One of the best experiences you can have at Walnut Grove is wading in Plum Creek. Make sure you bring along a towel and maybe a change of clothes with you in case of accident. I hadn’t gone wading my first few trips, because I’ve gone wading at creeks around home and not particularly enjoyed it, but Plum Creek is much, much nicer to wade than any other creek I’ve been in. The bottom was mostly flat. The main channel is rounded sand that feels good on the feet. Last time if I stood still small fish nibbled at my feet just like Laura’s.
The water is cold so be prepared for that. My first time wading it was just around my ankles. This year it was
practically up to my knees and I stepped into one deep hole that was a shockingly quick dip halfway up my thigh. Many people like to go in and wade across the creek to the dugout site. However, the banks right there are steep and muddy. I have seen people have trouble getting up, especially on the dugout side. I prefer to get in and out at the Big Rock where the bank slowly levels into the creek. Last time I could wade from there all the way to the dugout, but this time a fallen tree blocked me, but it was still a nice long wade. It’s an experience I highly recommend the experience and it’s always fun to even watch other people wade, especially the girls in their Laura dresses. So, with apologies to Douglas Adams, “Do you have your towel? Then climb in the creek.”
UPDATE: I can’t believe that I never thought before to go back and add my video of wading in Plum Creek to this post which it is clearly calling out for. I came across it when I was searching for Walnut Grove posts for a round up post and so I’m adding it now.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.