On our way across the country we stopped at a few interesting places we don’t want to forget. On of them was the Geologic Center of the United States in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
We made a stop for lunch in Sturgis, South Dakota.
This time through we went to see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
We also saw some bison at Custer State Park in South Dakota.
We had fun climbing on the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, South Dakota.
We will be in Pennsylvania for the next few months visiting family,catching up on school work, and doing some camper projects. We will be staying at the Gettysburg Farm Thousand Trails and spend a few weeks in Tunkhannock.
A couple weeks ago we went to Pepin, Wisconsin to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth place. First, we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. In one of the rooms there was a sign telling about her life. At the bottom there was a quote that I really like : ” The Little House books are stories of long ago… but the real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures, and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder.
After we finished looking around in the museum we went to the log cabin built on the land they own at the time of her birth. I thought it was pretty big. I had a good time looking around the museum and the cabin. This was the setting for the book Little House in the Big Woods. I cant wait to o to another Laura Ingalls Wilder site.
|Written by Cali
We stopped at Pipestone National Monument on our way across Minnesota. The stone found there has been used by all the tribes of the Great Plains to make pipes. The Pipestone or Catlinite is redish in color and found under feet of rocks and dirt. The pipes made from the stone are used in ceremonies. There are different pipe designs. We watched a carver making a pipe. We used tools to shape Pipestone. It was very difficult to cut. We walked on the Circle Trail to see some quarries where the Pipestone was mined. There is about 10 feet of Quartzite that has to be removed, on top of one foot of Pipestone. We watched a film on the area and completed the Junior Ranger Program. This was our twelfth National Park visit in the past month. Pipestone was very interesting.
Written by Marcus William Perry
We stopped at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove on our way across Minnesota. We parked the camper on the street and walked across to the museum and bought the tickets. The museum was made up of several different buildings having to do with prairie life. We visited the Depot first. Inside there were several displays including Laura’s quilts and TV show memorabilia.
The next building we went into was the chapel. In the front of the chapel there was a row of tiny seats. There were stained glass windows too. Then we continued down the walkway to Grandma’s house. Grandma’s house was built in 1890, After Laura had left. Inside they had a kitchen display, dolls, and a hands on room.
The we walked past the jail which was exactly like a bird cage, but with out a roof. Next we came to the Dugout. This was a replica of the one that was down by Plum Creek. We stopped at the Old Red School house and then went to the Settlers Home.
The last building we stopped at was the Heritage Lane building. Inside they had a hands on area. Marcus and I played at the store for a while. I am glad we got to stop at Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Walnut Grove.
Written by Cali
We stopped at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site on our way across South Dakota. First we made a stop at Silo Delta-09. It once stored a Minuteman II missile. On one of the blast doors they had painted “delivery in 30 minutes or less or you next one is free.” There were 150 Minuteman missiles in South Dakota and many more across the great plains. They were manufactured during the Cold War. There is no definite start or end date to the Cold War. It was a struggle between the United States and the U.S.S.R. to build up a stock pile of weapons. By 1967 the United States had 1,000 missiles. At the visitor center we completed the Junior Ranger Program and watched a film. They are just getting all the displays set up because it is a new National Park. Learning about the missiles was very interesting.
Written by Marcus William Perry
Wind Cave was amazing! There are 140 miles of tunnels are under the park. It is the densest cave system in the world (more cubic miles of cave in each square acre.) It goes down about 500 feet. Some people believe it connects with Jewel Cave which may make it the largest cave system in the world. Not all of the cave has been discovered yet. They are discovering about four miles per year. The cave was formed by carbonic acid which is rain water that collects carbon as it seeps through the ground. The same stuff that makes soda fizzy. The cave is known for it’s boxwork. This magnificent formation is no longer being created. To imagine how it was formed you need to know how masons lay bricks. Imagine that the bricks were dissolved by the carbonic acid and just the mortar was left.
We took a guided walking tour with Ranger Anna and completed the Junior Ranger Program. Above ground, the park includes the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States. This was not a beautiful cave but to me it was magnificent!
Written by Marcus William Perry
At Jewel Cave we took a ranger led tour of the cave. It was called the Lantern Tour http://www.nps.gov/jeca/planyourvisit/lanterntour.htm. At the beginning Ranger Mike (our tour guide) told us a little about the cave and Gave us our lanterns. We walked down to the cave entrance and went in. After Ranger mike shut the gate behind us, he explained to us where we were going and how we would get there. First we walked down a passage and came to a larger room. He told us we were going down a row of six ladders with only a lantern for light. After we went down them we went down some more passage ways. Then we reached the turn around point of our tour. Ranger Mike told us that they had only discovered 3% of the cave. He said that there could be up to 4,000 miles of cave and they were discovering 4 miles a year. We headed back and reached the cave entrance in no time. I glad we got to go on the cave tour and I would do it again. Before we left we turned in our Junior Ranger and received our badges.
We stayed at Heartland RV Park while we visited the Black Hills of South Dakota. We used Passport America discount, but they did charge a fee on top of the price for kids (aka kid tax.) It ended up being about $30 a night.
I was ecstatic when I learned that we were going to meet the Dumas at Devils Tower! You can see their post at http://turtletells.com/2015/07/27/devils-tower-2/ We arrived at Devils Tower on Sunday afternoon, after what seemed like a never ending ride. They had not arrived yet, so I tried to be patient. Them a couple hours later Lillian ran and jumped on me. We hugged and talked a mile a minute, about what books we were reading, Harry Potter, and Sewing. That night we had a sleeep over. Lillian and I stayed up late talking and playing games. In the moring we played Toss the Manatee, a game we made up. Then we took a hike up to the base of Devils Tower. Then we walked around Devils Tower. Before we walked down we went and got our Jounior Ranger Programs and heard the heard the Indian legend about the tower.
We learned the geology behind the tower’s formation, too. It is made of hardened molten magma. The sedimentary rock around the magma has been eroded. Once we were down Lillian and I went and searched for a way down to a stream we had found. We had no luck in finding one so we went back and played Clue with the boys. Then Miss B came over with good news. They had found a way down to the stream. We got our tubes and walked down. We floated down the creek several times.
Then it was time for dinner. We had hamburgers and watermelon. We went to a presentation about all the people who have climbed the tower. Someday Lillian and I would like to climb it. We played outside for a bit and them played more clue. We all slept at the Dumas camper. The next moring we watched some Flipper and then went down to the stream. We stayed there most of the day. Then we all slept at our house. The boys and the dads went to see Close Encounters which was filmed here. Then we had to say goodbye. I was sad we had to leave, but I am glad we got to see them.
After we spent the afternoon at Fort Laramie we went to see Register Cliff. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail left their names on this wall. There are also lots of more recent names. Lots of birds make their nests there too.
We stopped by the Oregon Trail ruts while we were nearby. We had been there a few years ago, but had some time to walk around and explore. This trail was used by three different groups of travelers over the years. You can check out our original post https://unpredictableperrys.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/oregon-trail-ruts-in-guernsey-wyoming/
We spent the night at Fort Laramie City Park. It was free, but we left a donation. There were no hook-up, but it was a great place to spend the night for us.
Fort Laramie is not really a fort. It is a military encampment to aide the westward expansion. Many settlers stopped here before continuing on the Oregon Trail. Fort Laramie has never seen military action. The soldiers, who were mostly Irish and other immigrants signed up for service from one to five years. They were bored and 33% deserted. About 75% of the deserters succeeded. We went to a presentation on life in the military at Fort Laramie. Kids at the fort went to a school usually taught by a private. Most were children of higher ranking officers and therefore could give orders to their teachers. The weird thing is Fort Laramie is about 100 miles from Laramie, Wyoming but it is on the Laramie River. We saw the oldest standing house in Wyoming.
Written by Marcus William Perry