Huntington was my last stop over in West Virginia. Not long after paddling out of town the left bank of the river turned over to Kentucky. Barge traffic became heavy and the river went through an industrial corridor around Ashland and Ironton— complete with the sulfur favored air of coke production, waste piles, water discharges, and industrial accidents.
The rest of the day the river cut north through banks that showed particularly heavy damage from the spring’s high water. The day became progressively warmer until pulling into camp at Wolford’s Landing in Sciotoville, Ohio —my first night out of West Virginia since leaving Pittsburgh. The folks at the little campground love the river and had all kinds of stories to tell about the little piece of the Ohio they live on— stories of beautiful sunsets, other travelers passing through on the way to the gulf, local wisetales, work at the power plants, high water, and rafts of trash floating down river. They even treated to me to a free night at the camp and home cooked taco salad and blue berry muffins.
Though the night was mild and calm the weather forecast for today called for high winds and violent thunderstorms in the early afternoon. So I set out early to try and put some miles behind me before the winds became too strong. I made it about ten miles—to Portsmouth, Ohio—before the wind forced me to pull off river for the day. Now I’m holed up in the little downtown prewbub until the weather clears out. And the rains has just started falling outside.