Diary - Day 18




Jeremy's Pictures

Day 18 Sunday May 29th Hannibal MO – Galena IL

Maggie & Gerry Pell

Colin's Picture



Packed and ready to leave at 06.00 to drive as far as possible whilst cool and quiet with Richard and Vivienne as company. Beautiful sunrise, temperature pleasant hardly any cars on the road. Stopped for petrol and a man said to the cashier “How are you ?” – “Still fat and sassy” was the reply. When outside he looked at the cars and said “They’re classy with a capital K”. A great start to the day.


Suddenly we saw behind us the clouds looking very black and threatening but just managed to keep ahead of them. The countryside was again strikingly green, no roadside flowers but taller trees and areas of dense woodland. Intermittently there were farmhouses surrounded by large fertile fields. As yesterday the towns and heritage coloured houses merged into the landscape with no flowers or fences just statues of animals etc on the front lawns and the odd coloured glass balls, all very well maintained.
Around Keokuk were larger sheds either making or selling fireworks proclaiming “We give you more bangs for your bucks” or “Fireworks Forever”. We were now on route 61 which we were to follow for the next 175 miles to Davenport.
Stopped at Fort Madison for breakfast where a lovely man looked at our cars and said “God dammit they looks fast even when they are standing still” He then asked all about them . His friend drew up and asked him about them, what the cars were and he recounted our story” How come you know so much about Morgan’s then” asks his friend and the reply was “ I was raised to ask questions. They can answer or no but you’ll never know twixt til yer asks!”
At breakfast we had a text message from our daughter saying there was a serious parcel at the Post office as we were not at home to collect and we all said in unison – THE FAN! (See exciting sequel Day 21 1st June! - Ed)
Passed Iowa’s State Penitentiary and the farm opposite. An eagle waited until the last moment to leave a squashed animal on the road before flying up in front of Richard’s car giving us all an impressive close up of their size and flight. Wanted to stop in Burlington with the crookedest street in the world but it was 72F(22C) and the engine temp started to rise so we kept straight on. Soon after the temperature dropped with a light rain arriving in Davenport at 10.15 too early to meet the Iowa Group for lunch so we decided to press on even though it looked an interesting town. We were going well when Richard had his second puncture of the trip, so having practised the first in Santa Fe we had a very slick second wheel change.
We hit Port Byron an 1828 riverboat town after crossing the Mississippi river. Everywhere was quiet, the small towns very well maintained and the vegetation was even lusher on the east side of the river. Saw the impressive steel 1930’s built Savanna Sabula Bridge, but it was too misty to get the best photo view, the trees arching over our route reminded me of home – a lovely drive.
About 12 miles, just outside Galena we found our hotel, Eagle Ridge Inn &Resort a great facility with golf course and plenty of outside activities. Just as we arrived the light rain turned to a deluge so we were thankful that we had checked in and were not driving. Amazing to be the first to arrive and as rooms were not ready we had a great lunch.
As the others arrived we realised that by leaving so early we had missed the thunder, lightning and spectacular storms we had seen developing behind us at Hannibal. Moira & George were shaken when they aquaplaned off the road at modest speed and on spinning their drivers’ side hit the verge bank. Rumour has it that Jeremy shot some lights rather than apply the brakes in such atrocious conditions!

The Morgan agent from Chicago arrived with spares for Ben & Judy’s stricken car (second hand Jaguar part) and successfully installed they were able to take to the road again. He said he could install an aircon fan to cool our radiator and that it would last for years but we’ll wait now for the new fan from England due to arrive in Duluth. It is clear in USA and Canada where specific spares may not be so readily available as in UK people are much more resourceful.
Although there was a vineyard tour and Galena to see people were happy to arrive after some 300 miles and leave both ourselves and the cars to dry out. Had a super dinner with Ken & Pat Miles then to bed – ready for another 06.00 start!
(Indy 500 won by a Brit Dan Weldon and a lady Danica Patrick had led for a long time and finally finished fourth -Ed)


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