Today was a monster day on the river. I think I got in around 30-35 miles. I stopped into New Cumberland, WV to get gas. I got directions for a gas station that was ‘only a quarter mile down the road’. That was the longest quarter mile in my life! Thinking I was lost, I stopped into a mom and pop drug store to get more directions.
The lady behind the counter of this very empty, very quiet store looked not a day over 95. Her skin was so thin the veins in her neck and head stuck out like a road map! So I bought a soda and we chatted for about ten minutes. After hearing about my trip, she perks right up and says, “I still have a few things left on my bucket list before I leave!” While I don’t consider this a bucket list trip and I think that our bucket list should not be a something that we march through and check off (I detest the phrase, actually!), I will give that one to her.
Then she tells me to hold on for a minute while she does the 95 y.o. shuffle around the counter and gives me (river grimyness and all) a big hug. If I could bottle up the sweetness that oozed from her every pore, I would be a rich man. My trip could end right now and I would still be so far ahead of the game just for meeting people like her. I hope she completes her ‘bucket list’!
The river is bordering WV and OH right now as it will be for the next two hundred miles. So I stop on either side whenever it is convenient to get supplies. I’m lucky in that there is a state highway that runs parallel to the river all the way down. I have a steady supply of towns to draw from. I passed a motel on the river with big hand drawn letters ‘MOTEL’. I was tempted to stay the night but it looked like the Bates Motel. It just gave me the heebie jeebies. I’d rather take my chances on the side of the river! I feel alot safer pulling into the riverbank where there are no signs of trails or human involvement. It’s not that I don’t trust people, I just don’t trust people!
I am having an issue with my computer battery. It isn’t charging properly off the the generator but it will run on the generator. I have some ideas that I will try that might help. Rain is coming my way in the next couple of days so I will have to batten down the hatches. Unfortunately, I think that means a head wind also-ugh!
I was not happy with my sleeping options for this trip. I could have gone the air mattress route but I was worried about getting a hole in it with all of the moving around each day. The little 1 1/2 ” thick camping foam air matresses just don’t cut it for my 220 lbs. either. So on my way to Home Depot I passed by a dollar store with a bunch of noodles in a box out front. A light goes on and I wondered if I could put them together somehow for a mattress. So I bought enough to make a 6’4″ mattresses and threaded through 1/4″ nylon rope to hold them together. It works like a charm. It is a little firm but with my sleeping bag over it, it is perfect. As an added bonus, I could use it as a river floatie! The water has been very clear up to this point. I can tell a huge difference between here and where we live. I have passed a ton of operational factories on the river so far but the water is still impressive. It’s probably what I’m not seeing that would kill me!
I am still figuring out this web page thing. I posted twice for day three because I did’nt think the first one took. I’ll get it down by the end of the trip.