A couple of weeks ago, I went on a road trip.
I have loved Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was 10 years old when I read the first Little House book.
Although I can never meet her, I can visit her home sites or in some cases the area of her childhood homes.
I live in MO so I visit Laura and Almonzo's home place just about every year. I like seeing her adult homes, but of course I wanted to see the others.
Independence, Kansas and the Little House on the Prairie Museum
First, I went to Independence, Kansas to find a simulation of what her house on the prairie would have looked like. Included on the site were buildings from that area and era.
Cabin life for pioneers always humble me. With the outside temperature over 100 degrees I was humbled even more imagining people living there. The cabin was actually cooler inside than the outside temperature which I was not expecting. But, it was still hot. I loved standing inside this tiny house imagining how pioneers lived. I felt very grateful for my air conditioned home.
Burr, Iowa and Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Burr Oak is a wonderful little township or village. The guide was wonderful and knowledgeable about Laura and her family and their time in that area. I learned new things about the Ingalls family,their time living in a hotel and (Ma Ingalls) working at the hotel as a cook.
This is the hotel. The Ingalls' family live here for a while. Ma Ingalls worked as a cook and of course the girls helped too. The hotel was a private home turned into a hotel. It is actually larger inside than it looks on the outside with its upstairs and basement kitchen.
Men travelled plenty (at that time) to work and would stay at this hotel. One humorous thing (to me) was that because there were so many men needing accommodations, the men had to sleep 3 to 4 a bed. Oh and the full size bed... was smaller than the beds today. I still laugh imagining 3 or 4 men sleeping in those beds.
I've now been to three home sites if you count Missouri--and I do.
Oh and I always learn things about myself when I travel and they're not always pretty.
1. No offense to my Iowa neighbors or Iowa's corn crops, but fields and fields of corn and hundreds of miles of road combined put me on the brink of insanity. I won't eat corn for a year and I mean it.
2. It's a given that I WILL get lost in a major way on every trip I take. Being lost usually includes back roads that may make you think--Deliverance.
3. Don't touch your GPS screen accidentally. You can't always go back and entering your destination again may or may not work properly, hence, Deliverance.
4. I'm a better traveler if I eat very little food.
5. I'm a snob and like to stay in nice hotels and will not consider motels which I'm sure are plenty nice but had a bad experience once and well...now I'm a snob.
6. I love my daughter even more (if that's even possible) for going with me even though she knows my navigation skills are sad. It was very nice to have her along. Thanks, Dr. Lovely Daughter.
Have you visited a home site of one of your favorite authors? If so, who and what did you learn that you didn't know?