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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Idea: Mark Twain Tour?

    I've spent very little time in the midwest, but when I've visited I've enjoyed the region. I also love the whole mystique of Mark Twain's midwest: Hannibal, Missouri; Life on the Mississippi; Huck and Ben floating on the raft; etc. Throw in the little town in The Music Man and I've got quite a little mythology going.

    I'm wondering if anyone can give me any inside information on touring in that part of the country: routes, places to visit, etc. I'm thinking along the lines of a two-week loop.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    You could easily spend two weeks traveling up and back along the Mississippi River on the Great River Road trail between Missouri and Illinois without having to ride on the same side of the river twice. I wouldn't go further north than Quincy, IL if you want to stay in the land of Twain but could ride down to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Lots of paved bike ways to hook into like the Sam Vadalabene paved portion and other network of trails around St. Louis and Madison area. There's a nice series of maps that is all drawn out for you but I can't find the link at the moment. Can work on it for you if interested. Btw, lots of points of interests between Twain and Rogers and Clark in that area.

  3. #3
    Senior Lurker, mostly. DW99's Avatar
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    The Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is another trail and website you may want to investigate. I recently ordered the Bicycling Guide To The MRT and have to say that it is a very thorough guide to the trail. Having lived most of my life near the Mississippi River in Missouri, I'm familiar with St. Louis going south to near Arkansas, and can tell the guide is well done. Even not being prone to assumption, one has to assume the rest of the guide is as well.

    If you have not already, you may want to check with Missouri Tourism for Mark Twain and Hannibal Mo.
    Last edited by DW99; 11-11-12 at 12:04 PM.
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    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    DW99,
    thanks for the link, they've changed the site and maps of the central part of the MRT from years ago. League of American Bicyclists used to have a well laid out map of the central portion of the MRT with milages and places of interest and camping but I still can't find it, good thing I made copies years ago. The route itself seems about the same though.

    http://www.imtrails.com/mrtcentral/
    Last edited by robow; 11-11-12 at 11:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    As pointed out in the CGOAB linked reviews above, the book is not 100% reliable south of St. Louis - it wasn't at the time of publication and it's become more dated/inaccurate as time goes by. If you can find a cheap(<$5), used copy, then it might be worth the read.

    Unfortunately, it's the only one out there on the MRT.

    YMMV and opinions are free.

  7. #7
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    That one review of the MRT south of St. Louis is a little too critical imo. I question as to whether the writer actually rode the suggested route.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    You know, if you're going to be a Mark Twain completist, you're going to have to find a way to ride through Nevada, San Francisco, and Connecticut too
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  9. #9
    Senior Lurker, mostly. DW99's Avatar
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    Ok, opinions on the MRT guide are cheap enough, but so far nobody, including me, speaks from the experience of actually using it on tour, except the author. Hopefully someone will offer usable "inside information", per the OP's request, as mine was simply and hopefully a helpful suggestion, one that I stand behind, with or without scripture from the faux touring bible.

    I also have the ACA maps for the Great Rivers Tour, got those first, needed more information. The MRT guide covers more of what I was interested in, on both sides of the river. Interested in a loop, Hannibal to near StL, cross river north of StL and back up on the Illinois side to cross river at Hannibal. A winter project of sorts.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    I question as to whether the writer actually rode the suggested route.
    DW99,
    I hope you realize that I was speaking of the writer of the critique on CGOAB and not the writer of the book itself.

  11. #11
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I've spent very little time in the midwest, but when I've visited I've enjoyed the region. I also love the whole mystique of Mark Twain's midwest: Hannibal, Missouri; Life on the Mississippi; Huck and Ben floating on the raft; etc. Throw in the little town in The Music Man and I've got quite a little mythology going.

    I'm wondering if anyone can give me any inside information on touring in that part of the country: routes, places to visit, etc. I'm thinking along the lines of a two-week loop.

    Thanks in advance.
    information, sure; first hand information, no, but i can give you some links that i searched up. it's not the mississippi river trail, but maybe it'll help you out any way.

    http://www.milebymile.com/main/highway-1363.html

    http://www.milebymile.com/main/highway-1369.html

    this one gives you a list of all 99 counties, just click the ones next to the mississippi for their respective pdf maps - http://www.iowadot.gov/systems_plann...rm2Market.html
    Last edited by mr geeker; 11-13-12 at 08:32 PM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Lurker, mostly. DW99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    DW99,
    I hope you realize that I was speaking of the writer of the critique on CGOAB and not the writer of the book itself.
    Yes, yes, got it Robow, I agree on that. Never thought you meant the author of the book. I have found all of the comments here interesting, I'll be watching for more, there has to be someone with good info for BigBlueToe. The ones on CGOAB, not so much though. But hey, was happy to check out the link anyway.

    Looking back at my previous comment, I should say I have no interest in the selling of the MRT guide, wasn't hawking the guide, just supplying a link to it. By the by, I paid full price, worth it to me, a cheaper price sounds good though.
    Last edited by DW99; 11-13-12 at 08:29 PM. Reason: looking back
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  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
    You know, if you're going to be a Mark Twain completist, you're going to have to find a way to ride through Nevada, San Francisco, and Connecticut too
    I was thinking the San Francisco and Nevada portions of Twain's writings would make a more enjoyable tour.... He started "Roughing It" taking the stage from St Louis, think it was.....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 11-13-12 at 08:39 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Finally found it. Really nice guide of the MRT in a nice format. Will be interested most in pages 14-24

    http://www.bikelib.org/wp-content/up...deSegments.pdf

    http://www.bikelib.org/maps-and-ride...i-river-trail/

  15. #15
    Senior Lurker, mostly. DW99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Finally found it. Really nice guide of the MRT in a nice format. Will be interested most in pages 14-24

    http://www.bikelib.org/wp-content/up...deSegments.pdf

    http://www.bikelib.org/maps-and-ride...i-river-trail/
    Excellent! Saved this and Mr Geekers entry.
    Last edited by DW99; 11-14-12 at 04:41 AM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I've spent very little time in the midwest, but when I've visited I've enjoyed the region. I also love the whole mystique of Mark Twain's midwest: Hannibal, Missouri; Life on the Mississippi; Huck and Ben floating on the raft; etc.

    Thanks in advance.
    Huck was with Jim, not Ben.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    Huck was with Jim, not Ben.

    Marc
    Thanks. (Who's Ben? Where'd I get that name?) And thanks to everyone for their input. I bought the ACA Great Rivers maps. I think I'll also buy the Mississippi River Trail book.

    Which books should I read to find out about his travels out west? Roughing It? What else?

  18. #18
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    There is no Mark Twain book you shouldn't read

    But Roughing It is a favorite. If you're up for an overseas trip, I highly recommend Innocents Abroad. Still one of the funniest books of all time.
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