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The book Richmond has wished for!


Whether you're a long-time Richmonder …

… or a first-time visitor, a fast-moving energizer or a slow-moving relaxer, a devotee of art and history or a lover of woods and waters, a wise-eyed 80-year-old or a wide-eyed 8-year-old – no matter what or who you are, this book is your guide to a cityload of fascinating experiences in, on, and along America’s best urban waterway: fast-water kayaking and calm-water swimming, lively walkways and secluded woodsways, provocative history and evocative art, granite-wall climbing and mountain-trail biking, wheel-friendly pathways and family-friendly festivals.

KEEP READING FOR: Treasure Clues, Strangers on the River, Book Events, Purchases and Discounts, Contact the Author. 


This book is a philanthropic project with all net proceeds going for good causes. Special thanks for major funding from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, as well to other financial supporters including Brooks Smith, Jayne and Bobby Ukrop, David Robinson, and the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. (Additional gratitude in the “Special Thanks” section in the front pages of the book.)


Strangers on the River 

Every 10 days or so, another "stranger" encountered on the James will be featured here. 

PICTURED ABOVE: Berit Boyle and Edward Wargo were moving across Brown’s Island on onewheels, but happily stopped when I asked if I could take their photo. They live in Newport News, but the James River has caused Richmond to be their favorite weekend getaway. Edward is a 9-year member of the Coast Guard, and his job is to document the Coast Guard’s actions during disasters: hurricanes, oil spills, chemical spills, etc. He started listing specific experiences faster than I could take notes – some of them that endangered his own safety. He was in Kemah, Texas (on Galveston Bay in greater Houston) for Hurricane Harvey, and his car was washed away. But he had an inflatable kayak that allowed him to get around. Berit works with an after-school mixed martial arts program for 5th graders, and also works for an occupational therapy company where her favorite clients are children on the autism spectrum. She used to be in the Coast Guard and that’s where she met Berit. The two of them know and enjoy almost all of the places and activities along the urban James. 

Treasure Clues

The author has hidden a treasure somewhere along the James River within Richmond’s city limits. Finding it requires no digging, no climbing, no boating, no swimming or wading, and no moving of objects. The treasure is accompanied by a history-laced mystery and has immediate financial value. A new clue is posted here every 10 days.

CLUE #1 – January 20th: The treasure is mentioned 6 times in one article in The James River in Richmond.

CLUE #2 – January 27th: The treasure is small enough and light enough to be carried in one hand by anyone.

CLUE #3 – February 6th: The treasure was created in 1853.

CLUE #4 – February 16th: The treasure could be purchased for one dollar in 1853.

CLUE #5 – February 26th: The exact shape and color of the treasure can be found on the cover of the book, The James River in Richmond.

CLUE #6 – March 8th:The treasure was designed by James B. Longacre. 

CLUE #7 – March 22nd: The treasure’s hiding place is low enough that the author’s six-year-old granddaughter can reach it.

CLUE #8 – March 28th: The book contains a photo that was taken from where the treasure is hidden.


2023 Book Events


  • January 27 – March 31: “Life on the Rivah” online exhibition, Crossroads Art Center, (, click on Exhibitions) – the only book featured in this 28-item art exhibition.

  • March 4, noon-4pm, Book Premiere Sale and Signing, Studio Two Three, 3300 West Clay Street, Richmond

  • March 16, 5-7pm, Legend Brewing Co., 321 West 7th Street

  • March 17, 5-8pm, Crossroads Art Center, 2016 Staples Mill Road

  • March 27, 12:30 – 1:30pm, Book Talk: "Top Ten Ways for Persons of All ages and Abilities to Enjoy Richmond's James River," The Shepherd's Center of Richmond's "RVA Open University," St. Luke Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway (NOTE: Not open to the pubic, but the author is able to have a couple of guests; contact John Bryan at if interested.)

  • April 9, Noon-5pm, , Easter on Parade, Monument Avenue

  • April 15, 8-11:30am, Pony Pasture, 7200 Riverside Drive, at the Friends of James River Park's annual Wood River Run

  • April 26, 12:30-1:30 pm, Book Talk: "Top Ten Ways for Persons of All ages and Abilities to Enjoy Richmond's James River," The Shepherd's Center of Richmond's "Lunch & Life Series," St. Mary's Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Road, Open to the Public, no reservations needed - fine to simply show up.

  • May 6, All Day, Haxal Canal and surroundings, at the Que Pasa Festival

  • May 13, 2-4pm Meadowdale Library, The author provides free books and refreshments for Spanish-language residents of the Richmond region. Reservations and tickets not required; just show up!

  • May 19-21, All Day, Brown's Island and surroundings, at the Friends of James River Park tent at Dominion Energy Riverrock

  • More events coming soon!

Deep discount price of $16.50 (includes tax and shipping) for the following categories:


  • IF YOUR PHOTO IS IN THE BOOK (If the author photographed you and you signed a Release Form, you are included.) Use code INTHEBOOK


  • If you are ordering books for a NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION or GOVERNMENT ENTITY. Use code NONPROFITS

  • If you are ordering books for your COMPANY’S EMPLOYEES. (minimum 10) Use code FOREMPLOYEES

  • If you are ordering books for members of your BOOK CLUB, RECREATION ASSOCIATION, EXERCISE GROUP, CHURCH CLASS, ETC. (minimum 10) Use code FORCLUBS

  • If you are ordering books for students/families in YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL. (minimum 10) Use code STUDENTS&SCHOOLS

  • If you are ordering books for a PERSONAL EVENT or gathering: birthday party, vacation group, picnic group, family reunion, etc. (minimum 10) Use code FUN&EVENTS

Purchases & Discounts

Regular-priced books can be ordered by clicking the button below, or by sending a check for $26.50 each, made payable to Bryan Bunch LLC, to: Bryan Bunch LLC, P.O. Box 27471, Richmond, VA 23261. (Price includes $19.95 retail price, shipping, and taxes.) Please be sure to include your shipping information.


Contact the Author

Author John Bryan welcomes comments about typos and mistakes, important things that he should have included, suggestions for a next edition, and general feedback. He also welcomes comments about this website. Contact John by e-mail here, and/or by snail mail: John Bryan, Bryan Bunch LLC. P.O. Box 27471, Richmond, VA 23261



El libro presenta una sección especial en español, y 1,000 libros gratuitos están disponibles de forma gratuita para los residentes de habla hispana de la región de Richmond. Comuníquese con el autor a para obtener más información.

TRANSLATION: The book features a special Spanish language section, and 1,000 free books are available free for Spanish language residents of the Richmond region. Contact the author here for more information.

Reunión de quinceañeras en el puente T-Pott: aparece en el libro en la página 185.

TRANSLATION: Quinceanera gathering on the T-Pott Bridge – featured in the book on page 185.

Meet author John Bryan — named a "ParkStar" by Friends of James River Park
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