Story by Roy Dyckman
Larry Ward and I left Canfield, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 26 — making time down Ohio Route 11 towards East Liverpool and eventually turning west onto Ohio Route 7 — to Marietta , Ohio for the 2021 Motorcycle Sport Touring Association Mail Pouch Fly-By weekend.
The MSTA is a diverse group of motorcyclists who don’t care what you ride, but live by the motto, “All the Gear, All the Time.” This is an annual ride meeting friends who we haven’t seen for a year.,
Thursday afternoon was sunny and cloudless, ensuring another 90-degree day of riding in the afternoon. Larry and I decided to visit the Blennerhassett Island and Mansion Thursday afternoon, which required taking a ride on a paddle wheeler. The boat trip to the island was uneventful and, once we arrived, we looked for a cold beverage and had time to think about what to do next. A park ranger gave us a ride to Putnam House, which belonged to one of the more prominent settlers in Marietta. We also explored the opulent Blennerhassett Mansion.
The last ferry off the island left at 4:30 p.m., and we scampered onboard and sat on the upper deck — availing ourselves of the cool river breeze.
Friday morning, Larry suggested a trip to the famous Hillbilly Hot Dogs. We left the hotel and got onto Interstate 77, then crossed over the Ohio River into West Virginia and exited onto State Route 2. The route closely aligns with the south bank of the Ohio River, and we followed the route to Lesage, W.Va., where Hillbilly Hot Dogs is located.
Quite frankly the place looks like a junkyard. But, the old adage, “you can’t tell a book by its cover” applies to this place.
Hillbilly Hot Dogs serves some of the best hot dogs you’ll find anywhere and is situated in a very unique environment. The eating quarters are old, faded yellow school buses with thousands of names scribed on the bus ceilings and walls.
Some years ago, Larry did an in-depth radio report on the Mothman sightings around the time of the Point Pleasant bridge collapse, which took place December 17th, 1967 and killed 42 people.
For a scant $4.50, you can tour a museum on Hillbilly Hot Dogs grounds dedicated to the Mothman phenomenon that features historical evidence surrounding that day.
The town of Point Pleasant has moved on from that tragic day but still embraces the remnants of the Mothman saga. All in all a grand day and it culminated our One Tank Trip.