A little over a month ago, we took a big family paddling adventure on the mighty James River. We had three generations of paddlers on the river that day. It was very special for all involved. Per usual with these family river trip posts, I'll include some tips to help you enjoy time out there paddling with your family.
One thing we always love is wading into the river at rest spots and teaching our girls to read water and swim rapids ( keep your feet up and forward in that fast current). It's also a lot of fun!
That said, a good river plan with kids involves mapping out lunch spots, and swimming spots throughout the day. The James River is full of great island beaches, etc. Study your river maps and formulate a plan. Lunch on the river makes everyone happy.
Make sure everyone has plenty of water and snacks for those long sections of flat-water paddling. This is the most obvious and oft-repeated tip for paddling with kids.
One of the easy things to remember; bring the swim goggles. My niece and nephew got to experience the James River for the first time and they both loved exploring the river with their eyes in the water. This is what it's all about. These pictures made this whole trip worthwhile. Introduce your kids to the river. They will thank you for it.
A great advantage to floating the river in a sit-on-top kayak is illustrated below. My youngest daughter (3yr old) loves to hang onto the side handle and just cruise down the river kicking and giggling.
Summertime is coming to a close, but river time is still in full swing. It won't be long and we'll be in the throes of winter. So make sure you get out there on the weekend and enjoy the great outdoor resources we have in this country. Take your family. My wife consistently discusses her love for our outdoor adventures, because we're all disengaged from our electronics and plugged into family time. It's something I think we can all agree we need more of in this world.
Below is my favorite picture from the day on the river with our family. The eldest and youngest paddlers from our family, enjoying a moment together along the river. This is what life is all about. Life isn't about power, or money. It's about smiles and love and memories. Disentangle yourself from the digital, go outside, and revel in the verisimilitude of the river. We'll see ya on the water!