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Monday, July 18, 2011

From Plantations to Pocahontas

Emily: 1    Chicken: 0
  Day 23, July 17th
We were greeted this morning by a breathtaking view of the river and by one of our gracious hosts, Fred, who invited us up for breakfast in the Westover Plantation. As we walked up to the plantation house, he told us stories of growing up in the house. At the house, Muschi, our other very gracious host had a gourmet breakfast waiting for us which consisted of farm eggs that were fried to perfection, fresh sausage, garden picked tomatoes that were roasted and seasoned excellently, toasted English muffins and bread with sour cherry, raspberry jam and strawberry preserve toppings, all complimented by a glass of milk, orange juice or water.
 We carefully loaded up our antique plates and took them to the front steps of the house, where we ate and enjoyed good conversations with our hosts. After we ate, Fred took some of us on a tour of the inside of the house; showing us everything from the exquisite window panes, to paintings of past generations of his family to a replica of John Smith’s map of Virginia. The other half of the group went with Muschi to chase down over a dozen chickens to transfer to a different coop. We were all shown the ice house, the garden, and the well.  There was a ladder in the well that lead to an underground tunnel.  If you followed the tunnel to its end, you would pop out at the bank of the river; Fred mentioned legend has it that the tunnel would have been used to escape attacks by American Indians.  After seeing all of this, our group was very curious to see this tunnel, so Fred showed us and Isaac being Isaac, he had to get in it, and of course, we had to pull him out by his feet.
 Following the extraction, we thanked our hosts many times.  We then got in our canoes and hit the water energized to knock out 15 miles. Our spirits were high since the tides and our amazing land crew were with us.  However, as the tides began to turn against us, we lost our drive. So, we took a snack break, which of course helped boost our spirits, and after a quick dip in the river, we were ready to take on the tidal James until we hit camp. However, since we’re driven by food, we had to take lunch before camp, which led to nap time for most of the group. It seemed like that was just what we all needed because when we woke up, we were full of energy and made it to Fort Pocahontas before 4:30. Once we got camp set up, Gabe initiated pier jumping which was a blast and fun way for us to bond even more. Even though there was much fun to be had, there were still things that needed to be done like cook some awesome burritos and take mandatory baths.
 Later that day we were joined at dinner by Wayne Adkins an America Indian from the Chickahominy tribe, one of the 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia. The team learned a great deal about the history of the tribe and the tribes that surrounded them. We learned that his tribe were one of the first in contact with the English settlers and traded corn for copper items.  Wayne also spoke about his vision for the future of the Chickahomoniy and the role that it could play in helping his tribe become more economically viable.  We concluded the night with thorns and roses, s’mores and a wonderful night’s rest.
Written By:  Alex Kincaid and Kelvin Tyler
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