We finish our run across Illinois. We drive south of the Interstate. Our roads are marked as Class lll Truck Routes. We conclude that you cannot live here unless you own a red truck.
We cross the Mississippi River into Louisiana, MO. We head north on a section of the Great River Road we have not driven. We have traveled the Great River Road from Rock Island, IL to the Mississippi River Headwaters. We drove from Venice, LA to Memphis, TN on the Great River Road.
Every section of the Great River Road is different. Today, we cannot see the Mississippi River from the road because of the bluffs. We climb in places to scenic overlooks. I love the Mississippi River.
We check into our Hannibal campground. I meet Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. There is a Tom and Becky contest every year for the local seventh graders. It is a big deal and the winners are named on the 4th of July.
We head to Lula Belle’s Restaurant. A couple we met at a scenic overlook recommended Lula Belle’s Restaurant. A Madame from Chicago built Lula Belle’s for the purpose it served. Notice the red light. It is now a wonderful restaurant and a Bed and Breakfast.
We visit Mark Twain’s Home. There is a good museum here. The characters in Mark Twain’s books were based on real people and places. Tom, you were right. You can visit Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher’s homes!
Near the campground, we find a wine tasting shop. We need some Missouri wine.
John drops me off at the Mark Twain Cave Tour. I am the only person on the tour! My guide, who was Tom Sawyer in the year 2000, is great.
Mark Twain played in these caves as a child. All the kids played here. My personal guide talks about the cave system. He also shows me all the places referenced in Tom Sawyer’s Adventures. I am glad I read the book recently!
Hannibal has been a wonderful stop.
Campground: Mark Twain Campground