Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Part 117 - At the Base of Mt. Shasta

This clip is from a newspaper article of the day that recounts the Marlboro experience:

Against the backdrop of wind-eroded red rocks in the desert outskirts of Moab, Utah, a bus the size of a jet airliner pulls to a stop in a cloud of dust.  Eighteen members of the Marlboro Adventure Team and an entourage of foreign journalists step off the bus.  The journalists are here to cover the company’s month-long, all-expenses-paid outdoors vacation in which four teams of handpicked participants will raft the Colorado River rapids, power their way up sand dunes by Jeep and race across the desert on motorcycles and ATVs in the name of high-powered adrenaline adventure — footage from which will be broadcast overseas in Marlboro ad campaigns and as promotion for the next year’s event.

In response to its rigorous international promotion campaign aimed at young adults, Philip Morris claims to receive nearly one million adventure team applications worldwide for its annual desert event.  After conducting telephone interviews and a boot-camp selection process meant to measure charisma and athletic ability, the cigarette maker whittles its final choices down to 100 men and women aged 18 to 25 — most of them nonsmokers — who come from countries with the highest smoking rates in the world.  (Washington)

By the 1970s, Marlboro was the leading cigarette brand in the world.  As a side note, four of the seven actors or characters who portrayed the iconic Marlboro Man have died from smoking-related diseases; the latest was Eric Lawson – January 2014.

Mount Shasta towered above the town with the same name.  It’s a stratovolcano, meaning its shape has been built up over time by eruptions of slow-moving lava flows down its steep-sided slopes, the last eruption being about a hundred years ago.

With my pack deposited in the room and a bit of daylight still lingering in the sky, I ventured forth into the town to see what I could discover.  Foremost on my short list of to-do items was to find a grocery store and a Laundromat.  I was successful with both items and returned to my room with snacks for later in the evening and to make a quick change into rain gear so I could do laundry at the coin-operated Laundromat just down the street.  On my way back from the Laundromat with clothes that were still damp (I didn’t want to spend the money for the dryer), I met the German couple from Berlin – Biers and Ranch, and the Japanese hiker, Yashinka, who were also staying at the Travel Inn.

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