On this field trip we drove to Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's hometown. Hannibal is a small town that is filled with Mark Twain attractions, old fashioned shops, and popular landmarks. The first part of the trip was the tour. We went through a small museum that had all the major events in Mark's life in short stories spread out around the rooms. After this we went through the childhood homes of Mark, Becky, and Tom. It was interesting to see how they lived and all the places they visited. The last part of the tour was another museum that had more exhibits on Mark Twain and all the people in his life. The next part of the trip was the riverboat. We rode down the Mississippi river while listening to someone tell about Mark's life, and point out important landmarks that were in Twain's books. (Islands, lighthouse, Lover's Leap, etc.) After the boat ride we took the tiring journey up 244 steps to see the lighthouse up close. We ate a late lunch and then enjoyed our free time by visiting small stores, or going back through the tour to see what we missed. They had lots of shops that sold homemade candies, popcorn, ice cream, fudge, and other treats people enjoyed often back then. Next comes the caves! We boarded up the bus again and drove to the famous Mark Twain Caves. This is the cave from the book Tom Sawyer. We watched a short film telling a little about the cave and how it was formed before entering. When we entered the cave you could really feel a temperature drop! A constant 52 degrees keeps the caves cool and wet. We only walked 5/8 of a mile total on our cave tour, but the total distance through all the passages is around 3 miles. The cave had all the important spots marked off with plaques and lights lit up dark areas. Our tour guide told stories from Tom Sawyer, along with facts about cave.
My favorite part about the trip was definitely the caves. It was very interesting to see the rocks up close and learn how they formed. Another reason I enjoyed the caves was because the part I read from Tom Sawyer was the chapter when Tom and Becky get lost in the cave. We got to see the spot where Tom and Becky shared the cake, where they found water, and where Injun Joe was spotted.
The most fun part of the trip was our free time. I loved looking in the little shops and getting an idea of what it would have been like when Mark Twain was living there. There was lots of old fashioned toys and other little trinkets in every shop.
For next years trip you should spend a little less time in the first museum. A lot of the information found in there were things we had already learned in class. But all together the trip was fun, informational, and a great experience!
The research done in class was very important to know when we went on the trip. If you don't learn enough about Mark Twain and his life, before going to Hannibal it won't be fun to see all the things you've heard about. The information we learned in class made me want to learn more about him on the trip, and learning about the people and places in his life made it more fun to see everything in person.