President Herbert Hoover had his humble beginnings in the city of West Branch, Iowa. This historic site is a collection of preservations of the Hoover family’s residence’s and possessions.
Below is the 2 room cottage where he was born and lived during his early years. This is blacksmith shop where Herbert’s father, Jesse, worked. The school room where Herbert and his siblings were educated. The park had a really fun Jr. Ranger program that we finished while we were there. We had a brand new Ranger swear the kids in.The kids also got their centennial Jr. Ranger badges!
Tips: There is a large parking lot across the street from the Visitor Center that we parked in. There were plenty of bus/RV parking spots but they were only about 40 feet long. We parked along the curb taking up a LOT of regular car spots, but it wasn’t busy and all of the cars were parked in the small main lot by the VC.
The grounds are beautiful and it is a lovely walk around the grounds. The Historic site is free to visit however there is a charge for the Presidential Library and museum (we did not choose to do this).
In the last 2 years we have driven 50,000 miles and stopped at 100’s of truck stops but it took this long to finally get to the “World’s largest truck stop” in Walcott, IA. There are all sorts of amenities here such as a barber, dentist, showers, laundry, many food choices, trucker gadgets and of course fuel. With over 900 Parking spaces, we had no problem finding a place for the rig and we headed inside to see what the fuss was all about.Austin had saw on the website that there was a Semi INSIDE the building and he just had to see it for himself. To his surprise, there was not one, but 3 semi trucks inside the truck stop!
With easy on and off service from I-80 in east Iowa, you’ve gotta stop, at least once.Tips: If you are towing, do yourself a favor and just follow the “truck” signs. We turned it where it said “RV’s/Buses” and nearly got ourselves stuck. The place was a zoo in that part and we would have had a much easier time if we just followed the trucks in to fuel up.
Grand Teton National Park is located just south of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. When we went to Yellowstone nearly two years ago, we didn’t have enough time to make it to Grand Teton and have regretted it since. We are on a long trek back in MI but when we realized that we would be within a few hours of the National Park, we knew we had to take time to squeeze it in.The tricky park about getting to the Park is the “Teton Park” which is steep and windy and full of 10% grades that are no fun for towing. We opted to stay in Victor, ID at TeTon Valley RV park and are so glad we did. They had a last minute reservation for us on Memorial Weekend and we took that as a sign! They even take Passport America for 2 nights.
The drive from Teton Valley to the Visitor Center is almost an hour but it is so breathtakingly beautiful that you hardly realize how long it takes. If coming from Victor, ID you can enter off Moose-Wilson road through the Granite Canyon entrance, but you have to drive about 3 miles on a dirt road and the road is very narrow. With out dually truck there were spots were cars coming the other way couldn’t fit past us. The other option is to come in through Jackson and use the Moose Entrance. This map will explain the options more.
Our first stop was the beautiful Craig Thomas Visitor Center. This is where you can pick the brains of rangers, shop in the gift shop, get Jr. Ranger information, check out the exhibits and watch the park film. There are amazing views of the Teton Mountains right from here.
After a stop in the Visitor Center, we headed to the Taggart Lake Trailhead parking lot and small picnic area. We brought lunches on the hike and found this awesome brook to have lunch by instead. This is “bear aware” area so make sure you pack your bear spray for the hike. We didn’t see any, but a woman we passed spotted one from about 500 ft. away.
The views on this 3.3 RT hike were amazing and I would high recommend this for a family hike. You can go out and back or take a slightly longer way back for a loop.
Tips: The parking lot has room for a couple of RV’s and maybe 50 cars but there is a wide area of the roadway that allows for extra parking.
There are vault toilets at the trailhead but no water