Monday, June 24, 2013

Motorcycle Road Trip

The first weekend in June the husband and I took a motorcycle road trip to Hannibal, Missouri. The birthplace of Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens, or whatever. The whole area is confusing with Becky Thatcher's house...a fictional character..and Samuel's father's office..a real man..the fictional pieces are mixed with the real pieces. It's a nice area, right on the Mississippi River (flooding at the time of our visit) but the mix of stories I found to be...confusing.
Tom Sawyer's Fence
A berm keeps the Mississippi from invading Hannibal, but there was definite flooding
We drove down on Friday morning, leaving the children with the in-laws. We drove in about 40-50 miles increments, stopping to stretch and eat lunch as necessary. We've got a new seat on the bike and we got a really great luggage piece to carry all our stuff. It was a beautiful day for riding, cool enough so wearing our protective jackets wasn't too hot, but warm enough we weren't freezing. We arrived around 2pm and headed to Lulabelle's to check in. We stayed in their Main Street Bed & Breakfast, in the Renaissance Room.

Renaissance Room - King Bed
Bathroom counter, mini fridge under counter

Giant tub

Private toilet area

TV stand

Shower, low-flow head

The room was enormous, located directly downtown. It was a great location for walking to all the attractions and bars and restaurants. We parked the bike and just walked everywhere. We were booked for two nights, but the noise from the bars on the street and the incoming storm sent us home Saturday afternoon instead. The B&B owner very nicely refunded our 2nd night. If we had been in our car, we likely would have stayed and just moved rooms to a quieter spot (at Lulabelle's proper probably) but on the bike we couldn't risk the storm and having trouble driving home on Sunday in the rain or even hail. There were also a couple problems with the room (low-flow shower and TV) that would have prompted us to move or leave after one night also.
Lulabelle's Train Mufflers
The room comes with Lulabelle's Train Mufflers because the trains run over by the river throughout the night. The Mississippi was flooded at the time, so the trains weren't running. I did use these to drown out the bar patrons from midnight until 2am when the bars closed, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a good sign that they provide ear plugs. The room was really large though, on the 2nd floor of an older downtown building, and really nice and clean, so overall we had a great time. There was a note about breakfast on our checkin paper, but we didn't notice that until we packed up to leave. Oh well. The girls stayed with the in-laws the 2nd night anyway, so we still had the weekend on our own, just at home :) It was a great ride and I got to break in my new seat and footboards which were excellent. We even stopped at Shelton's fireworks on the way home and grabbed as many fireworks as we could fit on the back of the bike - it wasn't much :)
Shelton Firewoks, Missouri

The Hannibal area needs to invest some serious time and money into the area if they want it to remain a tourist area. There was construction in front of a stretch of stores, they were all still open, but it was a little hard to navigate and it seems like no one was working on it. We headed to the non-historic part of town to get some snacks at Walmart and I think if they don't get the historic area updated, it'll be less interesting to tourists as they come through.


  1. You know, we drive through Hannibal at least a couple times a year (on the way to St. Louis), but have never stopped!

    1. We almost missed the turn to go into the historic district, so I bet a lot of people never stop on their way through either. I'm 50/50 on whether we'll go back again. It's a good distance on the motorcycle, but there wasn't much to do.