By Andrea W. Collin, Editor, North Dakota Horizons
When Matt Holliday contacted me a few months ago about his vacation plans this summer, my first reaction was to be defensive. Matt, who is editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, the counterpart to North Dakota Horizons in that state, wanted me to know that he was bringing his family to North Dakota in June to take part in the nationally known Fort Seward Wagon Train.
My first thought was, "Matt is coming all the way from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to experience something 100 miles from me that I have never done!" In my feeble defense, I told him we had talked about going a few summers ago with my husband's Uncle Bud and Aunt Linda from Texas. It never happened and, as I often tell my daughters, good intentions don't really count.
We met Matt, his wife, Tracy, and their 8-year-old son ("9 in August!") son, Davis, in Bismarck the day after the Wagon Train wrapped up its event by riding in the Jamestown 125th Anniversary Parade on July 5. They were wearing their new Fort Seward wagon train t-shirts, and had many stories to tell about the perfect weather and the people they met from all over the country.
From Bismarck, they were heading north and west to Knife River Indian Villages, New Town, Lewis and Clark State Park, and Forts Union and Buford before visiting Medora and then going on to the Black Hills and a rodeo in Sheridan, Wyoming. They were relaxed, enjoying their time together as a family and soaking up the adventure of visiting a new part of the country.
Their two-week vacation will end when they return their rental car in Minneapolis and fly back to Philadelphia. There is a lot to be said about taking a chunk of time off and taking a real vacation. I asked my husband if we have ever taken a two-week vacation, and answered that he can't remember that we have. We rush somewhere, stay a day or two and rush back, often piggybacking time off with a three-day weekend or a holiday.
I'm inspired by the Hollidays. I'm going plan a two-week vacation sometime and really try to relax and "get away." In the meantime, I've got Matt working on a feature story for next year's summer issue of North Dakota Horizons about his experience on the wagon train. Maybe I'll have to travel to Pennsylvania and write about something he hasn't had the chance to cover closer to his home!