22 April 2021

RAPEA - Day 8 - Point Pleasant WV Day Trip

Ladies, let me tell you of a must have addition to the arsenal in your purse...get yourself a Gerber multi-tool. I personally carry a Gerber Suspension without the sheath because my flea market pocketbook has a handy dandy pocket on the side that was just made for it. Why should the guys be the ones who are "always prepared"? Shouldn't we be prepared too? You just never know when the need may arise to screw, stab, poke, saw, chop, cut or pull something out. Why just this morning I looked in the mirror and said, "Dang! My bangs are too long!" No problem. I got out my Gerber and released those tiny scissors and just trimmed them right up. Kelsey (my hair stylist), if you're reading this don't faint. They'll be just as long by the time I get back home.

As I strolled around the parking lot having my morning nicotine fix I came across this car with a decal on the back glass that made me laugh out loud. Laughter is a wonderful start to any day. I always gag when I see these cars driving around with all these stick figure families plastered across the back glass.

Point Pleasant WV is the home of the Mothman legend and only an hour and a half from the quaint little burg of Marietta OH where we are currently staying. We set off for WV in cold and rainy conditions that never improved until late in the afternoon when we were back in Marietta. And much to my dismay I forgot my raincoat in my room and didn't discover it until I stepped out of the car in Point Pleasant to take pictures. By the time I returned to the car I was chilled to the bone which is rare for me.

If you were under a rock somewhere in 2002, you may have missed the release of a supernatural horror-mystery film titled The Mothman Prophecies, a movie starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney which was based on the 1975 book of the same name written by parapsychologist and author John Keel. The film claims to be based on actual events that occurred between November 1966 and December 1967 in Point Pleasant, as described by Keel. For over a year, citizens of Point Pleasant were witnesses to UFOs, strange government and military-related activity, and the Mothman itself. At the crescendo of these sightings, the town suffered a bridge collapse killing 46. Today, Mothman has become a patron of Point Pleasant and is honored with a statue, a museum and research center, and an annual festival.

I don't know who Mothman's personal trainer was, but let me tell you he definitely had buns of steel! I didn't enter the museum but I walked around the gift shop which was chock full of the type of kitsch you would expect to find catering to the paranormal. My favorite was a sticker with 'Mothman for President' printed on it.

Just before our final turn on the way to the motel we stopped at the Riverfront Park which though tiny packed a wealth of information about the area through historical markers. It also provided a clear shot of the Ohio River which we had been riding alongside all day. During 1788, pioneers to the Ohio Country established Marietta as the first permanent settlement of the new United States in the territory Northwest of the River Ohio. 

Across from the park sits The Historic Lafayette Hotel. The Lafayette Hotel draws its name from the visit in 1825 of the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution. A plaque near the Hotel marks the spot where Lafayette came ashore in Marietta and today the locals boast that the first tourist to visit Marietta was Marquis de Lafayette.

The Bellevue Hotel was built in 1892 where The Lafayette Hotel stands today. It was 4 stories tall, had 55 steam heated rooms, a bar, a call bell system in every room and advertised hot and cold baths. The rate at the time was $2-$3 per night! The Bellevue was destroyed by fire on April 26, 1916 and pictures of the fire are on display by the Lafayette's Gunroom Restaurant. After the fire, the hotel was rebuilt by a Marietta businessmen, opened on July 1, 1918 and renamed as the Lafayette Hotel. Various rooms within the hotel hold interesting artifacts that all come together to tell a fascinating, historical story.

We grabbed a bite to eat, ran the van through a sucky car wash and returned to the hotel. We decided to walk off our meal by circling the two motels that are side by side and then on to a local Aldi's where I discovered my favorite treat in stock...Pizzelles! Staci (my sister), they're not from Stangl's Bakery (a bakery near my hometown), but they're a pretty reasonable facsimile. So much for walking off dinner.

I came back to my room to down load my photos from today and decided to start my blog early. That's when I discovered I must have had a brain fart when I finished yesterday's blog late last night because I forgot to hit the publish button. Oh well, yesterday's blog was pretty boring anyway because there was nothing much to write about. Hopefully today's is a little more interesting.

By far the best part of today happened after we returned to the motel. The main reason we're here in Marietta OH is because MTC's life long friend and her family reside here. I had spoken to her briefly on the phone in January from MTC's house and had only texted with her a couple times since then. But I felt an instant kinship from the time we first conversed. That was only strengthened when I actually got to meet her when she stopped by the motel after work. Our actual visit days with her are slated for tomorrow and Saturday and after our official meet and greet I know we're going to be thick as thieves and I'm greatly looking forward to the weekend.

We finished the day by going next door to an establishment I haven't entered in nearly 30 years...a laundromat. But honey this ain't yo mama's laundromat! This place was high tech! The washers were sized by pounds. They came in 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 60 and 75 pound sizes along with 2 'old style' commercial top loaders from back in my day. All the multi pounders weighed the clothes as you loaded the machine and wouldn't start until you removed some if you overloaded. They ranged in price from $3 to $8.50 per load with the 2 top loaders going for $2.50. The dryers in back came in medium with 7 min for a quarter, large with 5 min for a quarter and jumbo with 4 min for a quarter. Although the pre-requisite change machine that dispenses quarters was present, all of the machines take Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. If you're a frequent flyer you can even purchase a pre-loaded Fascard with either cash or a credit card as well. But here's the cherry on this laundry cake...both the washers and dryers pump ozone into your clothes to sanitize both your clothes and the machines between each use. Ozone is a natural purifier. It sanitizes machines and clothes, so you don’t have to worry about what was washed in the machine before. Blood, contaminated linens, smoke or water damaged items, viruses, bacteria, ozone handles it all. That’s why hospitals and nursing homes use ozone. And yet their drop off wash, dry and fold service is only $1.49 per pound. The last time I used that type of service it was fifty cents a pound. And that was over 30 years ago.

Well this is definitely the longest post with the most pictures to date. It's also the first one I finished before midnite. Just in case the weather doesn't cooperate for our planned tour of the Covered Bridges of Washington County or trip to Amish country over the next couple of days this one may have to hold you off until we hit the road again on Sunday.

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