Sunday, February 8, 2009

James River Fun

I just finished off my first week of my third year psychiatric inpatient rotation, and after the med school date auction on Friday night, I needed to get out and paddle a bit. That, and the thermometer was supposed to hit 65F. So I went to bed early last night(7/7), and set my alarm for an alpine start. It was still chilly walking out of the apartment so my warm cup o' java was a much needed kickstart to the day. I headed south down Highway 20 towards Scottsville, VA and the James River.

Scottsville, VA is a small little town situated on banks of the James River a few miles south of Charlottesville. Founded in 1774, Scottsville originally was a trading hub due to its location on the James River. Today it is a beautiful little town that provides an excellent starting point for paddling on the James. I parked my truck at the drop-off, chugged some coffee and set off.

I decided to start paddling upstream from Scottsville. Compared to the Rivanna River, paddling on the James was much more open with deeper channels. The current felt much stronger and it took substantial effort to paddle upstream. One of the highlights was paddling upstream through the rapids above Hatton Ferry. At class II, they weren't crazy, but I had to execute some fun ferries in a 17' boat. It took me about 2hrs to reach a really nice sandbar, about halfway between Hatton Ferry and Warren, VA. I kicked it on the sandbar for a bit and turned on the SPOT unit.

After hanging out on the sandbar for some time, I started to get anxious to move.
50 minutes later, I was back at the car. I had paddled about 12 miles and I came to the conclusion that A: paddling downstream is the way to go, and B:I am really glad I am paddling down the Missouri/Miss.

When I got back up to Charlottesville, I was greeted with more exciting news. Jason Kennedy of Standard Horizon, a subsidary of Vertex Standard, had emailed me to let me know that Standard Horizon had agreed to provide me a VHF radio for the trip. Super exciting, I will have more information on this new arrival when it comes in!

Well, back to studying for the USMLE Step 2 Boards. WWWAAAHHHOOOO!

Look for the most up to date information about my trip at

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