My trip is winding down. I left Bryce Canyon driving through southeast Utah, which is really desolate. Then it’s into Colorado, through Denver, and across the Plains states.
But I did have one more place I really want to stop.
[A repost from June 2012.]
Southeast Utah really is desolate. There really are only a few major roads that go through that part of the state. One of them gave me a chance to look at where I’d come from, the Glen Canyon/Escalante region.
As is typical with Utah, there was spectacular scenery everywhere. Here is “The Fluted Wall”.
Then it was into Colorado, where I went through the Vail Pass along I-70.
But my next destination was Hannibal, Missouri, location of Mark Twain’s boyhood home.
I’ve taken a look at some of the movies about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, in The Disneyfication of Tom Sawyer, The Disneyfication of Huckleberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer: The Reader’s Digest Edition, with the last of those being the most faithful from a barefooting point of view.
So, what would Hannibal be like?
And, as an even bigger question, would they somehow decide that they could not tolerate a barefooted visitor?
It would not be unprecedented if they did not. After all, the Haverhill Library, home of John Greenleaf Whitters, writer of “The Barefoot Boy”, bans bare feet while simultaneously sponsoring a Barefoot Boy Look-Alike Contest.
I am happy to report that I had no problems touring all the exhibits barefoot, without anything more than one of the clerks asking me if I had lost my shoes.
The place did seem to celebrate the barefootedness of the boys. For instance, many rooms had “cardboard cutouts” of Tom.
Down the street was a museum (where we got to see an actor portray Mark Twain) that also had various exhibits. Again, nobody made the slightest effort to keep me out. One thing that was a bit interesting, but annoying, was that this museum had the originals for Norman Rockwell’s paintings for a 1936 edition. While he did portray the boys barefoot in a number of situations, I was surprised and disappointed that Rockwell had them shod in a number of situations I would have expected bare feet.
But here is one of the classic ones.
And of course, they have to have a statue. No messing around with it either. The boys are clearly barefoot.
It was nice to visit a place that actually seemed to celebrate the barefootedness.
And of course, since I have been a Mark Twain fan from way, way back, having a complete set of his works that I got from my grandfather, I thorough enjoyed seeing all of the memorabilia.