September 10 - 11, 2018: Hannibal, Missouri
As I was researching how to get back across the US to the Denver area, I ran across something about Mark Twain and Hannibal, Missouri. Upon doing more research, come to find out that Hannibal, Missouri is Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain's) home town and there are a lot of museums. I thought what a cool thing to go see.
Along the way, we headed a little North so we could drive down the Mississippi River as we headed to Hannibal. Gorgeous country with farms and rolling hills.
Crossing from Illinois into Iowa across the Mississippi River.
We thought we would spend two nights in Hannibal because we did not know how long it would take us to go through the Mark Twain buildings and museum. We arrived in Hannibal about 7:30pm and the spot that I picked for us to 'stay the night' was...not good. It was the Hannibal Historic Paved Parking Lot or Hannibal City Overflow Gravel Lot. I failed to look at the typography on Google maps and see that both of these spots were sandwiched between...railroad tracks.
So we pulled in, got the trailer all situated and...10 minutes later a train on the left side tracks (about 20' away) came rumbling through. It took it about 10 minutes before it finished. Then....20 minutes later...another train on the left side tracks came through. Then about 30 minutes later a train on the right side tracks (about 30' away) came through. Needless to say that for the next 2 1/2 hours as we sat eating dinner, doing computer work, and reading...7 trains came through on both tracks. Each time a train would come through they would blow their whistles before, during, and after passing us; the ground and trailer would shake; and they are long trains so they would take about 10 minutes each to pass. Basically, 20 minutes between trains! At first we were stunned, then it became a joke, and we finally decided to throw in the towel. Walmart here we come! So at 11pm, we packed up (thank God we didn't set anything up) and moved 4 miles to the Walmart parking lot!
1st camp spot between railroad tracks. This is the next day since it was too dark to take a picture when we pulled in. When we went to visit the Mark Twain Museums we parked in this same spot because it within walking distance to where we wanted to go.
2nd camp spot at Walmart.
The next morning I got my hair cut at Walmart (they did a great job). The last cut was June 21 and for those that know me...it was long and driving me crazy! And we also restocked our fruit and veggy supply. Then...we headed off to check out the Mark Twain stuff.
Our first stop was the Mark Twain Museum. What a great museum! The first floor was displays for some of his most famous books (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, The Quaker Voyage, etc.). The 2nd floor was all Norman Rockwell illustrations for Twain's books, busts, and other memorabilia.
Do you know how Mark Twain got his name? Now...you do! Pretty cool!
Holly at the wheelhouse of a steamboat and blowing the horn
Craig sitting on a raft on the Mississippi River watching a video about Huckleberry Finn and his adventure with Jim
We then stopped at Java Jive for lunch before proceeding to go through the Interpretive Center, Sam Clemon's (Tom Sawyer's) Home, Becky Thatcher's Home, and Clemon's Justice of the Peace. We were only going to tour the Museum and Sam Clemon's home, however...we decided to do them all because they were so cool!
Samuel Clemon's (or Tom Sawyer) childhood home.
Laura Hawkin's (or Becky Thatcher) childhood home
Samuel Clemon's dad's business
After visiting these, we stopped back by Java Jive for some coffee and dessert. We sat down and chatted with some locals (Bob and Willie) about the town; Civil War, slavery and politics; Rupert, Idaho - yes...Bob has been contracted by the Minidoka Government to restore some doors that are at the Internment Camp in Minidoka which is right where I grew up! Small world!!! Bob owns the Belvedere Inn Bed and Breakfast in town so if you are ever in the area, stay there. And...go the Java Jive - great food and reasonable prices! Willie was born and raised in Hannibal and a former City Council Member. Great guys with a lot of history!
Lunch at Java Jive. What a cool eclectic coffee shop!
Picture with Becky Thatcher. Tom was out fishing some where so we didn't get a picture with him. The town elects a Tom, Becky, and Huck each year as ambassadors. it is a BIG THING to be selected.
Although our initial night in Hannibal was questionable with the trains, this is a really cool little town with a great downtown. Some of the houses along Central Street and Main Street were just amazing!
And...did you know that Molly Brown (survivor of Titanic) was born in Hannibal, Missouri! They have a museum for her, however we ran out of time. We could have stayed another day to keep exploring.