Sunday, June 02, 2013

#547 Vacation Virginia #8 - Floating the James

Let's add "float trip" to the long list of events organized by the University of Virginia Library's Scholars' Lab. From planning to logistics to weather, this brainchild of Chris Gist was a hit.

Friends of the Scholars' Lab met on a warm summer Saturday in Howardsville, Virginia, less than an hour south of Charlottesville. The folks at Howardsville Canoe Livery shuttled us upriver to Wingina where we loaded gear and launched five canoes into the sparkling James River.   
Photo credit: Bethany

This rural reach of the James meanders mainly wide and flat across the Piedmont.  We enjoyed plenty of water to lift our canoes off the rocky bottom despite lower than median water levels. 

Turtles, toads, and dragonflies escorted us to the perfect lunch spot, an unnamed gravel bar between Sycamore and Buford Islands where we devoured a highly-civilized Country French meal prepared by Chef Gist. 

After that delicious lunch, flat rocks were skipped, minnows seined, tattoos applied, pirate hats donned, and a fly rod deployed before we set out toward Howardsville. 
Photo credit: Bethany

At the end of the day we're all smiles. 
Photo credit: Bethany

The James River offered adventure, laughs, surprise spills, quick recoveries, and a real sense of accomplishment...not unlike every day in the Scholars' Lab.

Yours in enjoying the adventure,

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