Day 4 – Farewell to Hannibal, MO

Hannibal, Missouri, seen from the old Mark Twain Bridge park.

Hannibal, Missouri, seen from the old Mark Twain Bridge park.

Exhausted from the humid heat, Mum and Trixie returned to the car, and Pops scaled halfway up the hill where Twain’s lighthouse is; Mum forbade Pops from going all the way up, so he only went halfway up, taking photos of the Tom & Huck statue at the base, and exploring the odd park at the halfway point; this turned out to be the remains of the first Mark Twain Memorial Bridge built across the river; when it was opened, the electric lights attracted and killed so many bugs they had to use snowplows to clean the carcasses off the bridge.

From that vantage point, Pops spied a boat with its barges travelling down the river; these are key to the economy, one fully loaded set of barges can carry the same as a ten fully loaded trains, or thirty semis. A train also came into the station, rolling precariously between the river and the land.

After descending those stairs and returning to the car, we drove down Bridge Street, an almost unnoticed dead-end road that went under the bridge, and provided some unique views of the river, before we turned back and then retraced that scenic route along the riverbank and into the overgrown wilds of Missouri. Fields, forest and limestone dominate this green lush land that has the air of depreciation and woe about it, as if it is unable to shake a bad hand dealt to it.

Perhaps there are places in New Hampshire as badly off, but the overwhelming air of poverty is far more prevalent here. After determining the road wouldn’t follow the river further, we eventually turned around and found our way back to civilization pausing at McDonalds for dinner, and finding our way to the hotel.

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