We awoke upon the mystical Sycamore Island, overlooking the fogginess of the horizon. Laura, our trusty support from the land, briefly interrupted our journey to supply us with water. With the adrenaline flowing through our veins and the our bodies flowing down the river, we were drawn so close to nature that one of our party, William Chang the First, became one with the the James. Overwhelming lucidity overcame the boy’s already sharp mind as his canoe flipped over in a challenging rapid.
Paddling down a while longer, our bellies began calling, even pleading for the one true nutrient…tortilla. Invigorated in mind, body, and soul after lunch, Caleb Joseph McGowan decided to take upon himself a daunting challenge of physical brutality: solo paddling. The young lad paddled through internal and external struggle to triumph over the day’s challenging endeavor. A brief aquatic interlude allowed us to float while goggles protected the gateways of our soul. Post-interlude, Michael had a small mishap with his pocketknife, dropping it into the river. First Mate Zack took the plunge into the depths, putting his life on the line for the tool that serves us peanut butter. Upon the knife's recovery, we continued to our current location, Horseshoe Flats Campground in Scottsville. We set up our tents and unloaded the canoes with unprecedented rapidity.
Local Newsplex reporter Ruth waited for the boys and girls of the Albemarle clan as our tour throughout Scottesville began, questioning each about this most challenging week. Tim Small, a Scottsville history buff and volunteer, taught us about the history of batteau navigation and the James River and Kanawha Canal and Scottesville’s crucial commercial role in the James’ past.
Our venture deeper into the heart of Scottesville lead us to the Scottesville museum, the epitome of a romantic, small town historic exhibit, providing a look into the past of the Monacan tribe and the dramatic geological formations that caused the horse-shoe shaped bend of the camp at which we currently abide.
Fellow river-lovers, JRA RiverRats volunteers, fed our voracious appetites at the end of the night with an incredible catered dinner. Thank you Scottesville for all the generosity you have shown us, these wayward river travelers.
-Chardonay and Caleb