2014.05.19 MondayToday was only driving to a destination: Hannibal, Missouri. I've guessed that the Reinert family and the dozen other families in their group migrated from Caledonia in three stages.
- First, they took a river boat down the Mississippi to some suitable landing point. Two landings seem possible: Hannibal, which offered a train connection to the middle Missouri River at St. Joseph, Missouri, or St. Louis, which offered connection to a second steamboat for traveling up the Missouri River, at least to Kansas City. Further reading cast doubt on the availability of a reliable steamship passage all the way up the Missouri. The river is broad but not very deep, and the main stream shifts through its width often due to seasonal resilting.
- Second, they took the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway across upper Missouri.
- Third, they bought and stocked wagons in St. Joseph (or Kansas City, Leavenworth, or Atchison) and took the final, longer travel by roads to the middle Solomon Valley and Tipton.
|River boat landing at Hannibal, Missouri (2009)|
Today's goal is to reach the likely terminus of their first stage. I left Dayton at 12:30 after a morning appointment and taking Howard-the-Lab to his boarding kennel. The route took I-70 to Indianapolis, short stretches of I-65 and I-465 to reach I-72. Then I-72 due west through Crawfordsville IN, Champaign-Urbana IL, and Springfield IL. The only hitch in the drive is that I-65 north does not have a direct connection to I-465 south.
I reached Hannibal by 6:30 Dayton time, reset my clocks to Central time, and had plenty of daylight to photograph the paddle wheel boat at its dock. The town's tourist focus is Mark Twain, with almost every downtown establishment incorporating the names of Twain, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, or Tom Sawyer.