When we were traveling to Michigan, as soon as we crossed the state line Dad would always go in to the gas station and come out with a bag of Michigan Mints for us kids. It is interesting to note that both I and my eldest sister Vicki remember the mints to be the same. Shiny transparent pale blue hard candies wrapped in clear cellophane. And yet today everyone I speak to thinks of chocolate covered mints in foil wrappers. And an internet search turns up only those foil wrapped treats. I wonder what became of the mints we remember as children?
For me, crossing the border and going to our first gas station meant an opportunity to go in and buy a long beef jerky to savor over the rest of the trip. Yanking tiny bites of the jerky with my teeth I would suck on it and chew it until it finally dissolved in my mouth and it was time for another bite.
Also crossing the border meant a stop at New Buffalo State Park to run off my pent up energy under the white pines and then sit at a picnic table devouring the sandwiches and drinking the Tang Mom packed before we left….
Even today, when I cross the border into Michigan, I remember these treats that marked the crossing in my youth. Sometimes I still stop at the first gas station and grab a bag of jerky for the road, salty goodness for the road ahead!