The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Monday, August 06, 2007

I'm a bit behind due to NO cell signals, so here is the first update since Saturday...

Hannibal, MO

We pulled out of Nauvoo on Friday, heading down the Great River Road towards Quincy. We crossed I72 heading west across the Mississippi into Hannibal. Paul stopped at the Visitors center and got some info on the town and a recommendation for a campground. I called ahead and got a reservation…jeepers $30 bucks for one night. Makes me cringe…we paid 30 bucks for three days in Nauvoo. We pull into Mark Twains Cave and campground and get our spot. We begin to set up the rig as normal. Well, main slide in living room is stuck. Paul comes in, and true to form….why haven’t you let out the slide…I try to explain…he tries…no go…it REALLY is stuck…I didn’t make it up! He goes outside and signals me to try again and then quickly yells to stop. Apparently, the ripped slide topper (the awning that keeps debris from coming into the rig when the slide is brought in) had been slowly deteriorating and we had planned on replacing both slide toppers in Michigan but just didn’t get around to it. Well, it has take so much abuse, the locking mechanism shifted out of alignment somehow and is jamming the slide…it is also lifting the edge of the roof on the rig, kinda like a giant can opener. Oh, great. This changes plans…we need to get this fixed asap…hopefully there is no rain in the forecast so we won’t have to worry about water seeping in where the roof has lifted up. Well, nothing we can do on a late Friday afternoon, but we will call Byerly Motorhomes in Eureka first thing Saturday to see if we can get in for service on Monday.

Off we head to Hannibal to look around and take the Mark Twain Steamboat ride. It would have been a beautiful and relaxing ride, however the sun was blazing and the temps were in the high 90’s. The humidity was around 90 percent as well. Needless to say 10 minutes on the paddleboat in the sun almost made me jump into the mud! We spent most of the hour inside in the air conditioning. After the cruise we tooled around town and then headed back to the rig. It is unbearable in the valley. We just stayed in and watched a movie on tv, and had a sandwich for a late dinner.

We checked out of the campground early and went back into Hannibal. We wanted to see the Mark Twain boyhood home, and all the stuff at the museum. It cost $8 to get in…what a disappointment. 5th graders could have done a better job on these exhibits. We were both very disappointed. Once again by 10 am the temps were near 100. After our disappointed tour, we went to the Mark Twain Diner, home of the world famous Maid Rites, Onion Rings and homemade root beer. We noshed on the local fare and it was pretty good. Neither of us could finish our sandwiches so we had them wrapped and then headed back to the rig. $14 for lunch is such a waste for us…I don’t know why we continue to eat out. We no sooner than get in the rig and on the road to WalMart to get gas, I was in the bathroom getting “rid” of my lowly Maid Rite.

Paul decides to take Rte 79 down Missouri closer to St. Louis rather than back across to the River Road in Illinois. I am passed out on the couch from my sick tummy while Paulie traverses the ups and downs, curves and snakey road towards Louisiana, MO. He finds his way to St. Charles and then programs the GPS to take us to Pere Marquette state park, which the GPS indicates is just 19 miles. OK. We now are going to and fro on country roads. Our lady in the GPS announces, “…in .4 miles board ferry.” FERRY!?! Well, we reach the ferry boarding place and the ferry is across the river picking up cars. Our trusty ex-Fedexman panics thinking we won’t fit on the ferry (does he WAIT to see and ask or does he just instinctively just ACT?) Well, he does the later and this gut reaction has dire consequences. He decides to do a u turn and get the heck outta the ferry line. Unfortunately, we are about 50 feet from the EDGE of the Mississippi River. He sees grass…Old Man River laughs to his old self and chuckles under his breath(I heard it) “ welcome to my place, sucker”. Under that grass is gucky sucky MUD…yanno, the famous Mississippi mud? Well, the mud sucked down the rear wheels of the rig with surprising speed. We are stuck like flies on doodoo. I say nothing although I have bitten my tongue so hard I taste blood. We are shall we say up to the hubs in Mississippi mud?

He calls Good Sam. Their tow truck guys calls and says FOUR HOURS. Paul calls Progressive Insurance….they use the same tow truck turkey. He calls Good Sam again…they are closed. The emergency number goes unanswered. Well, we have a great view of the river up front and personal like, we have a satellite dish so we can watch the Cubs, we have food, a bathroom, and a bed if we need to spend the night. The generator is doing a wonderful job keeping the air nice and cool. We finally hear from Good Sam…after about two hours. They have found another tow truck. Finally after about 4 and half hours, he arrives and zip, we are out of the mud. We CAN board the ferry; they move tractor trailers all the time. We did provide the local rednecks a great laugh as they passed us to get on the ferry. I tell Paulie to jell out….if he is gonna be a tight ass about stuff like this (shit happens yanno?) he’s gonna stoke out or have a coronary.

We cross the river and are now on country roads surrounded by corn and soy beans, and it is now quite dark. The GPS is telling us to turn left here and right here and then announces “in 500 feet, board FERRY.” Ah, what?
We pull off the dark road, and Paul goes to the car and contacts On Star. Then a guy in a pickup stops. Yes, Mrs. GPS voice is right we have to get on another ferry…apparently we are on a peninsula and gotta cross again. The pickup truck guys says it’s a free state run ferry and will let us off on Hwy 100 and its about 4 miles to the State Park. Well, after HOURS exploring our environment, we arrive at the park. We find a spot, pull in and head to bed…after a few cocktails and some chow. What is it that RVer’s like to say?
It’s the journey….? Hah. Gotta agree there! What a journey!

I’ll finish our weekend in another post. My fingers are cramped…



The graves of Emma(wifey #1) Joseph and Hyrum long last in a proper grave...
More missionaires doing a recreation was 98 degrees, I bet they wished their mission was in the air conditioned museum!

Robert Smith's grocery store which he had to rent out when his flock didn't pay their bills...and if he challenged them, they left the so prophet and lousy business man.
Statue of Robert and Hyrum Smith overlooking the Mississippi River near the "saints" memorial from the Sweetwater Rescue Mission.

This is a model of the temple in Nauvoo...quite beautiful but only "saints" who have been yearly reviewed by the elders can enter the temple and they must wear special no Boxers Joes allowed....

Charlie and Sam our Belgian tour guides
one of the original restored(actually they are all) recreated

This is a "missionary duplex" where all the folks on their mission stay...

This was the ONLY interesting thing in Hannibal...don't waste your time or is not worth the price...
More to come from our adventures on the Mississippi ferries....
paul and dennise

inturupting my regularly scheduled blog to upload pix...we are at Panera's and I have let's hope this works!