Meet Wendy McClure, Writer and Laura Ingalls Wilder Tourism Expert

Wendy McClure

This week’s guest is Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. As part of her research, Wendy traced the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family and learned a lot of important things along the way, including how to churn butter like a champion. Wendy stopped by to chat with us about Laura Ingalls Wilder landmarks across the country and to compare notes with Kathy, who recently returned from her own Laura-centric adventure to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri.

Learn more about Wendy after the jump.

1) What was your first trip?

The first trips I remember are camping trip with my mom and dad and brother in a big canvas tent that we stuffed into our station wagon. We went to scores of little tiny campgrounds in Illinois and Wisconsin and Indiana. I was happy as long as there was someplace to swim.

2) Who’s been your best travel companion? 

Chris, my husband. We tend to go at the same pace and give each other time and space when the other wants to explore something.

3) What are three things you always take with you when you travel?

  • Tea bags of my favorite teas for instant comfort in hotel rooms (I use hot water from the coffeemaker). Most hotels will have Lipton or some random flavor. The rare time there’s something good I add it to my collection.
  • Earplugs, which are great on planes and anyplace else where I need some quiet personal space.
  • Nice-smelling face wipes, for those times when a plane or airport is too stuffy.

4) What’s your favorite souvenir you’ve acquired?

In Walnut Grove, Minnesota, I found a decorative plate with a drawing of Doc Baker from the Little House on the Prairie TV show, and I love it.

5) Give us one reason why you travel. 

To get ahead of myself and stand in a real place that took up so much headspace when I could only imagine it.



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