Abby’s Awesome Adventure


Friday July 1, 2011 We set out for a trip to South Dakota.  We crossed the Mississippi River and during our drive through Iowa, we saw lots of windmills.   We spent the night at Hickory Hills Campground in Albert Lea, Minnesota, a nice clean campground where we enjoyed the refreshing swimming pool.

Abby with the Rig at the Tin Cup Campground Windmills - taken by Abby


Saturday July 2  We arrived at De Smet, SD, where we spent a couple of days at Spot Campground.  De Smet, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1879-1894, was also the final stopping place for her family.   While there we enjoyed the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes tour, including the Surveyor’s House, replica of the De Smet school, and the Ingalls Home.  We also saw a few other historic sites, including the Almonzo & Laura Wilder homestead site and the hitching post at the Loftus home.  After lunch at the Oxbow we spent the afternoon at the Ingalls Homestead, a wonderful “hands on” living museum.  Abby was able to experience many pioneer activities, including doing laundry, making rope, making a button toy, playing a pump organ, using a treadle sewing machine, churning butter, and driving a horse-drawn covered wagon to the Johnson school.  Abby bought souvenirs for her family as well.

Abby with Grandma and Grandpa Abby in De Smet  Abby at De Smet in the school Abby Ingalls Homestead with Grandpa

Abby at the Ingalls Homestead Abby & Grandpa at the dinner table in the Shanty Abby with the manure spreader

Abby at the Homestead Washing clothes by hand Abby at the homestead Abby Churns Butter Abby at the homestead

Abby playing the Pump Organ Abby at the sewing machine Abby at the Johnson School Abby at the Johnson School

Abby driving the covered Wagon Abby on the Homestead with a foal Abby at the Homestead Abby and Grandpa at the Homestead

Abby at the Homestead Abby at the Homestead Abby in De Smet


Monday July 4 We drove to Rapid City today.  We drove through Pierre (pronounced ‘Peer’), the state capitol, where we saw a severely swollen Missouri River with sandbags around most of the businesses and some of the homes.  In Ft. Pierre we encountered a July 4th parade, with lots of horses and patriotic floats.  In Rapid City we spent a couple of nights at the Americas Mailbox campground, while exploring the area.  We enjoyed the Rapid City fireworks from the back of our truck!

Bob's Steakhouse in South Dakota

Tuesday July 5 After taking care of some business, we visited Mount Rushmore National  Memorial, Abby’s primary goal for our trip.  It was a pretty day and we had beautiful views of Mount Rushmore.  We bought a few more souvenirs then headed to Crazy Horse Memorial where it misted but we were able to enjoy the views.  Grandpa & Grandma need to look at their 2007 pictures to identify the differences in the memorial since their last visit.  We drove home through Custer State Park, where we saw buffalo, pronghorn deer, prairie dogs, and wild burros. 










Wednesday July 6 We headed back to Tennessee today.   Interestingly, we saw several turtles along I-90 in South Dakota.  We spent the night at the North Sioux City KOA where Abby & Grandma enjoyed the pool.


 Thursday July 7  As we drove south through Iowa today we saw the very swollen Missouri River with large industrial sandbags along the one-lane I-29.  North of Omaha we were detoured to I-80 because of the flooding and subsequent interstate closing.  We spent the night at Tincup RV Park in Mahomet, Illinois, where we started Abby’s Awesome Adventure one week ago!

 Friday July 8 We drove all day and arrived at Campers RV Park in Columbia, Tennessee about 4:00 PM.  Abby was happy to be home and see her family.