In 2011, I went to the James River with my sister, two of my cousins, and my uncle. I don't think I would have really remembered this trip if my uncle hadn't taken a lot of photos. This was back when I was a chubbier college student, and my sister and cousins were just little kids.
But I'm glad he took all of those photos, because it reminds me of a good memory in a good place.
Despite going to the James River many times as a child, my next visit wasn't until ten years later, in 2021. My uncle from California brought his family to visit the east coast, and he wanted to take his kids to the river.
I know I had walked to the river before, but I don't think I realized just how close it was to my grandma's house. When I stepped on the trail, I felt a sense of calm and I smiled. Overall, I wasn't having a great time during this trip to Virginia, but I was so, so happy to see the river again, and I think my cousins were happy to see it too.
Well, maybe they were more excited about the deer and the vines that we hung on (:
After that trip, I made it a point to walk to the river every time I visited my grandma's house. I really love the trails and the walkways and the bridges. I try to take a different path each time, and I don't really know my way around, but I always manage to find some part of the water.
Sometimes I even take a really shaky video of the walk.
My most recent trip was just a week ago. There was some maintenance for the walkway, so I had to take a different trailhead. Somehow, I still ended up on Charlie's Bridge, and eventually I made my way to the river again. There's something about seeing those rocks that makes me smile. The leaves have also been falling, and I took a moment to just stand there and watch them.
My sense of direction gets all out of whack when I'm walking on trails, and I managed to get lost on the way back and go in a big circle. But I did see a cool turtle, and I also ended up closer to the wetlands area, which was really pretty. As much as I wanted to keep wandering on my own, I eventually looked up where I was using my phone's GPS, and I made my way back to the road.