It started as a last-minute idea to catch a flight to anywhere for the weekend. I checked Momondo.com for cheap flights out of Cincinnati. Denver was cheap, but Billie and I ultimately decided it would be better to stay closer to home. Billie is my girlfriend, and she lives in Northern Kentucky near the airport. She is my partner in crime, and we often fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to adventure.
Next plan…I Googled for some road trip ideas closer to home. The town of Ripley, Ohio sits on the Ohio river and is only an hour away. Score! We had our destination. We loaded our backpacks for an overnight but made no accommodation plans. We could find something once we arrived.
Ohio Rt. 52 is a nice drive. It curves along parallel to the Ohio River and passes through many small river towns including Point Pleasant, Ohio, birthplace of President Ulysses S. Grant. We followed this all the way to Ripley.
Along the way, we passed many camp grounds filled with RVs. While beautiful and peaceful, the area seems to struggle economically. Many of the camp grounds seemed to be inhabited by permanent residents.
Another noteworthy site is the William H. Zimmer Power Station. This site was once intended to be a Nuclear plant, but was ultimately converted to a coal burning operation. It still has the giant cooling tower which makes it look like an active nuclear site.
We arrived in Ripley and quickly assessed that it too is struggling economically. There are signs of revitalization, but they are limited. Ripley has great potential. There are beautiful old homes ready for restoration. There is a waterfront, where some revitalization has occurred. Regardless, we decided to move on to another location.
On the Kentucky side of the river, about ten miles back the way we came, is Augusta, Kentucky. Billie knew the town, and knew it to be worth a look. Augusta did not disappoint.
In addition to being the home of the late Rosemary Clooney, Augusta is beautiful. Billie and I had fantastic Meatball subs at Carota’s Pizza, and then enjoyed a lovely walk on Riverside drive and around town. We ended up heading back to her house that evening instead of staying the night, but we will return. Well worth the day trip. Enjoy some pictures from Augusta below.
All Photos Copyright Brian Mahaney, 2018