Jammin’ On The James

Each year, on the second Saturday in July, a powerboat club based in Richmond participates in a “poker run”, known as “Jammin’ on the James”,  down the James River to Portsmouth. One of their stops is for lunch at a waterfront restaurant in Smithfield, not far from where we live.

The boats leave Richmond early in the morning, head down the James, then follow the Pagan River into Smithfield. The Pagan is the only waterway into the town, and is also the river by our house. So we decided a few years ago that this poker run was reason enough for a party.

We pitch a tent and invite family, friends and neighbors.

 This year, the weather was perfect. The temps were warm, but there was a nice breeze.

Of course, there was food. Everyone brings a dish or two, so there’s always a variety.

The boats are loud, fast, colorful and not inexpensive. Motor Man estimates some of them could be in the $500,000 range.  That’s for one boat.

There are usually around 100 boats taking part in the poker run, but we haven’t heard an exact number for this year yet. And we were all too busy eating and visiting to actually count them.

As the boats made their return trip by our house, Groom Swan was Jammin’ on the Pagan. And waiting for someone to throw out some bread.

A helicopter follows the boats on the poker run and takes photos.  He was definitely part of our entertainment.

And we had a surprise visitor during our cookout. A deer bolted between our tent and the river. I’m not sure who was the most shocked: the deer or us.

So, to recap, there were go-fast boats, a helicopter, a swan….and a deer. Never let it be said that we throw a dull party.

29 responses to “Jammin’ On The James

  1. Great pictures of the boats, they always have such pretty paint jobs! I didn’t even know the Poker Run was this past weekend! Wish I had, Will always loves seeing the boats!!

  2. Could this be the restaurant Ritchey and I ate at last time we were in the area? We had visited Bacon’s Castle and drove through Smithfield – it was on the water. It was a beautiful area!

  3. Such fun. You forgot to mention the SNAKE!!!!!

  4. I think it is funny that you were able to get that picture of the deer! You must have had your camera close! I want to hear about the snake too. I love those kind of “pot luck” parties – they are the best. My kids would have loved seeing all the boats.

    • Kayla, there was a snake swimming around just offshore. I couldn’t get a picture of him, though, so I didn’t include him in this post!

  5. You were fast to get the deer. Always a camera near.
    Your gathering reminds me of our in-laws cousins reunion…great memories.

  6. ha ha! the deer was looking for her mate, but he decided to go stag. 🙂

  7. Omigosh what fun! Like a visa card, priceless!

  8. Looks like y’all had fun.

  9. Great story and photos as usual, Dianna! Thanks for opening up my eyes to scenes I would otherwise not see 🙂

  10. So glad you posted the pics. We missed it this year, are in Atlanta at Wood Bat tournament. We always enjoy seeing those beautiful boats. I kid LD and Dee that they are watching the girls not the boats.

    The deer are so domesticated on the Pagan they think they are invited to everything. We have two pair of babies that play in our yard every afternoon. I think they would come in the house if I opened the door.

  11. It was a perfect day and we enjoyed it. You also forgot the turtle!! Marshall, this is the second time you’ve left without a goodbye hug. I’m keeping track.

  12. That looked like a fun afternoon!
    What a great thing to do right there at your very own place.
    Looked like you had good weather too!

  13. It was a good poker run party – and I’m sorry, Karen, for not giving you a goodbye hug – just remind me next time!! And I think I might’ve left a little early; it looks like things got a little “wild kingdom” later on !

  14. It looks like a good time was had by all. I never grow tired of seeing your beautiful photos and reading about your wonderful activities. That deer is really something, way to be on the ready with the camera. 🙂

  15. Gives new meaning to “Party Animals” doesn’t it? LOL Wow, you just put up a tent and invite the fun. 🙂 That is so cool.

  16. Lots of fun! Poor deer … I’m sure he was freaking out!

  17. Looks like a fun day! When I first saw the “poker run” I thought you might be having a poker tournament under the tent! Ha!

  18. What an event! I think next year you should include all of your blogger buddies. hehe! Those are some boats!

  19. looks like a super fun time. those boats sure do look expensive.

    funny but my favorite part was the deer, i just love nature & wildlife!!!

  20. The weather looks perfect and inviting! What a lovely day and the boat pictures were awesome especially the one with helicopter. 🙂

  21. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    When you give a party, you give a party. Who do you know who had a swan and a deer to their party!!!!!!!!!!!!

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