Art of Travel
KFAN 100.3 FM Power Trip Morning Show talkradio per- sonality Chris Hawkey. Courtesy KFAN FM
This is a re-print of an in-house article by Jefferson Lines in July 2019.
If you follow Jefferson Lines on Twitter, you probably saw the social media triumph we experienced earlier this year, all revolving around KFAN Power Trip’s DJ and local celebrity, Chris Hawkey.
It’s crazy to say, but the whole city was talking about it—no joke! Even case studies were written about Jefferson’s 2019 splash within the city of Minneapolis, social media, and bus industry.
For those of you who may not have any idea what we’re talking about, here’s a brief recap:
Chris Hawkey and his morning show, KFAN Power Trip, participate in frequent challenges revolving around sports brackets. Losers often face crazy and sometimes insane challenges, which require large cash buyouts if they choose not to proceed with their "punishment."
During their 2018 Fantasy Football Challenge, Chris landed last, losing to his fellow co-hosts. His challenge: a 1,775-mile bus ride from Las Vegas to Minneapolis.
That’s with 22 stops, and 36+ hours on a bus!
Rewind a few months, and it just so happened some of
of our very own heard about Chris’ future bus adventure and knew that on this crazy trip, Chris would event- ually be met by Jefferson Lines.
Fast forward a few weeks, conversations started developing about Chris’ upcoming trip. The biggest question — "How are we going to respond to ensure the last part of Chris’ trip is the best part of his trip?" The answer: Commission one of our nicest and newest Jefferson MCI charter buses to pick up Chris in Omaha, provide him a hot meal, then bring him home to Minneapolis—express service.
Simple, right? Ha—not quite… .
During the two weeks that followed, Jefferson began working through items to gift Chris that could make his trip home even more relaxing and enjoyable: a Kindle Fire to provide entertainment through our Free Wi-Fi, a Jefferson blanket and duffel, various snacks and beverages, even toiletries for freshening up after such a long trip.
"But that’s not that hard." You’re right! The hard part was tracking down Chris Hawkey’s ticket purchased through another inter-line provider—of which he had two! Different dates, different times, different routes. We spun a wheel, pointed to the one that made the most sense, then crossed our fingers that we were right.
Long story short—after planning out our exact approach, Jefferson operations was pulled into the equation. They had three days to find our driver (shout out to Stephen!), find our bus, translate everything they just learned (basically in a 30-minute conversation), and continue with business as normal. So there we were, Saturday morning of Chris’ departure from Las Vegas, prepping the bus, staging our swag on-board, and putting rubber to the road as Stephen made his way down to Omaha, NE — all of us hoping this insane idea would actually work out! We tracked Chris’ progress through his Twitter feed and maintained constant com- munication throughout his journey.
Come Sunday, everything was looking good. Stephen, our driver, was in place, our partners had been informed, and Chris was almost to Omaha… then we saw it, live on his Twitter feed—“I do plan on finishing
it out even though I’ve been told by both my bosses that they don’t want me to."
Talk about heart stop, huge eyes, and instant sweaty palms. Our whole plan would only work if the bus that went down to pick up Chris Hawkey came back with Chris Hawkey! After tracking his progress, thankfully, Chris continued on without flight plans.
Leading up to his arrival in Omaha, Jefferson ordered a pizza to be delivered for Chris, dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s, then waited (which seemed like light-years!). Finally, at 7:59 we saw Chris’ live Tweet from Omaha, totally surprised and baffled by Jefferson’s rescue mission to bring him home. In fact, he brought a friend—Jarrette [Fellows], writer for the Compton Herald out of California—and they both couldn’t believe this huge act of kindness by Jefferson Lines.
What started out as a genuine approach to providing Chris the #1 Bus Experience after his long journey home, ended up being a local celebration and story for the books.
Minnesota: Where to go, what to do
innesota is a midwestern US state bordering Canada and Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. The state contains more than 10,000 other lakes, including Lake Itasca, the Mississippi River’s primary
source. The “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and state capital Saint Paul are dense with cultural landmarks like the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Walker Art Center, a modern art museum, and scenic marvels like Voyageurs National Park.
Voyageurs National Park (right) is an American national park in northern Minnesota near the city of International Falls established in 1975.
The park's name commemorates the voyageurs—French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to frequently travel through the area. Noted for its outstanding water resources, the park is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters, and fishermen.
The Kabetogama Peninsula, within the park makes up most of its land area, is accessible only by boat.
The Northern Lights strike a surreal scene above a river boat. Courtesy NPS
Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the US. Courtesy MOA
Mall of America, located in the suburb of Bloomington, is the largest shop- ping mall in the US, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and the ninth largest mall in the world.
The mall, which doubles as a theme park, lies southeast of the junction of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77, north of the Minnesota River, and across the Interstate from the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. It opened in 1992.
The mall is managed by the Triple Five Group. Approximately 40 million peo- ple visit the mall annually, 80 percent of whom are from Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Ohio.
Minneapolis Institute of Art. Courtesy Mia
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is home to more than 90,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history. Mia is one of the largest art museums in the US. Its permanent collection includes world-famous works that embody the highest levels of artistic achievement, spanning some 20,000 years and representing the world’s diverse cultures across six continents.
The museum has seven curatorial areas: Arts of Africa and the Americas; Contemporary Art; Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings; Photography and New Media; and Prints and Drawings.
Minnesota's travel and tourist menagerie offers so much more.
The port city of Duluth is an incredible destination on the shores of Lake Superior. It is widely recognized as one of the most scenic cities in the Midwest, and it is easy to see why. Duluth was originally settled around 700 feet above sea level, so much of Downtown Duluth boasts great views over the lake below.
If you only have time to see one thing in Duluth, let it be Canal Park. At Canal Park, you’ll find a four-mile path along the water, a lighthouse pier, an aquarium and countless shops, restaurants and tourism attractions.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area
In the far north of the state, accessible from destinations like Ely or Grand Marais, is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This enormous, wild area is linked by countless glacier streams and lakes, which means that getting around by canoe is often the best option. Without a doubt, it is the most scenic option. It is possible to rent a canoe for a day and stick to the commonly paddled spots, but intrepid visitors will want to head out into the wilderness. Camping is incredibly popular, and you can pop up your tent within view of a clear stream or spot a moose at dawn. Even if you’re not a particularly enthusiastic canoe paddler, the pristine wilderness and stunning scenery makes this one of the best places to visit in Minnesota.
North Shore Scenic Drive
To see the shoreline of Lake Superior in all its glory, get behind the wheel and find the North Shore Scenic Drive. In total, the drive is just over 140 miles. It can definitely be done in a day, and you may want to go one day, spend the night and then come back the following day. Start at Canal Park in Duluth, and then head all the way up to Grand Portage, which is just minutes from the Canadian border. Along the way, look out the window to spot the Sawtooth Mountains, the blue waters of Lake Superior, striking lighthouses and plenty of picture-perfect small towns and villages. Waterfalls are among the scenic bonuses of driving along the North Shore which include the Gooseberry Falls and High Falls.
The largest city in the state is Minneapolis. Whether you’re after sports, nightlife, parks or culture, this city has it all. Sports fans can catch games played by the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings or the Minnesota Timberwolves at stadiums and arenas right in Downtown Minneapolis. Also Downtown is First Avenue, where Minneapolis native and pop star Prince filmed Purple Rain, and where you’ll find a great collection of live music venues. If it is art you’re after, there are two world-class choices right in Minneapolis: The Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.