If you read my post about my trip to see the eclipse last year (https://www.timkwrites.com/blog/total-solar-eclipse-2017-part-one), you might remember that the trip had originally been planned around a tour of minor league baseball games. But, my friend who had planned on coming with had to cancel, and the trip ended up being just for the eclipse. This year I did the other part of the trip and I’d like to tell you about it.
As with any trip we were met with the kindness of strangers, confusion on directions, pleasant surprises, time wasters, good and bad food choices, and unexpected beauty. The true success of the trip came from spending four days in the car with my friend, Gunnar, and still being friends at the end of the trip.
Planning started at the beginning of the baseball season as I pulled up the various team schedules on the internet. We were going to try to hit three minor league affiliates of the Twins – Elizabethton and Chattanooga in Tennessee, Cedar Rapids in Iowa. There were very few weekends when all three teams were playing at home. After figuring out which weekends would work we picked the weekend that worked best and started to plan.
Meeting at a local tap room and looking at driving distances, it quickly became clear that the driving times would make it impractical to drive from one end of Tennessee to the other. We started looking at other minor league teams that we could visit that wouldn’t be so far out of the way. We ended up with a route that had one long driving day on the first day followed by 4 days of five to seven hours on the road.
Here’s our itinerary:
Wednesday, August 20 – Drive to Louisville, Kentucky
Thursday – Louisville Slugger Museum, Drive to Elizabethton, Tennessee, Game: Elizabethton Twins vs. Greenville Reds
Friday – Drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky, Game: Bowling Green Hot Rods vs. Lake County Captains
Saturday – Drive to Peoria, Illinois, Game: Peoria Chiefs vs. Beloit Snappers
Sunday – Drive to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Game: Cedar Rapids Kernels vs. Kane County Cougars, Drive to Minneapolis
Gunnar and I each took two nights and made hotel reservations. I took on the task of looking for tap rooms along the way.
I knew this was going to take more than one post to do, so I titled this Part One before I even started writing. I’ll be writing more in future posts. But for now, I’ll set the stage by telling you about the start of the trip.
I drove to Gunnar’s home in Minneapolis and picked him up. After we loaded up his luggage and got into the car Gunnar handed me his gun and said, “Use this on me if I’m unconscious.”
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