James River: Lynchburg, VA
Madiens Landing: Powhatan, VA
For the past 26 years the James River Batteau Festival has floated the James from Lynchburg to Maiden’s Landing for a week begining on fathers day weekend, retracing a crucial trade route in our early nation’s history. The batteau is a large flat bottomed wooden boat developed in Amherst County in the late 1700’s and was the primary form of commercial transport in the Commonwealth in the early 19th century. Around twenty boats will make the journey this summer, along with dozens of canoers and kayakers. Our boat, the “Debbie” is 44” long 8” wide and 22′ high. Batteauing is a truly unique way to experience the river, presenting a series of challenges and advantages unparlelled in any other vessel. In low water, the journey is arduous, negotiating around rocks, bailing water and reparing leaks. At good flows, it is a relaxing float complete with ameneties such as guitars and an on board firepit for cooking. The James between Lynchburg and Richmond is beautiful, and the people on the river are a unique sort. Each campsite is pre-determined and easily accessible by car, so it is possible to get on and off the river. Details about the festival, including camping sites can be found at www.batteau.org. The club will subsidize the trip, but I will likely need to ask a small fee for riding as well to cover things like the boat fee, depending on how many people sign up. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.