Chasing Laura Ingalls Wilder: traveling through her world, one homesite at a time

“Little Trip on the Prairie”

In 2008, FamilyFun magazine was looking for a writer for a Little House travel story. A colleague of mine suggested me to her editor, and after I submitted a proposal (de rigueur in the magazine world), I was assigned the story.

My story about traveling to the upper-Midwestern Little House sites, "Little Trip on the Prairie," appeared in the June 2010 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

The following summer, my husband, my kids and I were scheduled to visit Pepin, Walnut Grove, and De Smet — in that order. Which we did do, sort of. Except my daughter got really sick just before the trip, which meant she and her Dad didn’t meet up with me and her brother until the two of us were already in De Smet. She got to hit Walnut Grove on the way back, but she missed Pepin completely. Plus we had to buy her and her Dad a whole new plane ticket, which the magazine would not reimburse.

From a parenting and a financial perspective, it was a pretty dodgy situation. From a professional one, it was definitely a little tricky—but we got it done.

I will say that I highly recommend visiting the Little House sites when you don’t have a photographer following you around.

The story was ultimately printed at the beginning of the summer of 2010. (My kids quite enjoyed their tiny taste of fame.)

  1. Reply

    Just started reading your blog, Sandra. It’s fun. I didn’t read the Little House books, but I was a huge fun of the TV series. How different are the books from that? I was IN LOVE with that series and will still watch it if I run into while flipping channels. Wonder if I’m too old for the books now. Maybe you can address that in a future post.

  2. Reply

    I mean, address: Are you ever too old to read these books?

    1. Reply

      Jackie, that’s a really good question. Let me give it some thought.

  3. Reply

    Just read your Family Fun story, too. Fun job!

    • Carole Nebhut on May 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Reply

    I can’t tell you how many of my colleagues brought me copies of that great article the month it was published. Several of them ripped it out of the magazine after reading it in doctors’ offices. Of course those are the people who realize it’s the books and Laura’s real life, not so much the show, that I’m into. At any rate, it’s nice when others are supportive of one’s passionate interests!

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