Monday, May 31, 2004


After the excitement of our high water Lower Yough run, I couldn’t wait to get out boating again. That week I paddled with Josh and Suzi more on the Potomac. It wasn’t even summer officially yet but it was Memorial Day weekend, which meant of course more time to go boating. I asked Josh to plan something fun for us to do and he followed through. That Monday we met at Angler’s to go on our next adventure. His friend Ian was meeting us as well. Unfortunately Suzi couldn’t make it so it was just me and the boys (and so it would be for many weekends to come).

Ian arrived and I was finally told of the plan (Josh wanted to be secretive). We were going to the James River in Richmond. We arrived in Richmond realizing we had no idea how to get to the put in or takeout. The guide book wasn’t very clear. We called around to some local outfitters and with a little bit of searching were able to find our way.

For some reason Ian seemed rather familiar to me but i couldnt' quite place it. After a while a noticed the government parking sticker (Naval Research Lab, where i used to work as well) on his car and realized that i had met him at Angler's that winter. It also turned out that he was working on the same floor as my dad at NRL, small world. :)

At the takeout we ran into a local who was willing to show us around in exchange for a shuttle. We were all quite amused when we realized what a stoner our guide was. He asked to be dropped by his house to pick up a piece of gear on the way to the put in... we were quite sure it was something else...

We put on expecting to find fun play. But the leve wasn't perfect and most of the play spots near the top of the run weren't all that good. After some time our guide got tired of hanging out with us (which was fine) and gave us some instructions on how to make our way down and avoid all the low head dams. We continued on through Hollywood rapid and stopped at a spot we affectionately named Poop Island. I've never seen so much bird shit!! At this point we had several channels to choose from and not knowing our way we chose what looked to be the most interesting. The center channel was creeky and slightly blind but Josh lead us down just fine. It was a fun run. Unfortunately by choosing this channel we completely missed the main play spot at Z-Dam. Oh well we'd had a pretty good time anyway.

Not knowing the proper takeout spot we ended up getting out below the bridge and walking past a the shanty town under it...and so ended our first trip together. Many more were to come that summer...

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