Friday, July 16, 2010

The river “James”

The current moved us steadily away from the bridge where we had first put in, and the dull drone of commuter traffic slowly faded into the back ground as it was replaced by the sounds of the river as it bid us good morning.

One of my close friends and I had made a pact earlier in the month to play “hooky” from work and replace the normal grind with a float down the James river.
A modest trip filled with long stretches of flat water was what we had envisioned, and the 13.5 mile stretch of river between Maiden’s and Watkins Landing fit the bill perfectly.

Surveying the glint that was already filtering onto the surface of the water I advised my friend that “the temperature was supposed to reach 99 degrees today”...

He responded with, “true, but it’s always a bit cooler on the water”, it’s the city that gets too hot, and it’s because there aren't enough trees”.

As I tried to wrap my mind around my friend’s assertion, I was only able to develop a single conclusion...

It’s true; the City doesn’t have enough trees...

That was the extent of our joint pontifications, as we were both comfortable with the idea that the river float was more about being quiet and drinking in the surroundings than ruining the trip with needless banter.

Great Blue Heron

Butterfly conference call

It took us about 8 hours to lazily paddle down river and explore some of the small islands that dot the James as it winds towards Richmond.

A few fish here and there, and as a thunderstorm rumbled in the distance, we loaded up our gear and headed down the road...