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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oxbow Farm

Isaiah & Eric Paddling The Piedmont
Day 3, June 27th
 The crew awoke today and was greeted by John Seibel and a delicious breakfast. Mr. Seibel is a local farmer who “must have to love farming” because he has been doing it for 77 years. He has taken numerous proactive steps to improve the James River. Mr. Seibel put 98.9 acres of river front land into a conservation project by excluding his livestock from the river banks. He uses a grazing rotation and pumps water to central locations to prevent the cows from having to go to the river and thereby eroding the bank. Mr. Seibel also is planting trees along the bank to prevent sediment from going into the river. Mr. Seibel points out that other farmers are ”gonna have to” adapt to these practices to ensure the river’s protection.

On the river today Emily Betts a teacher from Open High was viciously attacked by a wild rabid fish! Actually, while canoeing, a small mouth bass (assumed to be due to the smell of Emily’s arm) jumped over her canoe, landed on her arm and then flopped back into the water.

Today we were also joined by Bill Street, the executive director of the James River Association. He discussed with us the importance of the James and how it plays a role in a much bigger picture.
There was a short summer shower today which led to a perfect learning opportunity. We saw a tributary pumping silty brown water into the James. This water’s turbidity (water clarity) went from 125 cm (last night, at our previous campsite) to 41 cm (today, near the tributary) and to 104.8 about half a mile downstream.

Following the fish attack and turbidity check we arrived at camp to find that a carnival is being set up for Wednesday. Our campsite was kindly provided to us by Jimmy Louis who also is generously giving us a bonfire and watermelon! We were also able to take a tube trip donated by Twin River Outfitters. On the walk to the tubes we passed through the carnival and saw Samsun, a 26 hands horse.
The day was wrapped up by a five course meal with a main entrée of fillet minion. Or that’s what we thought about as we ate our delicious cuscus and stir-fry broccoli. All and all today was a successful, educational and fish attack filled day!

Written By Student Reporters: Kelvin Tyler and Isaac Schumacher

Gabe & Bill Excited To Get On The River! 

Paddle Leaders Fraizer & Jess (Teacher From E.C. Glass) Choose Their Line

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