Westward Home: 3 Pygmies to Paddle & Peddle Over 900 Miles as a Fundraiser

Three Pygmy paddlers will pedal 723 miles overland and then paddle their own hand-made Pygmy kayaks the remaining 202 miles downriver to Marietta, OH, in a historical homage to the pioneer founders of their community.  This trip marks the 225th birthday of the city of Marietta and will help to raise funds to support the Harmar Community Center (HCC) in Marietta and the Washington County Boys and Girls Club which is housed at the HCC.  The expedition departs Ipswich on May 17th and arrives in Marietta on June 8th, 2013.

peddle paddle trip "Westward Home" route

The plan is for the team to parallel the route used by General Rufus Putnam and the Ohio Company of 46 men who walked, rode on horses and in wagons from Ipswich with the goal of founding the community of Marietta.Their trip took place in the winter of 1787-1788 (brrrr!) with the plan of arriving in Ohio in time to plant their spring crops and prepare housing for the coming winter. The trip not only involved following many roads that were barely passable but also entailed traveling by boat from Simeral’s Ferry (today it is West Newton, PA) to Marietta down the Youghiogheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. When these tough and resourceful men arrived in Simeral’s Ferry they had to stop and build their own canoes and boats before they could proceed to Marietta. They arrived in Marietta on April 7, 1788 and began the process of settling the town and setting up the government that would organize and control the Northwest Territory.The WESTWARD HOME team will not be walking or riding horses or in wagons during their trip, but will instead use bicycles for the land route and then their own hand built wooden kayaks for the river portion of the trip. After the bicycle portion the riders will then launch their kayaks into the Youghiogheny River on Saturday June 1st, 2013 with the goal of landing in Marietta on June 8th, 2013 on the East Bank of the Muskingum River just below the Westward Ho monument in Muskingum Park. One half of the team making this trip is made up of Bill & Sally Wesel, and Peter Prigg. The Wesels will offer their Recreational Vehicle as the group’s mobile motel providing support at the end of each day. Peter Prigge will drive the chase car to help keep the team on their planned route and to be available in case of a mechanical breakdown.The other half of the team is made up of Gary Murphy, Roger Murphy, and Dan Jones. They will bicycle the land route of 723 miles and will paddle the 202 miles on the 3 rivers in their Pygmy Borealis, Coho, and an Osprey HP.

When the team arrives in Marietta they will have met the goal of helping to celebrate Marietta’s 225th birthday and honoring those hardy pioneers who settled their community in 1788, but one of the main goals is to provide financial assistance for the new Harmar Community Center and the Boys & Girls Club in their community, which provides healthy after school activities and tutoring for young people as well as a large array of educational and fun summer activities. The Harmar Community Center also houses The Gospel Mission which provides food, clothing and other services to area families in need. Plans are also being made to build a community kitchen in partnership with Washington County Harvest of Hope.

If you would like to support these Pygmies in their adventure-fundraiser for the Harmar Community Center, you may do so here: http://www.westwardhome225.com/support

To read more about Westward Home, visit their website: http://www.westwardhome225.com/home

And, to follow along with their adventure, check out the Marietta Time’s blog.

We are continually impressed by the endeavors of our customers.  If you have an endeavor you would like to share, please send it to: laura@pygmyboats.com


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