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Published: September 22nd 2021
We woke up this morning to a rainy Arnold, MO. It was dark and gloomy when I got up just before 7 AM. Eventually the rain went away, but the clouds stayed for good part of the day. So my photos may not be the best.
Because of the weather turning cold, we needed to do some trip management. We had to get some warmer clothing out of our suitcases, which were in the car, and reorganize our night bags. (We each carry a duffle into the hotel each night in which we can pack 4-5 days worth of clothes, and periodically, we restock it from the suitcases.) After a great Drury breakfast, (no charge) we left the hotel at 8:55, about an hour later than we had hoped. It was 66 degrees.
The plan was to get back on the Great River Road on the west side, but first we had to maneuver our way past St. Louis and the weekday traffic. It took us about an hour to do that and then we were on our way. On the way, we crossed the Missouri River which meets the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis.
So northward we went on the GRR. We passed through many small towns again today, some with populations of 400-500 people. There was nothing much going on in these towns except for a lot of rundown homes in need of some TCL and lots and lots of corn fields, as well as some soybean fields ready for harvest. And I could not help but wonder how one can live an hour away from a gas station or a grocery store. We did find a couple of gems, however. First we stopped in Clarksville, MO, population 432. Perhaps not many people live here, however, it was a special place to see because there is a dam there and a lock where the barges go through as the river lovers itself. Check out the photos.
Further on we stopped in Louisiana, MO, population of 3,200. The GRR passes right through the center of town, which is located right on the river. The town is old and run down. Many of the businesses are shut down and appear to be permanently abandoned. See one photo where a building right down on the river is totally falling into rubble, yet no one
takes it down and tows it away. Being from Florida, where there seems to be a strong effort to keep things looking nice and fresh (at lease in those places that I frequent and live), it is hard to understand the lack of pride in your town such that you don’t care if it looks dilapidated. Steve says it is a lack of money. Perhaps, but this scenic road runs right through the center of it and no one does anything to make it look nice. It is sad.
The last pace that we spent time in was Hannibal, MO. This, as everyone knows, is the home of Mark Twain, and if you didn’t know that before going there, you would have a hard time ignoring all of the referenced to this great man. His childhood home is there and they have a museum and a tour. And on the river is a riverboat that gives rides to paying customers. It was getting ready to load up and leave the dock when we were there and the speaker on top of the boat was playing old time music appropriate for the occasion. I took videos but I don’t think
I can load a video on my blog. But I will try.
Did I mention corn? I had to do some research on this, because I know nothing about growing or harvesting corn. I kept looking at the seemingly empty cornstalks, dried up and yellow, just sitting there for acres and acres and miles and miles. It seems that this is probably feed for animals. They harvest the entire crop, corn, stalks and all, at the same time and it all gets chopped up and fed to cows and horses and the like. Alternately, we also saw one farm that had bailed theirs into large rolls, like bales of hay.
One more thing of note tickled us and we don’t really understand what it means. See the photos. The signs all along one road read “Snow Emergency Route”. What do you suppose that means? Who knows.
It was a long day of driving and we ended up checking into our hotel in Moline, IL close to 5 PM. Luckily, there is a restaurant right across the street. And out my window is a great view of the runway of the local airport. Tomorrow, La Crescent, MN.
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