Aug 6

August 5th turned out foggy and rainy so I decided to spend an extra day in Racine. Jake dropped me at Sikorski's restaurant in the morning and I walked around Racine, spoke to quite a few citizens. Most of my Racine experience is in my last two posts.

The next day, August 6th, promised to be a fine day, but still I had Jake drop me at the restaurant again. Figured I only had about twelve miles to Middleport, my next stop, and I could afford the time for a good breakfast. Quite a few working folks at Sikorski's in the morning and they are always ready for some good conversation, especially when they find out what I'm doing and that I live in Texas. Texas holds a certain fascination for people up here, and when I tell them a typical day in August in Texas involves one hundred degree heat, they wonder why anyone would put up with that. I wonder that myself sometimes.

So I left Racine behind, along with the Old Lock 24 campground. Quite a place, wouldn't mind visiting here again sometime.

Paddling was pretty uneventful, as it gets routine. I did take a video of a tug passing by but not sure I can post video on this website. While the barge was passing, a speedboat came flying by, not giving me much room. Actually there are minimum distances power boats have to adhere to when passing non-powered craft, but none of them observe it. Not sure if it's because they don't see me or if it's just that they don't think we have any status on the water. The small fast boats don't cause such big wakes, but the bigger cabin cruisers, although slower, cause some white capped waves that I have to steer into. But I have learned to take it in stride, they aren't going to change their ways for a kayaker.

Got to Pomeroy about noon. This is a very long town, and only a couple streets wide. The buildings back up to cliffs and the town can't expand in that direction so they just spread along the river bank. I just got a soda and got right back on the water, intending to return to Pomeroy the next day just to explore. On to Middleport.

Got there a little after three. Had talked with Ron Carpenter, owner of the Downing House B&B, who said he had room for me that night. He lives in Lancaster, near Columbus, and drove down to get me settled.. Nice room, nice place, nice little town, although not as thriving as Pomeroy. Ron turned out to be a Gulf War veteran, so we had a couple hours sitting on his porch reliving those experiences. Later I walked to a Subway, got a sandwich, returned to the B&B and went to bed early.

Downing House has quite an interesting history. There is a photo of the marker in front which explains all of it. It is in very good shape despite having suffered several floods, particularly the one in 1937 which brought water all the way to the second floor. The architecture and details of the house are unique - in this case, they really don't build them like they used to.