homepage logo

Hey! I want to go on this trip, too

By Staff | Jun 2, 2013

Maybe you saw a shiny new red Ford Mustang with a black top, sporting California license plates, driving around Blue Earth on Wednesday of last week.

Or maybe you spotted a shiny new black Ford Mustang convertible from California parked in downtown Blue Earth.

Or a blue one. Or a silver one. All from the Golden State.

You weren’t seeing things. There was a rash of the cool ‘Stang rag tops cruising around our fair city.

And, the drivers and passengers in these cars all had a distinctive English accent.

You see, they were all from New Zealand, visiting Blue Earth and the Green Giant.

Here is the whole story.

They are on a somewhat guided tour of the western half of the U.S.

They all flew into Los Angeles and each of the 20 couples was given a new Mustang convertible to drive across the country. A rental, as it were, not to own forever.

Each night they had a motel room already booked in a city, and one for the next night in another city, etc.

But, they could drive from the first city to the next in any route they found interesting.

For instance, Tuesday night they were in Sioux Falls, S.D. On Wednesday night they would be staying in La Crosse, Wis.

For the day on Wednesday, they needed to cross the state of Minnesota and get to La Crosse. However, they could go wherever, and do whatever, during the day on Wednesday.

Many of them opted to stop in Blue Earth, both because of the name of the city and the fact that their guide maps pointed out the Green Giant statue.

The group does not always travel together. Each couple in each car is free to go wherever they want. They just need to get to that next motel at the end of the day.

They are headed to Chicago. In the Windy City, they will pick up the famous Route 66 and take it all the way back to California.

In fact, the name of the trip is “Kiwis on Route 66.” Get it? The Kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand and a nickname for anyone from that country.

A New Zealand tour company sponsors this trip every year. In fact, there are three of them in 2013. All are sold out. And four are planned for 2014. They are going fast.

You are probably wondering about the cost. It is $8,600 per person, for the airfare, motel rooms and of course, the use of the Mustang for the 28 days of the trip which covers more than 6,000 miles.

Two couples, Alan and Sharon Walker and Kevin and Heather Fowlds, were enjoying their stop in beautiful Blue Earth.

It was a very nice town they said. But, they have discovered that there are many nice towns across the U.S. and they are filled with many friendly people.

“Americans are so very nice and friendly,” Alan Walker says. “They help us find our way around and love to talk to us.”

For instance, the couples missed the Green Giant statue when they drove off I-90, south on Highway 169, and into downtown on Seventh Street.

Thanks to a helpful newspaper editor, they were directed back out to Highway 169 and Giant Park.

But, not before they checked out several local shops and a restaurant.

Then it was back on the road headed to the Spam Museum and then La Crosse.

For a nice, cold Wisconsin brewski, I suppose.

Sounds like a great way to spend a month to me.

Do I have to go live in New Zealand in order to sign up?