I have been planning a trip back to my home town, Marietta Ohio, for a while now. I have wanted to get the bike up there since I started riding a mere 4 years ago. Last weekend I finally did it. First some background. My family moved to Virginia from Marietta when I was just 11. My entire family on both my mom and my dads side lived from Marietta up to Zanesville and at stops in between. You always wonder what life would be like if you had stayed here or there or done this or that. I don't wonder too much though because life has turned out pretty well so far. I married my high school prom date 22 years ago and we are still going strong. Who knows how many divorces I might have had if I stayed in Ohio. But back to the trip. I finally picked a date and started watching the radar. Being a relative noob to traveling by bike, I wanted to avoid rain as much as possible. The forecast for the weekend looked pretty good so I packed up the bike on Thursday evening. Roanoke Forecast Marietta Forecast I got a call that evening from a friend of mine who I will be riding back to Ohio with in late July to the go to the mid-Ohio vintage bike races. He told me he had gotten his tent and mattress pad. So I asked him if he wanted to pack up on last minute notice and go with me. Wouldn't you know it, he said yes. But he had to work for a half day, so I would start up without him and he would follow me up later. How is that for a riding buddy? I have trouble getting people to take trips with me but it seems he is game. So Friday morning I get up at 6:00, shower and hit the road by a little after 7:00. First stop would be Princeton WV for gas. I knocked that off pretty quickly. In fact, the whole trip went quickly, all 290 miles of it. After a brief stop at Princeton, I mounted up and headed to my next stop in Ripley WV. But first I would have to clear 3 toll booths at $2 each. I don't know where my $12 (round trip cost) went, but it doesn't appear to have gone into the roads. After making Ripley I needed a break. I have had trouble making 200+ mile rides with the stock seat so I bought an Airhawk cushion. That thing did the trick. It isn't perfect, after 200 miles or so you start feeling it. But once you stop, you can adjust it to a new position and when you sit down it is like you just started riding. I reeled off the last 50+ miles in no time. I was now in Marietta Ohio! Route: Proof that I made it. My plan was to ride around town for the rest of the day, revisit old places and wait for my wingman to make it into town. So the first stop was along the river for some photos. Looking North up the Ohio river toward the bridge to Williamstown, WV. Looking South down the Ohio River. Now that is a river! The Muskingum river dumps into the Ohio just to the right out of sight in the picture above. It is not as big as the Ohio but it is still pretty good size and supports house boats and such. When I moved to Virginia, I was near the New River, Holston River and now the Roanoke river. They can be waded across in many spots. I am use to rivers that you can barely hit a golf ball across if that and that can support large boats. Ok, enough complaining about rivers here. A real river can run barge traffic. Marietta is proud of their rivers and their history. There are lots of historical markers and monuments around. They have parks facing the river. Notice the post in the top, center of the previous photo. That is a marker that has diagrams of various smokestacks of the paddlewheelers that use to ply these waters. Marietta was the first settlement in the Northwest territory. There is a marker with the names of the 48 charter members. Little known fact here, my family on my grandmother on my mom's side were among the founders. In fact there were 3 of them. Over 6% of the founding party were my descendents. Pretty cool to have pioneer blood in me. My descendent is the first in the list and there are two more Devols further down. There is a town on the outskirts of Marietta called Devola and guess who that is named after? So I guess that is my little known claim to fame. Next up, time to setup camp and do a little more riding before my wingman gets to town.