Day 3: 28 May 2009

Day 3:  Left Canal Campground, Grand Rivers, KY about 7 AM CDT, arrived Wodonta State Park in La Grange, MO about 5 PM CDT, rode 332 miles

Last night, just after Nolan came back from taking a shower, it seemed that the bottom fell out of the sky, then a steady rain set in for the night.  It was kind of nice hearing the rain come down on the roof, which was about a foot above my head, knowing that I was warm and dry in my camper.  Fortunately by the time morning came the rain had stopped and although everything was pretty wet, at least we weren’t packing up in a downpour.  We took on fuel just south of Paducah and caught a glimpse of blue sky and that got us thinking we were finally going to get some clear weather.  Wrong . . . it started again just as we got into Paducah and kept up for most of the day.  During some of the squalls, when the rain and wind were driving pretty hard, the temps dropped down into the 50’s and that’s too cold for us.  The weather did clear a bit just as we were crossing the Mississippi River coming into St Louis and that made our transit through the city much easier.  Just west of St Louis we turned north on SR 79 which is also known as the Little Dixie Highway of the Great River Road.  It follows the west bank of the Mississippi and is supposed to be a great motorcycle road. Really it was pretty boring until we got to Clarksville, MO.  This is the first time we got a glimpse of the river from the road, so we went to the old downtown area (the whole town seemed old) to see what we could see.  We stopped at a little park to make a sandwich and Nolan wanted to use the bathroom in the local boat club there on the river.  I saw the door had a card type entry system and was probably a members only club.  It was, but one of the guys came and asked what we wanted. They seemed a bit defensive at first but soon warmed up and we all became “buds”.  They asked if we would stop by on the way back.  They were saying the river was down quite a bit from two weeks ago, water had come up to just under the building and in the flood of ’02, it reached halfway up the windows.  The road really improved from there with elevation changes, long sweepers and beautiful views of the river.  We came to Louisiana, MO and went to the Riverview Cemetery to see the river from 550 ft, this is called The Pinnacle and is the highest point on the river.  Nice old cemetery.  I like cemeteries, they have a way of making us all equal and tend to humble us a bit.  Continued up 79 and really enjoyed the road.  Went through Hannibal and although we looked really hard, never did see Mark Twain.  Nolan said it was because we didn’t call ahead and make reservations.  Stopped at a Walmart (they’re everywhere) and picked up some contact cleaner to see if it will help my CB out, believe it will just take time to dry out.  Stopped for the night here in La Grange and this is a very nice park we’re in.  It’s right off the highway and while it was very easy to get to, we’ll be able to hear the traffic all night.  As we were eating supper we were greeted by two families of Canada geese.  They hung around us for a while util they realized we weren’t going to feed them, then headed off for better pickings.  Had cube steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and peas for supper.  Pretty good day

Tom

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