Driving back, we explore a park with the dangerous sounding name of Lover’s Leap – it could have been called Lover’s Lookout I suppose, but that would detract from the nearly vertical drive up to its summit, and the sheer drop down to the river. The view from the top is spectacular, even with the stifling heat and humidity that threatens to take your breath away once you leave the air conditioning of the car. Far below, the squalid town of Hannibal lies nestled between this bluff and the one that had the bridge to the north. The bridge is plain to see, and a faux little steamboat plies the waters, giving tourists a ride and providing the local swarms of no-see-ums a bite to eat. The swampy island-riddled coast of Illinois is plain to see, far flatter than Missouri. The town folly of a lighthouse can be seen on the opposite bluff, a white sliver pointing skyward to the grey overcast heavens
Mum gets out to explore, while Pops reviewed the local fliers, and deduce we had been at Twains house, but there was no parking. We try again, and locate a spot next to Train Town, a local establishment, and confirm that yes, this is the spot – and the entry, beyond the infamous whitewashed fence and a huge stone wall, that offered plenty of parking is below, accessible only by a road we had bypassed coming into town, as the other road with its noble pursuit of urban renewal in the face of flooding, kept us away from the center.