Monday, August 15, 2011

Tom and Huck and Me

On the second night of my trip, I stayed in Hannibal, Missouri. While my bed-and-breakfast room turned out not to have a Mississippi River view (though the innkeeper kept insisting that it did indeed have a river view - in the winter - when there were no leaves on the trees), it was conveniently located so that I could see all the Mark Twain sights, including the actual fence that Tom Sawyer whitewashed, with the actual bucket of whitewash still sitting there beside it(well, maybe not the ACTUAL fence and the ACTUAL bucket, but I still had a thrill when I saw it).

That night, I treated myself to an evening river cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat. I was the only person on the whole boat who was alone. The others all seemed to be celebrating wedding anniversaries, and I was much in demand as a photographer for the happy couples. But I didn't feel lonely or sad. I sat on the deck, listening to the banjo player strum river-themed songs, from "Way Down Upon the Swanee River" to "Rolling on the River," and I watched the Mississippi River banks as we drifted on by.

Early the next morning, I strolled through Hannibal's deserted streets and climbed up many steep flights of steps to the lighthouse on the hill above town. I remembered how I had strolled the streets of DeSmet, South Dakota, Little Town on the Prairie, all alone in the early morning several summers ago. It's so much easier to put yourself in another time and place when you are by yourself. With no busloads of tourists congregating, it was just Tom and Huck and me, ready to whitewash a fence, ready to float on a raft down the Mississippi.


  1. "It's so much easier to put yourself in another time and place when you are by yourself." So true. I have to admit I enjoy traveling by myself, too. It's nice to set your own pace and not have to rush to keep up or stop to wait for someone else. There's a certain freedom to it.

  2. I loved seeing the Huck Finn fence! I'm delighted to get caught up on your adventures. You go, girl!

  3. I lived in hannibal mo.from 02_2010,i worked on the mark twain river boat as well as the american queen greatest time in my life.