Thursday, August 20, 2015
Chapter 44 - Van Buren to Marietta, Ohio
Most of the 200 mile drive down to Marietta, Ohio was on 4-lane divided highways with to many cars and trucks and way to much road construction. Everything that we have come to expect. What we did not really expect was that after we intersected with I-77 near Cambridge, Ohio and headed south to Marietta on the Ohio River, the scenery dramatically changed and we were once again back into the mountains but this time unlike the western mountains, the slopes were softer and completely covered with tall deciduous trees. We arrived at the Washington County Fair Park where we had chosen to stay in Marietta just before 2:00 PM. We did not make reservations here as from what we had been told on the phone, their camping area was on a first come, first serve basis and typically campers were expected to pay on an honor system by placing money in an envelope and then dropping it in a box by the fairgrounds office. This was all new to us and it made us nervous. When we pulled into the fairgrounds our nervousness turned to pure horror as their "campground" was awful and consisted mostly of a huge blacktop parking area with hookups scattered around half of the perimeter. The travel trailers that were already there were mostly old and many looked poorly maintained. This photo I took of the campground was taken through a chain-link fence on the top of the stadium and it pretty much reflects our disappointment.
Our plan for this evening was to visit our friends Marty and Gerald who had invited us to have drinks and dinner with them at their home in Marietta. Kathy has known her friend Marty for almost 45 years as she was one of our neighbors near our first home in Niagara Falls, New York. She has been married to Gerald for 25 years so we have known both of them for a long time.
Today we planned to see the best that Marietta has to offer beginning with a quick drive around the Washington County Fair Park looking for something positive to say about this relatively rundown fairgrounds. We were pleasantly surprised to find that in the back of the fairgrounds there were horse stalls that actually housed about a half dozen horses. While we were enjoying the horses one of the owners appeared who told us that Kathy could purchase the pony that she was petting for around $500 and she could rent one of the stalls for only $50 per month. Such a deal; but we turned it down.
Our special treat for the morning was walking the residential streets of Marietta looking at some of the older residential homes. We took many photographs and it is not practical for us to include more than a few pictures. These few photos however, will provide a clear picture of the beauty of the entire area. Most of the homes that we visited, exterior visits of course, were built in the early to late 1800s.
Here we are in the above photograph having lunch with Marty and Gerald at their Third Street Deli. We sat outside not because the weather was so wonderful but because even here at our friends' restaurant, dogs were not allowed inside. State law I guess, trumps all. Frankly, I preferred sitting outside in any case, enjoying the scenery of this truly remarkable historic city. The lunch and of course the company, were great.
We spent part of the afternoon with Gerald and Marty again driving through other areas of their city that we had not previously visited before finally departing, at least temporarily, to get ready again for drinks and dinner this evening at the Moore's lovely home. We returned back to our mobile home around 8:30 pm. Tomorrow we have a longer drive than usual, around five plus hours down to Fancy Gap, Virginia. Sounds fancy. . . at least we hope.