Little House on the Prairie

Season 1 Episode 3

100 Mile Walk

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Sep 25, 1974 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
89 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

100 Mile Walk
Delighted with his beautiful new wheat crop, Charles is in a position to buy new dresses for his daughters, a warm coat for Caroline, and maybe even some new boots for himself--not to mention an ideal team of horses that the family's newfound financial position can now afford. It all sounds like a dream come true, but the Ingalls receive a shocking wakeup call when a harsh hailstorm destroys the entire crop. Determined to make it through this difficult time, Charles heads off to find some work, and along the way he encounters two fellow husbands and fathers in the same situation as he. While Caroline, the girls, and the other women of Walnut Grove do some important work of their own in Walnut Grove, Charles and his new friends accept jobs that offer good pay and dangerous consequences.moreless

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  • When the Ingalls' crops are destroyed, Charles and the other men of Walnut Grove must leave to find work.

    One of the series first episodes, and it deals beautifully with the issues of love of family and sacrifice. The Ingalls are looking to have their first financially successful year in a long while when a hailstorm comes and destroys not only their cash crop but their own personal store of winter food. Undaunted (well, maybe for a minute), Charles announces that he will leave to find work. Along the way he makes fast friends with two fellow farmers and the women of Walnut Grove band together to salvage what little they can of the winter wheat. This is a fabulous episode, but it does set an annoying precedence that runs the entire length of this 10-year series: a character is introduced and dies in the same hour (on this occasion blown to bits in a mine explosion, no less). Down the road similar characters will be quickly introduced and just as quickly dispatched: the widow Sanderson, by cancer; a schoolboy's father, frozen in a blizzard; a civil war vet, by suicide; a lukemia-stricken young farmboy; a friend of the Ingalls girls, Ellen, drowned in a pond; an entire family, by typhus; an old gold-country hermit, by self immolation (no, that's not a typo); Mary's unborn baby: Laura's infant son; and of course, Sylvia, who falls to her death while being chased by her rapist. The list goes on, and on...and on. I understand the need for such episodes, either as mid-season "fillers", or to introduce an new plotline (think James and Cassandra's parents and their cliff-jumping covered wagon), but such freak occurrences and calamities seemed to happen with dizzying frequency in Walnut Grove. I know times were hard for the pioneers, but geez...moreless
  • Episode 3 - 100 Mile Walk - My Review

    This episode mainly focuses on Charles and Caroline.

    The Ingalls family feel blessed when they have a 100 acres of wheat to be harvested. They start making plans on what they can buy from the money they will be earning from it. However, that night, a bad hailstorm ruins their crops, and Charles has to go to other towns to earn money. He leaves his family and on the way, he meets a man named Jack Peters. They soon become friends, and at night while camping and having their meals, a man named Jacob Jacobsen meets them. The three of them soon become good friends and find work in the quarry, hammering rocks. While they are working hard, Caroline gathers the women in Walnut Grove and comes up with a plan to harvest the remaining crops in the field. All the women eagerly start working except for one named Willa, who just seems to complain a lot. But Caroline gets through to her and they all work hard to harvest the remaining crops. Unfortunately, Jack Peters dies in an unfortunate accident, and Charles has to give Jack’s family the news of his death on his way back. Charles finally returns home after earning his due and everyone is happy to see him.

    I wouldn’t say this was one of my favorite episodes, because the scenes where Charles and his friends are working in the quarry was a little boring. The ending is a little sad when Charles has to meet Jack’s wife and son, but apart from that, this episode did not move me too much. I wouldn’t call it bad because it had its moments, but on a whole, if I had a choice, I probably wouldn’t watch this episode again.moreless
  • It's time to harvest the wheat and it's a bumper crop which will mean the Ingalls family will be able to have many items they have had to do without. The trouble is, Mother Nature has other ideas ...moreless

    With just days to go until Charles brings in what will be a bumper wheat crop, the heavens open and send a hail, wind and rain storm that completely destroys not only the crop but also Charles's hopes of buying things his family desperately needs.

    With winter not too far away, Charles knows he must have money set aside and so he sets off many miles away to find blasting work in a quarry. It's dangerous, but the pay is good. Meanwhile, with all the women of Walnut Grove in a similar situation, Caroline decides that they can do something with the wheat which isn't as ruined as it appears to be.

    A good episode which shows how both sides of the coin can work in unison and achieve a good result.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Rick Hurst is best known for his future role as Deputy Cletus Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard.

    • Don Knight who played Jack Peters was an ordained Methodist minister before becoming an actor.

    • Look quickly at Charles' foot as he removes his boot by the campfire. That familiar-looking sock he's wearing is a Rockland brand red-heel sock. Though the show's wardrobe people probably weren't even aware of it, Nelson Knitting Mills didn't begin manufacturing the famous sock until 1880, when Laura Ingalls Wilder was 13 years old. If it looks familiar, it's because these are the socks that are made into famous "sock monkeys." In fact, Rockland formally sells them as "The Sock Monkey Sock," and since 1921, instructions on how to make a monkey are incuded with each pair sold.

    • Though Charles invites Jack Peter's widow and son to come visit his family in Walnut Grove for emotional support in the aftermath of their tragedy, we can assume this never happens, as the Peters are never seen again.

    • Charles mentions to Caroline that Mr. Hansen has, "one of those new McCormick reapers." Even if this episode is supposed to take place as early as the mid-1870's, the McCormick reaper was already old. It was invented in 1831 and was in mass production by 1847.

    • This episode fails to tie up one very important loose end at the conclusion of the episode: What was the payoff of the efforts that Caroline and the other townwomen made while harvesting the wheat? We never find out.

    • Perhaps we are supposed to believe that Mrs. Ingalls lengthened the dresses, especially since in the previous episode ("Country Girls"), Mary and Laura were made fun of for being "long-legged snipes" (i.e. their dresses were too short). It's entirely possible that when Ma made the dresses, she tucked the spare fabric away for just such future use, a common practice at the time.

    • You will notice that Mary and Laura's calico dresses are down past their knees in this episode. In the pilot episode and the first 2 episodes of this season, they were above the knee.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Charles: (to Jacob at dinner) Come on, join us! It's just going to go to waste, unless you can figure out a way to put stew in your pocket.

    • Charles: You got any children, Jake?
      Jake: I don't know.
      Charles: You don't know?
      Jake: My Elna......(holds his hands out from his belly to signal pregnancy; Jack and Charles laugh) Maybe I have a baby now. By the time I get home, for sure.
      Jack: Oh, that's nice.
      Charles: It's a shame you can't be with her.
      Jake: I am with her, in my heart. All the time.

    • (Jacob, Jack, and Charles are watching as one man hammers a nail into the ground, while another man holds the nail)
      Jacob: What happens if they ever miss?
      Jack: If they ever miss? (chuckles) Well, then, the man holding the drill will have to pick his nose with his elbow!

    • Caroline: And boots for you! The first nickel we spend goes on boots.
      Charles: Well, what's the matter with these? They were just starting to get comfortable on me.
      Caroline: I was afraid that one morning, you'll pull them up, and they'd slide clear up to your knees!

    • Charles: (to Caroline after the hail storm) The wheat's gone.......but it's nothing to be solemn about. I guess you might say we're right back where we started. I mean, it's just one harvest. Now, what's one harvest in a man's life, huh? It's nothing. (hugs her)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

      Location note: The rock quarry in the story was at Tapo Canyon at Simi Valley, near Big Sky Ranch.

    • Nitpick: When Charles is preparing to leave to find work, Caroline asks him how far he thinks he'll have to go. He replies, "I don't know. Maybe a hundred miles or more. Maybe even as far as Sleepy Eye or Mankato." Sleepy Eye and Mankato are only 37 and 74 miles from Walnut Grove, respectively, so this line is geographically confusing. Charles should have said something to Caroline like, "I may have to go to Sleepy Eye or Mankato...maybe even farther." The way the line was written makes no sense.

    • Featured character: Charles Ingalls

    • Notice the dress worn by the unidentified woman standing behind Mrs. Jacobsen in the post office scene. It would become an often-worn staple of Grace Edwards' wardrobe in the seasons to come.

    • Charles notifies Jack Peter's son of his father's death in this episode. The son is played by Lance Kerwin, who would later star in the TV movie pilot for "James at 15" with Melissa Sue Anderson.