Diary - Day 17




Jeremy's Pictures

Day 17 Saturday May 28th Kansas City MO – Hannibal MO

Maggie & Gerry Pell

Colin's Picture



Good early breakfast and met Ben & Judy whose car is still on Rod’s trailer, they think they may have to leave today as this is the nearest place to home – but in a dilemma as they’d like to finish the trip. Yesterday’s invalids Roger, Linda & Fiona (and me!-Ed) looked much better after yesterday evening’s rehydrating in a local hospital.
Set off immediately after the driver meeting with Richard & Vivienne in the lead and Lynne driving Fiona’s car following. Out of Kansas City the lights were mainly green and although we passed Harry Truman’s home we couldn’t stop as the temperature was rising in the slow moving traffic and with the last two lights at red it was just too much for our fan less car – we needed the open road! The engine temperature shot to over 120C(248F), began boiling over and car would not start so we pushed it into a convenient slipway to let it cool down.Jeremy & Chris stopped and checked things over saying they were glad we had not overheated earlier as we had passed through some very rough neighbourhoods!

Waved all the other MOAers on, Rod pulled up with Ben & Judy still on board, looking worried, but had been persuaded by Jeremy that their car was fixable in Galena.
After almost an hour we were on our way again – very little traffic now as it was Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of American summer, a cross between UK Bank holiday and Remembrance Day. It was a fine day relaxing driving through the gently rolling verdant countryside. Well kept farm houses and barns were surrounded by moderately sized fields of crop vegetables, fruit and vineyards – a great contrast to the large rolling plains of earlier days.
The national flag was flying everywhere on house porches, decorating towns and on all public buildings. The cemeteries were striking as apart from being delightfully well tended many graves had their own flag and in Waverley the whole cemetery was surrounded by large flags with many families observed visiting and placing flowers.
Crossed the Missouri River bridge and after Carrolton the land flattened. De Wilt was a beautifully kept small town with flags on every lamp post. The area around Brunswick grew pecan nuts. All along the route were herds of cows in excellent condition and long length irrigation sprayers ranged across the fields and for some time train tracks ran parallel to our route with their piercing whistles as the seemingly never ending trailers and locos passed by.
We stopped for lunch at the Shamrock Diner near Moberly, full of extended families lunching together. Space was found, we squeezed in and Fiona who had already tired of Doctor’s orders “24 hr fluids only” recommended at the hospital said “hang that” and joined Bob & Barbara for the Pecan pie!
Next Moberly a large town with industrial, horticultural and commercial centres, passed the Mark Twain Lake with families in speed boats and then through Monroe City which looked an older town with well maintained double storied houses. It was 79F(26C) and hot travelling.
On arriving in Hannibal – a picturesque town on the banks of Mississippi, founded in 1819 and best known as the home of the author Samuel Clemons alias Mark Twain, we again meet slow moving traffic, red lights and so true to fan less form we boiled over and had to pull in!. After both car and occupants had cooled down a little so we cruised down hill through changing lights and into the welcoming Clemons Hotel.
Too late to visit the town or the River Arts festival, just take a quick swim in the highly chlorinated indoor pool and then we joined everyone for a walk down to the Mark Twain Riverboat for a dinner cruise on the Mississippi. What a relief to walk and not drive to the boat.


A beautiful evening and although the boat was smaller than the originals it was very attractive and we were quickly seated at our reserved tables on the lower dining deck. Drinks were served at two small bars either side of the stairs and with only one server at each long queues inevitably formed - but time passed quickly congenial chattering, tucking into a very good buffet with prime rib whilst a 5 piece band played popular tunes. Ken & Pat and a few others danced away but most moved to the decks after dinner to watch Hannibal and the scenery.
There was a spectacular and vivid sunset and then all too soon a very merry group were back at the hotel. Some thought the chlorine after effects would keep them awake – but not us. (I find alcohol a very useful antidote to many things, including chlorine! – Ed)


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