March 6, 2011 (continued) – Quality Inn, Hannibal MO

294 miles traveled today; 2026 total

We passed the 2000 mile mark today, while crossing the State of Missouri. Our route took us south to St. Joseph on I-29 and then east via US 36. We admired the dark, rich bottomland soil along I-29, noting that cemeteries in that area are perched up on hillsides too steep to cultivate. We commented on the large fireworks outlet stores along I-29, just south Iowa. Missouri must have very lenient fireworks laws, making the sale of bottle rockets and such a lucrative business near the state line. Indian reservations serve the same purpose in Washington State.

We arrived in Hannibal around 1 pm and checked into a Quality Inn, to take a break from camping inside 26 feet of uninsulated fiberglass. After hauling things up to the room, we unhitched the truck and drove into the historic district of Hannibal. This town is, of course famous as the boyhood home of Mark Twain, and we were pleased with the nicely preserved historic downtown area. An affordable price grants admission to the visitor center, an excellent museum, Twain’s well preserved boyhood home, a reconstruction of Huck Finn’s home, and several other structures which connect directly with Mark Twain’s early life here, as well as with the real people who inspired characters for his stories. Making our visit even more enjoyable, the sun came out and warmed the day up into the mid 40’s, first time we’ve felt that warm outside so far.

Tomorrow we plan on looking around some more in the morning, and then driving down to the outskirts of St. Louis in the afternoon, heading for a campground we stayed at on our way home from the Chesapeake.

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