As predicted it rained overnight and also in the morning. I had to wait for the rain to subside but my plan was anyhow to take it easy and I mapped out a route to Keokuk IA. Hannibal MO was too far and going further than Keokuk didn’t make any sense. I have to hit Hannibal since after Hannibal there are no hotels en route till Troy MO. The wind changed from S to SE to N. For the first time I had tailwind. What a new feeling. I was flying.
I reached Fort Madison after a bit more than an hour. There I crossed the Mississippi River and continued on the IL side.
The size of the river is now quite impressive. The wind was pushing me and I really enjoyed the ride. At Hamilton I took a right on US route 136. Route 136 is famous for many aspects:
I crossed over the Mississippi to reach Keokuk.
Keokuk was named after the Sauk chief Keokuk. It is located in the extreme SE corner of IA. Tomorrow I will cross into MO.
Keokuk was a longtime home of Orion Clemens, brother of. Samuel Clemens, better know as Mark Twain. Samuel’s visits to his brother’s home led him to write of the beauty of Keokuk and SE IA in Life on the Mississippi.
By the way Mark twain is a steamboat term meaning the river is two fathoms deep and safe to navigate. Samuel Clemens, a licensed steamboat pilot, took this term as his famous pen name, Mark Twain.
Just after the bridge I visited a steamboat museum and learnt a lot about steamboating in the 1920ies.
These kind of steamboats, built in the twenties and thirties, produced 1,400 HP but were replaced in the fifties and sixties by Diesel engine boats with up to 5,000 HP.
I liked the Pilot House😀:
I checked in to my hotel and I was on the look out for a restaurant. Look what I found:
Vera, I didn’t know you had a restaurant in this part of the world. There is a neat story how this restaurant was named Vera (hope you can read it on a big screen):
Peggy was my host and she did an outstanding job. Vera’s is a microbrewery with excellent beer and food. Peggy suggested the breaded pork tenderloin, a Midwestern specialty and it was no disappointment. She also proposed to finish with a chocolate cheesecake baked by the baker on staff. It was delicious. Thank you so much for your hospitality:
I had a fun and enjoyable day. Tomorrow I will head towards Hannibal MO. Wind direction will change again,but that’s life.