Dan's Diary

CBS News producer Daniel Baruch is behind the wheel of one of two Early Show Winnebagos traveling the country in June and July as part of the "Great American Vacation" giveaway road trip. Read his Web exclusive road diary.

Hello America! Somehow you've stumbled across a "virtual" gem. It's my travel diary for The Early Show's "Great American Vacation."

If you're not excited, you ought to be. I'm traveling the country and you're coming with me; sort of.

You may be asking yourself some questions right about now, such as: "Who is this unknown travel-writer laureate?"

"Why should I give a hoot reading about some youngster's exploits as he travels this beautiful nation for two months in a fully furnished and luxuriously appointed Winnebago View?"

"How did this kid get this gig?"

"What should I eat for breakfast?"

Well, I've got some answers. My name is Daniel. I'm the likeable (maybe, loveable?) driver of the Winnebago criss-crossing America. The other driver, Jack, is likeable too ... but loveable? We'll see.

For the record, I'm not a kid, despite my youthful countenance. I'm not just all looks either; I've got feelings beneath my devastatingly handsome visage. Surely I'll be sharing some of those feelings with you as the days go by. I've got the keys to the country, and I intend on telling you all about it. You might even catch me trucking down the highway at a socially and legally responsible pace. I always signal ... I'm that kind of guy. That should answer the first two questions.

How did I get this gig? Well, I can pat my head and rub my belly and then switch to patting my belly and rubbing my head … and I can do it well.

English muffins ... you should eat English muffins, unless you're allergic to things British or muffin-like.

What's the story for now? My travels began a long time ago ... far, far away. I escaped from Las Vegas on June 1 and have been on the road since.

My stays at KOA (Kampgrounds of America) have been amazing.
Deer, jackrabbit, thunderstorms, peace and quiet, nature, fresh air and the full hook-up of electricity, plumbing and cable for the Winnebago. I also met some incredible folks, like "Smiley" Tammy, an employee of the KOA in Amarillo, Texas. She's a brave, beautiful, independent woman brimming with a sublime wisdom and an uncommon ability and passion for living life to the fullest. She, too, intends on seeing the country in a Winnebago of her own.

Her good vibes traveled with me to my first destination, Springfield, Mo., where I'm currently typing away in the cool and comfortable confines of a spacious room at a Holiday Inn. Kudos to Holiday Inn for the accommodations; little do they know they have a troublesome rock star on their hands (just kidding). Wednesday morning, I am going to be at a special location giving away our first vacation.

Oh my! It's Springfield, it's Missouri and it's going to be quite the event.

I'll have plenty to show and tell soon enough so check back daily. Goodbye for now, America, I'm on my way to Chattanooga, Tenn., to attend the Riverbend Festival. It should be a hoot; yeah I said it ... hoot.

P.S.: On second thought, maybe you should have some bananas and cereal.



  • Michelle Singer

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