Here we are ladies and gentlemen, last day of the tour. Now if you have been actively following my blog posts for the last 6 weeks, you will know that weather has been the theme of the tour this spring. We have seen it all. We have seen perfect sunny warm days (although not too many of them), plenty of rain, plenty of wind, and lots of temperatures in the mid 40's to mid 50's. Despite all the weather, we have come through every single time, to make sure the students of each high school, get a show. By far this week has been the worst with the weather. We thought today was going to be a rain out, but apparently Mother Nature decided to give us a break.
Yesterday the weathermen were saying 80% chance of rain. This morning they backed it down to 10% chance. When I looked outside, it was really overcast, but not raining. I called the crew, and they said it was dry over at the Glenbard North campus, so we headed over immediately. It was dry, but man was it cold. Temps today were in the low 50's, and with a slight breeze, it was downright chilly. When we got to the school, the clouds were getting darker, but the rains never came. We had one assembly show today, and it was early, right around 10:30. We had the ramp set up in a side parking lot by the practice field. The bell rang and the students quickly crowded around the ramp. We had about a 45 minute window to perform, so we got right to it. Despite the cold weather, everybody rode like rather well. Maybe it was the fact that we all get to go home tomorrow, or maybe it was the fact that some of us were excited about the ASA Action Sports World Tour event taking place at the Sears Center arena tonight. Either way, the students of Glenbard North High, got quite the show. Gabe was taking marathon runs on the bottom of the ramp and spinning so fast, that he didn't even notice that his pedals had sliced his right shin, it never seemed to slow him down. Marc and Anthony were a hit again with the doubles run, Rob finished strong with a 540 and a superman air, and of course Koji stole the show with a flair.
It was short and sweet, and it was over rather fast today. After the show I stuck around to help the crew tear down one last time. As soon as we got done and I drove off, it started to rain. Perfect timing. As I write this, I am sitting in the basement of the Sears Center, getting ready for the showdown on the vert ramp as well as the box jump course. I can hardly believe its been 6 weeks already. I can also barely believe that I will actually get to sleep in my own bed tomorrow night. Since the tour is officially over, I felt the need to break a few things down for everyone, to let you know what exactly goes into a tour like this. This tour has spanned 6 weeks, and been stretched out over 3 different months. We've been through 7 different states and reached out to 29 high schools. We've driven nearly 2800 miles, gone through 2 rental vehicles, multiple airports, I can't even begin to tell you how many meals we have eaten at Buffalo Wild Wings, 3 different contests, 2 time zones, 250 t-shirts, and over 1000 zip ties. It is amazing how many zip ties we go through in one tour.
Since this is also the last blog, I need to take the time to thank anyone and everyone involved in this tour. I'll start off by thanking the Marines. They are the title sponsor of the tour, and they paid for this entire thing. This was their 2nd year with us and I can't thank them enough for defending our freedoms, as well as joining our fight against tobacco. I have to give a special thanks to Retaks backpacks, for providing t-shirts and cinch bags for prizes for the shows. To the Hilton Garden Inn in Sharonville Ohio, and Hoffman Estates Illinois for providing us hotel accommodations for 2 weeks of the tour. I'd like to thank all the local anti-tobacco groups who joined us on the tour to help spread this important message to the youth of today. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids for being our cause partner and ally in the fight against tobacco for 10 years now. I would also like to thank all the schools that allowed us to perform and disrupt classes for the day, in order to experience the program. A very big thanks go out to 2 ladies in our office, Courtney and Kathryn. They spend months in advance of the tour, working away at booking all the schools, and let me tell you, that is not an easy job. I would like to thank all of the athletes who took part in the tour, Trevor Meyer, Anthony Furlong, Marc Englehart, Koji Kraft, Jay Stevason, Jay Eggleston, Rob Nolli, Austin Coleman, and Gabe Weed. A big thanks to Chris Hald, our tour manager, for all his hard work and dedication to the tour. Not only does he work the phones and take care of the business end of things, he also announced a couple shows, and acted as a rider for several of the indoor box jump shows. Last group of people I need thank, our ramp crew, Tyler Hank and Armand Sylvie. Armand and Tyler are the unsung heroes of this tour, and they make this thing go, day in and day out. No matter what the conditions, no matter what the circumstances may be. They have endured it all, in order to make sure the shows go off each and every day. Even when the wind tried to sideline us in Dallas and broke the support poles for the railing, Armand immediately went to work. He stayed up until 2AM welding and making us new support poles, so we could do a show the very next morning. All of these people I listed above, they are all cogs in the machine, that make this tour go. That is officially it for the 2009 spring high school tour. It's been fun, I'd love to write more, but doors just opened to the arena, and I need to go jump on the microphone. See you in the fall.