About M.A. Foxworthy

I am an author. I can say that now because my book is in the process of being published. Yay!! But don’t leave yet, I promise there will be more here than just me trying to sell you my book. (But there will be that too) I’m a Hoosier who has been living in Texas for the last four years (winter has become my friend) with my husband and five children. I am a veteran homeschooler; I think that fourteen years qualifies me as a veteran. And I am about to begin the adventure of my life. Living full-time in an RV with my husband and four of my children, traveling the country. I’m sure to have some very interesting things to tell you along the way.

Devils Tower

Driving through the countryside of northeastern Wyoming a most unusual sight rises up through the trees and fields surrounding it. Devils Tower stands like a megalithic monument dedicated to an ancient race of giants.

20150919_124104 (Large)

20150919_131711 (Large)

You couldn’t ask for a better location. It looks much closer than it really is.

20150919_150228 (Large)

Standing at the bottom and looking up you realize just how mammoth this rock pillar is.

images

After visiting the Tower we bought the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind to watch with the children. Willow still carves the Devils Tower out of her mashed potatoes. By the way if you want to buy the movie wait and buy it in the park’s gift shop. It’s twice as expensive at the Devils Tower Trading Post.

 

 

Advertisements

Grand Teton National Park

20150830_090823

20150830_112926

In our final month in Wyoming we visited the Grand Teton National Park. It was not our plan to begin with, we had been to Yellowstone twice and thought that would be the end of it, but after hearing person after person say, “Yes, Yellowstone is nice, but have you seen the Grand Tetons ?” Everyone seemed so enamored with the park, we had to see it for ourselves.We were not disappointed.

The Teton mountain range was named for the Teton Sioux Indians who lived in the area and they have a look about them that is different from any other mountains I’ve seen. As though they’ve grown up over night, like mushrooms.  Or some giant dropped them where they stand.

20150830_101904

20150829_124715

The scenery was so breathtaking that we came back a second day and spotted this adorable little guy.

20150830_150240

 

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Buffalo Bill

Our final excursion in Wyoming took us to the Buffalo Bill Museum. Also known as the Smithsonian of the West, we spent two days exploring it and could have taken longer.

There is a natural history museum with many animal exhibits. The children really enjoyed this area.

Draper Natural History MuseumDraper Natural History Museum

There were beautiful Native American costumes.Indian dress

I asked an Indian lady what this dress is decorated with, she told me they are elk’s teeth.

blue indian dress

fringe dress

20150828_101106

beaded shoes

When I consider how difficult the life of an Indian woman would have been, I am amazed she would take time to create such beautiful bead work.

Ration ticket

 

There was almost nothing as disturbing to me as this; the ration ticket. It was not enough that the Natives were driven onto reservations, but to take away there means to feed themselves and replace it with monthly rations of cheap food from the government was the last step to destroying their dignity as human beings.

battle drawing

Drawing by Sitting Bull

“The Killing of a Crow Scout” drawn by Sitting Bull.

Art Gallery

There was an art gallery, many items from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (including one of Annie Oakley’s costumes and guns), a large collection of guns, and so much more. One blog post can not begin to scratch the surface of all that is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. If you are visiting Yellowstone don’t miss this amazing museum.

 

 

Crow Fair 2015

Crow Fair

Since leaving Texas we have seen a few Pow Wows, but nothing quite like the Crow Fair. This annual event has been active since 1904 and attracts the attention of National Geographic. There are parades, a rodeo, a very unique horse race, and each evening dancing competitions. Indians from all over America and Canada come to this fair; I even heard someone say that last year there were participants from South America.

We sat at the spot of the Grand Entry. It was amazing! The costumes created a rainbow colored sea of feathers, fur, and beads. Jim and I looked the part of the typical tourist with eyes bulging and mouths hanging open as Indian after Indian walked past us. This procession of hundreds of men, women, and children was accompanied by the intimidating pounding of drums and the somewhat eerie high-pitched voices of the Indian singers. You could almost imagine what it would have been like for the Europeans who first encountered these people.

Crow Fair crow fair crow fair crow fair crow fair   The dancing children, proudly showing off their costumes to one another, were such a beautiful contrast to the sad reality that many Indian children live with every day. Each one made me smile.

crow fair child

crow fair child 2

crow fair child 3beautiful little girl

While the families participate in the fair many of them stay in teepees; so many that the fair is called the Teepee Capital of the World.

20150815_180217

I’ll leave you with a video my husband made.

Learning on the Road

One aspect of traveling that I truly appreciate is the influence it has on my children. There are so many people and places that have entered into their combined consciousness that it will be a source of nostalgia for them long after I am gone. And it is also a springboard for learning so many new things.

In Wyoming they met two of the most wonderful children; Aidan and his little sister Riley. I’ve never known any two children (other than my own of course :)) with more charisma than they possess. Aidan taught Oliver, Willow, and Ivy how to pan for gold.

panning for gold

Willow panning They are learning first-hand about different cultures.

Pow Wow

Visiting historic sites.

Custer's Battlefield

Custer’s Battlefield.

So many things that I can not begin to list them all, but each new experience will add to their future selves.

Sacajawea

Ever wonder what became of Sacajawea after her famous trek with Lewis and Clark? She is resting in peace in the Sacajawea Cemetery on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Sacajawea Cemetery Sign

On our way home from the Grand Teton National Park we went in search of Sacajawea’s final resting place. Upon entering the reservation we stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. They seemed clear enough; pass Chief Washakie’s monument, follow the road to the left and turn on Cemetery road. Simple right? Well, you can see where this is going. We couldn’t find the road and it was getting dark. We had to find the cemetery and quick, so back to the same gas station asking again for directions. Thankfully a woman from the reservation offered to lead us right to Sacajawea’s Cemetery.

Sacajawea Cemetery

It wasn’t exactly what I expected. Aside from being located off a gravel road in the middle of nowhere it was also seemingly untended and overgrown with weeds and grass. But this in no way squelched the enthusiasm of standing where this magnificent woman is buried.

Burial Plaque

If you click on this photo you can read the burial information.

20150830_194613

This gravestone was erected in 1963 by the Wyoming branch of The Daughters of the American Revolution.

Baptiste Charbonneau

The baby boy that Sacajawea carried and nursed throughout the 6000 mile journey with Lewis and Clark.

Bazil Adopted son of Sacajawea

Adopted son of Sacajawea.

Sacajawea statue 2

A beautiful memorial to an amazing woman. She is holding a sand dollar.

“This sculpture represents a truly remarkable young Lemhi Shoshone woman who has just made a journey of 3000 miles with the Lewis and Clark Expedition and is viewing the Pacific Ocean. The sand dollar is significant, as it was given to Chief Washakie. He wore it with honor in many historical pictures.” http://www.yellowstonepark.com/2014/05/sacajawea-secret-gravesite/

Big Horn Polo Club

Polo is a two thousand year old sport, believed to have been started in China or Persia and was played for the purpose of training cavalry. The British took up the sport when they saw it being played in India and brought it to the West. And the game has been played in the Sheridan, WY area for over 120 years.

“Big Horn is known across the country as THE place to find promising young horses, thanks to the number of breeders and trainers who make Big Horn their home. Along with Flying H Polo Club next door, which hosts some of the top-rated players in the world, this part of Wyoming has become a polo destination for many in the game.”   http://www.thebighornpoloclub.com/polo-history.html

Big Horn Mercantile

The town of Big Horn had a population of only 500 in 2010, with one mercantile and a restaurant or two it’s a mere speck on the map, but in 1984 this minuscule village played host to the Queen of England when she came to visit relatives and buy polo ponies during a North American tour!

 

Sam Mavrakis rings up a sale to Queen Elizabeth II at the Ritz Sporting Goods in Sheridan, 1984. Sheridan County Museum.

While we were in Wyoming (not to buy polo ponies or visit any noble relatives) we had the opportunity to watch our first polo match. I was tremendously excited; especially after finding out the Queen Elizabeth connection, interestingly enough told to me by a Walmart cashier as though I should have known this fact already.

I really have no interest in sports but this was different. The surroundings were beautiful, the horses were magnificent, and the players wore nice uniforms and didn’t tackle, fight, or curse; or at least you couldn’t hear them if they did.

 

Children at polo match

Oliver, Lucy, and Willow. The temperature was nice, but the sun was brutal.

Big Horn Polo Match

Big Horn Polo Match

Big Horn Polo Match

If you ever make it to this part of Wyoming be sure to spend a Sunday afternoon in Big Horn watching a polo match.