September 26


I was up before the sun and ready to roll. But with a thick fog I decided to hang out for a while. That tuned into an 11:30 start. The sun was blazing. I tried to hug what ever shore was providing shade. It wasn't enough to keep me cool. I had to take frequent breaks to prevent from overheating. Go figure the last week of September in Ohio and it's reaching 90. When the heat finally broke I was able to get moving. As the sun was setting I reached the east end of Huntington, WV. I was out of water and pulled up to a boat club and tied off. There were several boats but the restaurant and office were deserted and run down. I was getting ready to run up the hill to the store but realized that there was a gate on the walkway to land. I could go out but wouldn't be able to get back in. I asked the couple if it was alright to leave my boat. They said they would leave the gate open when they left. They said they had seen me out on the river. I explained what I was doing. It's hard to explain that I have paddled all the way across the country but am now here, then going back. I ran, literally ran, to the store in fear that the door would shut on its own and I would have to break in by swimming. Not something I wanted to do today. The gas station was pretty rough. The CC machine was down and that caused a line. I asked if I could use the water fountain to fill up my bottles. The guy had to think about it and finally said yes. After what I had just spent I thought he would have filled them for me. I walked back to fill them and the water fountain didn't work. Actually it looked like it had been broken for a while. I went back and asked if they had a bathroom where I could fill them.  No public rest rooms was all he said. Instead of walking him through all the other options of how we could fill them, I just bought 2 bottles. I ran back to the dock and actually beat the couple who were going to leave the gate open for me. When they were leaving the man offered me a couple beers. I declined and wondered if he had heard any thing I said earlier on why I was doing the trip. I think he was paying attention to securing his boat than me earlier. But I don't blame him. It was a very nice boat. They offered me several other things but all I took was water. Then I was able to use their hose to fill my other bottles. I threw the lights on the boat and headed into Huntington.   It was pretty with all the lights on. It was neat. I planned on doing just a few more since I got caught up with lastnights late paddle.  It was really neat paddling under the moon.  While I have been paddling at night the past few nights I have noticed the cycle has been changing.  It has gone from a new moon of no light to a small crescent and slowly filling in more and more.  As I was day (night) dreaming about the moon it got real intense real quick.  I was in the middle of an industrial corridor.   No place to camp and Tug boats moving containers across the river in no particular order.  Barges cruising down the river.  I decided to pull over hoping they would calm down and check the map.  It was a few miles before I had any option to camp.  I had stopped at a boat ramp that had giant steps.  Making the smart decision to stay for the night I pulled the boat up on the only step I could that was big enough and level away from the light and climbed into the boat to sleep.  About every 20 minutes when a boat would pass, the wake would crash on the steps spraying me with water.  As annoying as it was I figured it was better than getting run over by a barge in the middle of the night.