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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015- James River State Park to Howardsville

Healing Waters and Dominion showing fly fishing
          This morning we woke up to a generous breakfast from Healing Waters and Dominion. Sausage, biscuits, and gravy with sides of juice, milk, doughnuts, granola bars, grapes, and cherries filled everyone up and got us ready for the day.  Healing Waters and Dominion also volunteered to teach everyone how to fly fish. We learned how to cast the line and pull it up to hook a fish. After 30 minutes of learning, we went out and put our skills to the test. Nat and Claire got bites and caught a molly and a sunfish. After fly fishing we started our longest day on the water.

A look at Priest mountain and thinking back at the flood of 1969 from hurricane Camille 

          The Middle James River team was lucky enough to have RVA Paddle sports come out and join us on our trek with kayaks. They taught us proper paddle strokes, and what to do in case we flip our kayak. After the quick instructions, we took off and started our 21 mile trek to Howards Ville campgrounds.  On the way Jacob flipped his kayak while trying to make a sharp turn downstream towards some rapids, and Claire had to make an emergency evacuation when her kayak flipped while trying to practice a technique to keep cool in the hot sun. The rides in the kayaks were a great, fast way to take us to the campgrounds, but we were not finished yet.

Our team getting ready to paddle out with RVA Paddle Sports

Our team receiving instructions before leaving



          Although we were dead tired, we got our tents set up and dinner started. Everyone was looking forward to the pesto pasta that was on the menu for dinner, but we were interrupted by a storm that came blazing through. At first we tried to wait it out and have dinner a little later, but the storm rained its wrath on our campsite. When there was a lull in the rain, we all got out, making sure that our tents, and everyone in camp, were safe. We soon discovered that the girls’ tent had a leak that needed to be fixed. So, with some push from the trip leaders and awesome team building skills from the students, we got the tent waterproofed by securing a tarp over it. Since we did not quite make it to dinner, bagels and some left over snacks were used as a substitute. The day was rough and harsh, but our bold team pulled through and completed another day of the James River Expedition.

                                                                 Stephanie and Sean

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