Oh, my, do I feel silly, and glad to be sitting here at home today.
I did a lot of driving yesterday. We went to visit the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site in Little Falls. I took the girls to their Living History Day a couple years back and had intended to take everyone to this year’s Living History Day this past Saturday when the day just got away from us with too much going on and it just didn’t happen.
Never one to be deterred (ha! I can be so easily deterred sometimes it’s downright shameful), I did the next best thing. I pulled out my calendar, spotted an opening a few days later, double checked the weather report- beautiful! And decided to go yesterday.
Little Falls is not exactly close.
The main problem with my plan? The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, that holiday that we just had earlier this week. My bad.
Imagine my dismay when, after driving for just over 90 minutes, I pulled up to a closed and locked gate and saw beyond it the closed and locked visitors center and museum.
Again, not one to be deterred (there may have been a moment of stunned silence), I pulled across the street into the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and we piled out to play on some old swings and do some hiking. We had gone fully intending on hiking a trail or two after the house and museum anyway, so all was not lost.
The trail roaming was perfect. The kids got to run (not too far ahead of mom! with rivers every which way it makes me nervous when my children actually run out of my sight, I can let them off-leash and out of reach (we’ve never used a leash, that was a joke), but out of sight in a strange place makes me nervous) and the mosquitoes were scarce. Yes, I know how many parentheses are in that last long and running-on sentence.
Some of us got full of sticky and pokey seeds, trying to hitch a ride to some fertile ground. Some of us found caterpillars. Some of us threw sticks and twigs over the bridge playing Poohsticks. None of us are quite ready for the World Poohsticks Championship, or are we? Oh, my.
Before we knew it, it was getting to be that time, the time when we needed to find some bathrooms. Wouldn’t you know it? Even the outhouses at the State Park (at least the ones in the area we were at) were locked. Seriously. Who locks outhouses? The Minnesota DNR, apparently. Fortunately for us, the Charles A. Weyehaeuser Museum was open, and it had restrooms. This little museum was actually really, really neat. I’m so glad we were desperate enough to stop in there.
After that, having enjoyed our walk over the little Pine Creek, but not wanting to leave Little Falls without a walk along the mighty Mississippi, we headed back to the Lindbergh site to just park and walk down by the river. We were greeted by a chair in the path with a sign reading “active bees”, and as we looked around, there were indeed many, many, active bees. We turned around. We got back in the van.
I figured we could just go sit by the river in the big pinic area near the old train station in town, like last time. It’s lovely there. As I pulled up to the parking area, I noticed the men roping the entire park off. That seemed odd. Bright orange string, attached to many little poles. Strange. Then I saw the giant “Event Parking” signs.
There was nothing to do but laugh really.
The historic house was closed. The museum we had actually planned on visiting was closed. The outhouses were locked. The main trail down to the river was blocked off by “active bees”. And now, the city park by the river was being cordoned off. It was as if this field trip wasn’t meant to be.
And yet, we had a great day.
(I’m adding pics as I get a chance, between breakfast and math and reading and laundry, check back in a bit to see more pics of our misadventures… I took many, no surprise there…)