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
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.
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)