Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 271
Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015
As a way of saying "Happy Ca-New Year," we Mighty Quapaws will be sending out some stories from our recent river experiences for the next couple of weeks, in this time of long nights. These were recorded in the first light of day by a roaring campfire from the muddy banks of the Lower Mississippi River -- impressions from the Vicksburg to Baton Rouge Rivergator Expedition, Dec 2014. We hope they find you in a time of health & happiness. We have many things to be thankful for in the New Year including a beautiful river to wake up to every morning, peaceful resolution of our 2009-2014 tax fight, and many great adventures with you. We send our hopes and prayers to you, your friends and family. Please keep my 16 year-old neice, Ariana Jo in your prayers, she goes in today for surgery on a herniated esophogus. Many blessings to all.
The Rivergator: Paddler's Guide to the Lower Mississippi makes a visit to the Vicksburg Walnut Hills Loess Bluff #1, Mississippi Tourism, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, The 'Sip Magazine and the BTS Riverview 360-degree camera on board for storytelling and documentation. Go to www.rivergator.org for the full story!
Saturday, December 6, Yazoo River
Set out from Vicksburg’s Yazoo Landing in a north wind (paddler's friend) with little to no flow in the Yazoo, a few hunters and fishermen, a few people came to see us off, Layne's mother, Alyson (Adam's wife), Michael's wife, Big Emma, the Hollingsworth's and their grandson Tyler. I breathed my first sigh of relief in weeks as we floated out of the Yazoo Canal and into the calm but powerful waters of the big river. Everything always changes when you enter the big muddy river, no matter the tributary, even the giant Ohio is changed by the experience, even the Upper Mississippi is changed, the Big Muddy Mo creates the pattern way upstream and here on the Lower Miss the pattern achieves its purest and powerfullest expression, tattered clouds sliding across the big sky where the bluffs end in ragged layers hanging down like someone pulling the ticking out of grandma's quilt, somber colors greys and prussian blues and whites, the tree trunks black and bleak against the sky, downstream the big canoes slice through the cold thick water like a sharp knife through leather, the turbulence adds some resistance, the boils less, the alert paddler uses the whirlpools to his advantage, our minds freed from the entangling snares of the land as we carve the waters past the Walnut Hills Loess Bluff #1, and then on down past Delta Point through Centennial Cutoff (1876), Racetrack, finally making landing like a couple of geese at Reid Bedford Point, flapping our wings into a couple of eddies, and then out, in and out, out and in, none entirely satisfying the needs of the all the geese, we follow the bend all the way to the last point, there is a bit of trepidation about passing this last point (Reid Bedford Point), because the river curves eastward below into a series of hunting camps, with all landings exposed to full assault of the wind, but we carry on in blind faith in the last cold light of the day, the wind seems to be picking up speed, and are thankfully rewarded around the bottom end of Reid Bedford with a calm harbor and several choices for sandy landings. We go for the more portected (but steeper) landing against the north bank, rising 30 or 40 feet up with a flat bottomed forest above, a perfect place on a cold windy night like this, with a long view downstream into Diamond Cut-Off (1933) and into Newtown Bend with a view of Grand Gulf cooling towers and the Big Black Bluff behind.
The voyageurs leave civiliaztion behind as they exit the Yazoo and paddle past the base of the Walnut Hills. Go to www.rivergator.org for the full story!