On Saturday, my friends Steve on Broadway and Doug indugled me with a trip to Walnut Grove. After all, I was in Minnesota for the first time, so how could I not take advantage and see for myself the place where Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her childhood that inspired her to write the Little House book series? Also, my own sister Mary has dreamed of visiting this mecca so I'm considering it sort of a scouting trip.
It was a beautiful day for the journey that took us through rolling hills of farm land. We passed by many of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, although Steve tells me that there are really 13,000 lakes - I guess 10,000 looks better on the license plate. Walnut Grove is a tiny town and they definitely celebrate their claim to fame.
We stopped at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum first. While there are few of Laura's actual possessions there, it's a nice tribute and does display items and examples of the pioneer and early farmer period. There is a replica of the mud dugout in which the Ingalls family lived for a time. It was an eye opener to really understand how Laura romanticized the experience in On the Banks of Plum Creek.In reality, it must have been a miserable existence.
After some fun photo taking, we headed just out of town to Plum Creek and saw the sight where the actual mud dugout was. It was just on the edge of the prairie, which is now farmed. The spring in Plum Creek still runs and is a lovely, serene sight. I could just see Laura and Mary playing there on beautiful days.
It was a beautiful day and I'll always think of my visit there with Steve and Doug when I read the stories to my nieces.