Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Out West trip Day One

As part of homeschool enrichment, we took a 3 week trip across the western US, at first loosely following Lewis and Clark's expedition up the Missouri/Ohio and Mississippi rivers, then branching off to see various National Parks and other areas of interest.  For this trip I'm going to show one day at a time because there is a crazy amount of photos.

Day one was one of the longest in terms of how far we drove.  Left home around 8am.  Drove up past St. Louis to our first campground northwest of there at Quivre River, MO. (pronounced Kweever)
This is the whole trip.  I suggested making each day a different colour but somehow that task was too demanding...
Hmmm, seems like we're starting out on the wrong foot.  Are we going the wrong direction?

Ohio River

Confluence of Mississippi and Ohio

Our first Lewis and Clark reference

At Cairo, we stopped briefly at the painted wall.  This wall is actually a barrier for when the Ohio (or I suppose even the Mississippi) river might flood.

Confluence area

A very large tree along the Mississippi at Cape Girardeau

Interesting architecture

Downtown somewhere (Cape Girardeau?)

Really people?  Just had to take this one of a misplaced toilet.

Ah, at last we see the familiar arch.

Courthouse building

Look at the SIZE of this thing!

Under the arch is a wonderfully comprehensive museum depicting the expansion of the west and specifically of Lewis and Clark.  While there we were fortuitously able to watch the documentary of their trip west and got an interesting overview.

Campsite 1 - Quivre River, MO.  The hottest and most humid of all the places we stayed!

Out West day two

Day two found us heading north along the Missouri river, stopping at points of interest along the way.

Reference map again
Looks like a cold front

Rolling in...

Some bright flowers

Another similar bridge to the one on day one.

Fields and fields of (prolly GMO) soybeans

The temperatures dropped and rain came in during the day.  A welcome respite from the sweltering heat of yesterday.

Lewis and Clark State Park

Along the edges of Blue Lake

I can see this park would be busy during the summer.  As it was, it was approaching Labor Day weekend and spaces were limited.

A replica of the boat L and C used.

Out West day Three

After walking around the park a bit, we left around 9 and headed north again towards the Pipestone park in Minnesota before heading west into South and North Dakota.

Yes, L and C's team pushed upstream.  What a tough job!

Rolling green but haven't reached the plains yet.

Lots of bits of information along the way.

Me thinks we're starting to see prairie.

This is in an Indian reservation.  Very pretty.

The only fatality on L and C's expedition.  Sargeant Floyd's gravesite memorial overlooking the Missouri river.

From the memorial to Floyd.

Ah, the prairie at last.

Be ready for lots of selfies (and not of me, the author)

360 of the grasslands at "Touch the Sky WMA".  Love it

Picnic lunch

Lots of these wild prairie sunflowers

There was some controversy when these windmills went in but became a good source of income for the faltering local economy

A "specimen"

Diorama of Pipestone indians mining the stone

A modern day pipestone carver

We took a little walk

Some local architecture

Why did I take this picture?

A neat little farm

Definitely prairie now.  Dilapidated but picturesque.
Arrived at Pickerel State Park in northern South Dakota.  Here we are set up in spot #69.  After dark C and I threw the football to each other - not easy, let me tell you!  C fixed her headlamp around it and that worked for a while.  Thankfully were on the grass.

We set up the tarp due to some sprinkling rain (much to S's chagrin).  I think it's genius!  At times it was so hilarious setting it up I was rolling on the ground laughing so hard.

Sitting by the lake.  It was very misty.

Then we pretended to be kids for a while

Large leaf, is it not?

So photogenic.  

No, not you!

And who do you suppose this eye belongs to?

Yes, I suppose you!
Supper was spaghetti with basil pesto, and a salad made with lettuce and spinach.