After living in the South since 1982, I want to reconnect with my Midwestern roots. I decided to explore the history, culture, and lore of the Ohio River from its headwaters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to its mouth into the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois.

Is this a travel blog?

Not really. Things might change with subscriber input, but for now I’m planning a series of personal essays prompted by something I’ve seen or done, someone I’ve met, or something in the news that touches these 981 miles.

Some editions will include lots of travel resources—maps, itineraries, books, and websites—to help you explore the region from your armchair or the open road.

I’ve lined up book and movie reviews, and reflections on how the region is depicted in a news story vis-à-vis my experience.

Most of my newsletters will include a podcast of me reading what I’ve written so you can multitask while basking in all things 981. Some of them will include interviews with interesting people I meet along the way or sounds from nature or a street fair—stay tuned.

Guaranteed roadside kitsch

Yes, that picture below is me in the Ohio River town of Chester, West Virginia with the World’s Largest Teapot. The 981 Project will include lots of selfies like this one because if there’s anything I thrive on, it’s roadside kitsch!

This is Tamela’s Newsletter. First project: The 981 Project.

Subscribe to The 981 Project

Dispatches from all 981 miles of the Ohio River. From its headwaters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to its mouth at the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois.


Tamela Rich

Author and curious traveler. I run two newsletters here. My other, "The 981 Project," explores all 981 miles of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, PA to Cairo, IL.


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