St. Louis, MO to Keokuk, IA

Day 18 – April 4

St. Louis, MO to Keokuk, IA

We left St. Louis with low overcast skies and the temperature at 73F.  Within a half hour it had dropped to a cool 63F.  Our journey this morning took us in the wrong direction (southeast) in order to take advantage of our last Groupon coupon.  We were headed for Dreamland Palace in Foster Pond, IL.  We’ve learned a lot about buying Groupons in advance of a planned trip.  It’s important to know exactly where the business is before you commit.  We were happy with the Palace though.  It is a German themed place and the salad bar alone made us happy.  Mike was thrilled because, “there aren’t any green leafy things’.  Instead there were an assortment of pickled salads (carrot, cabbage, tomato, and green bean).  The menu included many well known German entrees.  Mike settled on the sauerbraten and I had the roulade (a slice of beef rolled around a pickle).  Their potato pancakes were the Best – to me they resembled big, flat hashbrown patties, more than a pancake.  Red cabbage and applesauce accompanied the dishes.  Both of us have German ancestry and it is expressed in our love of this cuisine. 

After our filling lunch, we retraced our route back to St.Louis and then began our drive north to Hanniabal on a busy two lane highway with a wide shoulder. After passing the town of Clarksville (I couldn’t get the Monkee’s song out of my head) the road ran right next to the river, which was a welcome change.  Louisiana, MO is situated on some high bluffs that gave us a broad sweeping view of the river and its valley.  There is a bridge that crosses the river here into Illinois.  Even on a cloudy day it was a beautiful sight.  More steep, winding and rolling hills followed and we think it might be wiser to ride on the Illinois side of the river.

Hannibal is of course a very famous and historic river town – birthplace of Samuel Clemens /Mark Twain.  We last came through here in 1991 with our kids on our way south to the Okefenokee Swamp.  The town has the classic late 19th century two story buildings on the main street, with decorative, elaborate trim painted in contrasting colors.  It appears that parts of the town are still doing well. I’m sure summer and fall are their busiest seasons.  It was raining slightly when we came through and it gave the town a more sober, somber appearance, but if you listened closely you could still hear the calliope music from a long ago paddlewheeler drifting on the breeze. 



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