Next week I will share a sneak peek of my novellas, but for now, I want to share pictures from the recent trip I took with my daughters and mom to see Laura Ingalls Wilder's home site on the banks of Plum Creek.
My daughters turned ten and eight this summer. A perfect age to read through the Little House on the Prairie series and make a pilgrimage to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
Walnut Grove is three hours south of our house, Pepin, Wisconsin (where Little House in the Big Woods is set) is three hours southeast, and DeSmet, South Dakota (where On the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years are set) is four and a half hours southwest. We chose to go to Walnut Grove because of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, and because it was the 40th Anniversary of the television series, and many of the original cast members would be in Walnut Grove to celebrate.
I'm so happy we did.
We invited my mom to come with and we enjoyed seeing many small towns in Minnesota we've only heard of. We arrived a bit later than planned, because I relied on my car's GPS and it routed the wrong way (adding an extra hour to our drive), but eventually we pulled into town--and it was packed! Record-breaking numbers we were told.
The first stop was the Family Festival in the park where my oldest participated in a Laura Ingalls Wilder look alike contest. She did a wonderful job, but with 51 other contestants, she didn't win.
Throughout the day, we had people ask if they could take her picture, because she looked so much like Laura. We also had many people ask if she had been in the contest, and if she won. They were shocked when she said no. :) This bolstered her spirits a little.
After the contest, we went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. Now, I'm a sucker for a good museum, and I wasn't disappointed. Very well done.
After a quick bite to eat, it was time to go to the Cast Reunion and Pageant.
I was only able to take two pictures, because my batteries died.
The Cast Reunion was another highlight of the day. It was so much fun listening to them reminisce about their days on the set of Little House on the Prairie. The people who played Almanzo, Nellie, Miss Beadle, Carrie (twins), Grace (twins), Eliza Jane, and John Jr. took the stage.
All too soon the Cast Reunion ended, and the pageant began under the star-studded sky. The weather was perfect, with a soft breeze. There were over 2,300 people at the pageant! It was amazing to see all the Little House on the Prairie fans--and to have two of the biggest fans sitting next to me.
Your Turn: Have you read any of the Little House on the Prairie books or watched the television series? Ever been to one of the towns Laura lived in?