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Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 6- Scottsville to Seven Islands

 Today we took our time waking up in Scottsville, sleeping in until 7 am.  We were met early on in the day by some very generous batteaumen, named Chip, Emmett, and Mason.  On the batteau ride, we learned a lot about the historical significance of batteau in Virginia.  We learned that they were used to ship things such as tobacco and cotton up and down the river.  The batteaumen invited us for a ride on one of their long, flat boats, maneuvering her with two steering oars, called the front and rear sweeps.  We enjoyed a very relaxing ride as they poled the boat downstream. 
After lunch at the confluence of the Hardware River and the James, we took the time to visit an old canal and explore a tiny creek on foot.  We found a wall of shale, noticing how easy it was to break with our hands.  It was cool to see this, especially since we learned at the Scottsville Museum yesterday that the horseshoe bend of the James near Scottsville formed millions of years ago because soft, easily molded shale lines the banks of this part of the river. 
We got our day’s workout poling back upriver against the current to camp, taking the time to do a reflective activity when we arrived.  We knocked out our jobs as quickly as possible, excited about the delicious pesto pasta dinner the cooks had prepared for us.  Our batteaumen joined us as guests for dinner, sharing not only river stories but stories about their lives.  As if dinner wasn’t great enough, we discovered we had been travelling with a large block of chocolate, which we had to work together creatively to whittle into edible, smores-sized pieces. 

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