Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Incredible Journey (Part 8)

Continuing with our wild adventure...

Highlights of Minnesota:

10,000 lakes. Seriously. I've never seen so many lakes, big and small.
We camped at a military base on the banks of the Mississippi River. The mosquitoes were crazy, just as bad as Georgia. It was a traumatic night for me because we boondocked (no electric, no water, no sewer) and the campground was empty, except for one other camper. I was certain we'd be eaten by a bear or kidnapped during the night. I didn't sleep.
I did manage to dry some more laundry from the previous day. Thankfully it was cool weather so we didn't die from lack of air conditioning.
At this point in our travels, our map of states visited was really filling up fast. We have been almost everywhere!
These guys were just ready to take off into the woods! I had to entertain them in the camper until the sun went down. We pretty much went to sleep at dusk and hit the road at dawn. Everyday.
For some reason, Leila developed these weird, bloody sores on her lips the next morning. They last about a week and I never did figure out the cause, but they went away on their own. She looked awful though!
The kids must have begged to watch "Minnesota Cuke" at least 50 times on this trip. It never got old!

Highlights of North Dakota:

We spent our first night in North Dakota at an Air Force base. While there, we saw a couple driving a very unique, antique car. They waved to us. The boys were thrilled. When we got to Washington, Matthew spotted the antique car at our campground. He swore it was the same one. Sure enough, the couple came out and waved again, recognizing us from North Dakota! What a small world!
The kids were in love with the little prairie dogs that surrounded our campsite. We took a long walk to explore the local wildlife.

But, pretty much, the plains are just a lot of nothingness.
And sunflowers. (Reminded me of Kansas.)
A few lakes. But mostly just nothing.
Well, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, we found something.
A park!
And friends!

Do you recognize anyone else in these photos?
Like maybe another family with a set of twins, and 4 boys + 2 girls?
I didn't get many photos, but then, I'm not the photographer... (Ohhh, Brittany... Where are you? Busy with the harvest I bet!)
My kids learned a lot about Lewis and Clark and the mapping of America. It was a great history and geography lesson to walk where the explorers walked and see the vast, empty plains that must look much like they did so many years ago.
When we woke at dawn, the plains were covered in a thick blanket of fog. It was eerie. I spent hours and hours driving without cell phone service and often without seeing another car. It was partly scary, partly exhilarating, and it afforded me way too much time to contemplate the meaning of my life and other complex issues. Seriously, if you ever need to clear your head, drive out west across the plains.

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