Friday morning we pack up the car and hit the road. We have mapped out a route to Mankato that avoids the Interstate - mostly through farm country. We follow U.S. Highway 83 south, winding through Strasburg, ND, population 409 and the birthplace of Lawrence Welk. We both tell stories about watching band leader Lawrence Welk on TV with our grandparents. Eventually we turn east on Minnesota Highway 14 and pass through Walnut Grove, population 871 and the home of Laura Ingles Wilder Museum of Little Home on the Prairie fame. What highlights! Lol. We stop for the night in Mankato, Minnesota.
As we drive along the backroads of North and South Dakota we have time to reflect on our past month. I begin to draw analogies in the spirit of the North Dakota people to the way Colorado is described in Atlas Shrugged. The people we met work hard for their own prosperity as well as the betterment of their family, friends and the community. They are independent and high-spirited. They want to be able to make their own decisions and chart their own course. When they have a problem, they figure it out, if necessary calling on their family or friends to pitch in. No one we encountered is looking for a handout or someone to tell them exactly what to do. It was refreshing.
Saturday we drive to Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The thousand+ acre farms of North and South Dakota give way to the 300-500 acre dairy farms. After a short rest we meet up with friends Dennis and Cheryl for a delightful evening. They recently moved into a new home and we tease them that that are supposed to be downsizing. Then on Sunday we head south to Racine for a short four night stay at our nephew’s apartment. It’s good to see William’s Mom and the family for dinner.