Earlier today we suggested we’d be spending the night, tonight, in Clarksburg, WV. Instead, we’ll be in Bridgeport, which is about 4 miles closer to home than Clarksburg.
The ride today was pleasant enough through Ohio and western West Virginia but to get to the Clarksburg-Bridgeport area from Athens, OH, required us to spend many of the 100+ miles driving along highway 50, the same highway 50 we drove a bit on in Nevada although in West Virginia, if you can believe it, highway 50 is nowhere near as lonely as in Nevada. In fact, our necks are sore from frequently looking behind us to make sure a distracted driver didn’t close the distance between us too quickly as they approached with a 35-40 mph closure rate.
Circleville, OH is an interesting place as the Pickaway County court house, located in Circleville, was, in 1810, placed in the exact center of an 1,100 foot diameter earthwork circle created by Native Americans more than 1,500 years ago, while the rest of the town was laid out within the circle, thus giving the ville its name. But residents there quickly got tired of running around in circles and by the 1850’s had changed the city’s layout to a grid and today there are no remaining traces of the original circle.
And once again we crossed a river boundary, with the Ohio River marking the boundary between Ohio and West Virginia, which causes us to reflect that the Missouri River is the entire eastern border of Nebraska and the Illinois River isn’t a boundary at all.
In Clarksburg we passed a marker celebrating their native son, Tom Jackson, who died in Chancellorsville, VA after being shot by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, which was unfortunate for Tom since he had been such a stalwart advocate of the Confederate cause people had started calling him “Stonewall”.
We also spent some of our day today trying to get over the loss of the ’11’s crankshaft by locating and purchasing a new old engine for it, but the stories that engine has to tell, and one day will have to tell, must wait until we can put it in the ’11.
And now we’re having dinner (an excellent steak and an excellent brisket sandwich), discussing our plans for tomorrow, or at least intending to discuss them while we determine how well West Virginian brewers could compete against Iowan brewers if there were a competition, and our thoughts are “very well”. Our big decision is whether we try to knock out the last 213 or so miles home in one day, through the mountains, or whether we savor our last day(s) on the road with the ’10 and arrive Saturday mid-day. We suppose it depends on our mood in the morning and whether there’s a chance the two youngest of our group, who had to depart in South Dakota, could come join us again for the last few miles home.