Leg Three Updates
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6/24 9:30 a.m.
Hard to believe we’re already on the final day of our journey on the road but it’s actually here. We spent last night in Owatonna and had an amazing dinner at Torey’s. Some had salmon, others lobster but to me you can’t go wrong with the steak. When our heads hit our pillows I think we were all more than full and ready to catch some Z’s.
This morning as we made our way out to the bus we were keeping an eye on the US team in the World Cup. Even though four of our group hail from north of the border we are all very happy when Kurtz exclaimed thanks to his Blackberry that the boys in red, white & blue had prevailed in extra time. I think I even saw Wes Walz give a fist pump.
What a great way to start the day and it got even better when we made our short drive to KOWZ. Their station was on the way to our first stop of the day so we went by and took some pictures and signed autographs for Nancy Stowe and her staff. After about 30 minutes we jumped on the bus and we had another short drive as we aimed for Waseca.
Waseca had about 200 fans waiting for us including one guy with the coolest Wild truck ever – painted green with Wild logos on the doors and hood. It looked like we were going to get pummeled by rain but it never happened. The big rain cloud only threatened but stayed away and we were able to escape in one piece.
Boy, what a quiet drive from Waseca to Hutchinson. Everybody slept over the course of the two hour drive to charge their batteries for the final push. We did stop and get some movies including “Stepbrothers” but I don’t think anybody saw two minutes of it.
In the end, it was a good thing these guys took their naps because Hutch was rocking! Biggest line we saw the entire tour and we guessed about 300+. We also ran into Marney Gellnar from FSN plus Joel Niemeyer of KDUZ. Everybody got an autograph and at the end we took a whole bunch of photos. Hard to believe the end is here but now we turn our attention to Thursday night at the MOA. Ebbett is headed home but the rest of us will be there and we look forward to seeing each of you!!!
6/22 9:15 p.m.
9AM What a fun night! As I mentioned last night, the group as a whole went golfing and we had a really great time. Don Kliewer from KCUE/KWNG was an awesome host and took us to Mount Frontenac. Who knew the scenery was so great from the bluffs in Red Wing? Turns out we made the most of the longest day on the calendar as we golfed right up to the point where darkness set in, followed it up with some refreshments in the clubhouse and then dinner at Treasure Island. By that time it was midnight and the older portion of the group threw in the towel while Ebbett and Stoner decided to test their luck at some blackjack. This just in:Dear Andrew Ebbett and Clayton Stoner,
Thanks for your contributions. PLEASE come back soon.
Sincerely, Treasure Island
So, blurry eyes met us this morning at the disco bus but everyone was on time and we were off to Austin for a little fun in the sun.11AM 87 miles was the drive from Red Wing to Austin. A couple of the guys slept while the rest talked about some of the hockey news of the day. Mostly it was Kurtz and Reid pouring over the recently released Wild schedule. Now that they have their fancy new contracts they’re champing at the bit to get back to work. Easy fellas, your time will come.
In Austin we started out with each guy talking to Dean Deboer of KAUS. That was followed with a full hour of autographs for roughly 150 fans who enjoyed bright sun-shiny weather and a bit of humidity. Great stop for the group and another successful CHECK MARK on the itinerary.
12:30 Our next stop isn’t until 2PM at KATE in Albert Lea so we called ahead and Aaron Worm suggested we stop at the Lakeshore Café for lunch. Good call! An outdoor patio across the street from the lake with wonderful sandwiches to throw down our gullet made this a perfect stop. We topped it off with ice cream and this day is moving right along.
2PM KATE is the radio flagship for Wild hockey in Albert Lea so we showed our thanks by stopping by and talking to Aaron and company. We signed some stuff, did some interviews and talked some hockey. What’s this, Dino is finally a hall of famer!? Great news! The people in Faribault will be so happy!
4PM Here we are in Faribault and it’s another stop that never disappoints. Great people come out in bunches to fill the Faribault Ice Arena to get some autographs. Probably close to 250 people total but how about this for a nice surprise…Faribault legend and former Tom Reid roommate JP Parisie has stopped by for a hello. If you think TR can tell a couple of stories get these two together and they’ll floor you with story after story from the good old days. Fun times for sure!
What a great day we had! Hard to believe we’re already 2/3 of the way done. But we still have an evening of relaxing ahead of us and that’s what we’ll do in Owatonna as we get ready for Waseca and Hutchinson. As the kids say: "R U Red-D?"
6:15AM - Here we go again, another summer, another Wells Fargo/Wild Road Tour. Leg Three started at 317 Washington Street in St. Paul, also known as Wild Headquarters. Note to self: when you give Wes Walz a time to be somewhere, know that he’s going to be 10 minutes early. Not only was he on time but so was Dan from Total Luxury Limo. They helped me load a bunch of groceries into our vehicle along with our golf clubs and we were ready to go by 6:15AM sharp.
7:00AM - After a couple of quick stops to pick up Andrew Ebbett, Clayton Stoner and Tom Reid, we were on our way to our first official stop and we found ourselves in Mendota Heights for our Wells Fargo Wild Kick Off Party set up by WCCO radio and hosted by the Cheesebrough family. They won the opportunity to host the event by showing what huge Wild fans they were and it turns out they weren’t lying! Lots of family and friends surrounded the backyard where Dave Lee & Company were doing the WCCO Morning News along with Mike Lynch and a cast of thousands. Our guys signed autographs for everyone and even played a little street hockey before heading for the bus. I even played a little goaltender and was stellar as usual. It was reported on Wild.com earlier that I was "lit up like the Fourth of July sky." This goes to show that you can't believe everything you read on Wild.com.
Great job by the Cheesebrough clan hosting the event and a special shout out to the St. Paul United who showed up in force before heading to D.C. tomorrow for a little road tour of their own! Great stop to get things underway and now we’re back on the bus heading for Rochester.
10:00AM - Graham Arena in Rochester was our second stop and we were greeted by about 250 great fans. Bob Kurtz met up with our traveling party and we signed anything and everything that people could throw in front of us. Awesome turnout!
11:30AM - Next up, the QB Club where our party met with about 50 gentlemen at Michael’s in downtown Rochester. They fed us a wonderful lunch and we took some time to talk some hockey with the guys, led by Tom Reid who of course had a few stories to tell about the good old days.
3:00PM - A quick drive where most of our guys caught a nap was followed by our final official stop of the day at Prairie Island Arena in Red Wing. I think the weather scared some folks away but many kids were on hand and there was some great chances to talk one-on-one with the fans. Ebbett even tried out the peddle cars that the National Guard brought.
4:30PM - Following a brief stop at KCUE in Red Wing to talk to Don Kliewer and his group, we were preparing for a great night at Treasure Island and golf at Mount Frontenac. Try and stop us – you can’t! But no matter how much fun we have tonight, we’ll be ready for Day Two bright and early! See you in Austin!