While we were driving along I-90 for what felt like the umpteenth hour on Saturday, I grabbed Mike’s i-phone to check for email. He had received one through our Boyinks4Adventure account.
Just passed you on I-29 in Huron Tiger busses! What an amazing journey you are on! I said a quick prayer for you and I hope your journey continues to be enjoyable and safe. If you are in Brandon, SD around 7:00PM, come and watch the Huron Tiger Marching Band compete! - Larry Petersen
Fun. Or, could be, but who knows where it would take place, when it started, or what it would cost? Besides, we were on a mission. It was Minnesota or bust.
We had planned to overnight at the Walmart in Sioux City, but it had been a long day without a good meal so (in a rare splurge) we decided we’d just stop for a quick bite to eat near Sioux City and then continue driving another hour into Minnesota. A couple of exits past the turnoff for the Sioux City Walmart, we exited the highway, looked in vain for the advertised “Pizza Ranch” (we wanted to lasso a pizza!) and settled for a Subway simply because it was there. While eating we noticed a bit of activity going on in the area. School buses with trailers. Kids in matching shirts. High-schoolers on a mission to get a fully belly before…something. 2 men wearing red volunteer shirts.
After talking with both the volunteers and some students, I confirmed that we were in fact across the street from the marching band competition that Dr. Petersen invited us to attend.
After talking it over with the family, and asking about the admission cost we decided to go. We found a spot in the school administration office parking lot, changed into warmer clothes (at least, I thought I’d be warm enough—should have put on my longjohns, too), and walked to the football field to buy our tickets and find seats - just in time for the singing of the national anthem.
In all, 14 bands performed. The bands were divided into different classes based on the number of band members. The Huron Tigers were in the second class, and competed against three other bands in that class. We thought the Tigers did quite well, although we may have been a bit biased. In the end, the Huron Tigers took 2nd place in their class.
We had hoped to meet Dr. Petersen in person, but his night was a bit busy. Mike had returned his email prior to the competition, briefly telling him that we ended up eating dinner right across from the school and decided to come watch the Tiger’s perform. Dr. Petersen got back with Mike with this response:
Excellent! I hope you enjoyed the show, and the great state of South Dakota! Safe travels to you.
Thank you for the invitation, Dr. Petersen. we did enjoy the show and the state of South Dakota. And - just a bit of slow highway driving combined with serendipity to get us into an event we’d be unlikely to attend otherwise. While people often recommend we visit the big tourist attractions in a given area, it’s really these types of home-town everyday people events that we enjoy attending.