5000 Miles for Maggie - it's a beautiful country.

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We found her list after she died. We believe it was written before she got sick. We wish she was here to ask her that question for so many obvious reasons but she isn’t. When we found it, we felt inspired to cross off at least some or all of her bucket list items. This is her road trip.

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After getting a late start on Sunday, June 30th, leaving at 9:30 from our home in Greenlawn, NY, we had a loose goal of making it somewhere near the area of Chicago. However, when a friend reached out via social media from Wisconsin offering us a place to stay, we pushed on through 1,100 miles of driving to end up near Marshfield, Wisconsin at around 2:15 a.m. central time. A tiring journey but nothing akin to Maggie’s journey with cancer.

We stayed two nights and are thankful for their friendship. It was nice to stay with people who had actually knew Maggie and whom Maggie liked.

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Despite not having a solid plan, things seem to be falling into place, perhaps Maggie is guiding us in some way. We’d like to believe she is. We visited the birthplace of Laura Ingalls in Pepin, Wisconsin. As a family, we would watch ‘Little House’ together. Maggie was enchanted with the show and the glimpse into the lives of another family living life so differently in a bygone era.

On our way to Laura’s birth place, we travelled a beautiful and remote backcountry road. We came across the majestic bald eagle shown above.

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When Maggie was younger, probably the same age as Laura Ingalls in the early days of the TV show, she asked me for a time period dress. We got one on Etsy in time for Christmas. In that dress, Maggie volunteered with the local Historical Association at Gardiner’s Farm in Greenlawn. Gardiner’s Farm was built in the 1750s, over 100 years before Laura Ingalls was even born! Born in 1867, Laura lived to the ripe old age of 90.

Maggie and mom hosted local school classes at Gardiner’s Farm. Maggie taught the children about what farm life was like, what children back then used as toys, and what they did for entertainment.

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At the museum, we purchased a historical dress and bonnet. Donna modeled it today on our trip for fun, as well as to honor and embrace Maggie’s spirit.

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Our stop for the night was in Renner, South Dakota in an adorable Airbnb cabin hosted by Pamela Hoffman. We are 15 minutes from Sioux Falls, SD. The view here is beautiful, with farmland as far as the eye can see.

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We’ve logged around 1700 miles driving so far. Today, we set off for the Badlands National Park and Mt. Rushmore National Monument. Stay tuned for updates and more photos! Thanks for supporting us on this bittersweet road trip and our difficult journey without her. We miss you Maggie Schmidt.