The pinnacle moment of our trip came in Funk’s Grove, IL. The attraction that brought our attention to this little town was nothing more than a sign on the interstate: Funk’s Grove Pure Maple Sirup. (You will just have to visit them yourself to find out why syrup is spelled with an “I”, or see the short version on their website: www.funkspuremaplesirup.com).
We had passed this sign off I-55 a hundred times, and if you know anything about us then you already know why we HAD to stop in “Funk’s Grove”. A wonderful lady greeted us and told us some history, then she gave us a sample of the sirup. WOW! I couldn’t resist buying a bottle. **Stupid Impulse Purchase Alert! Don’t buy a bottle of sirup before having to go through airport security unless checking luggage.**
During that 15 minute visit we met a couple who had been traveling Route 66 from L.A. to Chicago, but they started 5 weeks ago. That’s more like it! Another person came in and told us some history of R. Waldmire, the guy that designed the souvenir I was buying. On of the things he told us was that this guy loved stickers and put them all over his van (also the inspiration for the “Fillmore” character in the Pixar movie Cars). Timm and I saw a van in Joplin, MO with a bunch of stickers all over it. I mean it was COVERED except for the front windows and windshield. We quickly realized that this was probably the same guy. Small world!
We also found another deserted piece of the old road. One of Timm’s books showed this section as “Obliterated”. What a word! A few low hanging branches and spider webs weren’t going to keep us from discovering some old, shall we say “collectables”, before the road truly ended.
There were a few more sites to visit before rushing me to the airport, but Funk’s Grove tied the bow on a full week of driving. I’ll summarize the week in another post. Right now I want to enjoy time with my family, whom I missed terribly. Oh, and I need to mow the yard.