CCA Freshman Visit Hannibal


The freshmen class from Clinton Christian Academy traveled to Hannibal, Missouri where the author Mark Twain grew up, for an overnight trip from May 15-16. Hannibal was the inspiration for the town of St. Petersburg from his books: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. We stopped at Chick-fil-a first to build up strength for the coming adventure.
Next on the itinerary was the Mark Twain Cave tour where it stays 52 degrees all year long! This is the cave where Mark Twain explored in his childhood. The cave Tom Sawyer gets lost in (in the book) is based on his many explorations of this cave. The cave walls are filled with old signatures from people who have explored the cave, including Mark Twain’s signature (which was only discovered a few years ago). Jessie James also hid out in the cave in the late 1800s. At one point, the tour guide shut off all light in the cave, so we could imagine what it must have been like when the young children would explore this cave (Mark Twain was definitely not the only one). It was so dark we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces.
When we left the cave, we headed over to Cardiff Hill to walk up to the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. In the books, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn play on this hill. There are two options to get close to this hill: 1) drive to the bottom of the main steps and go up 100 steps to the top or 2) decide you would rather struggle to breathe for the next 15 minutes and start at the very bottom (244 steps). Most of us decided to go the long way and work up our appetite for the “fiddlesticks” (cheese-stuffed breadsticks) that would soon be partaking in at the aptly named restaurant, “Fiddlesticks.”
The next day we walked around the downtown area in Hannibal and explored the different shops in the area before heading to the Mark Twain Riverboat tour. We boarded a steamboat from the 1950s where they took us down the Mississippi river where we passed “Jackson’s Island” from the Huckleberry Finn books. From the boat, we were able to see new sights as well as some of the places we had already visited. We learned more about the history of Hannibal, including the fact that “mark twain” was actually a commonly shouted out slang term that had to do with the depth of the water. After our river journey, we headed back home with a lot of pictures and memories.