George with the missing letters should read as follows:

    100% Certain:
    Left side:
    “Pony Rides” missing: PYRDE
    “Gold Panning” missing: ODPANNN
    “Horseback Riding” missing: HBACKRIDING

    Right side:
    “BBQ Spare Ribs” missing: BSPARERS

    Somewhat Certain:
    Right side:
    “Restaurant” missing: RESTAUAN

    Uncertain:
    Right side:
    “Now Open” missing: NOWOPN (possibly “Ice Cream”; we only have 1 E to go on)

    Possibly “Wild West Show” because it is on both sides in Google Street View but there are no letters shown in the video.

    It’s a lot of letters to unscramble, especially with the uncertainty. To anybody so inclined, have at it.

  28. September 26, 2011 8:01 pm

    Steven,

    Thanks muchly to you for all your hard work in compiling this site. It was invaluable to us! My sister and I got back from Lake George last night and even though we didn’t make it to Maine, the whole experience was so WORTH IT!!! And this site was so HELPFUL!!!

    Best to you!

    Marcia

  29. Charles permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:39 am

    From a marketing perspective, let’s think about it…

    Most car manufacturer’s get a few seconds at most out of a commercial. In this case, Thousands spent 20+ hours staring at their car, looking at it’s curves, and analyzing every square inch of it. Hello!?!

    heck, I even took the time to learn what the towing capacity was (not much BTW), as I have a 2011 Sequoia that seats 7 as well (of course, I needed the 8,000lb towing capacity as well).

    I hope other car vendors learn from this. I wouldn’t do this for an Ipad, but for a new car? Imagine if *OnStar did this, rather than there lame “push a button” contest.

    Marketing Genius.

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 27, 2011 9:27 am

      Hi Charles. I couldn’t agree more. How many times did we all study the introductory commercial, in excruciating detail, frame by frame … their commercial. We all know the scenes and music, intimately.

      Before I got involved, I didn’t know there was a Dodge Journey, had never noticed a Dodge Journey commercial or caught one on the road. Their tag line “the Search Engine for the Real World” is brilliant.

      And with respect to this campaign, if they choose to revisit in 2012, they really should connect with Google for promotion, the search engine for the World Wide World meets the search engine for the World Wide Web 😉

      Cheers!

  30. koob permalink
    September 27, 2011 6:56 pm

    Hey Steve,
    Do we know what the final message was when you called the phone number at the bottom of the barn photo?

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 27, 2011 7:04 pm

      I sure haven’t picked that up koob … and I’d love to know (as well as clue message from Angeliques) 🙂 Cheers!

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 28, 2011 5:08 pm

      Hey koob. Added new info to the post. Cheers!

  31. September 27, 2011 8:10 pm

    Just saw this–poor Brandon! Interesting to note that the Portland phone clue had over 15,000 calls. I know players called multiple times to listen to the Red seats/ Red’s Eats part better, but that still adds up to a lot of calls.

    http://jalopnik.com/5843939/how-dodge-gave-out-my-phone-number-to-america

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 28, 2011 8:18 am

      Thanks for sharing. He should have updated his greeting to help deflect calls. Of course, he could have been evil with that greeting too, if he was better informed at the time … LOL. 15,000 calls, wow!

  32. MikeK permalink
    September 27, 2011 10:04 pm

    Thought I’d share a recap of our journey for all those who didn’t get a chance to participate live. For those that did participate we were the father/son (age 12) team in the white GMC Envoy with NY plates and “Looking 4 Journey” in the back windows 🙂

    First, I’d like to say that we LOVED that they changed up the game in looking for the 3rd Journey. We think it led to a much better adventure than the first two, including actually getting OUT of your car and working on clues. I’d love to see a redo of the 2nd mid-west hunt focusing on the format at the end of the 3rd hunt – no video clues, all in person find them clues.

    We had my parents at home manning the live video and search engines like many. They would text message us updates because cell coverage was never consistent.

    On Saturday we held to our guns and stayed in NY. This was primarily based on the “Final Clue 25 miles” message on YouTube and the I Love NY shirt. We did a couple loops (2 hours worth!) through the back roads between Paradox and Eagle Lake. Met quite a few nice locals who were out and about. They kept talking about some barn at the Penfield historic site but as we all know it wasn’t there.

    As the slideshow started we realized we were in the wrong place. The Ticonderoga ferry was closed by this point. We headed up to the Crown Point ferry and were clearly behind everyone for the evening. We spent the night in White River Junction in our car thinking of that nice room on Glens Falls we were paying for ! Funny story…. we parked in the Walmart parking lot first but two skunks around the car in the middle of the night got us to move locations.

    On Saturday morning I think we caught up to everyone because we were right at Route 89 and had a straight shot to Concord vs. those that spent the night along Route 4 and had to make it back to a highway. We cut a corner moving from NH to ME and were back in the hunt. We reached the physical “Call Joe” tower just as the phone # went up on the live video.

    We lost some time here because we couldn’t make out the word “eats” in the phone message. There was A LOT of red brick throughout downtown Portland so we did some foot searching first. We got back to the car and did an Internet search, found Red Eats, and off we went north.

    We arrived at Wicasset with a lot of people on foot looking around. It was kinda funny. You could easily identify the hunters because they all had cell phones, were running, or were looking conspicuous ! lol.

    We found the shop next to Red Eats. We interpreted the message to be an OR – go north and look for something made of hard labor OR be a local and window shop. After a short time looking around we gambled and got back in our car and headed north. We stopped at a lot of places going north but nothing. We found a company that built log cabins and barns that we thought for sure was it.

    By the time we got to the town with Angelique’s we thought we had missed it so we went directly for the Journey’s End marinas. FYI – there were two separate locations for this. Near the north location there was a building along the water that looked exactly like the picture – wood floor, about the right size, humming coming out of it. We walked through the open barn door and scared the people half to death…. oops… we apologized and explained and they were ok.

    We started back to Wicasset to look at the shops again (the OR of our theory). There was a huge traffic jam in Wicasset by now. As we were waiting in traffic the “hard labor” part finally dawned on us – a prison – and a link to the car picture from the slideshow. We turned around heading north again. We remembered passing a couple stores with references to furniture near Rockland. 1/2 way there we saw Melissa walk on screen and win the car.

    On our way back we noticed quite a few people still staring at The Shady Lady store in Wicasset. Not sure if there was ever a connection with that store but it definitely caught everybody’s interest.

    It was such a great experience. We didn’t arrive back home until another 10 hours of driving. It was well worth it.

    Congrats to Melissa for winning – well deserved !!!

    And of course thanks to Steve and all here that contributed during the hunt.

    While I’d love for Dodge to do more of these, its unlikely they will. We are glad to have experienced this journey.

  33. Charles permalink
    September 28, 2011 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the site and information. Curious to see if Dodge or anyone will post a follow-up to the Journey East contest to reveal all the clues and perhaps chronicle the journey of the winner.

  34. Spencer(the other Spencer from Maine) permalink
    September 28, 2011 7:58 pm

    Dodge has uploaded some of Melissa’s search on their youtube channel. Nice to see all the clues again! The barn was not easy to spot even from the road, from what I see in the video. Also, notice they’ve added the area code to the first phone number in the live feed.

    • Steven Barley permalink
      September 28, 2011 8:07 pm

      And for the rest of us, to see some of the shots from those Maine IRL clues. Thanks for sharing, I’ve updated my post. Cheers!

  35. Michelle permalink
    September 28, 2011 8:24 pm

    Here’s another tidbit about the “look under the first rock” statement in the phone message: Heading north on Route 1 through Rockland, Kenniston Realty is on the corner of Limerock Street, and a few streets further north is Granite.

    • Michelle permalink
      September 28, 2011 8:37 pm

      …and the “Limerock Street” sign is right in front of and slightly above the Kenniston doorway.

      • Steven Barley permalink
        September 28, 2011 9:21 pm

        That’s not to bad of angle and supports the language “under the first rock” 🙂

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