Aug 2

Left the boat club at Hockingport without any breakfast, no one was up as early as I wanted to leave. Sometimes I figure I can see a place and get something later. But today, there was nothing. No little towns with river access, every boat ramp that my guidebook says is there, isn't. So I've just paddled all day, made twenty-two miles. I was going to stop at Portland, Ohio, but there was no ramp, not even any docks. So I paddled on to Ravenswood, West Virginia.

One of the disadvantages of paddling a kayak is that you need a boat ramp, preferably concrete, to exit the boat. If you try to stand to get out at a dock, you will invariably tip the boat over. A grassy bank will do, but most of the grassy banks here on the Ohio River turn out to be mud, deep mud. You can definitely loose a shoe in the mud. So I always look for a concrete boat ramp, and I have seen none until I got to Ravenswood.

The ramp at Ravenswood is fine, except that it leads to a park which, on this Saturday afternoon, is full of picnickers. No stores nearby, no restaurants close. I will have to wait until the crowd thins out to find a place to sleep. There are a number of shelters with several picnic tables in each - I like those, especially when rain threatens. So I have picked one with the fewest people and am sitting, reading, writing, hungry for good food. I have some stuff, but it doesn't do it for me like a good meal or even a Big Mac. And I miss my diet soda - perhaps tomorrow will bring something better.

I did manage to find a small stream, which the guidebook says has service to a store. I paddled up the stream, very pretty. But no store. Still the calm and quiet of these little side creeks are a welcome relief from the wind, waves, big barges of the Ohio. And, by the way, all the little streams that empty into the Ohio are referred to as "runs". Raccoon Run, Stores Run, Mill Run, Little Broad Run are just some I passed today.

It's late, about eleven. All the picnickers are gone. I can put my air mattress in one of the shelters, no tent needed. Should be a quiet night. Let it rain.