This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

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Monday, April 12, 2021

James River ( #AtoZChallenge )

       
       Jamestown Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.  The town was established in 1607 along the Powhatan River which was later renamed by the colonists as the James River after King James I...

           


#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter J


James River

James River at the crossing of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Wikipedia)

         In the far western portion of Virginia the Jackson River runs for nearly 100 miles until it joins the Cowpasture River to form the historic James River. When I first noted the Jackson river name I thought it quite possible that it was named after one of my distant relatives. It may have been a relative, but the river's namesake is one William Jackson who first settled on the river that bears his name in 1750--a few years before the first Jackson that I am aware of in my family who came to the United States. Maybe they were somehow related, but I have not found any indication of this in my family records.
 
        Most likely I have crossed the Jackson River at some point in my life, but I have no recollection of doing so.  However, the James River is one that I have frequently crossed and noticed in various parts of the state of Virginia.  When I lived in Richmond I often encountered the James River since the city sits along its flow.  Later downriver the James also passes by the historic towns of Williamsburg and Jamestown before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay.

       As is often the case, when I was living in Richmond I rarely paid the James River much mind.  At the time I was aware of the controversy surrounding the dumping of the insecticide Kepone into the river, but this wasn't of that much concern to me or most anyone I knew. Fortunately the state government enacted measures to clean the river and get rid of most of the contaminants. 

       After I had moved away from Richmond I started reading more about the Civil War and the important role the James River played.  Now I'd like to go back and explore more of the river sites and hike whatever trails might follow the river.  Funny how we often neglect to do things in the area where we live.

          Recently I watched a fanciful adventure movie called Sahara (2005) with Matthew McConaughey.  The premise of the film was that a Confederate ironclad ship with a treasure of gold had escaped from Richmond near the end of the war going down the James River to the ocean where it eventually sailed across the Atlantic to land in Africa.  After the film I looked up the story and found that the ship escape was based to some extent on fact.  The Africa part was from the writer's imagination, but the James River part was real.

         From the views I've had of the James River it is a lovely river that is 444 miles long (if the source Jackson River is included) which would make it Virginia's longest river.  Someday I'd like to go upriver from Richmond and explore more of the James.  Or maybe just go anywhere along the river and just watch it flow.   What a great way to spend part of a summer's day.

            What is an place of interest near you that you have yet to visit?   Do you ever go to places along a river?   What would be a better solution to dumping industrial wastes into a river?



29 comments:

  1. This was an excelly interesting read Lee. I am learning much from you during this challenge....... never too old to learn.

    Have a good week.
    Yvonne.

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  2. I'm sure I've crossed the James river a few times.
    Interesting that the boat escaping was real. I vaguely remember that film.

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    1. Alex, I like it when a far out story has some basis in reality. It's easier to suspend disbelief.

      Lee

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  3. Hello Arlee, I'm thinking one day I'd like to visit the Mississippi (simple because of the sing song way to spell it-not really). Ever since I read Tom Sawyer and the adventures of him and Huck I've always wanted to explore it. I've started to watch the Sahara a couple of times, but for whatever reason didn't hold my interest. That is a HUGE question you pose about solutions to pollutions.... hmmm it will take some thought. I'll be journaling on it.
    Have a great day.

    Crackerberries

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    1. CB, Hannibal Missouri is a great place to go if you're a Mark Twain fan. Nice river views there as well as short or long cruises.

      Lee

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  4. That photo shows it so wide and flat, it looks more like a reservoir than a river! Not a lake, the trees come down into the water or nearly. Oh, there are so many things to see in my area I've never seen! I have yet to go to Crater Lake. Or search out some of the nearby covered bridges. I have no answer to the toxic dumping. I have no answers to all of the big issues like that or homelessness. I always thought if they couldn't dispose of waste safely (thinking of barrels of nuclear waste on the ocean bottoms) they shouldn't make it. Simple to say, too late to do.

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    1. Lisa, I've seen many rivers with wide calm stretches like this. And maybe there is a dam involved in this stretch, but I couldn't say.

      I drove around Crater Lake in 1981. Beautiful!

      Lee

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  5. The Gates foundation is involved in creating a waterless toilet to eliminate pollution into bodies of water and soil - should make for better cleaner rivers.

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    1. Guy, if it's good for the Earth then I'm for it.

      Lee

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  6. This sounds (and looks) like a beautiful river to sit watch flow by. It's a lot longer than I would have imagined.
    There are actually a few nearby places I've yet to explore. Just yesterday we scratched one off the list by checking out Reddington Pass. Not a drop of water to be found - yet. But judging by the sandy trails and creek bottoms, the area is probably as gorgeous as they say it is.

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    1. Diedre, I seem to remember the stretches around Richmond to be rather rocky and rough at places. But now I'm relying on memory.

      It's good to get out. We haven't been venturing far for the past year.

      Lee

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  7. Actually I Just want to say thank you for the several blogging Journeys in 2015, 2018 and 2020 that you have inspired me to take through this annual AtoZ Blogging Challenge. Each time when my writing flags because it takes second place to life events, the challenge has got me started again. This time I have a new website and a new blog on healthy aging.

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    1. Gillian, thank you so much for stopping by to tell me this. I'll go to sleep with a smile tonight.

      Lee

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  8. I wish there were a machine that could convert toxic waste into things like paper, metal, plastic, and stones. Maybe someday we'll have such an invention.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I think the technology to do such things is at our fingertips. Somebody just has to figure it out and I think they will.

      Lee

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  9. The Jordan River in Utah flows from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake and has many miles of connected walking and biking trails that also connect to various parks and wetlands area. This has been a favorite place for our family to visit over the years.

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    1. Marcy, interesting--the Jordan River in Israel flows from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Kind of a correlation.

      Lee

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  10. I'm finding all kinds of places of interest near me that I never knew of as I explore my A to Z of San Francisco. Being a Pisces I love water anyway but haven't been by many rivers. It is fun learning about rivers in different parts of the country.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Janet, I love exploring. I'd say you've probably encountered more rivers than you've paid attention to. There are so many bridges I've crossed without knowing what river I was going over.

      Lee

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  11. Seen the James River many times having been born in the Tidewater area of Virginia

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    1. Mike, between Richmond and the Chesapeake Bay the James River is difficult to miss.

      Lee

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  12. Lee,

    Many years ago in my early teens, my parents took the family to visit Mom's sister living near Williamsburg, Virginia. I remember the Jamestown River because we got to swim in it. The water was black and cold. I'm not sure why it was so dark but it was creepy because I couldn't see what was beneath me. I might be remember the black part wrong but still it was dark. It was lots of fun. I would like to revisit that area again, especially at Christmas. Williamsburg dawns period costumes making it quite festive for the holidays. That would be awesome to see! Happy A2Zing!

    Joke Advice Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch.

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    1. Cathy, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be swimming in dark or black water, but I don't think I'd swim in any larger river. The Little River is more my style. In all the years I was living in or frequently visiting Richmond I never went to the historic part of Williamsburg. Went to some tourist spots on the outskirts, but the colonial recreation of the town. I'd like to go there to see it.

      Lee

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  13. I've seen the James River several times while visiting Virginia (Jamestown, years ago, and, more recently, Richmond) but not like your picture, which is so beautiful. So many areas of New York State (my theme) that I have never visited, such as the Thousand Islands, or just visited in short trips, like portions of the Catskills, are on my list.

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    1. Alana, the picture depicts a more rural James River apparently in a stretch that is very calm. The part around Richmond that I used to see was very rocky. So much of New York state that I've yet to see. My visits there have been brief or just passing through.

      Lee

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Lee