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Wednesday, September 15, 2004



After I left the library, I went to do some laundry, and then found my way out of Athens and found a place to stay the night. Tuesday I spent walking from there to the fairly small town of Coolville, about 18 miles. I only thought I'd seen my last cornfield; there was another one along the way, although it was only a patch compared to Iowa's huge ones. My map is a bit outdated, though; US 50, the Appalachian Highway, according to the signs on it, is a 4-lane expressway all the way to Marietta. The hills and ridges are getting higher and the road cuts are getting bigger: they aren't tall, by Rocky mountain standards, but they are certainly steep.

I stopped for the night just past Coolville, and had only gone two miles when a woman called to me from one of the side roads I had just passed. She offered a ride into Belpre. I was a bit surprised that she would do so, but she said she has a nephew who is out on the road somewhere, and hopes that someone is generous to him. She has just found employment as a Talented and Gifted teacher in a middle school here in Belpre, and this was her first day.

Belpre is just across the Ohio River from Parkersburg, West Virginia, so I could say that I'm very nearly to my destination. However, I've decided on Morgantown (as I may have mentioned), which about 100 miles further. I hope to get a decent WV map in Parkersburg, then go back across to Marietta and visit the college there; then back on one side of the river or other as far as New Martindale.

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