Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Laura's Last Stop

Sept. 23

It was so dark last night that we were a bit spooked by the river. Was it deep? Dark? Muddy? Were there weird critters in it?

Box turtle rescue - another turtle helped across the road
I woke just before sunrise this morning (that’s happening more and more often this trip – perhaps it helps that the sun is rising LATER each day!), and enjoyed a quiet sunrise on the river while the girls had a little lay in. The river is the first clear running water we’ve seen in more than a month (since Canada). It was a fairly shallow, wide section with a gentle flow of relatively warm water appearing mysteriously from the mist just a few yards upstream. It was almost T-shirt weather when I awoke, and the mist that enveloped our camp was a bit spooky, but there was enough light to really enjoy the effect. Tiny fish were jumping, so I practiced my fly casting until I snapped off one of my best flies (good thing I buy them in pairs).
Visiting Laura's house

Once the girls were up, we headed west to Mansfield, MO, the last home of Laura & Almonzo Wilder. We had a picnic in the grass at the parking lot, toured the home they built on Rocky Ridge, and visited the stone house their daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, purchased for them with her $10,000 book publishing bonus. (I know, Mom, you’re still waiting for a book of mine to pay for your trip around the world. Prices have gone up since Rose bought the rock house from the Sears catalog!) Hard to believe the Wilders couldn’t bring themselves to stay in this beautiful house on an even more beautiful piece of wooded land. They returned to their House on Rocky Ridge, for which they’d been homesick the eight years they lived in their gift home.

Kicking back in camp, Liberty, Missouri
We pressed on west again this afternoon in time to catch the George Washington Carver National Monument, but not in time to serve it justice, so we’ve camped in Liberty, MO, for the night and will return to the monument in the morning before pressing on. Westward Ho!

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