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Showing posts from July, 2010

Devil's Tower and more fun with the Ryan family

We visited Devil's Tower with the Ryan family and the kids (and husbands) had a ball climbing. The kids all got Jr. Ranger badges too. It was a very intriguing big mountain just poking straight up out of the ground. Are their kids not the cutest ever?!
We had fun waving on the road too. :)
Yep, more pics...

On top of Mount Rushmore, another family on the road!

Some really cool things happened on top of Mount Rushmore. First we got the best parking spot ever. So going back home to the RV for dinner, right under the presidents’ noses, was pretty cool. And for the evening lighting ceremony, all the veterans were invited up to be a part of the flag lowering, so Allen got to participate in that, which was quite touching. Plus we learned the history from a tour guide, the kids earned Jr. Ranger badges, and we met the sweetest fulltime RVing retired couple.
Matt was the most excited to see this place and wanted to spend his birthday there. We got there 2 days early, but he was happy!
But THE coolest thing was meeting another family who lives on the road! After dinner we piled out of the RV and a man walked up and said are you Margie? I said uh yep! He said my wife follows your blog. : ) Their 5 kids piled out of their beautiful RV and it turns out they’re the Roadschooling Ryans who I’ve followed too! I had no internet access all day but man…

Wall Drug, a lesson in good marketing

We’d heard about Wall Drug and I read about it (cause that’s what I do) and I knew it wasn’t for us. Touristy, lots of people, shopping, cutesy stuff, just not us. We need to hike or climb something. Allen needs to conquer something. But it was a good lesson for the kids. They saw all the fun signs and thought it would be awesome. I told them they wouldn’t like it, but nothing teaches better than experience. So we stopped by and took a few pics and in the end, they couldn’t understand why something so lame had so many signs. Ah marketing. They learn about it when we shop and as we travel. I’m just hoping they get so good at understanding it that I can hire them to market for me!

The Badlands are bad and we love them!

Wow! We were just amazed at the Badlands. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but didn’t realize it would be so big. Or that there would be so many overlooks and amazing views. Or that the hikes would be that long, and hot, but totally worth it. Or that Allen would chase a rattlesnake. (Well, I should have expected that one.) We spent the day there and realized we’d only made it through a quarter of the park! So we stayed right there at the campground (it is so convenient to live in an RV!) and we spent another fun day driving, climbing, and the kids did the Jr. Ranger program and earned another badge for their new Jr. Ranger vests!
Here are pics from the first day. (Snake pic warning!)
And more pics from the second day!

1800 Town, SD and an impromptu photoshoot

We checked out 1800 Town since it was on our way. We decided it wasn’t worth the time/money to go in since we were ready to see the Badlands, but on the way out, I happened to see this amazing spot on the back of a store. It reflects the old train (now a diner) and looks so neat. I kept thinking oh I wish I were a photographer! And I wish I’d dressed Lizzy that day. : ) I took a few cute pics, but DSP Designer Tina Chambers (a real photographer) edited them for me. So cool!

Heading into South Dakota

The minute we crossed the Missouri River into South Dakota, the terrain changed to these beautiful rolling hills. Just beautiful! We saw antelope and bison, and the gazillion signs for Wall Drug of course. More on that later. But just the drive in was worth a blog post!

Still here, just not here, and loving Little House!

We haven't posted for a while, because we haven't had any internet access for a while! We're visiting Little House areas, and apparently, just like back in the 1800s, they don't have phone coverage or wireless internet. :) We found a hotspot here though, and I'm working all night and sleeping on the drive tomorrow.
We have so many pics and stories and we'll try to share soon, hopefully the next stop. We're in De Smet, SD heading west toward the Badlands tomorrow! The green and blue are some stops we'll consider. But check out our westward progress. Finally! :)
South Dakota's been beautiful so far. I can see why the Ingalls family stayed so long!

Little House – De Smet, SD – a must for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans

Walnut Grove was neat, but De Smet, South Dakota was just amazing! This is where most of Laura’s books are set, despite the TV show, and it’s a great experience. In and around town, we saw the surveyor’s house the Ingalls wintered in (small to us, but it was so big to Laura), the house Ma and Pa lived in later in life, the Wilder’s homestead,
the graves of most of the Ingalls family, Mr. Boast, and Rev. Brown (which was so sad!), Silver Lake, twin lakes Henry and Thompson, the original Loftus store, the site of the Wilder brothers’ store.
Then the most amazing part was the Ingalls homestead! It was set up so well with much to see and do. It’s on Pa’s original homestead claim and was like stepping back in time.
There was a dugout, a hay roof barn, well to drink from, a replica of their house to scale with interesting things to do inside. The kids even did laundry with a washboard and hung it to dry. We took a covered wagon ride to school (an original building from 1889) where the kids…

Little House on the Prairie - Walnut Grove, MN

We visited Walnut Grove, which seems little changed since Laura Ingalls Wilder’s time! We camped on the bank of Plum Creek (yes, just like the book!) The LIW museum had items from Laura’s life as well as the TV series (like the mantel from the show!). It had different buildings to check out, a school house, outhouse, dugout, jail, wagon, a typical 1800s house with a Plum Creek Experience room with lots of fun things for the kids (and grown ups!) to play with. An organ, dress up, kitchen, it was really fun!
Then the amazing thing was walking along Plum Creek and finding the actual spot where they lived in a dugout. It’s caved in now, but clearly visible and marked with a sign. There’s a bridge, a spring, and the big rock, just like in her book and looking across the beautiful prairie, you can just imagine their life in the little dugout. Walking across the bridge, walking above the dugout on the prairie, going to the spring for water. It’s just so easy to step back in time. And …

Scrap the Map Laptop Crop at the Mall of America!

We had a great time digital scrapbooking at the Mall of America on our first stop for Scrap the Map! I even scrapped a few pages myself! What a great location for a laptop crop. We had a wonderful room overlooking Nickelodeon Universe with a great crop room, and a sitting room with a fireplace.
Designer Kim Liddiard showed us a video tutorial on how to do an artistic sketch effect in Adobe Photoshop and many of the scrappers came up with great pages. We popped into the DSP chat room to chat with those who couldn’t make it to the crop live and even did a speed scrap with them. Designer Lauren Bavin visited us all the way from New Zealand via video chat. Kim even showed her around the mall! It was great to see Designer Nicole Young and DSP Mod Gail Simpson again and to get to meet Designer Heidi Kuester and DSP Mod Jenni Baeder for the first time! DSP has a big staff, and I can’t wait until I’ve met every single one of them in real life! We had locals as well as scrappers flying …