09/11/2001: September 11, 2001
(No need to mention the shocking events of this morning, and which caused us some slight delay in our departure). After pulling free from the St. Louis afternoon rush hour on WTC Tuesday, we headed north on US 79. Although we took the smallest, closest to the river, main roads, we were still pretty much hemmed in by traffic till "pert near" Clarksville.
That's also when the road became notably scenic. Of course, the Clarksville visitors center was closed. We were there 10 minutes to 5:00, the nominal closing time. But, its summer hours were Weds-Sun, 10-5. We're not even sure if it's considered summer. We headed on north till Hannibal forced us onto Hwy 61.
Tuesday night accommodations:
We camped at a poorly marked, primitive, Army Corps of Engineers riverbank fill area north of Canton, MO. It has 2 pit toilets, and 15 spaces with fire pits along the river. It's free.
We'd noticed long lines at gas stations, and heard reports of fuel price gouging. Given the current gas panic, we can better use the money we would otherwise have spent on a hotel for fuel.
We slept okay, except that the barge traffic a couple of dozen feet from our tent was very loud and bright during rush hour from 3:00 a.m. to 5 or so.
You know those absurd ads for laptop computers showing them being used on the beach or by the pool. I'm one of those ads. The bright red tent is behind me, and the sun rising over the misty Mississippi is too bright for me to see the screen. Nevertheless, I write. Fish flop into radiating rings of ripples as the mist rises from the river and the sun tries to pull free of the trees. My chilled hands appreciate the heat of the rising sun.