Our first stop of interest in Iowa was the Herbert Hoover Birthplace, Presidential Library, and Museum. Herbert Clark Hoover was born here near West Branch, east of Iowa City, Iowa in 1874. At the age of eleven, having been orphaned eighteen months earlier, young Bertie Hoover was sent to Newberg, Oregon where he lived with and worked for an uncle before entering Stanford University in 1891. There he earned a degree in geology and met his future wife, Lou Henry, also a geology student. His was an impressive international career in mining geology before entering public service and ultimately serving as the 31st President of the United States. Today the cottage where he was born and lived until he was ten is a prominent feature of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Like many Americans we knew little about this man, basically only that he as president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that he was defeated in the 1932 election by FDR. Thus we learned a lot about an often misunderstood president, not only about the causes of the Great Depression and possible outcomes if he had been re-elected but also about his work and philanthropy both before and after his presidential term. From there we headed to an Army Corps of Engineers site near Coralville, Iowa and camped in the rain. 

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Cobh on Our Own

Cobh on Our Own

For our first adventure together on the Emerald Isle, we walked the streets of Cobh, County Cork, explored St Colman’s Cathedral, and visited the Cobh Heritage Center.