After 342 locks you'd think it would all be pretty routine by this time, but as we were finishing up in our second lock of the day, the lock tender pointed out a piece of line floating in the water. Line in the water is a dangerous thing as it can easily wind itself around the boat props and cause all kinds of havoc. I extended my boat pole to its full length and started trying to fish the line out of the water. Once I finally got some on the hook, I could tell it was attached to something heavy. Joe came to help and we finally pulled up a rod about 10' long with a sharp point on the end of it and line wrapped around it - yucky! The lock tender dropped his hook back down and took it away for us. Catastrophe averted. Nice to add a little excitement to the day. In our 8-1/2 hour, four lock, 57 mile cruising day that's all the excitement we had.
After the tour as we again waited for the rain to stop, we chatted with a woman who had been the first female guard in the all male penitentiary. Interesting stories!
The following day we made it to Marietta, OH in time to take the last trolley tour of the day. Marietta is a nice little town which was originally settled mostly by former Revolutionary War officers from Massachusetts. When our young country couldn't pay the soldiers' wages, they were given credits that could be exchanged for land in the "Northwest Territory" - northwest being a relative term.
Sunday Joe went to mass at the incredible St. Mary's Church, which we followed with a disappointing tour of "the castle," which was
I had the specialty of the house - a fried bologna sandwich!
While Joe had been in church, I had walked through the Marietta College campus and along some nearby streets with beautiful old homes shaded by big old trees. It's a beautiful little town.
The museum was closing as we were finishing up and Andy, our River Museum guide came in. Surprised we were still there, he said he'd been about to go to our boat for a tour. We tossed Joe's bike in the back of his truck and after a short grocery stop at the Giant Eagle, Joe reciprocated with a tour of Carolyn Ann for Andy.
We wanted to visit the Gas and Oil Museum in Parkersburg. It turned out to be a big building filled with lots of stuff - much of which related to the gas and oil industry - all of it just plain old, and little of it sufficiently labeled. Joe loved it; I have to say I was less enthusiastic.
Many of these houses open for Christmas tours - it might be worth a trip up!
Even though the guy driving the stern-wheel ferry offered us a free ride to the island, we decided to skip the trip to Blennerhassett Mansion. It is supposed to be a good reproduction of the mansion that burned in 1811. Besides the beautiful mansion, Blennerhassett's claim to fame is tied to Aaron Burr - both men having been accused of treason.
Joe and I walked/biked back to the museum at the capitol complex the following day. Joe stopped and took so many pictures of the old houses on the way that we had to have lunch before we could go to the museum.
The museum traces West Virginia history from 300M B.C. to the present. We had two and a half hours. The exhibits are well done and easy to follow - unlike what we've found at some museums - but there is just sooo much information. We got through about half of it in pretty good detail, then it was closing time and our brains were beginning to shut down anyway.
On our way back to Point Pleasant, WV, we again passed by many stern wheelers, some still working tug boats. I think Joe might be willing to trade Carolyn Ann in on one except that they are not exactly sea worthy. We've heard stories about how easily a wake/wave can wash over the side, sinking the boat. One that was in immaculate condition recently sank just before the prospective new owner handed over a check. It sank during a bad storm when another boat broke loss and drifted into it.
Point Pleasant had been on our agenda since we passed it by on the way up. We hadn't stopped the first time by because it was so hot and we'd been told they didn't have power available on their wall. The power outlets are on a board on wheels that is plugged into recessed/locked receptacle on the dock. Linda on Young America had really connected with the locals and knew all the right contacts. Shortly after we arrived, someone showed up to make sure we had the power we needed. This time the power boards were already out in anticipation of an up-coming festival.
We arrived at Holiday Point Marina on the Thursday before Labor Day Weekend. All the towns would be having festivities for the last weekend of the summer. Also, Isaac's rain was heading up the Mississippi Valley, possibly into the Ohio River Valley. Holiday Point is a well protected marina in the middle of nowhere. Lazy Dolphin had arrived earlier in the day with plans to spend the weekend to avoid the crowds and the possible flooding which we thought was a grand idea. So, here we both sit.
There are more pictures on the picasa site: http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.pica