Sometimes change is a good thing. Our original plans were to start in Lynchburg, however due to high water levels we drove up to Gala campground and put in some practice before truly setting out. This morning we got up and ate breakfast before heading out to the cowpasture River. Throughout the Cowpasture we witnessed extraordinary scenery and water clarity. At the end, where the Cowpasture meets the Jackson, begins the headwaters of the James. The really cool thing when two rivers meet is the fact that you can see the exact line where they meet.
Finally on the James, we paddled for a while just taking in the sights and sounds around us. We stopped for lunch on a beach side inside an eddy. After surviving the slanting landscape and almost losing the hummus everyone jumped in for a swim only to find the water freezing. Shortly departing from lunch we came across a class 2 rapid that left me speechless. After conquering that, I wanted to go again. We continued to paddle our boats and found another spot to rest and reflect. While there we practiced rescuing techniques with throw bags in the situation that your canoe might flip and you ended up in the water. Not too long afterword’s we arrived at Gala yet again. The entire paddle was 16 miles.
Once back at camp, the team came together to get the gear packed up and the canoes back on the trailer. Even though everyone was tired and hungry, the moral never seems to diminish. Even during a lecture about macro invertebrates and 4 ways of determining water quality including atmospheric, chemical, physical, and biological everyone managed to stay alert and retain the information. After dinner was consumed there was a beautiful sunset against varying clouds and a energetic river. Talk about a photo opp. Soon we will enjoy Kyle and Garrett’s fire and then it’s off to bed in preparation for an early morning. To end, I send you off with the quote for today, given to us by our tech guy and amazing staff support Bray, “get your throw bags ready.”