We stood on the big rock where Laura and Mary played, smelled the prairie flowers and climbed up a hill to the remains of the dugout. “It’s even smaller than the cabin in Wisconsin,” Will noted. Laura certainly chose the right adjective “little” to describe her childhood homes.
With Plum Creek mud between our toes, we enjoyed a picnic dinner on the banks of the creek. A hush settled over the prairie as the sun faded. I took one last look before we drove into the sunset toward De Smet, South Dakota.
As De Smet, featured in Laura’s Little Town on the Prairie, celebrated July 4th, we drove around in the dark. We finally located a dirt road outside of town that led to the Ingalls homestead site. The land is now “Laura’s Living Prairie,” a living history attraction and campground.
Jon and David got the gear, donned headlamps, and pitched the tent on the same quarter section of land Pa chose for his homestead in 1880. As my exhausted family drifted to sleep, I realized we’d traveled in a day what would have taken Charles Ingalls months to travel by wagon.
Continue reading Caroline Kiberd’s On the Little House Trail in the March-April issue of Home Education Magazine.
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