Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Memphis, TN to Clarksdale, MS


Joe continued with good weather on the Mississippi, continuing past Memphis and stopping in Clarksdale, Mississippi tonight. Monday was a longer day than usual, paddling between 62 and 63 miles. The reward for the extra distance was worth it though. Joe said his campsite, located 11 miles north of Helena, Arkansas, was his best yet on the trip. It was 30 feet up on a sandbar and after setting up, Joe went for a swim in the river and washed his ever growing hair. He had a great dinner, setting out on the sandbar until the mosquitoes forced him back into the tent.

In today’s (Tuesday) paddle, Joe passed by St. Francis National Park, one of the smallest national parks in the US. It contains mainly old-growth forests, consisting of Shortleaf pine and a few different oak species. The St. Francis National Park is also the only place in the National Forest System where the public can enjoy the Mississippi River from the shoreline. More information can be found here, as well as a photo history of the Park here.

Confluence of St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers; near St. Francis National Park (photo by Doug Wilhite from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/13948162)

Joe completed today's 40 mile paddle outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi. In doing so, he passed by a multitude of barges making their way up the river. To avoid them, he had to cut to the inside corner of the river to avoid the barges’ dangerous propellers. Unfortunately, it seemed that an 8 point buck ran into those propellers today. As Joe was pulling into island 63, near the Quapaw boat landing, he came across the buck, which was stuck in the mud. After trying to free the buck with his kayak, he realized that the back end of it was destroyed by propeller blades and would not survive too much longer. As unfortunate as that was, he continued on and was picked up by John Ruskey, founder and owner of the Quapaw Canoe Company.

John is friend of Norm Miller, the Montana native that helped Joe put-in back on June 2nd in Three Forks, MT and portage of Great Falls, MT. Some videos of John can be found here: Canoeing the Mississippi with John Ruskey, John Ruskey the Riverman, and another video Canoeing the Mississippi with John Ruskey. John will be hosting Joe for the next day as Joe will be hanging out and resupplying in town. Joe’s two water jugs have holes in them, due to wear and tear, so Joe will be repairing those in town. Clarksdale, Mississippi is a very cool town as it is the birthplace of Delta Blues. The Delta Blues Museum is in Clarksdale and there are plenty of blues festivals in town. Many famous musicians are from or passed through town. A more recent musician that is associated with Clarksdale is Nate Dogg, of the rap trio 213 of Long Beach, CA. A more famous member of the group is Cordazar Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg.

A great photo of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS (partly owned by Morgan Freeman) (photo by Thomas Johnston from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/17298622)

Joe will be back on the Mississippi on Thursday, barring any bad weather. If he gets internet access tomorrow, check back for a blog entry. If not, I will be back at in a couple of days and look forward to updating the Paddling for Parkinson’s community at that time.

Paddle on,

1 comment:

Lee said...

Kewl Blog & keep up the good work.

Placed the story on my blog, Arkansas Delta Commentary found here: http://phillips-county-arkansas.blogspot.com/