Today is a shorter day, which is a good thing as yesterday was a bit long due to the time spent visiting the St. Francis Motorcycle Museum. I stayed at the Super 8 in Belleville KS, which was pretty deserted. Nonetheless, a number of guests thought it was acceptable to turn up the volume on their truck radio in the parking lot at 12:30 am and stage a parking lot dance while singing along with the tunes. What ever happened to being considerate and aware of your surroundings? Any how, I have ear plugs for just such idiots.
On Sunday morning, I started for Hannibal, MO about 9:00 am. But before I left I got to use the wash cloth I packed to wipe the water off the seat. Yes, I’m officially in the mid-west where a dry day is 60% humidity. 🙂
[BTW, I pack a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a wash cloth. I spray the windscreen and fairing with the peroxide and in 60 seconds or so, all the bug guts and goo dissolve and are easy to wipe right off. It doesn’t affect the paint or the plastic, so this is now in my “On The Road Again (OTRA)” kit.]
US-36 becomes the “Pony Express Highway” in the Eastern part of Kansas. In Marysville, there is a pony express stable, but being Sunday, it was closed. I got a picture of my “express horse”, Gonzo, in front.
I crossed over the border into Missouri. By this point, US-36 becomes a 4-lane divided highway with county roads cutting across it via the median.
Along the way, I rode through a large wind turbine farm among the Missouri corn fields. This reminds me of the eastern Colorado farmers who first let oil wells sprout among the corn and wheat in their fields and now are planting large numbers of wind turbines.
Then, I unexpectedly came upon the hometown of the great WW1 General, John “Black Jack” Pershing in Laclede, MO. I was vaguely familiar with some of his story as I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as a young boy, not far from Columbus, New Mexico. Poncho Villa raided Columbus in 1916 shortly after New Mexico became a state in 1912. I believe this is the only foreign invasion of the United States. Pershing, who was based at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, went after him chasing him in Mexico (and it turns out Patton, who was a Lt. under Pershing, participated too) , but were not able to find him. So, now I know where he was born.
The next surprise was seeing the Missouri highway department harvesting hay in the median of US-36. Now that’s a cool idea IMHO. Why waste that land when you can harvest feed for horses and cattle.
Hannibal, Missouri-Home of Mark Twain
I got to Hannibal about 3:00 pm and it was about 92 F, so I’m still riding in summer weather. I again stayed at the Dubach Inn and ended up in the same room I stayed in in 2017.
When I stayed here on the 2017 ride, I spent a lot of time visiting the Mark Twain Museum and wrote about that in my blog about that trip. This time, I decided to hike around town and see some of the sights I missed last time.
After getting a shower and having my traditional end-of-ride libation (Gin & Tonic) I headed out to explore. I found out that 2019 is the bi-centennial of the founding of Hannibal in 1818. Another unexpected discovery.
Hannibal also added pennants on the lampposts commemorating citizens who served in the military. I saw the same thing when I visited Omaha Beach in France where Allied soldiers were commemorated.
I found a lighthouse that is dedicated to Mark Twain and climbed up to it. I needed another shower after that. 🙂
On my way back from walking along the bluff above the Mississippi river, I saw something along the side of the path. It was just my good luck to come along when I did I guess.
I guess this shows money really does grow on trees. 🙂
And I came across this fellow. Some days are like that, but not this one for me. 🙂
At the bottom of the stairway to the lighthouse I stumbled upon two plaques commemorating the building of the first Mark Twain memorial bridge in 1935 and the replacement of it by the current one in 2000.
Another block or two brought me to the Mark Twain Brewing Company. I stopped in and sampled a couple of their excellent beers and had my supper.
Tomorrow I cross the Mississippi and cross Illinois on my way to the east side of Indianapolis.
Here is a slide show of today’s ride pictures.