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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cool Road Trip to Wisconsin!
Here's an interesting story of a motor home road trip from Utah to Wisconsin for the big game with the BYU Cougars paying a visit to play the mighty Badgers! Game was on Saturday, 11/9/2013. Having been born and raised in Wisconsin and now having lived in Utah for the past 20 years, it's hard to pick a favorite team. We make the same trip every September, usually pulling our fifth wheel trailer and have a blast. Although, they went out of their way to Chicago (that's a place I try to avoid at all cost!). Article thanks to John Clyde and in Salt Lake City, Utah. Link provided below:
Day 1
SOMEWHERE IN WYOMING — The BYU Cougars have a huge match up this week against Gary Andersen's Wisconsin Badgers. This game could very well set the tone for the Cougars in upcoming seasons and much of the success of the 2013 season will rest on this game.
With that said, it was clearly necessary that I tag along with the Cougar Sports Saturday crew to Madison via RV.
The distance between Salt Lake City and Madison is a brisk 1,360.1 miles and travelling that in an airplane just feels like a cheat. So, instead of taking the easy way out, we jumped into an RV with four full-grown men and are on our way.
We have just passed Rock Springs, Wyo., and we are hoping to hit South Dakota before we call it a night. Our planned route will take us through Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota and finally Wisconsin. Truth be told, none of us know much about the area we're headed to. Cougar Sports Saturday (CSS) co-host Dave Noriega and I are from the great state of Utah, CSS co-host Alex Kirry hails from Washington state and CSS producer Jason Shepherd is a Missouri man. What I'm saying is, what should we do along the way?
BYU faces one of their toughest match-ups of the season Saturday against 24 Wisconsin. The Big 10 team is powerful and fast, something the Cougars will find difficult to keep up with. The battle in Camp Randall should be epic and it will be interesting to see Bronco Mendenhall and Gary Andersen face off yet again.
Keep an eye on the blog to see what the crew is up to on the long trip and also to get insights into Saturday's match up along the way.
We wanted to make sure to throw in a side note about the fancy mustaches you see us sporting. Yes, we look like your creepy Uncle Chester, but truth is we're doing it for a cause. It is No Shave November and what many don't know is that the movement is actually an effort to bring more awareness to men's health and cancer prevention. So, this is a reminder friends, take care of yourself and man up by getting checked out.
Day 2
HILL CITY, S.D. — We drove through the night and traversed Wyoming and made it to South Dakota. We decided to set up camp at a KOA near Mount Rushmore so we could wake up in the morning and check out the monument.
Things did not go as planned.
When we arrived in Custer, S.D., the temperature was in the single digits and the winding two-lane road we had to travel to get to the KOA was covered in ice. I'm not with great physics, but I do know that 33-foot RVs from General RV and black ice do not coexist in the most hospitable of relationships.
Jason managed to keep us alive and on the road without much help from Alex who would yelp every few moments, "Too fast!" as Jason broke the ludicrous speed of 20 mph.
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Hill City, S.D. is cold.
We finally made it to the KOA around 3:30 a.m., and we were surprised by how desolate the place looked. It seemed whatever RV pad we wanted was ours for the taking. For some reason I was nominated to find the after-hours registration in the snow and cold, but I did not find the correct paperwork. I did, however, find a sign informing us that the KOA had shut down for the season on Oct. 5. Our planning for this trip was less than stellar.
We decided to drive until we found a place that was level and free of bears and set up for the night. We finally landed in Hill City just outside Rapid City and set up camp on the side of the road around 4 a.m.
We hope to go see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument soon, contingent on Dave actually waking up.
As we prepare for the Cougars match up on Saturday it becomes more and more apparent how important this game is to BYU's season and their program.

MOUNT RUSHMORE — Mount Rushmore is an iconic symbol of America and for those who have not been there, it is a site to behold. It does seem very out of the way to make the trip worth it, but if it is at all on the way to your final destination, make the detour.
The Cougar Sports Saturday crew ended up staying at the monument for a few hours and even had a chance to chat with a Junior Ranger who had a few nuggets of information to go along with some predictions for Saturday. Check out the video and see what the Junior Ranger had to say.
Speaking of predictions, according to the poll it appears most of you think BYU will win a nail-biter in Madison. The next closest choice was the Cougars losing the game in a heartbreaker.
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We are now on our way to Rapid City, S.D., and then on to Minneapolis.
We plan on checking out the Mall of America and trying out a Juicy Lucy. What else do we need to do while in Minneapolis? Let us know on the comment boards or send hit us up on Twitter: @AlexKirryKSL@DaveNoriega@KSLShep@ClydeKSL.
I also want to give a shout out to Brad Buchholz and his family in Spearfish, S.D., Brad asked us to stop by and say hi and chat some Cougar football with him. We would have loved to, but unfortunately when we passed through Spearhead it was around 2 a.m. and we did not have an Internet connection so we didn't see the email in time. We appreciate the invite and we're sorry we missed you, maybe next time.
SIOUX CITY, S.D. — I'm not 100 percent on how this happened, but in the last two years of doing this trip we managed to spend more time in South Dakota than any other state. There is a magic about this place that just gets a hold of you and just won't let go. Did I say "magic?" Maybe I meant darkness. No, magic. Wait, black magic.
I'm kidding. South Dakota was actually really great, I'm just not sure why we spent so much time in the Rapid City Wal-Mart parking lot. Regardless, we did, and now we are on our way to Minneapolis.
There are a few things I have learned about our great country as we have been traveling over these past two years. Pretty much every state looks about the same when you're driving on its two-lane highways in rural areas, and apparently it takes us two days to traverse South Dakota.
We are edging closer to Madison every hour along with BYU's match up with the Badgers. Before we get there, however, we may have a few surprises in store, including a bit of a detour that will take us to the land of Ed Rooney and Kevin McCallister for a 15-year anniversary. Make sure you keep up on the blog as well as Twitter for updates.
MINNEAPOLIS — We made it. We finally made it to Minneapolis and you know what? It was worth the wait.
We first stopped off at the 5-8 Club and sampled the famous "Juicy Lucy." Basically it's a huge burger stuffed with cheese then cooked. Which means that once it makes it to your table you have a burger filled with molten-hot lava cheese. It's delicious and painful. If you try it, give it a minute to cool down first.
If you've ever tried the "Juicy Lucy" let us know what you think.
From there we slipped into a small food coma and woke up from the blackout in the parking lot of the Mall of America, the largest mall in the world.
We were all pretty excited to see the mall and then we all had the same thought at the same time, "It's a giant mall. What are we going to do at a giant mall?"
It didn't take us long to answer that question. We rode rollercoasters, that's what we o at a giant mall.
Alex managed to not throw up and we were told we were all too big to ride on a rollercoaster together. At first we had a sense of pride, but then we realized we're all in our 30's and that just made us sad.
We also made a stop at Minnesota's largest candy store and took a gander at their huge soda selection. We all took one we thought would be terrible and took a swig. I've posted the different sodas in the poll so make sure to vote on which one sounds the worst.
Day 4
CHICAGO — We made our way to Madison and kept alive an age-old tradition of sleeping in a Walmart parking lot. Man those guys are hospitable.
We actually slept in a little, 10 am. I guess that's relative considering we got to bed around 3 am, but it was nice none-the-less. After we woke up and got our bearings we hopped back into the RV and made our way to Chicago.
First thing we did — Giordano's of course. For those of you who are not familiar with Giordano's it's one of the Windy City's famous deep-dish pizza joints and it's amazing. If you've never had the pleasure of trying one just know that most human beings would be hard pressed to finish the small one.
We did, however, come to Chicago for a reason and that reason was not pizza. I am now sitting in the press box at the United Center watching the Chicago Bulls host the Utah Jazz. Many people don't realize that it's been 15 years since the Jazz and Bulls first met in the NBA Finals and this is our way of celebrating that series. Granted, both teams are at a different place now, especially the Jazz.
As exciting as the United Center and watching the Jazz-Bulls game, it's still just an appetizer to watching the Cougars and Badgers on Saturday. The match up is intriguing and I predict a hard fought battle between two hard-nosed and powerful teams.
With all of our stops and detours we are now pushing 2,000 miles traveled and we're almost to the pinnacle, which is the battle at Camp Randall.
Day 5
MADISON — I am currently sitting in the KSL radio booth at Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin. The stadium is huge, holding over 80,000, and you can feel the excitement in the town even though we're hours away from kick off.
As we drove towards the stadium you could tell we were getting close. The University of Wisconsin looks exactly like those college towns you see in movies. Quaint old homes with Wisconsin flags flying on nearly every single porch. Badger fans were already out in their yards prepping for today's game.
As the game draws near there is a serious roadblock sitting in BYU's way that Alex brought up that the rest of us seemed to miss. BYU's offensive line is mismatched against Wisconsin's defensive front.
We saw what a powerful D-line did to an undersized O-line when Stanford took down No. 2 ranked Oregon on Thursday night. While BYU's O-line isn't necessarily undersized, it is less experienced and disciplined than the Badgers strong front seven.
Taysom Hill has proved in the last few weeks that he is an athlete and the future of BYU football, but if his line cannot hold blocks, it doesn't matter how fast and accurate Hill is, he won't have time to make plays.
Maybe BYU's O-line has game planned well and will be ready for a tough physical day; let's hope so.
Final Score:  Wisconsin 27   BYU 17

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