We went from the great state of Montana down into the Wild West of Wyoming, complete with oil drilling “grasshoppers” and the iconic bronc rider stamped, carved and etched onto everything that would hold still. We experienced the beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota. We blew (literally) across Nebraska, surrounded by wheat and corn fields. We white-knuckled it through the big cities of Missouri, while noticing that trees were already beginning to turn. We were dazzled by Kentucky’s greenery and white-fenced fields. We experienced National Parks, Monuments and Memorials. We added pins to our lanyard and stamps to our National Parks Passport. We squealed as we crossed state lines while trying to get a picture of each one. And never, not once, did any of the kids ask if we were there yet. Or how much longer until we were.
And now, 2,242.6 miles later, we have arrived in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Our campground borders a state park with a reservoir for fishing. It has stables with horses for rent. There are miles and miles of hiking and riding trails. It is a perfect place to call “home” for the next four months. And, as an added bonus, it’s free.
Rob and I were both hired on as Camperforce workers for Amazon, and I begin tomorrow. Rob will start next Monday. We will be working the seasonal rush, along with about 650 other Camperforce members, until December 23. I am nervous, as I always am when starting a new job, but I know that it will work out great. We should start out working a four-day week until around Thanksgiving, so we will have three days each week to explore the area. Abraham Lincoln was born not too far from here, Fort Knox is mere miles down the road. Mammoth Cave, the longest cave in the world, is high on my list. The kids will dig deep into their home school lessons, using nature and our surroundings as their classroom.
As summer slowly steps aside making room for fall, we find ourselves in a place unlike anywhere we have lived before. The trees are different, the birds and bugs as well. It is a whole new world to explore. New country to experience. New lessons to learn.
While the rain pours down outside, I keep thinking to myself, Oh my goodness, we are in Kentucky. We did it. We really did it.
Yes, we did.
I usually have a hard time visualizing events that took place when we visit a battlefield, but at the Little Bighorn Battlefield, there are markers scattered all over the grounds. You can see where the soldiers were running for their lives. You can see where they tried to make a stand. And you can see where they fell.
You can see where 220 soldiers, scouts and civilians are buried together under a single monument. Many of the officers were taken home to be buried. Custer himself is buried at West Point. There is a mass grave for the horses as well.
You can almost see the Native’s down in their camp on the river. The women and children running for the trees, the warriors coming out ready to defend their families, their way of life, their freedom. And you can see where some of them fell as well.
There are ceremonies every year honoring the men who fell on June 25th and 26th, 1865.
The Monument is beautifully preserved and documented. And it is powerful. Very, very powerful.