In part 1 I left you in a cute little town where we fixed the 1979 Spitfire. We were somewhere along our journey from metro-Detroit to South Beloit, IL.
Most of the way across Michigan we made our road trip “official” with the sighting of a Bronners sign in a cute little town called Tekonsha. For those who aren’t from Michigan… Bronners is a HUGE Christmas store/warehouse located in Frankenmuth (Michigan’s little Bavaria) and they have signs near all the major highways and entrances into the state of Michigan. In some ways it’s not a road trip until you’ve seen a Bronner’s sign… so this is where our trip became “Bronner’s official”. LOL.
After a short time, we also found ourselves on Route 66! The Michigan Route 66, not the US-66, but still! Our first Route 66 trip was in progress (for about 10 miles).
Our next planned destination was the longest covered bridge in Michigan and once we arrived it was nice to get out of the car to stretch our legs. Dave wrangled my “real” camera out of the tightly packed truck, out of my stuffed backpack, and then miraculously put everything back into place to be able to close the trunk!
Wrangled… yes that’s the right word. Success would also be another word I’d use for whenever we’d get the trunk to close the first time. Woo hoo!
We spent a bit longer at the bridge than I think we needed to just because I wasn’t ready to go back in the car and it was a REALLY pretty summer-type morning just before it got too warm.
Back on the road we found beautiful tree lined areas and stretches of road where we didn’t see a soul.
We entered a town it must have been a big town because it had a Dollar General AND a Family Dollar in the town. <<that was sarcasm in case you missed it! *smiles*
As we were passing through this “big town” of Cassopolis we found a replica Sinclair station! It was SUPER CUTE!
This is where I actually yelled at Dave — PULL OVER RIGHT NOW!
He was glad that I did even if he wasn’t too happy that I asked for my “real” camera again since we had put it back into the trunk after the covered bridge… oops!
My favorite pieces of the station were the oil cans, the bright colors of white, red, and green AND the big brontosaurus!
Dave’s favorite part of the station was seeing the passion of someone to capture a time period. It felt like you were transported back in time.
I figured it was time to get a selfie of the three of us… Dave, Me, and the Spitfire.
Some people say we should stop and smell the roses, but I say we should stop and snuggle the brontosaurus… too bad he was up on the roof!
With these little detours we missed the gladiolus fields Dave had found as a destination on our journey, but I was getting hungry so we continued onto the beach town of New Buffalo, MI where I saw neither beach or Lake Michigan… hmmm… must have been getting tired in our 6 hours of journey to not head to the lake.
In New Buffalo, Dave let me wander a touristy shop where I got some cute summer weight Snoozie slippers and looked at EVERY shirt to see if it was something I’d wear, they were not very cute.
We wandered another two shops trying to get decent cell phone service trying to find a place to eat since the destination in New Buffalo was the wine store and we weren’t that excited for wine by the time we got into town.
We found our way to the restaurant Stray Dog, which we have been seeing signs for on I-94 on all of our travels from Michigan to Milwaukee for years and years. It was great food and great atmosphere! The benches at the table were cool and comfortable and not the car. I’m glad that it wasn’t SO comfortable that we fell asleep because we still had a long ways to go!
Once we were on the road again we drove thru Michigan City, IN where we were surprised to see the nuclear plant right along the route. We typically drive I-94 along this stretch of Indiana so I forgot that there was a nuclear plant here at the base of Lake Michigan.
By this time we were a little more than half way to our destination and the temperatures had risen to 91*F. The roads we planned next were smaller highways with lots of traffic lights. I was tired, HOT, and getting cranky… very cranky.
At one point I said we WILL pull over at the next gas station and I lucked out that it was a Speedway with a Beverage “cave”. I surprised the delivery guy who was restocking the cooler shelves. I stammered that I came in the little two-seater car and it was VERY HOT. He said “I don’t blame you. I don’t work here, you’re not bothering me.” Dave eventually found me and cooled off with me… Can’t all wives be found in the cooler right? Hahaha
After that we stopped every 45 minutes or so because I was simply overheating, mostly at my feet. We later found out from the car guys at the race track that the exhaust blows right in front of my feet on the other side, in the engine compartment and there wasn’t really a “heat shield” to protect my tootsies. Owie!
Little did we know that the WHOLE car had heating issues and our bags were hot too… it MELTED Dave’s gummy vitamins and our deodorants wound up in the refrigerator so we could salvage them (they were nice and chilly the next morning when we used them!). Once I found out that the car melted gummy bears I didn’t feel like such a whiner.
We had initially avoided the big interstates, especially I-94 going through Chicago because of the traffic congestion, but US-30 was miserable as we hardly moved from one traffic light to another and we chose to get on the interstate so we could just be MOVING.. Once we got on the interstate the wind helped cool us down as we zipped north to Rockton, IL, where our Airbnb was located.
I love that our Airbnb hostess had been chatting with us the whole day so she knew we had a hot road trip. She turned the air conditioning to very cold and added fans in front of the vents. AHHH! It was a relief to get out of the hot car after 12 hours of travel and enjoy our air conditioned accommodations!!
All in all our trip was fun! We made some loose plans to visit places like the Covered Bridge and the town of New Buffalo and we let some plans go like the gladiolus fields. We were flexible in our time so we could stop at the Sinclair Station, enjoy a long lunch break, AND make a cooler stop to literally cool our heels.
I’m surprised that the Spitfire is so comfortable and I’ll be happy to head out on another road trip (maybe on a cooler day!).
Life is all about capturing the little things and enjoying the moments that make our adventures meaningful. I hope you’ll take some time this summer to adventure a little and to let yourself explore more than usual… who knows you might even find a brontosaurus!