My mom always used to tell me stories about when she was little and my grandma and grandpa would pile all their children into their car and drive around the country camping and enjoying the scenery. I always loved to hear those stories and imagined myself riding along with them, watching the world pass by. My Grandparents never really traveled since I could remember, but I know my Grandpa still loved traveling.
In 2000 my Grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was able to get rid of it once, but it soon came back. She fought it stubbornly for four years, but unfortunately passed away in February 2007.
We have all missed her very much. Since then, my Grandpa has been traveling as much as possible. He talked about taking me and my cousin, who is two weeks younger than I am, on a trip to Minnesota. We both thought he was just talking and not really planning to take the trip, but his suggestions kept coming.
With my mom offering to come along as a driver, my cousin Holly and I planned a weekend that we would both be able to drive to Minnesota and back. Even before we had planned anything, my Grandpa was telling everyone in the family about the trip. He wanted the highlight of the drive to be the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
He also wanted us to stop and visit one of my Aunt’s who lives in south Minnesota and the biggest ball of twine made by one man located in Darwin. As we drove from Nebraska towards Minnesota, Holly and I tried to entertain ourselves by drawing and watching the fields roll by. My Grandpa talks very quietly and tends to mumble, so during family gatherings it is hard to hear him above all the noise of our large family. So this trip was the perfect opportunity to hear some stories about my Grandpa’s younger days.
He told us about the different times he had seen the Mississippi’s headwaters and how much different the land had been when he was younger. He told us about how the headwaters were tiny and he had been able to drive really close to the water and how few people were there. Of course, once we got there it was fairly crowded, and we had to walk a little ways to get to the headwaters, but we had an amazing time.This trip was a really great experience, I got to travel the way my mom did as a child, and for the first time in as long as I can remember I got to spend time and learn about my grandpa.
This will be a trip that I will remember for a long time!
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