Ninth Step: Laura Ingalls Wilder ~Exploring Pepin~

After reading several of Laura’s Little House books it became clear that a road trip was going to be in our future. I had to see these places described so lovingly in the books and stand in the same creeks that she played in and experience the prairie for myself. Thankfully, the bug had caught and everyone in our home felt the same way. Some books that were very helpful in planning our trip were, Laura Ingalls Wilder Country, The Little House Guidebook, and  Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was also very fun reading about other’s Laura travels, which besides being fun, had some interesting tips and hints as well! These narrative-style books were  The Wilder Life, and My Life as Laura. With that, on to our  first stop, Laura’s birthplace, Pepin, Wisconsin!
Coming from the Chicagoland area, it was a half a day’s drive to Pepin and a great place to hop out of the car and stretch our legs. The first place we visited was the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. It is a small museum with some interesting artifacts that were either Laura’s or from the time she lived. It also included a small gift shop and play area for the kids. After viewing, playing, and shopping we headed to the shore of Lake Pepin.
I wanted to collect some rocks like Laura did when she made her first visit to a town ever, Pepin. She filled her pockets so full with rocks that her pocket ripped from her apron when Pa went to lift her into the wagon! The kids enjoyed finding their own special rocks to take with them as a memento of their visit. Finally, we went to visit Laura’s birthplace!
At Laura’s birthplace there is a recreation of a small cabin, and a sign denoting the significance of the spot. Unfortunately, there are no more Big Woods there. Those big stumps that gave Pa so much trouble have been cleared for farmland, so some imagination is necessary. Whomever owns the site has planted some trees there though to shelter the area a bit and separate from the surrounding farms. From there we continued on the next leg of our journey to Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, Minnesota!

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