Miles Covered:  um 345- to um 275 (70 miles)

 Closest towns or landmark (chart): Polly island to Hannibal, Mo

 Original Post date: June 7, 2009


 So we learn a little as we go – last evening we tied to the leward side of an island for the night – out of the wake of passing tows.  This made for less rocking during the night.  A nice morning followed riding the river and watching the tows – no major hang ups yet at the locks as we soon hit lock 20, plus all of the folks we meet whether in the locks, tows or on land are very cordial.  It is said that folks (especially tow pilots) do not like the headache that recreational boaters create for them but we have yet to see or hear anything negative. I think that we may be a ‘novelty’ for them or a diversion during their long and mundane routine.


The size of the tows are incredible and how the pilots maneuver them into tight places – usually about a foot left on each side inside the lock is pretty impressive too.  Then they ever so slowly and safely maneuver them out of the lock and into the channel again with other traffic around – amazing patience and skill. (each barge can carry 1500 tons, where a tractor-trailer can carry 35-tons.

 Loading a barge Loading a barge

We stopped at a little town called LaGrange to look for a place to eat breakfast. We found what seemed to be a little store, the only structure around,  and made our entry.  As we walked in, all the locals, who were gathered around a table and playing cards at 7:30 in the morning, stopped to stare at the strangers who just came in to their world – it was like in the movies. We politely asked if breakfast was available and a lady jumped up to say “sure thing honey, what’ll you have?”  Outstanding! I love knowing that I can get breakfast no matter where we are. She cooked as we eyed the very minimal selection of groceries and sundries that were available in the store and tried not to disturb the elderly card players. Her daughter served us. We ate, said our thank yous and made our way back to the “bird.”


Soon we found that it wasn’t long before the clothes we had in the dirty clothes bag were cleaner than what we were wearing, its nice that it doesn’t matter – and its also good that we each smell the same (if we smell at all).  Later we stopped in Quincy, Ill at the small marina to charge our batteries, shower, and wash some laundry – a little less river funk, if it were to matter.

and more trains and more trains

and those forgotten Cabeeses.... and those forgotten Cabeeses….
Made it to Hannibal, Mo. of Tom Sawyer fame, and walked the town. Lots going on, they were having a cook off and a live band played through the night. I have to say it was one of the best times I had,  lots of fun. We partied with the locals, visited several watering holes and somehow found the marina and the boat without falling in the river. The people we met along the way and the towns we visited really made the trip for me.

Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, Mo Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, Mo


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