After talking with a fisherman for several hours the Lock Master showed up at McConnelsville Lock. I could have waited several more hours. The park around the lock is so pleasant and clean. There were restrooms to use. I finished my very large coffee that I got at the Shell station earlier, and through the lock I went.
I only had a short trip to my next stop, Riversedge Campground and Marina in Malta. Kelli was there to meet me at the shore, taking movies as I landed. What a great host she and her husband Eric turned out to be. She put me up in one of her rental campers for the night. Nice and warm with a bed to sleep in. Eric even cooked me a fantastic supper. After a hot shower and a wonderful night sleep, and the mandatory hot fresh cinnamon buns that Kelli specializes in, I was on my way again.
First through Stockport Lock which went smooth. This is a very beautiful area on the river. I recommend it to anyone that likes to paddle.
Smooth paddling to the next lock, Luke Cute. I got out for a rest and talk to the Lock Master for a half hour or so. He warned me about the lock being under construction in Beverly. He had no recommendations on how to portage it. After the beauty of Luke Chute lock and the park there, arriving in Beverly was a rude awakening. Now I have nothing against the town, just the situation that I ran into in the lock canal.
Ahead of me was a dam. It was made of very sharp rocks. I figured pull the boat out go to the left through town and put back in on the other side of the lock. I pulled up to the dam, and tried to get out, and sunk to my knee in the most foul smelling muck that you could imagine. I saved my shoe and got out on the dam and tried to pull my boat out which was no easy task. A quick scout of the left portage through town showed me nothing but asphalt and concrete all the way to the other side of the lock. I had not brought my portage wheels (big mistake) so that was out of the question. I texted Joey Butts, and asked him, which way did they go two weeks ago when they went through. I called my friend Jon Ko in California and asked his advice which was to ask Joey. Joey asked me if I had maps, I screamed to myself, I had half dozen maps, none of them was going to get this boat around the lock. I decided to portage the boat over the island, about 200 yards through thick woods. I was surprised that the boat slid over the high weeds very easily. I got to the other side, loaded the boat back up, and slid it into the water. The bank was steep but had no choice, it was getting late and I had 10 more miles to paddle. I sunk in the mud, got in the boat, hung my feet over the sides and tried to wash off the smelly muck.
Finally I got back on my way, you could smell me a mile away.