TFLcar Fan has Epic Adventure Locating the Motor Mountain USA Illinois Belt Buckle

Illinois MMUSA belt buckle
Kyle Ringenberg with the Illinois MMUSA belt buckle

The TFLcar Motor Mountain USA Illinois belt Buckle has been located. More importantly, an awesome fan with a great story found it. What a terrific way to make a negative event turn out so positive. We never made it to the mountaintop and worried that this one would be a bust for our fans too.

Kyle Ringenberg put forth great effort and got the buckle. He chronicled his adventure below:

The journey began as soon as I punched out of work. Thoughts of doubt and second guessing the trip filled my head because I was so concerned that my evening would be spent in vain. As I picked up the boyfriend, all of those thoughts left my head, the hunt was on. Stopping at the fuel station down the road from my home I anxiously filled up the Jeep and punched in the village of Scales Mound, IL into my iPhone. I cracked open a Diet Pepsi to start fueling my three-hour journey that lay ahead of me.

Pulling onto Interstate 74 gave me a whole new rush of adrenaline that was somehow different feeling than any other before. It was the true sense of a hunt; a hunting fever. We barreled along the interstate like rolling thunder powered by excitement and trying to keep that same excitement from getting us a speeding ticket. When we finally arrived to the first country road that slithered through the various hills of Northern Illinois, every Jeep Wrangler I saw became a potential threat. Coming upon Port Byron my heart stopped; two Jeeps were in front of me. I quickly became overly concerned about them traveling in the same direction as me. These Jeeps swiftly dwindled into the back of my mind as one turned off on a side road and the other Jeep thankfully pulled off to the side of the road to drink in the gorgeous river scenery.

Approaching Galena, we started to realize how close we were with the abundance of hills surrounding us. Our first uphill climb in the Jeep signaled us to check the GPS to see how much further we had to go. The GPS stated in its large letters and numbers at the bottom of the screen that we had only a mere fifteen minutes until we reached Scales Mound. Fifteen minutes seemed like one heck of a long agonizing journey compared to the couple hours we just drove. Drawing nearer and nearer to the buckle in which I coveted for was making my palms sweat. Doubt had yet again filled my brain as I was processing just how close I was to a victory, a victory that might not even be attainable if someone had arrived before me. Forcefully, I obliterated those negative thoughts from my head as my boyfriend convinced me that my belt buckle awaited.

At one of the four way stops before continuing into Scales Mound, my heart had jumped into hyperspace for I had seen a welcome sign. Being an exceptional YouTube junkie of car videos and shows, I knew that by watching TFLCar’s video on Monday that the buckle was oh so very near. Pulling the Jeep through the stop sign and into the grass by the sign, I hurled my door open and ran to the bushes. Looking for five minutes through the brush and finding nothing, I checked my phone’s compass and realized that I was one degree off on my coordinates. Mike and I quickly scampered along into Scales Mound to find Franklin Road. It was there, at the end of the road, that we spotted yet another big sign. The sign was just a large white board from the back and as we crept slowly past it it read: “Scales Mound ahead.”

We had arrived.

Recognizing the Hosta plants from the video, I threw the Jeep into the ditch and hit the ground running. I quickly reached the left side of the sign and dropped to my hands and knees and to my surprise, there it was. My very own Motor Mountain USA journey had reached its seemingly theatrical climax. Through the clear plastic sides of the container I could see the silver box adorned with its cute little matching silver bow. I knew by the weight of the box inside that I had won and beat the odds. I collapsed to my knees halfway back to my Jeep and couldn’t help but well up a bit because I had been waiting three whole months to see the video for Illinois MMUSA to be uploaded. I jumped up and hugged Mike and thanked him for pushing me when I had my doubts.

Ilinois MMUSA Belt Buckle
After opening the box and taking pictures with the belt buckle by my trusty Jeep Rubicon, the journey home began. Weary from the blazing fast drive to Scales Mound we stopped at a pub in Galena to satisfy our yelling bellies with a nice juicy burger. The journey was an absolute thrill and I would happily do it all over again.

Thank you so much for providing the opportunity to cross something off my bucket list that I never thought would happen.


Thanks for the effort and the great story Kyle! Well done!

Oh, and sweet looking Jeep Wrangler Rubicon!

nathan adlen Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.