the mark twain

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2022

I love to pair my travels with literary experiences.  When I took our son Court across the country in 1994, we stopped at several Little House sites. When in New York City I have taken my children to some of the sites in “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” and “A Cricket in Times Square”.  One of the first things I did when planning our trip with Campbell was look for literary tie-ins for the things we might see along our journey. 

I brought along a book about the Santa Fe Trail and a sort of fantasy book about Dodge City, KS.  But the book that hooked him was an abridged, kids’ version of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.  Our journey took us through Hannibal, MO, the town where Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain was raised.  Before we’d left California, Campbell requested a boat ride on the Mississippi River.  It was really his only request. So, you can bet that I was on the internet right away booking a riverboat cruise for the day we hit Hannibal. 

We arrived early, and a good thing too!  To get to the boat’s berth you have to cross a very active set of train tracks.  We saw three trains pass before and after we’d pulled into the parking lot of the dock; one of the trains was 78 cars long.  We got a bite of lunch and boarded for our excursion. 

The pilot gave the small crowd on board a lot of wonderful color commentary about the river and Mark Twain, pointing out the island that would be renamed Jackson Island by Twain in his fictional account of mischievous Tom.  That night snuggling up in bed and reading about Tom and Huck running away for three days to camp out on Jackson Island and coming back in time for their own funeral, Campbell could see it all in his mind’s eye.  It was everything I’d dreamed of.

Love, Liz