Tag Archives: james river park

River Ramble and Amarylis

Another wonderfully warm weekend! Based on my on-foot reconnaissance last week of the James River utility road, this Sunday I took my new blue bicycle down to the Reedy Creek entrance to James River Park for a spin along that gravel road to Belle Isle! I knew I could get as far as the pedestrian access at 22nd street, and I was thrilled to discover that I could go even further! There’s a level path from that access on the river side of the railroad fence all the way to the emergency access bridge across to the Isle. I rode to the island and then followed the pathways all the way around. Word is out about the park and I had lots of company! With the welcome break from winter weather, everyone was in a good mood! Watched kayaks heading for the class IV rapids on the north side of Belle Isle as I ate my lunch at a picnic table on the west point near the quarry and did some sketching.

I’m back inside this week as temperatures return to winter norms, keeping an eye on my amaryllis bulbs. I retrieved them from their rest in the basement around the first of February and they’re almost visibly growing. I’m hoping at least a couple of them are large enough to bloom this season!

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Winter Gift

Richmond received a winter gift this week: two days of sunny, 70 degree weather! I went hiking Tuesday thru the James River urban park, checking out a possible bike route. There’s a mostly flat utility road along the south bank of the James from 22cd street past 42cd. I learned that the road was there before the park for maintenance of the sewer line that follows the river. In the 1960s the property was donated to the city for a park, which was opened in 1972, the year after I came to Richmond. Our next warm day I’m biking it!!

On foot, however, there’re many social trails between the road and the river bank with lovely views, and at 42cd street there’s a rock hop over to one of the many islands with more trails and rocky beaches. I took my lunch break there and did some quick sketches to test out my newest sketch set up – 12″x16″ masonite board with sketch book and palette clipped to it, a la Marc Holmes, and a water brush. Worked great!!