Saturday, February 21, 2004

Another item from a previous February.

Late February 2001.

It was a pleasant visit to Iowa, though as cold as you would expect in February. Most of the ground-covering snow has melted in Illinois, but there was still a fair amount in Iowa. Eastern Iowa also had more hills than I would have thought, like a corner of Illinois, around Galena, that has its share of hills.

The Hoover Library and Museum is a few miles east of Iowa City. Before we arrived there, we had lunch in Durant, Iowa, at a place recommended by a guidebook I had handy. It was called White Way, an uncomplicated place that served good pork chops. In Iowa, that seemed appropriate.

There was a children's magician doing a show at the same time as we were at the Hoover Museum, coincidentally, so while I wandered through the exhibits, Yuriko and Lilly went to the museum auditorium to see him. The exhibits stressed Hoover's humanitarianism, saving Belgium from starvation and all that, more than his ill-starred term of office. There was a film clip of his inauguration in 1929; on that occasion Chief Justice Taft, former President Taft that is, swore him in. It was also the first inauguration widely broadcast on the radio.

We spent the night near the Interstate at a Country Inn, which I selected largely because of its indoor pool. Lilly enjoyed it as much as she usually does. On the whole, it was a pleasant motel, though nothing special. Spending the night there did mark the first time I had overnighted in Iowa. I thought about it, and Iowa seems to be the 39th "overnight" state for me... besides the states I've never visited (Alaska, both Dakotas, Montana, Oregon and South Carolina), I've only passed through Delaware, Colorado, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming, not stopping for a night.

Before we headed home, we also visited the Amana Colonies, towns near Iowa City that once belonged to a utopian settlement, founded by Germans in the 1840s. Not only did they practice agriculture, but also manufacturing, which later evolved into Amana appliances. It was a nice set of towns, which a large share of craft stores, and Yuriko was pleased with that.


Post a Comment

<< Home