Saturday, August 22, 2009

Onward from Clarksdale


Jared here with an update after Joe’s two day stay over in Clarksdale, MS. He would like to thank John Ruskey so much for his hospitality and help with the lower Mississippi. It was a great two days, highlighted by the great company of John and his family as well as the warm reception of the people of Clarksdale. He had a great time in town at the local blues clubs and the Delta Blues Museum, making for a great couple of days. Everyone was so generous and it was such an unexpected highlight on his trek since St. Louis. If anyone is ever planning a canoe trip on the lower Mississippi, Joe highly recommends using John and the Quapaw Canoe Company. They do a phenomenal job on such an impressive and historic river. His website can be found here. A cool article about John can be found here. Again, a huge thank you to John for all his help in Clarksdale and on the lower Mississippi.

Joe, with Emma Lou in the Canoe, at the Quapaw Landing on Thursday

Joe in the background, Emma Lou in the foreground, on Thursday

After a failed attempt on Thursday, Joe was able to get back in the water yesterday (Friday) after a hearty paddler’s breakfast of Buffalo Burgers, fried eggs & hashbrowns made by John and his wife. With a cold front moving in, weather looked great and Joe was able to crank out a 62 mile day after saying his goodbyes to John, his wife, and their daughter, Emma Lou.

On Thursday before deciding to call it a day and try again on Friday

It was a little cloudy, providing him cooler temperatures and allowing him to put in such a long day. The weather should be continuing like this the next couple of days, so Joe tells me he’ll try and put in as many miles with such great conditions.

Last night Joe set up camp on a sand bar on the Arkansas side of the river, near mile marker 576. He had a nice little swim in the river after dinner. What a nice way to end a great day on the Mississippi! As he was leaving the water though, he saw a 5 1/2 foot gar surface, just where he had swum. Apparently, John says that they, along with alligators, are this far up the Mississippi, so Joe will have to look out for these as he continues on.

Today (Saturday), Joe continues to put in the miles, with a goal to reach mile marker 510. If he is feeling good, Joe said he will try and get below the 500 mile marker. I will speak with him later tonight and look forward to updating the community at that time.

Paddle on,


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