We head South
from Sturgis before turning West through Amish Country. It certainly makes the
drive a little more interesting overtaking the carriages that are
so unique to the Amish people.
the way we miss our turning and end up in the town of Niles. Realising our
mistake we head west once more and decide to make the most of our
unintentional detour by visiting the sand dunes on the banks of Lake Michigan.
We drive down the heavily tree lined roads, unaware where the waters edge
actually is. We come upon a closed gate and a parked car, and obvious signs of
sand ahead. Parking alongside the other vehicle we duck under the barrier and wander down, past some toilets
that have been taped up for the winter, through the imposing sand dunes and down to the waters edge.
quiet. The only other person we see is out walking their dog and they quickly
disappear back up the path - no doubt the owner of the other car. The day is cold
and the water is mysteriously still. Too still for my liking. The shore is
lined with some particularly good skipping stones so I take to disturbing the
mirror lake with some flinging. I even manage to break my own record and get
up to 6 skips off of one stone. Hey, I never said I was a master of it or anything!
On the way back
to the car I clamber up to the top of one of the sand dunes to have a look
around. The landscape is pretty much the same for miles around. I scamper down
the other side. Both of us need the loo and there's no one around
so we stretch the warning tape to one side and use the facilities - all still fully
working. I wonder why they close them?
Winding our way
back through the forested roads we end up in the town of Chesterton. A sign
proudly proclaims that Chesterton is 'Home of the Wizard of Oz Festival'. One
can only wonder. We end up at a nice little place called 'Peggy Sue's Diner'.
The walls are plastered with number plates from across the states - some with
interesting patterns on them. After a fine meal of eggs and pancakes we head
out to the town of Portage to see a local craft fair at the local school. We
just catch the end of it - many of the stalls are being packed away.
Everything is predictably Christmas themed and we don't buy anything.
The rest of the
day is spent making the drive into Chicago, the last 10 miles of which is a
frankly terrifying road experience. The outskirts of Chicago make Spaghetti
Junction look like a well ironed ruler. We finally find our motel. It's not the
nicest looking place. The receptionist is hidden away behind a thick piece of
glass. We make a quick trip to the local 7/11 and hide away for the rest of