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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 8: A Birthday and Battlefields

Today, I am now closer to 50 than ever before.   We had plans for today! Even if we had to do a little bit of back tracking.   The one thing I wanted to do was to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder home at  Rocky Ridge Farm, which is in Mansfield, Mo.  Which is what we did.
On  our way out to Mansfield, we passed some horse drawn wagons.  I did not take photos, I was not sure if it was rude or not to take photos of the Amish.   It was interesting to see the wagons and the horses on going down the side of the road.  Lon and I talked a little about the community and what I knew of it. Mainly, they live plainly and do not use any modern stuff.   Lon just liked the horses.
At the house. The Director of the museum was pulling in as I was walking up the hill with my cane. She stopped her car and told me I could park up in the lot up near the house. I said thank you, but I do not have a handicapped sticker. She said, you look like you are walking slow and, besides, the police are not going to bother with you up here.  So we did. It was very nice not to have to walk up the hill.
Lon at the side of the house. It was finished in 1913. Almanzo built everything that Laura wanted in the house. She was a tiny person, 4'11". The counters in the kitchen were all low, so she could easily work in there. She asked him for built ins and there were a ton. When Rose (their daughter) bought them a refrigerator, they had to build a tiny addition to house the fridge.
I would have taken pictures of every single thing I could, but they would not let you take any photos in the museum or the house. darn it.
The other side of the sign.  I got myself a t shirt and they had one silver charm left of the house. I like the 3-d charms best, not the flat kind. I was thrilled to get one.
Part of their apple orchard.
The house was wonderful. I had wanted to see the farm since I found out about it, and that was when I was  little. I was not disappointed.  I enjoyed every single minute of it.  And I could see it again.

Then it was time to get down the road, back to Wilson's Creek. I wanted to see Laura Ingalls Wilder's home first thing, even though it ment back tracking a bit.
Lon finished up as much as he could on the Jr. Ranger book we picked up right before they closed last night.

In front of the Ray Home at Wilson's Creek. The battle raged all around the house and the house was not hit at all. The family stayed in the cellar. It must have been so scary. When they came out, the dead and wounded were all around the house. The kids (all 11 of them) got water for the soldiers.
Lon and I had to take a hike, we did not realize it was over a mile, and it was hot. Very hot. 94. I talked with Lon about how the soldiers were in the same kind of heat, but with packs and there were cannons going off and they had to run places in their wool uniforms.  He said being a Civil War Soldier would have been very tough.
Goofy picture of the ranger, but Lon got his 25th Jr. Ranger badge.
The ranger told us about Pea Ridge, just down the road in Arkansas and that it was worth seeing.  She said it was about an hour down the road. I looked at the map, okay. It is close to 540, then I can get on 40 and it should be a faster road to travel on, since it is an interstate.  Um, sure. Not when you get behind slow moving cars and then everyone slows down to see the police pull someone over.  (no, it was not me)
We made it just in time! Lon got the booklet, did the things he had to do in the museum, and promised to finish as he went through the battlefield.  On that promise, they let him have his badge. Yes, he did finish up his booklet.  One of the things he had to do was count the cannons still out there, he counted 31.  Since this was Lon's third Civil Rights/Civil War National Park he also got a badge for being a Jr. Ranger Civil War Historian. He was very proud of that.
Looking at the cannon

Learning more about the Battle of Pea Ridge
We did not have to do any hiking at Pea Ridge. The park itself is open till 9, just the visitor's center closed at 4:30.  We drove through the park and looked at the stations. We had the windows down and the radio off. It seemed somehow disrespectful to have the radio playing.  We listened to the forest around us. There was almost no one else there.
I looked over and saw the deer. He just kept doing what he was doing. We watched him for a while.   It was amazing to see him up so close. This was not zoomed in, this is how far he really was from the car! Lon was quiet the entire time watching the deer do deer things.
The Elkhorn tavern. Part of the battle.
It was time to move on down the road.
We got gas in Lowell, Ar
Mileage: 3172.9
gallons: 9.843
price: 36.02
I was shooting for Little Rock to spend the night, we did not quite make it. We stopped in Conway.  The traffic was terrible on the way down 540, we did not make good time at all.
We stopped at a Hilton Garden Hotel. Lon told them it was my birthday, so they brought this out for me. I thought it was very sweet.
Lon built me a tower for cupcakes for my birthday and he wanted everyone to see it.
He was being very nice to me today.

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