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McConaughey's "Sahara" Stream Journals

Well, folks, all good things must come to an end, and Matthew's excellent adventure is no different. After driving 8,600 miles over the highways and byways of America; camping and fishing with new friends; doing interviews in the snow; meeting soldiers and Marines and their families at bases around the country; learning to ride a unicycle — in short, after a weird and wonderful promotional tour for "Sahara," Matthew McConaughey has sent along his final dispatch from the road. He'll be missed, but at least there's a lasting record, in words and images, of what he went through while piloting his trusty Ford pickup and tricked-out Airstream trailer around the nation for the past six weeks. So long, pal. Just keep livin'.

 MTV "Sahara" Exclusive
How did they get three actors to ride camels and leap onto a moving train? Watch the clip then go behind the scenes.
  What was it like on the set of "Sahara?" See for yourself in this exclusive video and flipbook.
  Plus check out everything we've got on "Sahara" including photos from the Hollywood premiere..

Friday, April 8, 2:31 p.m.

I'm off to Rome for the European two-week "Sahara" tour — Saharastream not included this time. Wanna let all of you know that I sincerely appreciate your interest in me, my trip (which finally totaled 8,612 miles) and the film "Sahara." I've worked hard and had fun with all three, and it feels good on the inside. The trip on the road has ended but continues via the birds in the sky. Sahara opens on the 8th of April, my hopes are high, and I, myself, will continue livin' as best I can. I wish you and your loved ones health and happiness and evolution in the revolutions of this mystery we call life. Just keep livin'.

— McConaughey

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Thursday, March 31, 7:01 p.m.

Hola ... 7,402 miles later, I finally had to get in a bird and fly ... to Toronto. Would've driven, but needin' to be there 22 hours later from Austin, Texas, meant I would've had to drive about 220 miles an hour. I passed. Austin was the "circle" around the USA, where I started 38 days before and where I returned, to a festive screening of "Sahara" at the Paramount Theatre and many old friends and family. First time I've seen the film with an audience, and I was glad I did. The laughter — at least six full-on outbursts of laughter from the 1,400 in attendance during the screening reminded me how funny the film also is. We got a lot of "wow"s at the action sequences, which have never been seen onscreen before as well. Festive time. It's getting more exciting as the opening date arrives.

Flew into Canada night before last and had what I call my "regular run-in" with the Canadian Customs. As most of you know, I was arrested in 1999 in Austin for "disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, etc." while playing congas (it wasn't really bongos, although bongos "sounded better" to the press) in my birthday suit. Every time I entered Canada after that incident, my name came up on the computers at customs and I was sent to the back room for questioning. Well, I finally got the record "expunged" but that has not stopped the Canadian Customs officers from still drawing that pink line across my customs card upon entrance, which always sends me to the back room for questioning. Well, night before last was no different. So I get to the back room in the airport and immediately I offer up, "1999, huh?" The customs agent (although doing their job, by definition, if you are sent to talk to them it's not because they wanna get along) says, "What about it, 1999?" I answer, "Well, that's when I got arrested in Austin, Texas. It's since been expunged, but I reckon that's why I'm here." He stone-faces me (like they do) and says, "Yeah, that's why you're here." Still not realizing what "expunged from my record" means, since I'm going through the same back room questioning as I did before it was "expunged," I say, "Great, as you can see on your computer, that charge was dropped for a $50 fine and I was never convicted." Note, as most of us know, no lawman or woman (in any field) likes to be told what they already know (via the info on his computer screen). They are there to question you, not the other way around. Hey, I was just trying to save us both some time. Anyway, the customs agent says to me, "Yeah, that's 1999. What about 1956?" Partially stumped, I reply, "Good year, I suppose, but I wasn't even born until 1969." He says, "No, but what about it?" More intrigued, I reply, "Man, you got me. What about it?" He says, "It's your flight number, you tell me." I take a beat, look at my airline ticket and, yes, my flight number is 1956, to which I let him know, "You're right, what about it?" To which he says to me straight-faced, "Where'd you come from?" Now, I'm about to get ethereal on him and go into things like "God, planet earth, my mother, etc." but I see where this is going and do the math to swerve around further complications and say, "L.A. via Chicago" (1956 is my AA flight number from Chicago), to which he says, "Which one is it?" To which I get on board and say, "Well, that'd be Chicago." He looks me in the eye with that well-known 1,000 mile stare interrogators give guys like me in places like this and says, "That's right, thank you, have a nice stay in Toronto." With a smile that couldn't hide my giggle, I say, "You're welcome, sir, you as well.."

Now in Miami after a cool day of press and people in Toronto, I still don't know exactly what "expunged from my record means" and get a kick out of the fact that while 1956 may have well been a good year for some, at the Canadian border, they really mean 1999.

Just came in from the beach and a swim in the Atlantic. While on the beach, my eye caught a long lens aimed my way by a paparazzo. He noticed me noticing him, and when my eye caught his lens, he turned and ran across the beach like a thief. Thief or not, on return to the hotel I saw him again hiding behind the bushes, to which I yelled out, "Dude, quit hidin'. You want pics of me on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, take 'em." He looked at me quizzically for a moment, moved my way with hesitation, then spoke loudly, "It's not the same, man. A close-up in-focus won't work. The long-lens, grainy shots make it look like you were 'caught.' " "OK, man, whatever you gotta do," I replied. That's the paparazzi.

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Saturday, March 26, 11:37 a.m.

Mile 6,511, somewhere in Arizona eastbound to Austin. Didn't mean to be gone so long, but I arrived in L.A. last Friday for the "Sahara" junket. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's three full days, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in a Four Seasons hotel room sitting in the same chair being interviewed by a total of 300 journalists. They all ask similar questions about the film, similar questions about your personal life, and the occasional opinion about life in general. The challenge with these junkets is in handling the "repetition" of the questions — staying fresh, keeping my energy up, and basically greeting each journalist and their questions "like it's the first time being asked," to remember that although I may have answered the same question 58 times in a row, it's the 59th journalist's "first" time to ask it. It's also a huge advantage when you like the film you're talkin' about, "Sahara," which I do. Didn't have time to blog over the weekend since it was pretty much work all day and get some rack when I could.

It was cool to reunite with Breck Eisner, the director, Steve Zahn and Penélope Cruz. When you've all busted your ass on a very long job and then you're all proud of what you did and how the movie turned out, it's cool to see the people you did it with.

In Hollywood, we parked the Saharastream in front of the Four Seasons for the weekend and I did some work out of it and moved some of the interviews from the hotel room to the trailer just to shake things up a little. One night we even fired up the grill and BBQ'd some rib-eyes. I'm pretty sure it was the first streetside trailer cookout in the 90210 ZIP code. It was cool — felt like another RV park in another village on the American road. Guess it was.

Now we're truckin' toward Austin, where we will screen "Sahara" on Monday night. Getting back to Austin will finish the "loop" around the USA over the last 36 days. Austin is where I went to film school at the University of Texas, met Don Phillips (casting director on "Dazed and Confused") in a bar, got cast as "Wooderson" in the film, and had a blast doing this thing called "acting" that has since become a career for me. Austin is where it began, and to finish this road trip with a screening there will finish the present revolution.

Although I will continue "flying" around the globe for another two weeks after Austin, I know I'll miss the road, the highway, the momentum, the people along the way that I may or may not see another day. Although it's been a busy schedule, for all those reasons it hasn't really felt like work. The trip has been fun, period. Getting out to meet the new faces in all the new places, doin' it how I like to do it ... I hope this tour is gonna get more people in the theater April 8. It will mean I get to do more of what I also love to do — tell stories through acting — and that's a good thing for me, as I hope it is for you. Whether it does or not won't really matter, though, 'cuz it's been fun, and on April 8 I'll sit back with a tall cocktail, relax and let the cards lie where they fall, knowing we did everything we could to sell a product worth seein'.

Mile 7,271, arrival in Austin RV park, 10 a.m. Twenty-five and a half hours of straight driving and a sunrise entrance to the Texas hill country on Good Friday. Righteous. Seem to have misplaced my camera, and until it finds me I won't have more pics to send in, but when I do I will.

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'Good lord — 7:30 a.m. in the RV park and Jehovah's Witnesses knockin' at my door ...'
Photo: Matthew McConaughey

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