What a great day be in North Dakota!
So we had a couple of goals for this trip (and future trips). First and foremost it is about building family memories and just being together. Some of my favorite family memories were trips we took (like to Charleston and Niagra Falls, as well as to the beach with my grandparents). In addtion, we are homeschooling this year and we also wanted to take advantage of where we were, and make history and science come alive! Let the world be our classroom! And what better way than to jump onto the Lewis and Clark Scenic Highway and go visit some of the places they spent their time in the Corp of Discovery.
Being from the south, we learn about the discovery of the west and the expansion of our country - but honestly, it's hard to picture what life on the prairie was like until you SEE it. I can attest to that because I've never been out here! All this stuff you are about to read about - it's the first time I've ever seen it. I love walking the footsteps of the history that I've read and studied. The expansion of our country is really amazing - it's got both amazing stories and heart wrenching stories. And these "stories" were lived by real people.
We are taking advantage of the "Every Child In A Park" program. When you are in 4th grade - you can go to their website and sign up. Print out your paper and it gains you and your family entrance to virtually all National Parks, lands, monuments, etc... during that school year. Megan is in 4th grade and today we went to our 1st National Historic Site on her pass!
Knife River Indian Villages Historic Site is a really neat place. It is the area along the Knife River that was inhabited by the Mandan and Hidatsu villages. Not just any villages - but the very village that Sacagawea lived in. The villages were Earthlodges, so none of them remain today. They reconstructed one so that people could see what the winter homes were like....
We walked down to the shore of the Knife River to see what it was like - since this was the very river that Lewis and Clark navigated on their exploration.
Megan and Nicole were very excited to start on their first Jr. Ranger badges!!! Ranger Jeff was beyond wonderful! He helped the girls get off to a great start and really ignited their passion to learn about the park.
He even gave the girls a lesson in flint! He showed them how to strike flint to make a spark.
It was a great way to start off our celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service!
Both girls worked hard and earned their Jr. Ranger badges!
After we learned all about Sacegewa ---- which here is spelled/pronounced - sakakewa (FYI).... we headed over to Fort Mandan - the wintering grounds for the Corp of Discovery (Lewis and Clark's crew) and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
It still flies the 15 star flag.
The girls really enjoyed the interactive portions of the center....
The best part of our discoveries today - getting to spend the day with Uncle Steve and Auntie Nona!!!! We are so thankful they gave up their day to hang out with us and explore the history of the area!
The girls had to get a photo with Seaman - the dog that went with Lewis and Clark on their voyage of exploration.