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Next: Weds. Sept. 12, 2001
09/11/01: September 11, 2001, From wake up call to camping on the banks of the Mississippi
We had mostly packed the car the night before. Karen was taking a morning bath, and she called her aunt to discuss a family care taking issue. Her aunt asked, why she was so calm? What? Then she yelled down to me to turn on the TV. I don't think the TV had been on for weeks; it was during one of my cold-turkey anti-TV periods.
Well, I saw the second tower fall in real time. We watched the 9/11 coverage for a couple of hours.
Finally, we decided that, if there was more to this, we'd be better off out on the road than near the center of a city.
We pulled free from the St. Louis afternoon rush hour on WTC Tuesday, and 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. There were long lines at every gas station. We'd filled up the night before.

The Clarksville Welcome Center. Closed.
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The Missouri River as seen from Victor's Point near Louisiana, MO
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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:

Karen, the fire bringer
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Dan and Karen pose by the fire
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Morning mists rise from the Missouri
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Peaceful dawn campsite
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Atop the picnic table, a companion basks in the rising sun as I set up my laptop
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Silly man, with laptop and cell phone. Getting away from it all, indeed!
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A misty meadow the morning after WTC day
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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.
Next: Weds. Sept. 12, 2001

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