NBC10 Boston meteorologist Chris Gloninger drove the Weather Warrior, our weather center on wheels, from Boston to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Throughout his travels, Chris has illustrated how Patriots Nation extends far beyond New England.
Milwaukee to Minneapolis!
Mileage: 400 miles
Total Mileage from Boston: 2,200 miles
We made it, after traveling a total of 2,200 miles in the Weather Warrior with stops in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Canton, Ohio, Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay and now the Twin Cities.
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The route to the Super Bowl was slightly out of the way. We went north from Milwaukee to Lake Winnebago to drive the ice road. Weather Warrior handled the conditions quite well. People travel the ice road as a shortcut because the lake is 38 miles top to bottom and 10 miles across - it saves approximately 40 minutes of travel time. (It’s also a very popular lake for ice fishing.)
Our first stop in the Twin Cities: St. Paul for their Winter Carnival. They built a 70-foot tall ice palace - it took 2 MILLION tons of ice. With wind chills in the double digits below zero, we asked the locals how they stay warm!
Thanks for following along... now GO PATS!!
Chicago to Green Bay, Milwaukee
Mileage: 350 miles
Hours in Weather Warrior: 6
We left the home of the da Bears and traveled north to the home of the Green Bay Packers and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland. It’s also the birthplace of Harley Davidson, Miller Brewing, and Pabst Brewing.
Cliff Christl, the Packers historian taught us about the history of the Lombardi Trophy. It was renamed for the amazing coach days after his death.
After touring Lambeau Field we went back to Milwaukee to see the sights of the biggest city in Wisconsin. The city has an expansive skyline, which borders Lake Michigan. Right on the lake are the Summerfest grounds. In June, it’s home to the largest music festival in the world!
Part 1: Pittsburgh to Canton
Mileage: 120 miles
Hours in Weather Warrior: 2
Part 2: Canton to Chicago
Mileage: 380 miles
Hours in Weather Warrior: 6
It started off with a relatively short drive to Canton, Ohio. We went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We got to see interesting things, like Tom Brady's draft card and a letter signed by Bill Belichick when he was in executive assistant to the Detroit Lions.
We also learned that each time a team wins the Super Bowl, the ring gets bigger. The largest ring in the entire case was the Patriots' ring from last year.
Canton was filled with Bears fans, so we had to give them a hard time for their 0-and-16 season. They were good sports.
Multiple hours in the Weather Warrior, my back and neck started to ache and massage therapist Rachel Pecora came to the rescue. Thanks, Rachel!
So, it was back in the car for the longest trip of the day - to Chicago!
Day 2: Pittsburgh
Mileage: 230 miles
Hours in the Weather Warrior: 4
It was a cold, beautiful morning in Buffalo. The day started off in front of the Electric Tower. We found out this is where the city hosts its New Years Eve celebrations. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
After filling up on chicken wings, it’s off to Pittsburgh. If you wanted to purchase some of those chicken wings for your Super Bowl parties, you can! Head to anchorbar.com and place your order by Wednesday night - they will be to your house (on ice) for game day.
Pittsburgh is home to 446 bridges, Heinz Ketchup (and Field), the Klondike Bar AND the emoticon! That’s right - this ":-)" was created in Pittsburgh by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
The city is a bit more used to ":-(" because of their losses to the Patriots.
Day 1: Boston to Buffalo
We got a jump start to our road trip: Chris Crossing Pats Nation. My photographer Jairo and I left on Saturday. Our first day destination? Buffalo, New York — home to Buffalo Wings, the Buffalo Bills AND a pretty important member of the Patriot’s offense, Rob Gronkowski.
We ran into a bunch of Pats back on the way — in Norwood, Newton and Palmer.
After a pitstop in Syracuse for dinner (try Dinosaur BBQ, it’s awesome barbeque!) we rolled into Buffalo at midnight.
Our first stop in western New York: Williamsville. The small town is home to Gronk. We had lunch with his basketball coach, football coach, and athletic director. All of his coaches told me, Gronk was a goofy, lovable, tremendous athlete. If we wanted to pick a sport aside from football — he’d succeed at it.
The lunch place was Duffs — known for its wings. After lunch, we drove north to Niagara Falls. It was the first visit for Jairo and my first during the winter. If you’ve never visited the Falls, it’s a stunning sight.
As you read above, the chicken wings were invented in Buffalo. We stopped at the home of the first chicken wing, the Anchor Bar. They were invented in 1964. The owner’s son and his friends were hungry, but the restaurant was out of food, except for chicken wings. She threw them into the deep fryer, seasoned them and then you had the world’s first chicken wing.
Later today, we are heading to Pittsburgh!
Look for Chris' on-air reports on NBC10 Boston that began Sunday at 11 p.m. and will continue throughout the week.
You can also follow his trip on social media at the accounts below: