Heading for Hannibal meant leaving Route 66 and turning more north through Missouri. Since it was Missouri and I was headed North East, I headed for the Ozarks. I guess I should have known, but was still surprised by the tourist town of Osage. There was a cool lock and dam I found there, and the internets said there were a few places I could go and get a good view, but this wasn’t as true as I’d hoped.
There were revelers about even as early as I was there – this caused odd traffic backups and people cutting me off randomly to get parking spots. I didn’t like it all that much, though there were some good views.
There were these huge birds flying around, close to the trees. I tried, but couldn’t get a decent picture of them. Darn birds. After a snack I was back on the road – meeting Sue in Hannibal added almost 100 miles to my day, and that meant I had to keep moving.
I reached Hannibal, and Sue called me. For some reason I couldn’t answer on the helmet intercom (I’m supposed to be able to – not sure what happened) so I pulled into a Safeway parking lot to call her back. When she answered, she was approaching the same Safeway, so we’d managed to arrive within a couple minutes of each other. Grocery store parking lots aren’t the best for romantic greetings, but we managed.
Next was working out where to stay. It had been a hot day, and we decided we wanted to stay in town. There were a lot of hotels around, but Sue wanted to stay downtown so we could walk around. This narrowed it down to 2, and we decided to splurge and get the nicer one (since the google reviews of the other were extremely negative, break ins and theft, rude staff, terrible rooms).
The room was about what I’d normally spend on 3 nights inside, but the bed and pillows were heaven and the shower had both settings that worked and decent pressure. I took a really long shower.
Once we had both cleaned up we decided to take a walk and see the historic downtown area (okay, there was a brewing company nearby).
We got dinner, and as we were eating the skies opened up. It was raining so hard we couldn’t see across the street. We could see it was starting to flood, and wondered if it would stop when it was time to walk back to the hotel, since we hadn’t brought coats. The food was good and Sue said the beer was too (I am not much of a judge when it comes to beer).
The rain did stop before we were done eating, and it was actually nice out. We walked around some and found there were a lot of small pop-up tents along the main street. When we got back to the hotel we learned it was “Twain on Main” the next day. We asked for a late checkout (which was reluctantly granted, apparently they were full the next night) and went to sleep.
In the morning we hit the free breakfast and then went out to see the sights. We also noticed everything in the downtown was “Twain” something – we’d notice the brewing company it really was everything.
Mark Twain Family Restaurant, across the street.
Twain on Main was a couple blocks of people selling things, and several live shows and exhibits. There were several buildings marked off as historically important to Twain, both his childhood home, the boarding house he’d had to move into, the pharmacy, even Becky’s house (his childhood love). Getting inside of most of them meant paying, and since there seemed to be enough to see outside we passed on spending the money. Sue did try to work off some of the cost –
We walked around in the small historic village and looked in windows like tourists (which I guess we were).
The shops had the small stuff you’d expect in any small town fair, with a surprising amount of Alpaca fur things. There must have been a farm nearby raising them, and someone brought one to show as an example.
But there were other oddities along the way as well.
Near 1100 we started back to the hotel to pack up and get moving. It was getting hot out, and neither of us were looking forward to riding in the heat of the afternoon, but we were glad we’d taken the time to walk around in the morning. We also decided to take the river road, at least for a little while, as we headed back to Milwaukee. Sue had come south that way, but we would stay on the other side of the river and see what we could see,