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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day Three: The Continuation of the Sequel
Today when we woke up, we weren't expecting much. We had to get out of camp early and go on a two hour car ride, which no one was really looking forwards to. It began with Nathan telling Japanese ghost stories and soon after being in the car for a bit, all but three of us fell asleep. Although the nappers may have relaxed their bodies, those who stayed awake got an amazing view. We snaked in between the Appalachian Mountains and were able to see the mass of trees blanketing the view. It was nice and cozy until the radio was turned on. Reena awoke in just a brief second and heard “Blurred Lines”, which she and Kelly instantly began singing. The front of van (drivers) instantly cranked it up very loud and of course everyone was jolted awake; the continuation of the ride consisted of everyone joking, singing along, and eating trail mix.
                Finally at the landing, everyone was itching to get in the water. After loading up all the boats with the gear and doing a stretch circle, we finally set off into the James. Now, we all knew it was a short paddle (only a mere seven miles), but after being used to the constant paddle routine of the days before, it was odd to slow down and enjoy the ride. It was refreshing, the sun was shining, the waves were nice and cool, and the day was just perfect. Pat and Del took the lead in the paddling and Kyle and Nathan in the back. It was collected and relaxing; when we were a bit into the river, it turned into a lazy river. We all “gunneled” (held on to each other’s boats) up and just floated. We enjoyed the scenery and everything going around us; we just simply floated along the river and breathed.

                We got to our campgrounds, James River State Park, quite early. We hastily unloaded all of the gear and soon realized that we had free time, an odd occurrence we weren't used to. After tents and camp was set up, we decided to use the James River as an actual lazy river! We walked up the campgrounds a bit, in life jackets, and jumped into the river, joining with the rest of the group at the boat dock. As the night unwinds though, all of us begin to understand that yes, this is work, but it’s fun work. We get to goof around and make puns, but we’re also learning how to absorb and understand the natural beauty around us. When you’re all locked up in a suburb, you begin to forget. We go to malls, we complain about traffic and homework; we stop caring, but once you’re in a place where you have no distractions and just the world around us, it makes sense. We don’t pay attention, but this trip makes us, it also makes us care. So, be grateful for your dry feet (jealous, but we’re getting there), but also try to acknowledge that you live in this place and so do many other species.  

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