Kumu Crew: Rappahannock River

May 2, 2016

In from Starr Johnson ‘98


Today was another adventure back on the water, but this time on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA. The town is special because it is where President Washington was from. This river is special because in recent years the community has worked hard to have two dams removed so that the waters could flow unobstructed and return the environment to a healthy river and estuary feeding into the Chesapeake – and it was beautiful!

We saw turtles sunning on tree trunks and rocks, bald eagles soaring and landing in trees overhead, a snake slither off into the bush and geese chatting by the river's edge. Paired off in Old Town Canoes, our crew was led by some local paddlers from the area through level 1 – 3 rapids. It was beautiful, exciting, exhilarating and, for a the few that flipped their canoes coming down the largest of our rapid drop, a bit shocking. All in all it was a blast!

It was special to talk to the community, including the mayor, about what the river means to their people and what the dam removal has done for the environment. It has been a true story of success, one that uplifted us a day after hearing about the absent run of shad (fish) in the Pamunky River from the tribes yesterday. The name of this voyage "Malama Honua" takes on a new meaning every day.

Mahalo for following along with us as well!