Sunday, August 16, 2009

Windmills and a Keelboat

We’ve crossed Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and are now in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We’ve had gorgeous weather so far. On Tuesday we saw our first crop duster in western Illinois, buzzing low as it crossed back and forth over our highway from one corn field to another. As we made our way across Iowa, it became a common sight to see the planes crisscrossing over the interstate. At one point we literally appeared to be playing a game of chicken with one of them, as he swooped low over the road’s shoulder and pulled up just as he neared our van. A little too close for my comfort, but everyone else thought it was great fun.

Another highlight of the Iowa plains were the gigantic windmills standing like sentinels over the corn and soybean fields. I’d never seen anything like them, and they made an impressive sight.

The absolute high point of our day came when we made an unplanned exit at the Lewis and Clark State Park in Onawa, Iowa. I had accidentally discovered this site on our GPS and learned that we would find a replica there of the keelboat that the Corps of Discovery traveled in. This was our first chance to make a stop on the Expedition’s trail, and we never anticipated how special it would be.

We pulled into a pretty park area beside a lake, and saw the boat replica docked up and open for visitors to climb aboard. We jumped on and began exploring and taking pictures. A little sign giving the history of the replica gave the name of the boatwright and mentioned that he had traveled with it to several points on the Lewis and Clark Trail giving educational talks about the Expedition.

The children were enjoying playing on the boats, so Kurt and I took a seat to relax and watch them for a few minutes. After awhile a man pulled up in a pickup truck and introduced himself. It was Mr. Bouvier, the builder of the boat! He was so friendly, and when we told him we were homeschoolers on vacation, and that we were trying to make a few stops on the Lewis and Clark trail, he gave us a good portion of the educational program that he does for school field trips. He took us into the locked portion of the boat and showed us around, and then gave us a beautiful print of the original boat. We took pictures with him and the Lewis and Clark Flag, a blunder buster gun, and a buffalo skull he had on hand. At the end of our visit, he even fired the boat’s cannon, which was quite a treat!

What a delightful surprise God blessed us with on our trip today! It serves as a reminder to me that He does care about the details of our lives.


  1. What a wonderful trip you are getting to take. I have always wanted to just travel across states and see what they have to offer.

  2. What an amazing unplanned stop!

  3. Hi there! Found your blog through Curriculum Choice. Can you please tell me who designed your blog? I need a designer for a new blog I'm starting.


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