We set off Sunday morning after a great night’s sleep in the Holiday Inn in Huntington. Chris sent us off from the sinking barge with our first full day of paddling in front of us. We didn’t know for sure how far we would or could paddle but we set our eyes on the Worthington (WV) Boat Club which was on the list of boat clubs I had downloaded from the web. We tried calling ahead but the phone was disconnected. We decided we would still hope that we could camp there and maybe even get a shower. I told Karen that if no one was there, we could just camp and if anyone asked what we were doing, we could just say Bill told us we could camp there. I figured that there had to be a Bill at the boat club!
We pulled into the boat club after paddling for 23 miles. It didn’t look occupied when we paddled in and many of the boats looked old and unused. We noticed the plants growing out of some of the propellers! I guess I gave you quite a surprise when I finally got your attention above the music you were playing while relaxing on your houseboat. After your initial “where did YOU come from?” you jumped out of the boat and came with me to meet Karen. I had to suppress a laugh when you introduced yourself as Billie Christie! So, there was a Bill there? We weren’t quite sure what to make of your next question: “Are you packing?” Of course, I initially thought you were referring to our gear but soon realized that you meant a gun! Maybe next year we will consider that! I guess a lot of people think two middle aged women canoeing in southern Ohio, West Virginie and Kentucky SHOULD be armed.
You were quick to welcome us and suggest we camp up the stream. Thanks for guiding us on your kayak to the small dock where we could tie up. However, the abundance of poison ivy took us back to the boat club where you showed us to a little peninsula that we unofficially camp on. You offered your sickle which was a little scary to me that you even had one with you but I soon understood that we could use it to knock down the weeds. Though I did consider that we might want THAT to be our weapon.
Thank you for letting us stay there and finding us a nice camping spot and for bringing us that bundle of firewood even though it was hotter than Hades that night! You truly did how us southern hospitality. Sorry we didn’t see you again after that…would have loved to tell you the story of thinking the flopping sounds in the water all night were the beavers or muskrats you warned us about. Turns out that the full moon brings out the fish and they flop out of the water all night reaching toward the moon…or someone downriver told us later in the trip! Between the fish and the hot, humid night, we didn’t sleep very well but we were glad for a place to pitch our tent.
Thanks again for your kindnesses. And while we couldn’t figure out how to turn on the water for showers, there was enough water in the toilet tanks to give us one more opportunity without using the wild before we headed out the next morning!
Sorry I didn’t get a photo of you but I’ll include here a photo of some of the boats and a photo from inside our tent as the sun rose.
PS: I just learned that Worthington has only 158 residents!