Gabby and Russell here with an update from the Upper Expeditions:
After waking up to a gorgeous pink sunrise with the James River roaring in the background, we learned proper techniques for canoeing down whitewater. Shortly after, the staff showed us how to ferry rapids like pros, and then made us do it on our own. We learned how to maneuver a canoe from the bow and the stern and that communication is extremely important when on the water.
Afterwards we embarked on our 8 mile leg of the journey.
The first set of rapids proved challenging for some but shortly we all felt more confident with our strokes. At Springwood we stopped and mudded through a pristine waterfall where many campers dunked their heads in the frigid water.
Towards the end of our journey we maneuvered past a big fallen tree where most of our group went left where there was more space; however a couple of adventurous campers went right through a tight space and almost got stuck on fallen debris but ultimately made it successfully through. Our crew navigated through old broken down bridges which proved to be an interesting adventure. While we were cruising down a horseshoe bend, we spotted a baby deer sleeping on a rock outcrop right above the river. Once we set up camp at a friend of the James River Association’s farm, we embarked upon a mile and a half tubing escapade. A few of us ended up paddling vigorously instead of floating peacefully which made their endeavor more stimulating. We are learning how to be cooks, scientists, leaders, reporters, and creators while discovering the upper James River.
Over and Out!