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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Last Day: Otter Creek to Lynchburg!

Success portaging our first dam!

The James did not let us finish our expedition without a fight last Saturday. After waiting out Friday's storm until midnight, we found our way back to the tents from the information center kiosk in which we had taken refuge. Our tent city seemed to hold up well, but the James River Association Highlander took a rough beating from a fallen pine. The most devastating part of the storm came when we looked around camp to take inventory and found half-eaten marshmallows strewn about the campfire...Mother Nature's reminder to remember who's in charge...

Kashira kicking some dam butt!

Friday's storm was rough going, but we were taught the meaning of hard work during Saturday's float. After a hot, still water paddle, we found ourselves portaging canoes around two dams, marching gear alongside roads and railroad tracks. The heat was an incredible burden, but gave us an appreciation for the cool water like never before. The day's paddle gave us a chance to see part of a 30 mile stretch of the James that is dotted by seven dams and visited by few "thru-paddlers." The challenges we faced Saturday morning were made more satisfying knowing that we were paddling a more isolated part of the James than most have the chance to.

The James River Expedition Human Raft

Working hard portaging dam #2

Saying goodbye to each other in Lynchburg was a bittersweet moment. Many a tender hug was passed around as we celebrated our adventure and made promises to catch up one day on the river.

Taking out in Lynchburg
The two trouble-makers hugging it out.

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