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America’s Five Best Road Trips

Monument Valley Best Road Trips

Monument Valley, Utah. Image Source: 2 Wheels 1 Cause

There is something poetically American about heading down the open road. With nearly 4 million miles of American road to navigate, you can weave in and out of awe-inspiring natural wonders, pass through small towns and bustling cities, taste different cuisines, and discover rich histories. While you’re at it, you can experience the romance–or, if you’re anything like the family from Vacation, the headaches–of the Great American Road Trip.

However, as most anyone who has spent more than two hours in a car will know, the United States is also home to many miles of highway that feel like purgatory (Ohio). Avoid those soul-sucking routes and give in to profound wanderlust with these five amazing road trips.

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Photo Of The Day: This Is What The Driest Place On Earth Looks Like This Year

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth, but heavy rainfalls stemming from El Nino have flooded the area first with rain, and then with flowers. Image Source: Reddit

Chile’s Atacama desert is the driest place on Earth, but this year it is filled with color.

The desert has the longest dry streak on record after it went 173 consecutive months without a single drop of rain in the early 1900s. But this year, the Atacama was breaking records of a different kind. One day in March, the Atacama got .96 inches of rain. That may not sound like much, but given that the desert’s average rainfall is about .07 inches per year, that one day in March was the equivalent of having 14 years of rain in a single day.

Thus we now have the stunningly pink malva flowers (pictured above), which bloom every five to seven years depending on the El Nino cycle. This year’s rainfall has been especially heavy, even for an El Nino year, and people are calling it the “most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.”

What We Love This Week: The Incredible Last Words Of Famous Historical Figures

This week’s best: Bone-chilling vintage halloween masks for kids, the most bizarre death rituals worldwide, the last words of famous historical figures, a stunning 7,000 jack-o’-lantern display, and what’s actually inside some of your favorite foods.

Bob Marley Smile

“Money can’t buy life.”–Bob Marley. Image Source: Vintage Everyday

Incredible Last Words Of Famous Historical Figures

Sometimes you get pure, unadulterated truth (“I’m bored with it all.”–Winston Churchill). Sometimes you get lies (“Ok, I won’t.”–Elvis Presley, promising his fiancee he wouldn’t fall asleep in the bathroom where he nodded off and died of a drug overdose later that night). Sometimes you get non sequiturs (“Kurt Russell”–Walt Disney). Either way, the last words of these famous figures are by turns haunting, heartbreaking, and illuminating. Read more at Vintage Everyday.

Winston Churchill Bowler Bowtie

“I’m bored with it all.”–Winston Churchill. Image Source: Vintage Everyday

James Dean Jacket Cigarette

“That guy’s got to stop… He’ll see us.”–James Dean. Image Source: Vintage Everyday

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Three Years After Hurricane Sandy, See Brooklyn Then And Now

Three years ago today, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Eastern Seaboard with a vengeance. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed, more than 100 people were killed, and tens of billions of dollars in damages accumulated in New York and New Jersey alone.

The storm began on October 19 in the Caribbean. Within six hours, it had developed into a tropical storm, and by October 24, the day it hit Jamaica, it had become a hurricane. Around 8 p.m. on October 29, Sandy hit Atlantic City, then New York City, with winds up to 80 miles per hour.

New York City’s coastal areas were some of the hardest hit. Brooklyn’s famous Coney Island was devastated, and the rapidly redeveloping Red Hook neighborhood was completely flooded. We returned to these two areas to see how much has changed since Sandy:

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Coney Island Q Stop Comparison

Surge waters pushed sand and mud half a mile from the beach up to Ocean Parkway Station. Image Source: John Huntington

Park Entrance Comparison

Luna Park on Coney Island was preparing for Halloween celebrations when Sandy hit. Image Source: John Huntington

Redhook Building Front Comparison

The entrance to Red Hook Winery was forced open by flood water pushing outdoor furniture against the door. Pressure built until the door finally broke open and allowed a four-foot wall of water to come rushing in. Image Source: Surviving Sandy

Spilled Corner Comparison

Red Hook Winery had just completed harvest season, storing barrels full of fermenting grapes. The water surge overturned them, spilling the grape juice before it had a chance to become wine. Image Source: Surviving Sandy

House Of Wonder Comparison

Flood waters filled 12th St., just in front of Coney Island's famous Circus Sideshow. Image Source: John Huntington

Shore Sign Comparison

The Shore Theater, which opened in 1925 as a vaudeville and movie house, was named a historic landmark in 2010. Just two years later, it was battered by the storm. Image Source: John Huntington

Nathans Comparison

Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, home of the 4th of July hot dog eating competition, sat deserted amid the devastation. Image Source: John Huntington

Toms Comparison

Tom's, a diner that has been around since 1936, had water and sand pushing against its doors. Image Source: John Huntington

Fallen Barrel Comparison

Mark Snyder, owner of Red Hook Winery, stands among his fallen barrels in Sandy's aftermath. Image Source: Surviving Sandy

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All “now” images were taken by Nickolaus Hines.

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