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Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 95 - Mississippi River / Hannibal, Missouri


It may be counterintuitive but from McHenry, Illinois I headed west this am by about 150 miles.

I decided that my next to the last week will be a trip down a chunk of the Mississippi River.  This meant I needed to first head west and I chose Davenport, Iowa where I would pick up the river before heading south.

The Mississippi River has always been intriguing and I would like to someday travel it from Minnesota to Louisiana.  I have decided to make it a two day trip down the Mississippi River and then three days to get to son Brent's house in Maryland.

It was still wet from the overnight rain in McHenry as I said goodbye to my aunt.  It was a nice visit.  I let her play with my IPad at McDonalds for about 1.5 hours yesterday afternoon looking up relatives.  I hope she takes my recommendation to get a tablet so our families can stay intouch.

I passed this beautiful silo on IL176 headed west.  I did have to use Interstate highways today as I was in a bit of a time crunch if I was going to a town on the Mississippi that I want to see today.

I took the I 88 toll road and they use I-Pass.  So I went to the Cash toll booth and the attendent says you have an I-Pass.  I reply I don't but have an E-ZPass.  She waved me on.  If there is reciprocity why don't they have signs?

I looked it up on the IPass website.

Illinois Tollway customers can enjoy the benefits of I-PASS when traveling beyond Illinois. Use I-PASS anywhere E-ZPass is accepted.* Commercial vehicles (including their trailers) that exceed four tires and two axles, and that are traveling on E-ZPass roads, must exchange their I-PASS transponder for the compatible E-ZPass "blue" transponder available at every Tollway Customer Service Center and at select Road Ranger outlets.

I wish clairvoyance wasn't expected with toll systems.

I cross the Mississippi River just south of Davenport, Iowa and head south taking IA 22 vs US61 that is too far from the water.  The two roads do meet up in the towns along the way.

Initially I see a lot of commercial/industrial businesses that are served by rail and Mississippi River barge. 

Then I see houses up against the Mississippi River on stilts.  We know the Mississippi has flooded in the past and will again.  I wondervif they are high enough.  I didn't have a place to pull over but I did see a park model trailer on stilts too.

I saw this barn and another one that looks like it with rounded corners.  They were different.

After going through some small towns I came down the hill into Fort Madison, Iowa where the Iowa State Prison is.  

(web photo)

It looks very much like an old fort with the Prison inside.

(web photo)

Another view of the prison.

I finally arrive at my day's destination, Hannibal, Missouri at about 3:00 pm having been driving since 8:00 am.  

Here is my afternoon visit to Mark Twain house and Museum / etc.

These are a group of houses around the museum that are the actual houses he and his family lived in as a child.

Samuel Clemens wrote both the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Two excellent books to expand on the imagination of children.

He used his boyhood experiences here in Hannibal, Missouri.  The museum does a great job of giving his family's history and a lot of details of Samuel Clemens.

He liked the Mississippi and the adventures it brought to him as a child.

This statue is right on the edge of the Mississippi River, and 2 blocks from the museum.

Did you know that Laura Hawkins was the real name of his sweetheart Becky Thatcher in the book?

I enjoyed reading his words of wisdom.

Yes there is a Tom Sawyer Fence.

More words of wisdom.

Down the street from the museum, and part of my senior price of $9.00 is another museum with artwork from Norman Rockwell.  I like Rockwell's  work so this was a pleasant surprise.

Rockwell was commissioned to paint the story pictures her first came out and drew the sketches and then went back and painted the pictures.  Wonderful works of art.

My camping spot for the night is this campground in Missouri on the Mississippi River. I drove about 390 miles today. My total 2015 travels as of tonight is 17,446 miles.

I was hoping to see a barge come by while I'm here and it came!


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