*I’m posting every day in February as part of my determination to #makefebfun. For more info, read this post.*
Today is my dad’s birthday. On his special day, I’m reminiscing about one of our two cross-country road trips. This one involved a very literary stop!
When I was preparing to attend grad school at University of Washington in Seattle, I had to figure out how to get my car, belongings, and myself across the country safely. I knew just who would come to the rescue – my dad. He’d always wanted to do a cross-country drive, so this was a good opportunity to see the sights and also to make sure my little red Corolla and I didn’t get lost along the way.
My dad did quite a bit of research and we decided on the northerly route from Massachusetts to Washington. My one major request: to make a stop at one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder landmarks along the way. That’s how we ended up in De Smet, South Dakota walking around the “Little Town on the Prairie,” including the restored schoolhouse and other buildings where Laura, Mary, Carrie, Ma and Pa spent their long winter days.
After having read the Little House books over and over again, it was exciting to be in one of the actual places that Laura and her family lived. Even with modern buildings and conveniences, it was easy to imagine my way back into the late 1800s prairie life. Although I loved stopping at some of the more famous American landmarks like Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore, De Smet, South Dakota was probably the most special stop for me.
I’m so glad my dad and I cruised across the country together. Kind of like Jack Kerouac and his friends … a bit tamer, I suppose, but just as fun. Happy Birthday, Dad!