I-94 Traffic Crawl: Stoppin' for Coffee  LbNA # 18585

Placed DateOct 7 2005
LocationBlack River Falls, WI
Found By The Gamer Ruettens
Last Found Aug 26 2014
Hike Distance?

This is a very enjoyable riverwalk along the the Black River. There are a few hills along this paved path, but nothing we think you can't handle and is a very nice leg stretcher walk that fits nicely with the I-94 Traffic Crawl theme. This should be a quick find, but offers scenic views and reason's to stay longer. Leashed pets are welcome. There are also restroom facilities and a playground in the nearby park. This is about a 20 minute hike.

Growing up, I (Mrs. Puddlejumper) lived in Sauk County, but travelled I-94 often to visit family "up north". (Bruce and Rice Lake Areas) Visiting the Grandmas and Grandpas was always fun, but the car ride was a bit long for young kids. It was even longer for my Dad! It seemed we would hardly get going and we would be "stoppin' for coffee". There was a time I knew every truck stop, diner or cafe along the way. Any exit was a potential coffee stop and we would hold our breath to see if the signal lights went on again. We often got on the interstate at Lyndon Station or Mauston and I remember stopping at Mauston, New Lisbon, Oakdale, Tomah, Black River Falls, Hixton, Northfield, Osseo or Eau Claire. It was not uncommon to stop 3-4 times up and another 3-4 times on the way back home again. We also often traveled on the weekend and to make the most of the weekend we would leave home early in the morning and I specifically remember experiencing the sunrise with the truckers at any particular stop. Dad only stopped where coffee refills were free and always ordered "Black Coffee, please." No cream or sugar. I am certain that some waitresses began to recognize our family as we plowed through the truck stop doors. Thinking back, I asked myself why we didn't stop at McDonald's or other fast food stops, but if memory serves me right, most exits didn't have a McDonald's yet and that wasn't that long ago! I know that the McDonald's in Tomah didn't arrive until later. The truck stop in Tomah used to be a Shell Truck stop and the S on the Shell Food sign was burnt out for quite awhile. My mom liked to joke about the food served there.

Most often, we did stop in Black River Falls and that made this exit an obvious choice for this letterbox. I can't tell you how many times we stopped at the Oasis in Black River! I checked the map to find a good location for this box and found that Coffee Creek flows out of Black River right near the downtown area. Hmm? Since Dad only drank "Black" coffee, Coffee Creek and the Black River were a perfect location. While we didn't find the head of Coffee Creek, we did find the scenic Foundation Riverwalk.

To locate this yourself, take the Hwy 54 exit into Black River Falls and then the first left after the bridge that crosses the Black River onto S. Water St. Then take the first right on Filmore St and the next left onto South First St. We did notice that the sign at the corner of Pierce St. and S. First St was turned wrong. Ignoring that sign, stay on South First street until it turns to the right onto Grant Street. There you will see the park and restroom facilities but go a little further west to the canoe landing parking area.

From the parking area, take the paved path west along the river into the wooded area. As you are walking along you will come upon a bench with two dates. Subtract the first date from the second date. (X)________ Tucking that number in your memory, continue on the path until you come to a hairpin turn going to the right. At the very tip of the hairpin turn, take a compass reading of 200 and take X number of steps into the woods to find our Coffee Stop box in a tall tree trunk. Please rehide well.

Coffee anyone?

The Puddlejumpers
Blue Thunder
Little Green Monkey