I left the Downing House and Middleport about eight AM, headed for Point Pleasant, West Virginia. About a twelve mile paddle, pretty routine. No locks, no big barge traffic, although the banks of the river are what they call "fleeting areas " which means it is where they park the tugs and barges between trips.

Point Pleasant, West Virginia, has a legend, along the lines of Bigfoot, about the Mothman. Back in the sixties, there were sightings of a creature here with a seven foot wingspan, about seven feet tall, with glowing red eyes. Sighted by many people over a period of more than a year, the creature made the town famous. Both a book and a movie were made of the legend. Additionally, the bridge over the Ohio River collapsed about that time and the creature was blamed for having a hand in that.

Wanted to see some more of Middleport and of Pomeroy so decided to stay another night. Middleport is so named because it is halfway between Pittsburgh and Cinncinnati. It's been around for a couple hundred years, having several homes and buildings built before the Civil War. It is, however, not a thriving town, losing more of its population every year. Lots of boarded-up buildings and abandoned homes, empty storefronts. Sad to see.

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.

You should know that I dearly fell in love with Racine. A small town, less than 700, but alive with a spirit of community. Friendly, pretty, industrious.. But one thing bothers me. This pair of photos shows two of the prettiest homes in Racine. They face the Ohio River right on the main street of town. But the third photo shows what they see when they walk out their front doors or sit on their front porches. Okay ? Or not okay ? You decide.

There is a lot more to say about Racine. First of all, the town is about a mile by road, and about a half mile back upriver from the Old Lock 24 campground where I am camping. Racine has a couple of boat ramps right there within a block or two of the main part of town, which makes access very convenient. More about the town in a minute.

Four weeks on the river. About a hundred miles on the Mon, and about two hundred thirty-five on the Ohio. Not bad but I had expected to be about twice that by now.

Wasn't sure about today but it turned out pretty good. Left Ravenswood, nothing open or close by to get breakfast, had to do with crackers and cold soup. No wind, easy paddling. Got to Apple Grove but nothing there. Paddled across the river to Millwood, WV, but nothing there either, even though my guidebook said there were services at both places. So I went on down river, hoping to find a store or restaurant open.

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.

I've been passing these red and green signs along the way and just realized what they are. Each one of them has a number on it corresponding to the mileage from Pittsburgh where the river started. They aren't there every mile, like on the interstate, but usually every six or eight miles you'll see one, green markers on the right bank, red markers on the left.