History at our fingertips

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
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Trip End Sep 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Missouri Park Campground
What I did
Laura ingalls Wilder Museum

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Saturday, May 19, 2012

After a another nice and dry night's sleep in the tent, it was time to pull up stakes and hit the road again. We had made acquaintances with the RV owners across the way and it was a bit of a friendly battle to see whether the tent and family could get packed up and on the road before the the older couple and the MASSIVE mobile home. Knowing Tim, who do you think won? 
We were on our way North to Mansfield Missouri to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. This was one of the chief items on Lily's list of things to see and do in America and she had no idea where we were off to. All drive we were dropping hints about heading to Missouri, and "I wonder where we're going to end up today?" But, our little Miss Lily did not twig until we pulled into the parking lot opposite the Museum and she actually saw a sign. This despite the huge billboard when we got off the interstate proclaiming our exit as the one for The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. We even said, "We think it's time to look around some more." But, no, nothing until we turned in at the parking lot!!!!! But then there was some genuine excitement, and "really? we're really here? OH, THANKS MUM AND DAD!!!" 
It turns out that the house and Museum we were visiting was where Laura and Almanzo ended up settling and moving to after their diasters chronicled in the book "The First Four Years". There they stayed and raised their daughter Rose and slowly added to their farm over time. They ended up with 400 acres of rolling Missouri hills with apple orchards surrounding them. They stayed there and this is where Laura started to write the famous series: Little House on The Prairie. Laura lived to be 90 and Almanzo to 92. For 8 years they lived in a stone house 1/2 a mile down the road that was built and designed for them by their daughter Rose who decided that they needed a break from the farm chores. In an interesting twist, as soon as Rose moved out of the original house and went back overseas, they packed up their belongings and moved back to the house that they built. There were many interesting anecdotes from our tour, but one that stuck in my mind was that apparently Almanzo was the hardest to teach to drive because he either stepped on the wrong pedal, or pulled back on the steering wheel and yelled 'whoa!' when he wanted to stop. It was a wonderful visit and tour and at one point Lily became quite overcome by emotion and sprung a few leaks! We were certainly glad we stopped and surprised Lily with this wonderful experience. As well, we discovered that there was another series about the life of Rose, and we purchased the first book in the series. More reading to come, no doubt.
After the tour we travelled a few miles up the road to a RV campground and pitched our tent, the kids had a swim in the pool and we had 'franks and beans' for tea.
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