Quincy, IL to Hannibal, MO
I woke to find out that the launch we had our boats was one of the only launches in this area and boaters were expecting to use it. We got up to move our boats. After doing that, I went back to my pad. I was tired. I finally got up and saw that the canoeing couple had gone off for a wake. I knew they were bickering the day before, but not how bad. I did not care to be around them and their off communication. I noticed he slept in the tent and she slept on her pad outside of the tent. That is not a good sign for any relationship. Oh well. It is theirs to figure out, not mine. We all left Quincy this morning. Just as we took off, the canoeing couple had to go back for a charger. I was not feeling this grouping too much.
They all stuck close to the main channel. I tend to be near the shore line as I like to see the people and the towns next to the water. There was a split off slough. I saw them staying on the main channel. I like the sloughs. They are like the state by-ways to the interstate. I feel that you are better able to see and understand the culture of the Mississippi this way.
It was a short 12 miles to Hannibal, MO. This was the boyhood home to Mark Twain. I figured I would enjoy some time there. I talked to some boaters as I was waiting for them to catch up. I found out a lot of local tips that way. They hit the first dock and I headed down to the marina. We were clearly on different playing fields with what we wanted to accomplish on this adventure. I pulled up to a high dock. I was getting ready to get out when I goofed. I lost my balance and the next thing I knew, I was in the water. That was a rookie mistake. My phone was in a dry case, but the wallet was not. Opps. I ducked under the dock as it was too high to climb up. I dredged through knee high Mississippi mud as I reached an area I could get out on. I was kicking myself for that error, but laughing at the experience. Life was still good.
I got back to the boat and tied it up. I was wet and muddy. I grabbed my cloths bag and toiletries. I was off to get a shower before anything else. I had a lot of daylight to work with and I wanted to be clean. I checked a few places before going to this hotel. I asked the manager if I could use a room that was not cleaned yet. She said she was going to charge me. I talked with her some more and she ended up giving me a key to a uncleaned room. I was grateful and off to a quick shower. Once I was spick and span, I thanked her and headed back to my boat. It was time to explore. I found out where some good food joints were and got the layout of the town. I grabbed my camera and set out to photograph the town.
I stopped by the Mark Twain Riverboat. I wanted to ride it and photograph that part of the river culture. I met the captain, Steve Terry, and asked to join him on his next voyage. He agreed and I was on a different boat. We took off upstream. I ended up putting my boat back up with the others for security. I was talking with some passengers as I passed it. It was good to see the river from this perspective. We turned downstream and I listened to Steve talk about some of the Mark Train history. I found out that Samuel Langhorne Clemens used to work the riverboats. They would drop a stick in the water ahead of the boats. When they were clear, they would yell, “Mark Twain.” This meant safe passage. Clemens adopted that phrase to his pen name in which he is now famous. We reached the end of our downstream segment and turned back to port. This is where I was able to join Steve and photograph the pilot house. He let me steer while some others captured me doing that. We talked about photography, the journey, the business, and his staff/family. He had piloted the Mark Twain Riverboat for 37 years. He was an honest and sincere man. I am glad to have met him. I got his information and thanked him before leaving. It was a good way to spend an hour.
I went to Finn’s to get a bite to eat. I ordered a ruben because it just sounded good. They had just opened and were figuring their systems out, but the food was good. I stopped by some tourist shops before heading up the street. I photographed the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn statue overlooking the town. I hiked up the stairs from there to see the lighthouse overlooking the town on the hill. I realized that my legs have not been getting the workout they normally do. I will have to work on that this summer. I headed back down as it was starting to lightly rain. I had my camera and no cover for it. I headed down the main street as a storm was approaching. I stopped by the Wine Bar to talk with some locals about the town and area. I met April, the bartender as I was talking with a couple. They bought me a drink as they were fascinated about my journey. I told them I would be back later that evening to photograph their musician that would be playing. I swung back down to my boat to get more gear for the shoot and headed back to the Wine Bar.
I photographer Mike Moore as he was playing some cover songs. I made friends with a couple tables. I met the owner of the building across the street. He offered to take me to the roof top to get some town shots. I went up there as those were some of the shots I wanted to capture to show the river towns. I got what I needed and headed back to the bar. Someone ended up buying me a drink. I did not know from who, but it was a kind jester. I managed to talk with a few more people throughout the night. I was able to get a good perspective on the town and the people. I headed back to where my boat was to retire for the night. Once again, we were by a busy train intersection. I will have to work on not doing that anymore. I crawled into my hammock and called it a successful night.