Day 8 . Lewis & Clark and 1880’s Town

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

Day 8 . By Ema ~ I had started to awake from the heat, but was trying to ignore it until a little fly decided to would keep buzzing me and being my alarm. We got up and started with the necessities of brushing our teeth and such. Elle exclaims every time now just how much she loves our toothpaste, thanks to My Magic Mud, who gifted me with a toothpaste, tooth powder and bamboo tooth brush. I got Elle one too for the journey from our local Natural food store Healthy Habitz in Frankenmuth, Michigan. We have so much fun brushing with the black charcoal paste. It taste so good too! After getting dressed and freshened up, we explored the Lewis and Clark Information Center and learned how they camped along the Missouri River, right in that spot. It is also where the Magpie was first officially found and recorded for scientific purpose. Clark was also known to have shot a buffalo there, as it was recorded in their journals. He also spoke of the fields being full of black as their were thousand of buffalo roaming past in herds.

The native woman art installation named Dignity is representing the link between the sky, earth, and people. When we arrived yesterday night she glowed in an array of beautiful blues in the night. In the sun she shone over the valley with all her divinity.

We took a hike down the hill to get some fresh air before we started our day of driving. Elle wanted to go all the way down to the river, but it was quite far and we did not really have time, nor I the energy, to get all the way there and back. So we agreed on a little exploring, but not all the way, as much as this mermaid was craving a swim.

We left behind a love rock also before we got on out way. It is so much fun and sweetness planting a #loveandwaterrock as we journey.

We were on a mission to finally arrive Mount Rushmore at it was originally the first big stop on out itinerary, but we had yet to make it there. So we were off again heading west on hwy 90 when I saw a sign for the 1880’s Town. It is an old town with no cars, and buildings from the time that have been moved to this location. When you first enter there is an area dedicated to the movie, Dances with Wolves. There are many of the props from the film including the actual teepee.

Once you enter the village you tap into another time. We were fortunate enough to arrive at a rather quiet moment and practically had the town to ourselves besides the locals who were in period clothing and actually live their for the season.

We found our way into the saloon which served cold sarsaparilla and root beer which was perfect as the day was sweltering. I love heat, and even I was hot. Elle is full of character and put on a mini show of her silliness at the saloon. Unfortunately there was no water to jump in, but thankfully we were having so much fun we forgot about the heat.

For a reasonable fee you can rent a costume and wander the town. We decided we had to fully dive into the experience and entered the room full of all the elements needed to transform oneself.

Soon we had stepped back in time and went to explore the town. We had at first thought this would just be a quick stop, but time fell away and we spent the day living our pioneer life. Elle even drove the wagon pulled by two horses. She took us up the hill where we saw a camel that is left over from a time when the infantry tried using them like horses. Unfortunately the experiment failed and they were let loose in the prairie. This lucky one seems to have found himself a little town to call his own. Then we were off down through and around the town. The carriage driver, a man with a long beard and top hat decided he wanted to keep her and tried to get her to stop at the church, but she chose wisely and drove us onward down into town. He tried to convince her a few more times, but after her repeated no, he told her to think about it and asked me. Funny man indeed. So now, if we ever need to go anywhere by carriage, Elle can get us there!

We spent every last moment we could in the town, like we belonged.

When it came time to transform into our modern selves, we so did not want to go back. My dress actually fit me perfectly like it was tailored just for me, and little Elle was a vision of one of the girls from Little House on the Prairie. Her dress and my bonnet had actually been made by Joy, the kind women who dressed us. We were gleeful in our new attire, but began to change. As we did I asked the women if there was any chance they would sell the dress I was wearing, as it felt like it was made for me. At first she said the dresses were not for sale, but then upon further reflection of how it really was just right for me, she decided to make an offer. Elle at first tried to convince me we really did not need them til Joy asked what she thought about adding hers too to take. We were convinced together at last and soon we had all we needed, dresses, aprons, and our bonnets.

We wandered the town a bit more for the last moments and found the carriage driver again who gifted me a gold coin from the town, as he had done for Elle while she was driving the carriage. We stopped through to the salon one last time to get Elle some popcorn for the road and the bar man offered her his last bag for free. Kind people indeed. As we were driving away in the van she asked if we could just stay and van camp there, but I felt we must journey on as much as I would have liked to have stayed too.

It did come time for them to close and us to journey on, as it was now nearing sunset and we had barely driven today. The sun was officially going down and we could see the Badlands ahead in the distance. We decided to try for camping in the park and drove in as the light faded from the sky and the mountains appeared silhouetted on the horizon. There were no electric sights left, but we found the camp manager who told us of the group loop that was open to just park where you could find a spot. We wandered a bit through the loops of the campground until at last we found our destination for the night. I was happy to see there was plenty of space and we set up for the nights rest. I believe we shall awake to a spectacular view. Oh, and the mosquitoes are awful. I am all itchy… but the stars are so brilliant I can’t go in just yet. I can see the Milky Way and stars almost close enough to touch. They reach right down to what seem to be cliffs peaking through the night. A shooting star just blessed me with a wish. A dream to be. There are calls in the night not too far away. It sounds like coyotes. I shall let them sing me to sleep with their song.

By Elle ~ Today I awoke and got ready we went into the Lewis and Clark Museum inside of the rest center. Sissy was amazed when I told her I’d never heard of these men. She explained they were explorers that traveled across America. We looked and learned about many cool things like the buffalo and magpie. I honestly wasn’t very interested even though it was a good lesson for me. For me it was sad to see all the Buffalo skins hanging up. I know the dead animals in glass boxes, but even still Sissy read out everything to me so my brain could absorb it. We are in museum for about 20 minutes learning about Louis and Clark. There was this cool Indian statue we decided to hide a love rock by her foot. Then we walked down a little trail, but sissy didn’t want to walk very far because she was on her moon, so we headed back to the car and drove about an hour till we found an 1880 village and decided to stay there and explore. The first part was about this movie, but once past that it became fun. There was a lot of buildings with old things and the buildings were actually from the 1880s. They had moved them down to the location for the village, so we saw a lot of old buildings including an outhouse, a jail, and a salon with a bath. We went into the Saloon were they had sarsaparilla, root beer, and ice cream. We had sarsaparilla, but had to go back to the car and get my phone because sissy’s had died. We ran to the car and headed back to dress up. Once back we started looking through the dresses. Sissy picked out 2 for her to try and really wanted me to try on a prairie girl one. I tried it on. At first I thought I’d hate it, but it was perfect. It was a beaut! I loved it so much it was perfect for me. I loved it. The first dress sis tried was way too big but the 2 one fit her perfectly. We decided these we the ones. Sissy got her extras and we put on shoes and we took lots of photos and even found a camel which the carriage guy said was a buffalo. Then we rode the horse carriage and I got to drive, but I got proposed to and tried to get the horses and take them away, but failed. Sissy got proposed to also. After more looking we finally moved on and went to return our dresses, but neither of us wanted to because we loved them, so we asked if we could keep them and she said they could not sell them, but then she said 50 dollars. I was not in for it at first but when she added in my dress too I was up for it. We got 2 bonnets and 2 dresses for 25 dollars each, which was a really good deal. With a small bag of popcorn off to the gift shop we went. There was these rings I wanted for sis and I, but decided it wasn’t what I wanted really. We got a giant bag of popcorn for $0 and we journeyed on to a camp and soon I was off to sleep.

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