Welcome to the next chapter in this Vixen's adventure down Route 66. Last time my sister Lisa and I were in Minneapolis, MN and ready to finish the first leg of this journey to Michigan to pick up our friend Chandra. Make sure to stop by every Thursday for a new post about the experiences that happened while three chicks got their kicks on Route 66.
Day 4 ~ September 3rd ~ Minneapolis, MN to Mendota, IL ~ 385 miles
Leaving Minneapolis across this beautiful bridge. There is a great old Grain Belt Beer sign over on the left.
The Twin Cities sit very close to the boarder so it is just a short ways to the Thanks for Visiting sign and...
the Wisconsin Welcome sign.
While we are pretty much just passing through Wisconsin we do make one fun stop, The Devil's Punchbowl. Just a few miles SW of Menomonie, WI the Devil's Punchbowl sits on 3 acres of natural beauty that includes bird watching, hiking and Trolls. Trolls? What???!!!
That's right. The Devil's Punchbowl is home to mischievous Trolls (along with ghost, gnomes and light orbs). Legend says that those who do not bring an offering of sweet, sweet Skittles for them will return to their car not starting. Well, this Vixen has watched enough horror films to know she is not taking any chances. And really, how can I pass up an opportunity for such silliness! So off we go down this little dirt trail into the woods (no horror film ever started that way).
It is only a short distance down the path to the first set of stairs. These nice new stairs will led you up to the top of the Devil's Puncbowl and this not-so-inviting little tunnel.
I noticed a small pile of Skittles on a rock at the entrance of the tunnel so we left two small piles of our own. This seemed like the best place as you do not really want to be leaving, or taking, anything from the actual site.
Having made our offering to the keepers of the forest we decide it was safe to proceed. From up top you can look down into the Devil's Punchbowl. Water continually drips down the rock wall and in the Winters it will have a beautiful veil of ice.
Then, a little farther down the path, you will come to an older set of stairs. Watch your step. These stairs have seen better days and could possibly be a bit slick if wet.
At the bottom of the stairs you can walk into the Punchbowl. Be kind as you do and try not to disturb too much as it is a Scientific Study Area. It truly is a beautiful setting. Another strange phenomenon reported here is that water collected from the Punchbowl stays extremely cold for days. While I came prepared for the Trolls I completely forgot about this so had nothing to collect water in to see what would happen. Maybe next time.
We stay the night at a Comfort Inn in Mendota, IL. No real reason. Just a good stopping point as we try to bypass the traffic of Chicago on our way to Michigan. But after heading into the heart of this little town to find some dinner we discover Mendota has a lot of interesting history. We will need to do a little sightseeing before we leave in the morning.
Day 5 ~ September 4th ~ Mendota, IL to Rockford, MI ~ 270 miles
Mendota, IL is a railroad town including a railroad museum.
They also have a Tiny Chapel as I like to call them. Not sure why but I just love to stop and see the Tiny Chapels. Some are much smaller than this one but this one was very pretty. It is not open to the public.
This beautiful Gothic styled farm house caught my attention. Simply stunning to look at. Any guesses what is was? Yep, a funeral home.
This big sign told us that Mendota is also the home of a big Del Monte processing plant. "From Mendota to your table since 1949". If you grew up in North America you have probably had something out of a Del Monte can.
Bypassing Chicago this time around we now cross over into Indiana. Our trip through Indiana is a short one so pretty much any sightseeing is done through the window.
Hello Michigan! We are finally within reach of the end of the first leg of this journey.
A short bit later we arrive in Rockford, MI and the home of Miss Chandra. If you have followed any of Laughing Vixen Lounge's big giveaway events you have seen longtime sponsor Junkmill and Junkmill Relics. These shops are owned by Chandra and that is how the two of us met, years ago on Etsy.
This is Gomez. Is that cute or what?
This is what Gomez usually looks like. One snorting, bouncing blur streaking by.
We are not just picking up Chandra but also our fourth traveling companion, Bun Bun. He is all packed and ready to go. Yes, he has his own little suitcase there. You will be seeing more of Bun Bun during the trip as he is quite the photogenic guy.
We have a nice relaxing evening in Rockford as we excitedly wait for the next leg of this journey to start!
Since next Thursday is Thanksgiving make sure to stop by Thursday December 1st for chapter 4 of Three Chicks Get Their Kicks. But before then visit us on Monday for a post on Thanksgiving Movies. Find a few films to kick back and enjoy after you stuff yourself with turkey and pie.
Previous Chapter HERE.