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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

Vol 9 No 10, Wednesday Oct 2, 2013

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Phatwater XII Saturday October 11th, join the Mighty Quapaws in the “Grasshopper” voyageur canoe (see below for details)

King Biscuit Pass Da Biscuits! Its King Biscuit time in Helena Arkansas. October 10-12th. While you’re in town visit our new location at 107 Perry Street on the side of the levee as you’re headed out to the river park!

Rivergator Celebratory Trips in November: Sign up for any or all: Caruthersville to Vicksburg in celebration of the Nov 1st opening of Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River!

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Rivergator 2013

celebratory trips:

November 4-8

Caruthersville to Memphis

November 12-15

Memphis to Helena

November 18-22

Greenville to Vicksburg

What are The Rivergator Celebratory Trips?

In November 2013 we’ll be running a series of multi-day expeditions to celebrate the opening of the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail from Caruthersville Missouri through Memphis to Vicksburg, Mississippi. By voyageur style canoe. No previous experience necessary, but must enjoy wilderness style camping and must be willing to paddle! We are reserving 4 seats on every segment for writers, photographers and any journalists who will help us share the story about the beautiful and dynamic Mississippi River and the Rivergator Water Trail describing it! Please contact John Ruskey, john@island63.com to reserve your seat, and for more information. November 4-8: Caruthersville to Memphis; November 12-15

Memphis to Helena; and November 18-22: Greenville to Vicksburg.

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Phatwater XII

Friday October 11th “The Crossing”

Saturday October 12th “Phatwater” and “Half-the-Phat”

Natchez, Mississippi (See below for details)

Join the Mighty Quapaws for the Phat!

Don’t have a boat? Don’t want to paddle alone? Want the fun but not the risk?

Join the Mighty Quapaws in their newest hand-crafted thirty foot long cypress-strip voyageur canoe, the Grasshopper, for the Phatwater XII! Meet us in Natchez on Friday afternoon, or drive down with us from Clarksdale Friday morning. For details contact John Ruskey, 662-902-7841/john@island63.com or Braxton Barden 706-340-2962/braxton.barden@island63.com

About Kayak Mississippi

In the beginning there was beer. It was void and formless and, leaving out all the stuff about night being divided by day and fishes in the sea, and mitochondria to support their actions, we eventually arrive a Man, God’s highest creative attainment according to Man himself, who fed such provocative “universal” ideas into the movable type press from which Gutenburg’s Bible was eventually published during the mid-1450s.

Progress was made, and by 2002 The Phatwater Kayak Challenge was born, though somewhat in the shadow of the Gutenburg Bible; yet admittedly, the Phatwater is no small feat.

Conceived to introduce modern humans to the joy of boundless exercise through eco-touring, the Phatwater invites outdoor oriented souls to experience one of our nations most grand natural assets, the Mississippi River, from the perspective of the athlete, whether past, present, or anew.

Beginning near Port Gibson, Mississippi, the Phatwater is an annual paddling event held the second Saturday of October, descending the Mississippi River for 42.5 miles from The Claiborne County Port facility to the Natchez Landing, at Natchez, Under-The-Hill.

For those interested in participating in “The XIIth Annual Phatwater Kayak Challenge”, the event is open to all, in any human powered craft, be it Surfski, Sea Kayak, Recreational Canoe, Racing Canoe, Outrigger Canoe, Touring Kayak, Sit-On-Top, Stand Up Paddleboard, or other unspecified paddle craft. All are welcome.

The Phatwater begins at 0800 on Saturday morning, securing at 1600 that same afternoon (4 p.m.). The Phatwater is sanctioned by the American Canoe Association (all are encouraged to join: www.ACANET.org), and all commercial river traffic (barge traffic) is held at a standstill for the duration of the event, enforced by United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Zone mandate.

Participation in the event requires a registration fee http://www.kayakmississippi.com/race-information/registration-2013 which goes to support the Phatwater.

In addition, for 2013, two new races will be added: “The Crossing” which is a one mile sprint, to be held on the Friday afternoon before the Phatwater, and the Halph-The-Phat; an 18 mile downriver race which will take place at the same time as the Phatwater, and beginning at about 1030, the morning of the Phatwater.

Awards will be presented to all who finish the Phatwater, The Crossing, and the Halph-The-Phat, with Ca$h prizes to top finishers. A free shuttle service is provided to all Phatwater and Halph-The-Phat participants the morning of the Phatwater.

For answers to other questions, we don’t do FAQs. We’re nicer than that. Write or call us, any time, calls at 0300, while amusing, will be returned later, in the order and the spirit in which they are received:

info@kayakmississippi.com

(601) 431-1731

Rivergator

Lower Mississippi River

Water Trail

What is The Rivergator?

The Rivergator describes the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail. The Rivergator is a website full of stories, maps, photos and accurate information concerning the BIG RIVER!

What is Lower Mississippi River Water Trail?

The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail described by The Rivergator is the longest free-flowing water trail in the continental United States, over 1100 miles from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (including the Middle Miss from the Missouri River confluence). There are thousands of islands, backchannels, side channels and oxbow lakes to explore. The trail connects cities, states, public lands, festivals and all of the people and businesses found along the Lower Miss.

Who is The Rivergator written for?

The Rivergator is written specifically for paddlers who want to explore the wilds of the Lower Mississippi River. Canoeists, kayakers and stand up paddle boarders will all find it to be the definitive guide to the BIG RIVER.

Who is The Rivergator written by?

The Rivergator is written by John Ruskey with consultation from a team of regional river experts including Ernest Herndon, Big Muddy Mike Clark, Paul Hartfield, Ken Jones, Joe Royer, Dale Sanders, Tim McCarley, Adam Eliot, Mike Beck and Paul Orr and others. This team varies with the section of river being described.

Why is The Rivergator important?

The Lower Mississippi River is possibly the most spectacular and yet also the most unrecognized wild river in North America. It should be one of the classic paddler destinations alongside the Boundary Waters, the Okeefenokee, or the Alagash. Big volume water, towboats and industry have scared paddlers away. Until now there was no good written description of how to navigate the powerful waters. Enter The Rivergator !

When will The Rivergator be completed?

The Rivergator is still under construction. Go to www.rivergator.org for a preview. We are on a 3-year timeline to be completed in 2015. This year we will add 3 new 100-mile sections to cover the BIG RIVER including the greater Memphis region, the Chickasaw Bluffs, and the entire length of the Mississippi Delta, everything from Caruthersville, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 2014 we will add the Middle Mississippi from St. Louis down to Cairo, and then continue the Lower Miss connecting back down to Memphis. In 2015 the entire Lower Miss will be completed with the addition of the river from Vicksburg to the Gulf of Mexico, including Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Venice.

How do I get involved with The Rivergator?

Any knowledgeable river rats are welcome to join in! The more eyes the better. Write me john@island63.com and I will include you in the circle of reviewers.

Furthermore, any interested paddlers can participate in the creation of The Rivergator by joining in on one or more of three exploratory trips coming up in the next two months:

What are The Rivergator Celebratory Trips?

In November 2013 we’ll be running a series of multi-day expeditions to celebrate the opening of the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail from Caruthersville Missouri through Memphis to Vicksburg, Mississippi. By voyageur style canoe. No previous experience necessary, but must enjoy wilderness style camping and must be willing to paddle! We are reserving 4 seats on every segment for writers, photographers and any journalists who will help us share the story about the beautiful and dynamic Mississippi River and the Rivergator Water Trail describing it! Please contact John Ruskey, john@island63.com to reserve your seat, and for more information. November 4-8: Caruthersville to Memphis; November 12-15

Memphis to Helena; and November 18-22: Greenville to

Vicksburg.

Tennessee Williams Festival Clarksdale, Mississippi, Oct, 2013. The Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival is free and open to the pubic!

Friday, October 4, 2013

10:00 a.m. - Welcome to the Cutrer Mansion from Jen Waller, director of the Coahoma County Higher Center, tours and documentary filmmaker Karen Kohlhaas sharing her film clips and talking about Clarksdale’s real Baby Doll.

12 noon — Lunch on your own at one of Clarksdale's outstanding restaurants

1:30 p.m. — Welcome to Coahoma Community College by Dr.Valmadge Towner, CCC president, Whiteside Hall, 3240 Friars Point, Keynote Address about Baby Doll by Kenneth Holditch followed by commentary, Q&A

3:00 p.m.Readings from Baby Doll by Jeremy Lawrence and the festival's talented actor corps

4:00 p.m. — Commentary and discussion on the characterizations and performances by Colby Kullman, Ralph Voss, Coop Cooper, Dorothy Shawhan

Intermission before the Clark House Reception, 211 Clark Street

7:00 p.m. — Meet and Greet Celebrity Reception at the historic home of Clarksdale founder John Clark. The evening features gourmet Southern cuisine by The Dutch Oven; blues guitar music, gospel and dowop performances by the CCC Choir Ensemble directed by Kelvin Towers, and several monologues by student actors.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Festival encourages visitors and participants to attend the elite Student Drama Competition & acting workshops featuring timed monologues and scenes performed in the Georgia Lewis Theatre on the CCC campus. Winners receive $2,500 in cash prizes for their school drama departments, and students win engraved trophies. The competition is brisk and the talent is awesome!

8:00 a.m. Continental breakfast for students and teachers

9:00 a.m.Welcome by Kappi Allen - Monologue competition begins

10:00 a.m. —Scene competition begins

11:00 a.m. Audition workshop directed by Karen Kohlhaas and Jeremy Lawrence.

12:00 noonWinners announced, prizes awarded, and all participants are invited to a celebration luncheon on campus prepared by Chef Brennon Warr, director of culinary arts, and his students. Actor Jeremy Lawrence will talk about theatrical careers.

2:00 p.m. — St. George’s Episcopal Church – Welcome by Rev. Jason Shelby

2:00 p.m. — The Clarksdale Woman's Club is hosting an open house with refreshments across the street from St. George’s Episcopal Church. It will remain open through porch play performances

3:00 to 5:00 p.m.Porch plays will be performed in the historic district followed by commentary and conversations with the actors and students. First is 415 Court Street (next to the Tennessee Williams Park) progressing to 203 Court Street, 41 John Street, & 235 Clark.

Among the actors performing are Wanda Lee’s Clarksdale High School drama students; Alice Walker, Florence Roach, Rebecca Jernigan, and Sherrye Williams

Festival news will be updated on our website: www.coahomacc.edu. The festival is produced by Coahoma Community College and supported by grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, Coahoma County Tourism.,Clarksdale/Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and local donors. Reservations are required only for the Friday night reception ($25) at the Clark House and the Saturday luncheon ($12) at CCC. For more information, contact Panny Mayfield at 662-624-5648 or pannywriter@yahoo.com

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

brought to you courtesy of the:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation

For recent stories & news with photos:

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