CBS weather anchor Dave Price ended his journey for “The Early Show” this morning. He has successfully made it back to CBS headquarters in New York City from Alaska with only $50 and a cell phone. The trip this year has taken a more charitable tone, starting a new coat drive to keep America warm.
TVNewser spoke to Price yesterday about his trip back home from Anchorage, Alaska with only $50 and a cell phone. The last time we spoke to the anchor, he didn’t even know where he was going, because this year, where he was going was the viewers’ choice.
TVNewser: Where are you in the way home now?
Dave Price: I’m just in the final 470 miles.
TVNewser: Your voice sounds hoarse. How’s it going?
Dave Price: It’s a combination of not sleeping a lot, sleeping in rooms that are 20 degrees, cars, locker rooms. It’s the result of seven days of exciting living.
TVNewser: How long were you in Anchorage?
Dave Price: Longer than I had expected. I wound up being in Anchorage for about a day and a half, but in order to get out of Alaska, I think we got out of Alaska the morning of the third day, because commercial air fair out of Alaska is so expensive. And so I had weather not many are used to in the lower 48, many cold temperatures. It’s a dry cold as well. But the people there make their own lives, and make very happy lives there. They manage their way through the winter. They embrace it.
TVNewser: Were you thinking of getting enough work to pay for a flight or were there other strategies involved?
Dave Price: I did a bunch of jobs there, but the airfare was something like $407. And when you commit to only getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, it’s pretty hard to raise $400 in a day or two. I worked in a tired store, putting on studded winter tires. I worked at a coffee shop. I worked shoveling and scraping ice. I worked as Zamboni operator. But it takes a lot of work and a lot of hours to do what a lot of us take for granted.
TVNewser: How was Washington?
Dave Price: Washington State also was another two night ordeal. I thought I had this one all figured out. I got in and an unemployed young pilot in his twenties was nice enough to pick me up at the airport in Bellingham and take me down to Fife, Washington where I got a job as a bingo caller at a bingo hall. But I left my winter coat in the back of his car. So all of a sudden I arrive in Fife, Washington, and I realize I don’t have my coat. And he’s gone. He was nice enough to call later to say he’s got it, but it’s not like I got set up for him to FedEx it to me on the road. Because I had no idea where I was going to be. So that was the first time I lost my jacket. Then a bingo employee was nice enough to drive me all the way to Yakima in the middle of the night. I spent the night in Yakima, and then I bought a car in Yakima for $275. I called my insurance agent, and it was just a dollar to carry liability per day. So I thought I’d drive that car for 600 miles and then resell it. But the car broke down 30 miles outside of Yakima. I lost my car and my $275, and I was near broke again. The very nice people back in Yakima gave me a replacement jacket for the one I lost. And in my hurry to catch the train back in Yakima, I left the jacket at the hotel where I had been cleaning rooms that day. I was doing housecleaning there.
TVNewser: How many jackets have you lost over the course of the trip?
Dave Price: I lost two jackets. When I got to Montana, I got an email from this gentleman. He mentioned that every year he does a secret Santa. And from watching our little adventures during the week, he realized the value of a jacket. I’ll give you $600. By this time, I’m well behind where I should be in order to get home by Friday. He said I’ll give you $600, which should get you home if your wise. If you start a one-man coat drive, and print up pamphlets and distribute them, we can help keep our fellow neighbors warm. A lot of other stuff we do is good for a laugh, interesting, and engaging, but this makes it substantive. Out of all of that, you can hopefully make a difference or effect a positive change in someone’s life. So I took him up on it. I got to Denver and the Cincinnati Museum of Art said they would provide a private jet if I took a break and explore the museum. We’ve gotten plenty offers of free air fare, but I’ve turned them all away, because it wasn’t in the spirit of the trip. So I made them a deal, I said, if we can operate a coat drive from your museum, and if you’re willing to transport the coats from Bozeman, I’ll take you up on your jet. So we had a huge shipments of clothing, and the trip has taken on a different tone. One of the things I love about this trip is that it’s highlighted the graciousness and hospitality of people all across the country.
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