Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Weekend In Southern Minnesota at a 4-H Shooting Sports Event and then Visiting Plum Creek

 Harvest season is still in full swing around here and I have been trying to get something canned, frozen or dried every day but we still have been able to take the last two weekends and go places. That has been rather fun. On September 8th we headed down to Fairmont which is very close to the Iowa border. I had never been there before and so as we got closer it was rather fun to see new territory that we had never seen before.
     Our whole family except Jonathan went. We had thought that we would all go but Jonathan didn't feel like taking a long trip (6 hours of driving each way - so not that bad but still quite a while in the car) and wanted to be in church here on Sunday to try to connect more with a new young man that had started coming. His staying home meant that he could do the chores and he was able to go help my dad with barn building so it seemed to make sense. While he was home my Sister and Brother-in-law also had him over for supper one night and my father-in-law came over to go kayaking with him so he stayed fairly busy and didn't get to lonely. Jonathan also cleaned the house while we were gone so that was a big plus for him staying home!

   We camped at the fairgrounds in Fairmont where the event was being held. It was a pretty nice place (lots of trees and grass) but unfortunately somebody had very recently spread pig manure on the field right next to the fairgrounds and the place smelled horribly like a hog farm much of the time. We thought about wearing kerchiefs over our nose. I felt very thankful to not live on a hog farm.
 Aaron is the one who is in 4-H shooting sports. They have a very good program here where we live. There are volunteers who train the kids and provide all the guns and equipment for them to use. They have been very successful too. Our county tends to take home a lot of the awards at state shoots such as this one (that was true again this year) and the older kids usually go to Nationals and they also have a team that goes to the Junior Olympics.
 Aaron's first event to shoot in (at 7:45 am on Saturday morning) was shooting the .22 rifle. Aaron came in 5th in this event with a score of 227 (the highest score for the intermediates was 256).
 After they shoot they each take somebody else's target and score it, then the person it belongs to looks at it and checks to make sure it was scored correctly. If they don't think it was then they stand in line to talk to an adult field supervisor and they can contest the score they were given. This happens more often than not and Aaron had to do it every single time. By contesting the scoring on this event he was able to gain 11 points. I heard about one time somebody gained around 100 points from doing this. It would seem like some kids aren't very careful to do a good job when they are scoring for others.
 Aaron shooting 3 position Air Rifle. Aaron was 11th in this one (just out of medal range) with a score of 198.

 We were happy that Ken brought binoculars as we used them regularly to check out the targets while Aaron was shooting. We could actually tell whether he got a bulls-eye or not and just how well he was doing.
 Mara brought books along and had fun reading.
 Megan enjoyed trying out a video game that was available in the display building.

Aaron also shot in Air Pistol and got 10th place (score of 286) , another 10th in Silhouette Rifle (score of 10), and a 7th place in Standard Air Rifle (score of 231). His team (of 4 intermediate shooters from our county) place 1st in 3 of their 4 events and 2nd in the other one. We are pretty happy for them.
 It was a neat time to hang out with others from the 4-H community in our county. They had a area set up where one man (who doesn't even have kids in the program!) volunteered to cook meals for all of us. We brought along side dishes to go with the meals. Dwight is in the background of the picture above working hard at the grill. He and Mike (who trains the kids to shoot) don't want their shooters to eat much sugar at all so they served fairly healthy meals. Mike believes that sugar makes kids jittery and they won't shoot as well so tries to keep them off of it anytime close to either shooting practice or competition. I observed that many of the other counties did not follow that protocol (they had sugary cinnamon rolls and other things of that nature in their tents) and our kids did tend to shoot better than they did.

    Aaron just did one shooting event early Sunday morning and then we drove over to Worthington, MN to go to church. My roommate from college moved their to marry a man a few years ago and I was hoping to surprise her at church. It just so happens that a guy that I grew up with (he is several years younger but his older sister is a great friend of mine and his parents and younger sister still live here and go to church with us) had recently moved there as well to be an associate minister in the church there so I thought it would be fun to see them too. We did see Dan and family but my friend Stacy was out of town though I did get to meet her husband.

  After church we headed up to Walnut Grove, MN because we wanted to see Plum Creek and the area that Laura wrote about in "On the Banks of Plum Creek".
 We went to the gift store by the museum and Megan bought herself a parasol. She is standing on a rock that is on the banks of Plum Creek just down from the dugout site.
 Plum Creek
 At the dug out site.
 Prairie area nearby.
The bridge over plum creek. It was pretty there and we even found plums. We also enjoyed a picnic at by the creek.

 I really love the Little House Series and my family has enjoyed it as well. It was fun to finally see this spot which was the setting of the one book. We have also gone to see the spot where they lived in Little House in the Big Woods. I also was able to see Desmit, ND when I was a teen.

  Exploring new places is fun but it is always lovely to come home! Have you gone traveling this summer? Did you have any favorite places to visit?


Mrs. Chrissy T said...

What a fun trip. Great job for y'all as far as shooting. I'd live to visit Plum Creek. How neat.

Nola said...

How fun you got to see some areas to do with the Little House Books. I've read them all many times over and so far I've read them out loud to my children 3 times (the youngest only once). I've often wished I could go see some of the sites, but its farther away for me and also I'd have the hassle of going to the U.S. so I don't think it will likely happen.

Abbi said...

Thanks! It is fun to hear from others who also love Laura's books. I haven't read them so much in recent years (though I do still love them) but as a child I read them so much I pretty much had them memorized. I remember once getting a Little House Songbook from the library that had pictures that came out of the books and I could tell which book and I think usually which chapter each picture came from. :-)


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