"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Idaho Road Trip - Monday

Monday's adventures were plentiful. For one thing, the wind was tremendous, so Phil had a bit of a workout keeping the Yukon on the straight and narrow.

The countryside was kinda uninspiring, so I made a lot of progress on my book and the girls had fun playing Temple Run 1, 2, and Brave on my Kindle. Every time I've tried playing any of those games, I end up dead rather quickly, but bringing laughter to all, especially me.

Speaking of that, travel conditions have changed muchly since I was a traveling missionary kid. And they have changed immeasurably since Laura Ingalls Wilder made the trek across this country in a wagon or on a train, as we've been reading in "On the Shores of Silver Lake." We have a gazillion books contained in the Kindle, three games also therein, several movies to watch on the laptop, and Hank the Cowdog to listen to which is also contained in the Kindle. We are living in the lap of luxury indeed.

Our morning's destination was De Smet, S. Dakota. This is the place where the Ingalls family finally settled. They started out in a railroad shanty, moved to the surveyors' house, lived in the back of a store in town, built a homesteading shanty and then a pretty nice house in town.

This is one of the schoolhouses in which the Ingalls girls studied.

This unbelievably small shed is the schoolhouse in which Laura taught as a fifteen-year-old to  pay for Mary to go to a school for the blind. It's about the size of our woodshed.

This is the surveyors' house, which was so grand to Laura because it was made of new lumber and had such fine provision and so much space. We snorted at the thought that it was spacious as we went in it.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take interior pictures in either of the De Smet homes, but we enjoyed seeing things like the pantry that Laura admired, the small parlor on the floor of which sometimes 15 men slept when they needed boarding. We also saw some of the grass twists that the Ingalls had to make to heat their home during the Long Winter.

This is the home that Pa built as one of the first settlers and founders of De Smet. The right side is his original part and then he added the left side as he was able. It was nice to see some cupboards that he designed and put into the kitchen. They and the flooring of the entrance are still original and in the dresser drawers were some of the actual belongings of the Ingallses. We also got to see one of Mary's books written for the blind with upraised letters rather than Braille.

After "Pa" died at 65, "Ma" rented out the left side of the house to boarders to earn her living. Mary lived with her till she died and then Mary went to live with Carrie and her husband. It was cool to me to see a photo of "Ma" sitting in the parlor in which we were standing with a rather large pot-bellied stove, visible both in the room and in the photo.

Grace got to open the surprise package for the day.

In the package were some "almost all day" suckers, which were exciting since such things had not yet experienced.

Getting the wrapping off them was part of the entertainment. Some of us used our embroidery scissors, but Ruth pulled out her 6-inch knife to shave it off. Fortunately all involved survived.

In one of the little towns we had to drive by the "Corn Palace," an interesting building decorated by corn cobs.

We stopped at the famous Wall Drug in Wall, SD. I was tickled to find some South Dakota pottery and got a cute creamer pitcher.

Of course, we had to play the music machine.
The next big stop was Mount Rushmore. The first we saw of it was noticing George Washington's nose sticking out of the rock. We were delighted to think he has a Southwell nose and wonder if we might actually be related. We'll have to research that.

It was very windy and cold while we were there, so I especially was thankful that in the interim of my having been here 37 years ago they have since built a visitor center at the base of the mountain with the wall facing the sculpture being all glass. So we went in, admired the presidents, and read interesting information while nicely protected from the cold.
Note the regal nose.

Somehow, I can't get the margins thing to work right now, so on I go with a strange set-up.

As we started out of the Black Hills, we intended to drive on a few more hours, but discovered that highways were being closed because of a winter storm, with winds being very strong, so we stopped for the night in Rapid City, intending to spend some time in the pool and hot tub. Guess what was closed for maintenance. Well, we were all pretty wiped out anyhow so after a late supper we crashed early in preparation for an early start.

1 comment:

  1. oooh, very cool! I'd love to see the Ingalls' houses! Pity you couldn't take photos inside... xxx


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