Monday, November 15, 2010

Great American Road Trip, Part XIV: The Road Home

The last few days of our trip were mostly long-haul drives. When we embarked on our journey, our plan had been to take time on the road home, to drive through Kansas and go to Independence to see the Little House on the Prairie site there, and then to drive to Mansfield, Missouri, to see Rocky Ridge Farm (where Laura lived most of her adult life, and where her home is now a museum. I've been there before, and wanted to see it again). However, at this point in the trip, we had been on the road for a long time, and my husband felt a need to get back to work. My son's birthday was coming up, and we wanted to be home for that, and school was also looming on the horizon. So, we drove I-70 straight through to Missouri without any site seeing. Not even the world's largest ball of twine!

My mother-in-law grew up in a small town in Missouri. My husband spent a lot of summers there when he was a child, and some of his relatives still live there, so we did some visiting for a day. Our children have been there before for family reunions and weddings, but it had been a long time and they didn't really remember much about it (other than the oppressive and horrible humidity, which is very memorable!). My husband grew up not far from where we live now, but most of his best and favorite childhood memories are from the times he spent in Missouri, so it is important for the children to see those places. I know my mother-in-law (who passed away three years ago) would have been so happy that we included a stop in her home town on our big vacation!

And then, of course, there is always something interesting to see on the Mississippi River.

We happened to be there in 1993 when the river was at its highest. Even though we were there and saw it with our own eyes, it is still hard to believe it was actually all the way up to that mark on the flood gate!

The last leg of our journey home took us through rural Illinois, where we passed a campground called "Rest In Peace Campground". Seriously? Whose idea was that? Does anyone camp there? I wouldn't!

And finally home again.

where the scenery behind the bison mascot really isn't all that spectacular or interesting, but it is home, and we were glad to be back.

Four thousand nine hundred fifty miles. Sixteen days. Nine states (four of which were new to me). Six state capital cities. Two state capitol buildings. Six national parks. Two Laura Ingalls Wilder sites. Twelve picnic lunches at rest areas, historic sites, town parks, or in national parks. One horrible storm. Countless memories to last a lifetime.

1 comment:

Glenda said...

What a trip!!! You took some fantastic photos, Tracy =).

That's crazy how high the water reached in '93. Interesting thing I noticed: 3 of the 4 high water marks are years that ended in "3" (and the fourth was off by only one year!).