GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Friday, January 30


The stop in St. Louis on Day five meant that I didn't get to Hannibal until late that night. I drove to the hotel that I wanted to stay at but it was dark and well we all know how afraid of the dark I am. Plus, I had passed a Holiday Inn Express........what can I say.......I'm a sucker for a really comfy bed all to myself.

The morning started with a tour of Hannibal. Unfortunately, they have a tourist season and I had missed it. Lol! I ran into a lot of signs like this:
Fortunately for me the Mark Twain Museum were still open. The museum consists of a few separate buildings spread out over a couple of blocks. The only building with any heat is what they call the Gallery, which is the interactive museum but it was located at the other end. So I did all of the outdoor exhibits 15 degree weather. Ironic....but I believe I was the only patron.
It was cool to be able to see the homes of the people that influence the writings of Samuel Clemens. The really nice lady that ran the bookstore at the outside exhibits even pointed out a coffee shop between the outdoor exhibits and the Gallery so I could warm up. A cup of hot cocoa was definitely needed to get the 2 blocks to the Gallery. As for the information that was there, I didn't know much about Mr Samuel Clemens to start with. It was interesting to learn about his time on the river boat, the guilt he felt about the death of his younger brother, and even where he came up with his nom de plum. I loved the quotes of Mark Twain that they had posted throughout the exhibits. Then again, I have always loved Mark Twain's quotes.

The Gallery had quite the set up. They 3 different areas dedicated to specific books. You could sit on Huck Finn's raft and watch excerpts of the movies. Or travel in a stage coach for a while. I had a lot of fun even if I was the only one in the building. Lol! I found a special edition set of the 2 greatest Mark Twain classics in the book store and just had to get them. I now have never-to-be-read copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

After leaving the Mark Twain exhibits, I was on the road again. Here is where that change of plans came in. After listening to the weather and realizing that the snow was supposed to get pretty bad, I got nervous about the passes in Wyoming and Colorado. I called a bunch of people who have driven them before and came to the conclusion that something would have to change. The first thing to go was Mt. Rushmore. It was too far out of the way and by the time I was done with it, the snow was supposed to be in full swing. The second decision I made was to head south, through Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. But that would have added a week on to my trip and I was ready to be home. The final decision was to cut across Nebraska and head straight home. Which is what I did...........

I took a quick break at Council Bluffs, Iowa (just outside of Omaha, Nebraska) to visit our church site there. In the mid 1800's when the Mormon pioneers had been kicked out of Illinois and decided to travel to the west, Council Bluffs became a stopping point. As a matter of fact, a large body of Mormon men were recruited from Council bluffs to fight in the Mexican - American war. So I got to stop and see the museum / visitor center, there was a very nice sister missionary there that took me through all of the exhibits.

From there I continued my drive and decided I could make Wyoming before morning......which I did.....I arrived in Cheyenne at 3:30 am...too tired to think straight but very grateful for a bed.

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