The Beaver Radio Network

2014-2015 From the Booth – Part 3

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 years since I started at the Beaver Radio Network. It’s been so long, it wasn’t even known as the Beaver Radio Network back in 2004!

In those 11 years, there have been plenty of trips that have impacted by the weather. Only twice, though, did the team not return right after the game. The first was a trip to Madison, Wisconsin. The same night the Metrodome roof collapsed, the Beavers were to return from a series at Wisconsin.

Biss and I drove together that trip…and were planning an all-night drive home after the game, following the bus back home.

The team thought about coming home, but once they heard the the Interstate was shut down near Tomah, WI, they made plans to stay in Madison. Biss and I found a hotel room, and then went out to find liquid refreshment.

In a snowstorm, we WALKED a few blocks to the closest bar to our hotel. They had live music that night…LOUD, VERY LOUD, music. Not Biss’ or my favorite cup of tea!

We walked back toward the hotel, and stopped in at a Walgreens. We weren’t two steps in the door, and a kid…an 8 year old kid…asked if we needed help. We asked…not thinking we’d get a answer, though…where the nearest bar was. He gave us two choices! Only in Wisconsin! One, a little too far to walk. The second…right out the back door to the store…a biker bar!

Being that it was snowing, we figured that the biker bar would be quiet. We walked over. Aside from a near-fight between the bartender and a customer who had been passing bad checks all over Madison, and the fact that the bartender wanted to watch the rodeo that was on TV…so he could cheer if any of the bull riders got their head stomped by a bull (true story) we had a good night.

The beer was cold…pizza was good…and the jalapeño poppers were fantastic!

We made it home on Sunday, despite that a dozen or so semi trucks were still in the ditches along the Interstate.

This past season, the Beavers made back to back trips to the UP. I rode the bus to Houghton for Winter Carnival. The next week, I didn’t feel like leaving on Wednesday to go to Marquette with the team.

That turned out to be a good decision! The team only made it 4 hours down the road on Wednesday. It was snowing so hard in the UP that the driver couldn’t see where the bus was going. There’s no feeling like being in a charter bus…when nobody knows where the road is!

The team made it the rest of the way on Thursday. I left Bemidji on Thursday morning. It was the first time that I had driven in the UP. They don’t use salt on the roads. They use sand…lots and lots of sand! Driving into towns along the route, everything was this pinkish color from the snow and the sand.

Getting TO Marquette was easy. Getting BACK from Marquette was another story. It snowed so hard on Saturday in Marquette that you couldn’t see the other side of the round-a-bout when you were INSIDE the round-a-bout!

The team stayed an extra night. I stayed an extra night. But what Marquette was missing from that trip to Madison so many years ago, was an eight year old to tell me where the bar was!