On Thursday I took the kids to Baker City and met up with six other homeschooling families (there were about 20 of us all together). We drove to Baker City to see the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It is free to homeschoolers (public classes, too), which makes it worth the drive. It is by far the best Interpretive Center I've seen when it comes to the Oregon Trail. They really make history come alive.
Hailey was facinated with the "Wailing Woman" who just lost her little boy when he accidently fell out of the wagon. You have to click on this link to read my sister's "Wailing Woman" story. Well worth your time. Quite funny. Anyway, the "people" look amazing. They are covered in dust, their hair is dirty and they are sunburnt. You can really picture what it must have been like for them. The animals they use are all stuffed, but they look so real. They even have flies on their eyes and poo on their rears. How's that for real? They teach you all kinds of little factoids "along the way". All Hailey wanted to do was climb on everything, so it was a bit stressful and Josiah (extremely tired from AWANAS the previous night) was being a turkey at times, too. Their redhead personalities were shining brightly that day. But all in all, they had good time and didn't want to go home. I guess that is a good sign. Josiah and Hailey in the wagon encampment.The kids' favorite part was the children's room. They played in here for a good hour, loading and unloading the wagon, dressing up, playing games, etc. Our kids got so noisy, we got in trouble from the museum administrator. She was nice about it, but tell me why you would put the kids' play room right next to the admin. offices? Didn't make sense to me, but oh well. Three families (including us) stayed a little longer and actually walked the trail for a bit. It always gives me chills to walk along any part of the Oregon Trail. This is Josiah's friend, Mason. Those boys ran so far ahead, I was worried they wouldn't see hear us when it was time to leave. Luckily the chilly wind was blowing in their direction and they just barely heard us. The kids had a great time playing with their friends. It is awesome to see these kids developing friendships, even at such a young age. Josiah had been saving his money and I let him pick out something from the gift shop. He picked a quill pin and ink well set with parchment paper. He was super exctied about writing his name "the old fashioned way". Notice he's wearing a black shirt? I figured it would be safe if he got ink on it.
One thing I found funny is when we got there the museum director asked what our plan was. You know what we (as a group) were going to do with the information. I just looked at her and said sweetly, "We're homeschoolers. We all have different plans". The other question I always get when I put together a homeschool field trip is "What age group are we talking about?" Again, we're homeschoolers, we've got every age group :) I love going on field trips with other homeschoolers because we can be all over a museum and let the kids go at their own pace. There is always a mom somewhere to make sure the kids aren't touching the exhibits, etc. Or if you have to take a toddler to the bathroom, you can ask another mom to keep an eye on your other kid(s) for you. Such a blessing! If you ever are passing through Baker City, this place is worth the stop.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Love and Blessings,