Road Trippin – An Adventure With Zombies

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This morning started at 8:45, we headed over to the breakfast-room in our pj’s. The hotel had an amazing spread including a waffle maker, they also had some staples like bread, muffins, fruit, yogurt, and they had some hot items as well like eggs and bacon but they weren’t very appetizing. The room was very busy, I think it had some thing to do with being a Saturday morning, we couldn’t find a table so we asked an American couple if we could join them. It was definitely an interesting breakfast.

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After breakfast we packed up the room and checked out. Our next stop was courtesy of the Road Trippers app, the Wabasha Street Caves, a mere 20 min drive from Minneapolis to St. Paul. For $6/person (cash only) you can be apart of a 45 min tour of the caves. Our tour guide was a man named Ryan, he did an amazing job, I have never had a tour guide who was as enthusiastic and engaging, completely worth the drive and money.
The Wabasha caves are in all reality sandstone mines which were originally used as the first underground mushroom farm. During prohibition time it was used as a speak-easy (an establishment that illegally sells alcohol). It was rumored that the caves (back in the day called the Castle Royal Night Club) was a popular hangout for mob gangsters and a triple homicide was committed in the fireplace room where tourists can see bullet hole marks in the original brick of the fireplace. Today, you may recognize the products produced here as “Laymen Farms pickled mushrooms” and other pickled products. Terry and I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, if you are in the area this IS a must-see!

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The coffee shop next to the caves sells these weird troll/gnome things…very creepy.

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Terry had found a specialty shop online and wanted to check it out so after the tour we headed for the store and grabbed lunch at a nearby Subway, all of which which happened to be on the way to our next hotel.

Because the Zombie Run is at Spring Creek Motocross, about an hour and a half out side of Minneapolis, we booked a hotel in the small town of Zumbrota using Travelocity.ca (about 30 min from the run). The only thing was we couldn’t find the hotel because Google Maps instructed us to take a road which was inaccessible while traveling south. For the second time we had to ask locals for directions which actually made it easier to find.

The next set back was when our second hotel didn’t have our reservation…they told us we would need to contact the people at Travelocity and have them fax a copy to the hotel, I was about to breakdown because I couldn’t get hold of anyone when finally a different employee found the reservation on a ‘different system’. Because they had no idea about our reservation they had given our room away, instead they gave us an upgraded room. We also found out some thing interesting, online I paid about $75 for the room, but the hotel only received $55, the remaining balance going to Travelocity. In the future I may use Travelocity to locate a hotel but I will call the hotel directly to make the booking as it will probably save money.
Because it took so long to get the room reservation figured out we had to quickly grab our gear for the run and head out. Once we got to the site we got registered and picked up our swag bags.

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The course was 3 miles, with several obstacles, and lots of zombies! By the time our wave started it was excruciatingly hot, making a long distance run a lot more difficult. An interesting part of the run was that group-mentality kicked in when we encountered our first zombie on the course. We figured we had a better chance of surviving if there were more of us going in. This was one of the funnest things I have done in a long time, I am so glad that I took the time to put it all together and worth all the flak I took from work. After we completed the run we had some time to change and grab some food. After that it was time to head to makeup and wardrobe to start our zombie transformation.

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Being a Zombie was almost better than running the course, you got to scar people, make weird noises, and steal the runner’s health flags. I even had a bunch of runners come up to me after the run thanking me for the awesome job I did because it made it all the more real for them.

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Terry ended up getting pretty beaten up as a zombie because some of the runners got really aggressive, they stressed the importance of no contact but as the zombies made it more difficult to pass, the runners got more aggressive. Even with a few scrapes this was a fantastic event, I am for sure doing this again next year!

On our way back to the hotel it started raining and was super dark, right as we got off the highway we got pulled over by the state police…still wearing our zombie makeup and blood. They said we were driving below the speed limit and thought we might have been drinking. This came as a surprise to us since driving conditions were poor we didn’t feel comfortable speeding around on a road we were unfamiliar with. The officers were really friendly though and chatted us up about the run, apparently they competed in it last year, they even gave us better directions back to our hotel. It would be just our luck though that we would get pulled over while looking like we had just murdered some one.

Back at the hotel we had to clean off before we could go to bed, and again I needed to plan our itinerary for the next day.

Our daily time line today was as follows:
10:30 Check out
11:00 Wabasha Cave tour
12:15 Depart for specialty store and lunch
1:00 Depart St.Paul
2:05 Arrive in Zumbrota, check into hotel
2:40 Depart for Zombie Run
3:10 Arrive at Spring Creek Motocross
4:00 Begin Zombie run
7:00 Zombie makeovers
9:00 Second Zombie run starts
11:30 Head back to hotel

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