Friday, July 9, 2010

Hoover, Jacks, Trucks and Amana

I see I need to update this more often.  With the short note I put on the Datastorm map each time we move I forget to update the blog with more detailed information.  We stayed at that small RV park in ND until Tuesday morning when we called the HWH plant in Moscow, Iowa to see if we could get the leveling jacks on our trailer repaired.  They have been slow to retract for a couple years now and have been getting worse lately.  They had an appointment available for 7 AM Friday morning so we headed down that way.  We spent the first night at a Cabela's parking lot just north of Minneapolis, then the next night at a nice RV resort in the small town of Oelwein, IA.  They had over 4 inches of rain during the morning but by the time we got there in the afternoon it had quit.  There was a lot of evidence of flooding everywhere.  It sure has been wet, hot and humid.

Yesterday we drove south toward Moscow and stopped at West Branch, Iowa where the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and birthplace are located.  It was a very interesting place and we enjoyed learning about him.  He was a pretty amazing man who accomplished much before and after his presidency but will always be linked with the Great Depression.  I suspect that he is like most presidents in that they all get the blame or credit for things they had nothing to do with.  That's just the nature of the beast and the way politics works.

There are 12 Presidential Libraries in the country and I have now been to 7 of them.  Dianna has been to 6 since she was not with me when I went to the JFK library in Boston a few years ago.  We may hit a few more on this trip.

We arrived at the HWH factory about 4 PM where they have electric hookups available for  people who are having work done the following day.  Our appointment was for 7 AM so we had to get up at 6, which is way before our normal get'n up time!  They replaced a bad solenoid and the front return springs in less than two hours.  It cost less than we had feared so we were pleased.

We then drove east another 15 miles on I-80 to the Iowa I-80 Truck Stop, the largest truck stop in the world.  Yesterday and today is their annual Truck Jamboree and there were all kinds of going's on.  We had breakfast in the dining room and wandered through some of the exhibits.  It was interesting.

We then drove 50 miles west to the Amana Colonies.  We plan to stay here for a couple days so will update everyone about what we learn after we have had a chance to check it out.  Stay tuned.


  1. What is/are the Amana Colonies?

  2. It was/is a communal settlement where a religious sect from Germany settled in about 1850. They ended the communal living in 1932 but there is still a lot of history here. They started the Amana company which is now owned by Whirlpool. Google Amana and you will learn all you want to know and more. I will probably put up a post about our day.

  3. I have not been to a single Presidential Library. Which ones are most interesting?

  4. I think Regan's is really good (especially with AF1 there), but for the most historical information I liked Hoover's and Truman's. Can't comment on JFK's.

  5. Do you ever spend the night at interstate rest areas? It seems like a logistical nightmare to find an RV park with every move.

  6. Most rest areas do not allow overnight parking, and even if they did they would not work well for us. We need to put our slides out to be comfortable and prefer a more quiet, relaxed place without a lot of traffic. The one night we spent in a Cabela's parking lot was pretty noisy.

    We have several printed campground books plus there are lots of search sites on the web. In addition we belong to a group of folks who share information about low cost or free spots to stay. We get our best spots from there. I download an updated copy of the info every other month.

    I haven't looked for places around Buffalo/Niagara Falls yet. We need big rig access and probably power since it will likely be pretty warm. Got any suggestions?

  7. A while ago I was thinking about places for you stay around here and all I came up with was the big State Parks south of here - Alleghany and Letchworth. You would probably need advance reservations there though. I will ask around for for close RV parks. Come to think of it, there is a RV park north of Lockport near Wrights Corners, maybe 10 miles from Buffalo. I will check it out.