St. Louis here we come
Trip Start May 01, 2010
29Trip End May 29, 2010
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We left Davenport on the “scenic route,” but found the route anything but scenic – mostly industrial plants and quarries. Later, we discovered an 1848 grist mill near Muscatine, Iowa, with a back-up steam engine dating to before the Civil War.
Following the river, we passed through Nauroo, the former chief city of the Mormons before they were forced to move west to Salt Lake City
No trip down the Mississippi would be complete without a visit to Hannibal, the birthplace of Samuel Clemens. Unfortunately, old Sam is probably rolling in his grave to see how his hometown has commercialized his legacy. There’s a Huck Finn Shopping Center and a Becky Thatcher Nursery. Remnants do endure of Clemens life in Hannibal, including his family home and his father’s law office. I made the trek to the light house above Hannibal – 236 steps up and down – and was rewarded with a great view of the river.
Continuing south to St. Louis, we took the scenic route and about 15 miles from Hannibal we found that the road was closed. Rather than return to Hannibal and take the “easy road,” we ventured onto an unmarked detour. About ten miles of gravel road later, smack through a large wetland area, we rejoined the highway to St. Louis. We inquired with the gas station attendant in Louisiana (Mo.) about the road south. He informed us the road south was fine, but northbound was closed. His eyebrows went up when we told him we had navigated the detour to reach his station.
We tried to reach the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers today, but were turned back by flooded roads.
Tomorrow: a second try at the confluence of the rivers and the Louis & Clark monument, then south to Memphis.