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Westward Home Team Returns
Posted on: 06/10/2013
By  Andy Rex
After a three week trek from near Boston back to Marietta, the Westward Home 225 crew arrived Saturday as scheduled.
Ceremonies in East Muskingum Park welcomed back the team, led by Dan Jones, Gary Murphy and Roger Murphy.  The trip took them over 900 miles by bicycle and kayak from Ipswich, Massachusetts back to the Pioneer City.
Reflecting back on the trip, Gary Murphy says one thing in particular stands out to him that happened over the Memorial Day weekend.
“These guys left me," Murphy says.  "Of course, that’s nothing new.  They were much faster than I was.  I was by myself, and I was riding bikes with the Amish buggies.  I totally enjoyed that.  I got to stop and see a Vietnam memorial on the way.  That was really a well done memorial and touching.  It just happened to be on Memorial weekend.  That was probably the best part for me.”
Dan Jones says the biggest thing he takes away from the journey is how tough the pioneers were who made the trip in 1788.
“We clicked this baby off in three weeks, and they did it in the winter," Jones explains.  "They built their boats and they walked.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it was for them to come across.  It was hard for us.  But we had support, and we had modern conveniences and everything else.  What they did has always been emotional to me about the trip.  Even coming down the Ohio River, when you get to parts where there’s no industry and it’s just wild, you have to say ‘what was it like when these people came down in a flatboat?’  It must have just been overwhelming when they came down.”
And Jones says they really couldn’t have made the trip at all if it wasn’t for the support team they had all the way
“I can’t imagine trying to do this trip without having that 33-foot RV waiting for us every night, so we could have a hot meal and a shower," Jones says.  "We’ve been to more campgrounds in three weeks than I have been the rest of my life.  Peter Prigge is this wonderful hero who kept us on track everyday – kept us supplied with food and water and Gatorade.  We couldn’t have done it without Peter.  He really is the best for that kind of thing that you could ever imagine.”
All three men agree it was great camaraderie through the duration of the trip.  And they agree that to do it for the Harmar Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club made it worth the while.
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