Oh the excitement. The bags are getting packed, the bike was checked over, the taper has begun, and the nerves are letting me know there's a big weekend coming up. Even Mr. Rick is excited! He LOVES kayaking -- even if it includes watching other kayakers. And Hollywood rapid on the James River is very entertaining. Its about a 3-4 ft drop, with a pushy rush of water through a 15 foot narrow area on the river. Rick's been studying kayak reports (deaths!) at this section, and he's taking his boat along which of course made me nervous 'cause he told me this AFTER he told about people dying in this section of the river. He said he'll stay in the calm areas and will look for someone to paddle with. It still makes me nervous. We decided to leave Friday rather than Saturday so we weren't so rushed on Saturday with driving 5-6 hours AND taking in all the events. There's a river swim clinic early Saturday morning that is a can't miss. The Richmond Clinic folks actually recommend water shoes/boots for this swim and I recall Candy Angle saying a few years ago at her clinic she wouldn't recommend them -- they fall off, etc. Maybe I need to turn her on to kayak booties -- they fit like a wet suit with a thin rubber sole, and have a drawstring at the ankle. Those babies ain't filling up with water nor will they come off. They are perfect for this swim (I've been using them) AND the 200 yard run afterwards to transition (which I remember hurts like hell over some stones and mulch). The Susquehanna River muck has been washed off the booties and they are in the bag to go! Jersey Joe Pa is packing too. He has his little visor in case its hot, and his sling pack to hop a ride with the big kids. This is Jersey Joe's first official trip to a big city, so who knows what he'll do! I think he's more full of anticipation than Rick and I combined. (I saw him checking Mapquest and looking at the schedule for the weekend). Exciting times.