As Latah’s class is rounding out the end of fourth grade she and her classmates are deep into the manifest destiny theme, particularly the Oregon Trail experience. Wanting to do an extra credit project I suggested she share her Papa’s covered wagon trip that occurred in 1979. Leaving Ft Seward near Jamestown, North Dakota, the wagon train covered 150 miles over an 8 day period. Latah made a poster of photos from that trip and practiced explaining each photo. She claimed It was a fun project. It was fun for me too bringing back great memories.

Latah practiced explaining her project to the class.
The trip started from Ft Seward located north west of Jamestown
A man from England joined our wagon train.
Taylor was six and Jason was a few months short of being ten.
Taylor loved Pappy and rode him from time to time.
I set a personal goal of walking the entire distance, which I did, ( Let me rest before setting up camp, please.)
Jason rode Pappy out to explore the prairie.
For some time we followed the James River north before turning west: (Jason by the James.)
Crossing Pipestem Creek was exciting.

About Ft Seward:

Established as a U.S. Army post in 1872 to provide protection for the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway. The post was situated on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Jamestown River and Pipestem Creek. Fort Seward was a three Company post with about 120 men. It guarded the Northern Pacific Railroad bridge crossing the James River and the railroad construction workers. Fort Seward is now a tourist destination. Also, the largest United States flag on display in North Dakota flies here when weather permits.

Large American flag flown at Ft Seward
North Dakota definitely has the wind to support this huge flag.
Being in a pioneering mood the girls decided to make cookies. I wonder if size of cookies is correlated with personality traits. I see Taylor’s hand snatching a taste test.

All in all, Latah’s school Oregon Trail projects have become fun family events.

Quality verses quantity perhaps

MOVING ON: (so to speak)

I have been doing a few things to cheery up the place. I have a dividing screen near the entry that needed some work so I added color.

Notice the screen behind Jason before I added color

We have been in the woods hunting morel mushrooms and have had success. Taylor is especially good at spotting them. I found my first coralroot of the season while searching morels.

Taylor’s latest rock creation
Tay has a secret place where morels grow but he isn’t telling
Coralroot is in the orchid family.

The real excitement comes when I find the first Ghost Plant or Indian Pipe. It is a rare plant but there seems to be plenty of them on my property. I have not located one this spring yet, however. They are a plant with no green parts, entirely lacking chlorophyll necessary for making their own food. The leafless stem, which is covered with bracts that look somewhat like the scales on a lily bulb, extends 3-10 inches above the ground, and curves at the top, with one single, downward-facing flower.  Appreciate them if you are lucky enough to find them. As they age they become black and turn to a kind of black sludge.

I find them across the road by my house, but in the trees.

Latah’s long time friend Lark spends Monday nights sleeping over with Latah at my house. These girls have been friends since toddlers. They attend school together in Trout Lake until covid hit. Lark then was home schooled and is home schooled at this time. These friends miss each other, thus the sleepovers. Latah has sleepovers at Lark’s house as well.


Since it seems the main theme of this entry is about Latah I will share one more thing. Yesterday I attend Latah’s Kung Fu test for her purple belt. For 40 minutes the students performed the movements of their forms, nonstop. It was grueling and by the end I could see the students kicks were not quite as strong as at the beginning. However, Latah followed through to the end.

Gaining the weapon
Subduing the opponent
The kick
Receiving the belt
The certificate
I will exercise my grandma’s bragging rights . The instructor told me Latah is the strongest female student he has ever had over the years in her ability to jump, kick, and climb ropes.
Demonstrating 4th form
Subduing the opponent
Final moves after 40 grueling minutes

I love all my grandchildren, but while Sophie, Teagan, and Sam are older and out and about in their own lives, Latah is young enough she still enjoys spending time with Grandma. Tomorrow morning Sophie and I are heading to Coeur d’Alene to spend time with Teresa. That adventure will be an entry for another time.