What’s in a name?

Scenic, South Dakota is not. Based on recent election results, Liberal, Kansas is decidedly conservative. My third grade geography teacher told me the Vikings named the inhospitable island Greenland and the lovely place Iceland as a bit of PR trickery so they could keep the good stuff all to themselves. We Minnesotans love to snicker…

Happy birthday America

When we pulled into Interior, South Dakota, we were stopped by a parade. Most places put their horses at the end of the parade. Here, they led it. A circle of trailers signaled the rodeo grounds and we found our spot in the bleachers next to a fella I’ll just call Fella. Apparently my denim…

Movie and a view

We drove 672 miles to watch a movie. And it was a rerun. I’m not sure when I first learned that the KOA campground (or is it Kampground?) outside Devil’s Tower, Wyoming has nightly outdoor screenings of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But ever since, I’ve known that I would sit in the audience….

The mad dash or the lazy day

Sometimes when I start a trip I just want to get there. I want to pack food, dehydrate the children for a day to avoid the bathroom breaks, and just roll. The more time I can preserve for the final destination, the better. Other times, I prefer a lazy stroll. Leaving Laura’s Homestead, we were…

Little Stop on the Prairie

When Pa Ingalls made the journey from Walnut Grove, Minnesota to his homestead near what is now De Smet, South Dakota, it took him more than a week by horse and wagon. Friday evening we made the same trip in two hours. Back in his day, the settled lands had been hunted out. There was…