Newport, OH

Two weeks of social interactions left us feeling full. Full of love and full of the desire to go hide somewhere near a river in an RV with our cat.

We found ourselves at Harris RV Park, which is cheek by jowl to the Ohio River. The Ohio River plays the parental role for Ohio and West Virginia – separating the two states so that there is no risk of “he’s touching me! His arm is on my side!” We slept in Ohio, which is questionable. Look at statistics. Statistically, Ohio isn’t real. (If we must have conspiracy theories, this is one I am interested in.)

Harris RV Park served. It served us barges of varying lengths and contents. It served us decently priced full-hook-ups for endless loads of laundry and lengthy showers. It served us Max, the world’s friendliest RV park owner. It served a Post Office less than 100 meters from our front door. It served us quiet neighbors who failed to clean up after their dogs, which shit all over the ground because sniff, wiggle, lick, occasionally terrorize us, and shit are the things dogs do.

We ran across the Hi Carpenter bridge into the relative realness of West Virginia every morning. First, we like to run. Second, the dogs in the town of Newport were insatiably hungry for our leg meat, apparently. Third, we needed to make sure we were real, being that we were sleeping in Ohio – a place that is credibly, not real. Fourth, West Virginia – St. Marys, WV to be exact – offered us a river island national wildlife refuge to traipse about with no risk of people eating hounds.

St. Marys, WV is home to a set of train tracks that run directly down their main street. This fascinated us a great amount and led to a pedal-to-the-metal drive across the bridge to witness a locomotive roll through the main strip of town.

If you’re interested in owning a piece of St. Marys, WV, there is a great property currently for sale at an amazing price ($5mil):

2 Unique Properties Located in St.Marys, WV: Overlooking the former Quaker State’s Refinery Waste Dump. Towering overhead is large tanks of gasoline, diesel and chemicals. To the right is exposed pipelines transporting gasoline and diesel to tanks on top of hill. Exposed pipelines running under the B&O Railroad and under the 4-lane.

We took a leisurely Saturday drive during our weekend in the area, taking in the very raw material and shipping-oriented communities that dot the Ohio River from Newport to Parkersburg. We found a donut shop named McHappy’s that did make me pretty happy.

We debated where to head next – Southwest to seek warmer temperatures, or straight South into the mountains to check out America’s newest National Park: New River Gorge. After light jostling, New River Gorge made the lean at the line. We’ll head there first, then reverse course and head West.