Tag Archives: missouri

Turney, MO

The wind that was blowing over my campsite last night continued to blow across the highway today. Any west to east travel forced us to battle it, but the south to north runs were a breeze. We hit I-35 north of Oklahoma City and drove that to the Kansas border, where we jumped on US 160 to do battle with the wind. North of Coffeeville, we turned onto US 169 which again took us to 35 and our crossing of the Missouri River. It’s always fun for me to cross the Mighty Missouri, but this time I was preoccupied with the maze filled with traffic.

We did hit a Turner high of 18.75 mpg in Oklahoma, but that was aided by both a tailwind and two fills of non-ethanol gasoline.

It was a long day behind the wheel, over 9 hours in fact, driving 486 miles. Some road deconstruction, lots of towns insisting on 25 mph, and early bedtimes in Missouri all played a part.

I had planned on camping again tonight at Wallace SP, but the gates were closed at 8pm, and I arrived at 8:10. I was not impressed. Who closes their gates at 8? The Show Me State. What did they show me? Closed gates. I guess I’m lucky I crossed The River by 7. Its my fault for not googling the park, but it never occurred to me that a state park would close their doors so early.

I was looking forward to another night in the tent, but hunger & temperament suggested I simply find a place to sleep for the night.

Hannibal, MO

An honest recollection of the 1200 mile trip across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and back to Iowa again, could not possibly be complete without mentioning the Great Hannibal Snow-Globe Hunt of 2011.

Larry had been on the lookout for a snow-globe the entire trip, but it remained an elusive quarry. Upon arriving in Hannibal, MO Saturday night, Tom and I realized that the finding of The Globe was paramount, so we hit up every likely supplier that we came across, but to no avail.
We ventured off to Mark Twain State Park defeated. There was no snow-globe, no firewood, and no beer. Things looked pretty damn bleak. Luckily, a Casey’s supplied the beer and I was able to scrounge some firewood without going Black Op. There was light at the end of the tunnel… at least for Tom & I.

After paying our respects to Mr. Clemens and visiting the metropolis of Florida, Missouri, we made a run at Hannibal once again. Gift shop after gift shop turned us away. The Show-Me-State was showing us nothing but disappointment. Barges floated by on the Mississippi, probably loaded with snow-globes, but they might as well have been in China. We traveled deeper into Hannibal. Tom, being stressed out by the hunt, left us for a coffee house, but Larry & I trudged on.

Even I have no idea how many shoppes we went into, how many license plates, spoons, shot glasses and thimbles we had to look at, in the hope that one tiny snow-globe would be hidden among the trinkets.

We had reached the end of the street.

There was one more shoppe to go: A Book Store/Gift Shop. Larry and I glanced at each other, took a deep breath and opened the old wooden door. The door creaked with apathy for our plight. We asked, “Do you happen to stock any snow-globes?” The elderly woman sighed deeply. She made excuses about her suppliers, that most of her order was still on a barge somewhere, but that she might have one still unpacked… one with a river boat. Larry gasped & instinctively went for his wallet, shouting “I’ll take it”! The woman reached into a box that had been sitting on the floor at her feet. Would it, could it, possibly contain The Globe?

She asked for patience, so we waited with frayed nerves. Finally, with a wonderful grace, she brought out a river boat snow-globe with “Hannibal, Missouri” written on the base in beautiful golden script. There was a sigh of relief and then pandemonium. That little store had not seen such a celebration in many a decade.

I will never take the unheralded snow-globe for granted again.

Mark Twain Museum

After camping out at Mark Twain State Park near Florida, MO, we stopped by the Mark Twain Museum. The cabin Samuel Clemens was born in has been moved from its original site and is now inside the museum. A monument has been placed on the lot in Florida where the cabin originally stood.