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Sports >  WSU football

On the road again: Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew logs miles, makes memories with cross-country road trip

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 17, 2020

By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

Rocking his signature jorts, a tank top with a collar from Todd’s Tanks and his iconic “Fu Minshew” facial hair, Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback announced his #MilesWithMinshew RV tour on Jan. 6.

The video was vintage Minshew, minus the aviator sunglasses.

“After a long rookie year, I’ve decided to step back, re-center myself the only way I know how,” Minshew said on Instagram as the camera panned out. “Hopping in my brand-new RV and touring this great country.”

Minshew was standing in front of a 2020 Thor A.C.E. motorhome from Travelcamp RV in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 35-foot long Class A coach is powered by a Ford 6.8-liter Triton V10 engine, sports a possible four TVs, three beds (each nicer than his former $10 Facebook Marketplace one) and a fridge large enough to keep his Jack Daniels and vanilla Crown Royal chilled.

In other words, it is a true Minshew-mobile.

Another video posted to his Instagram story showed him in the captain’s chair before he departed and he said, “When they look back through the annals of history, they are going to talk about three things: the discovery of fire, the invention of the submarine and this road trip.”

And then Minshew shifted into drive and hit the road.

His first documented stop came on Jan. 9 in Hallsville, Texas, after traveling through Louisiana. He teamed up with Bottomland Outfitting Company, a local guided hunting and fishing business.

A successful fowl hunt in the swamps of Hallsville saw him net at least eight ducks. Alongside him was J.R. Burns, the man who Minshew got to know up close and personal, even if he was usually behind him.

Burns was the starting center at Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2015, the year Minshew led the Rangers to their third NJCAA National Football Championship.

Heading west through Texas, Minshew decided to continue the theme of a reunion tour.

This time, it was former Coug teammate Peyton Pelluer who joined in on the fun. Pelluer most recently was in Browns rookie minicamp in May, looking to make his mark in the NFL.

After a quick stop in Telluride, Colorado, the gang cut down to the Four Corners monument before realizing the monument had an early closing time of 4:45 p.m.

But they rebounded quickly, arriving in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Sunday before a jaunt up to Las Vegas for some escapades on Monday.

Minshew had a photo from a room in Vegas overlooking the Bellagio fountains with the caption: “Hey guys. You ready to let the dogs out?”

Unfortunately for Minshew fans, that night was clouded in the old saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” The social media accounts of the three travelers were quiet until the next afternoon.

But the image of Minshew walking from the marble fortress of Caesars Palace to one of the largest hotels in the United States – the MGM Grand – in jorts would be enough to make his harshest critics crack a smile.

The events in Vegas didn’t hold him back from making it to Sunrise Manor, Nevada, home of Nellis Air Force Base, which houses more squadrons than any other USAF base. It also happens to house the USAF Thunderbirds, an air demonstration squadron similar to the Navy’s Blue Angels.

Their most interesting day on the trip was squeezed into Tuesday as Minshew found himself experiencing a G-force of 9 and being attacked by a military working dog – for fun of course.

First, with Minshew donning an exceptionally large bite suit on his torso, the USAF’s dog launched itself at him, trying to drag him down – unsuccessfully – but definitely causing a bit of panic in his voice as the vice-gripped German shepherd would not let go until it was commanded to do so.

Pelluer and Burns hung out with an in-training puppy without having to let a militarized dog jump them.

Then, Minshew took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the skies as the Thunderbirds hosted him in one of their F-16 Fighting Falcons, which has been their aircraft since 1983.

The F-16 reaches speeds of 1,320 mph at altitude and is capable of producing a G-force of 9. Minshew felt the full force as his face scrunched up and his eyes bulged while his pilot put him through the ringer.

While he undoubtedly felt peculiar once he got back to solid ground, his next stop happened a day later when he stopped in Joshua Tree, California.

The group reserved a night at an Airbnb called The Ox House, a homestead built in 1968 that sits on 2.5 acres with a view of Joshua Tree National Forest.

The three took a picture in front of a yucca brevifolia – a Joshua Tree – thanking the owners of The Ox House on their way out of town toward Los Angeles.

Finally, on Friday, the three reached what could be their final stop, Coto de Caza, California, 60 miles outside of Los Angeles.

Minshew took to Instagram to post a snapshot on his story of the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club golf course.

For Minshew, who had an unexpected and overall successful rookie year, what better to way to decompress from a grueling eight months than to hop in an RV with two of his best friends on a trek from Jacksonville to Los Angeles?

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