Spring 2014

Explore the Upper James Water Trail

Each bend is its own course in history, adventure

Healing waters

Healing waters

Programs offer power of paddling to disabled

The paddling trip is like any other. There’s orientation, a scramble for gear and boat checks as everyone readies for a trip on the James River from the Hardware River down to New Canton, VA.

But the van for the shuttle carries more than changes of clothes and car keys. It’s full of the wheelchairs and braces that belong to the students, all participants in the adaptive paddling program at Wintergreen Resort.

Wintergreen Adaptive Sports is one of a growing number of programs that put disabled people on the water, people who never imagined they’d paddle their own boat or sail on the Bay.

Leslie Middleton
Shoring up Civil War troops

Shoring up Civil War troops

VA rivers pivotal in Grant’s Overland Campaign

In 1864, Union and Confederate armies endured a long winter on opposite sides of the Rapidan River in Virginia. But spring was not a welcome thought, as the Civil War entered its fourth year. The thaw would mean battle and bloodshed, not warmth and spring blooms.

When Union troops, under the command of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, seized the river crossings at Germanna Ford and Ely Ford on May 4, 1864, it marked the beginning of the final engagement between Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee. It would culminate in Lee’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

Leslie Middleton
Out & About the Chesapeake

Out & About the Chesapeake

Carvers at the Crossroads

The stories and connections between early 20th-century carvers of the Chesapeake’s Susquehanna Flats will be told through artifacts, photographs and decoys at an exhibit opening April 12 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD.

The Susquehanna Flats were a mecca for waterfowl hunting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Staff and Wire Reports
Roads less traveled

Roads less traveled

Forest a great place to log cycling adventures

I got the seed of this story years ago from a bunch of wild tundra swans that had flown here from Alaska to winter along the remote Marshyhope Creek on the Delmarva Peninsula.

It was late afternoon, early March, chill but still and sunny enough to get me pedaling. Near the village of Eldorado in Dorchester County, I began seeing flight after flight of the birds heading across a huge expanse of unbroken forest.

Tom Horton
Ad for rainbarrel depot
Shenk’s Ferry Preserve

Shenk’s Ferry Preserve

Wildflower paradise awaits those who brave the trip

The first time I tried to go to Shenk’s Ferry, I nearly endangered my family.

The four of us — me, my husband, my then-6-year-old and my 9-month-old — were heading to Lancaster County, PA, for our annual farm stay vacation (see Bay Journeys, July 2012). I’d heard about this beautiful wildflower preserve on the way, and I thought it would make a great place for a picnic.

Rona Kobell
Where the wild things are

Where the wild things are

MD expands areas to appreciate nature

Henry David Thoreau, in his essay “Walking,” wrote: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

That quote, combined with lots of time exploring the great outdoors, inspired me at a young age to appreciate wildlife and wild places and set me on a path to work to save them.

Joel Dunn
Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek

Battle of St. Leonard’s Creek

Mosquito fleet’s role in War of 1812 remembered

Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Calvert County, MD, has expansive open fields along its waterfront that are very hard to resist.

Visitors arrive on a wooded drive that ends on a graceful tree-lined road. Just beyond, paths travel along slightly rolling fields to the river. Like a layered scene taking you steadily farther away from whatever daily bustle you would like to escape, the Patuxent River shoreline beckons.

Lara Lutz
Upper James Water Trail

Upper James Water Trail

Each bend is its own course in history, adventure

At the request of their guide, John Mays of Twin River Outfitters, the paddlers pulled over to a scrap of beach on the James River just below a short cobble-strewn rapid. Across the river, a floodplain abutted the steep rise of a mountain.

Buchanan, VA, was only a few bends upriver, but it already seemed like another world.

Leslie Middleton
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Winter 2014