The first day of August, and I have been on the river for twenty-five days. Fletcher and I have discussed the future of this venture and we have agreed to meet up again wherever I am around August 15th. That's about two weeks short of our original plan but I have had enough and am ready to end it. When we meet, he will bring my vehicle, I will pack up my boat and return to Texas, and he will ride his bike back to Atlanta.

I have noticed two distinctive features of the banks along the Ohio River. One is tires. I am unsure as to why people choose to discard their used tires in lakes and rivers - this is not just a feature limited to this area. Back in Texas it is not unusual to see tires along lake shores and river banks. Here, however, it is much much more pervasive. Often there are piles of tires, several dozen. And they are ugly.

Last day of July. Been out twenty-five days and nights, slept in a bed four of them.

Left Marietta about nine, had a good night's sleep in the Lafayette, and eggs Benedict for breakfast. Hard to beat that. There is a stern-wheeler festival the week after Labor Day - wish we could attend, maybe next year.

It was very mild yesterday evening so I decided to forgo the tent, just put down my air mattress and sleeping bag. Bad choice. The dew came on early and by midnight I was soaked. It got down to fifty degrees and with a wet sleeping bag, I was pretty chilled and miserable. I slept off and on but it was a long night.

Not much to say about Monday, Jul 28. Woke up to storms, winds, dark skies, so I stayed at the Wells Inn for a third night. Not much choice really, the wind is relentless. Did some more sightseeing in Sistersville, but it's only a half mile long and three blocks wide so there's not that much to see. Saw a very interesting fence situation - I'll post a picture of it - a giant sycamore, at least four feet in diameter, had grown up through a metal fence so only a few of the posts shown through the bark.

Today has turned out to be a rest day. That wasn't the plan but I'm happy. I got all packed up this morning, ready to leave Sistersville after a very good breakfast in the Wells Inn, where I stayed last night. I got on the river, hoping to do fourteen miles to St Mary's but the wind was dreadful. Must have been at least twenty mph. There were whitecaps out in the middle,of the river and the swells were about two feet, right in my face. Every time I hit one, it sprayed up over me - reminded me of those big navy ships that dip into the sea at every swell then spray waves over the deck.

Well, yes, I did wake up this morning feeling like I had been run over, sore everywhere. Just can't take sleeping on the hard ground any more. But I perked up with breakfast at Quinet's. I just couldn't do the buffet though, still full from the night before. So I just had a waffle and at least four cups of coffee. You know, coffee in those big heavy mugs just tastes better.

Got to Duffy, Ohio, late, about seven PM. Did eighteen miles today, felt good paddling in the late afternoon, have to try it some more. Sun behind the trees on the west side of the river, wind died down. Went through the Hannibal lock about five o'clock.

Planned to go to Woodlands, WV, today but I got to Captina Creek about two thinking I would take a break here and go on later. I stopped at a park, about a quarter mile up the creek, in the little town of Powhaten Point. This is by far the prettiest and best maintained park so far. For such a small town, they seem proud to make the effort to welcome river travelers.

Left Martins Ferry early this morning. The marina owner let me sleep in a storage building so I didn't have to put up my tent or take it down which is always a hassle. Walked to a little grocery store where a woman made me two breakfast sandwiches, bacon, egg and cheese on Texas Toast. And a large coffee. Very tasty. People at the marina were great. Stayed up until eleven talking with two families that travelled the river a lot. They told me all about what to expect. One thing, their favorite town is Marietta, Ohio. Told me to spend a couple days there, so I probably will.