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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch Vol 8 No 1

Quapaw Canoe Company

Clarksdale, Mississippi -- Helena, Arkansas

Serving the greater Lower Mississippi Valley

from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico

In the peace of the New Years 2012...

...Many blessings to you and yours in this season of peace, stillness, darkness, and the beauty of the deep lights hung in the essential patterns of the universe far above our imaginations, nowhere is this purity of form and the impressions of a greater spirit felt stronger than on an inky black night on the edge of a cold reflective river pool, the place where your dreams come filtering in mysteriously from the nether regions of the consciousness and help guide you through the wild days that most certainly lie ahead. May the river be with you wherever this dispatch finds you!

Quapaw Canoe Company has been selected as the 2011 Business of the Year by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. This is a great honor for us -- especially coming from a wholesome down-home organization like the CFNM. The award comes on the night of their annual fundraising campaign extravaganza, the Crystal Ball Gala. You should go and help support the CFNM. This year in special honor of Dr. Mary Ellen Bouldin. $150/seat for an evening of great food, music, auction and more. We’ve been provided 2 tickets but I’d like to bring the entire team of 6 Mighty Quapaws for this award, all dressed in tuxes, and I need help securing more seats. Dear reader, maybe you would consider helping me get some of my apprentices the Mighty Quapaws to the Crystal Ball to be present for the receiving of this award? Please send me an email john@island63.com if you think you could make a contribution to help support the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi by purchasing a seat for some of the Mighty Quapaws to attend this celebration and annual fundraising event of the CFNM. Good cause, great event, special award.

Dreaming:

We’ve been doing a little wood-shedding during the quietness of the season, the result of which being creative endeavors that anyone concerned with the waters of the world will surely appreciate:

WILD MILES: www.wildmiles.org -- there are 620 “Wild Miles” on the Middle/Lower Mississippi River in between St. Louis and Baton Rouge, places where the beauty of nature predominates in the heart of America. What are the wild miles? Where are the wild miles? …and will they be protected as wild places for our children to enjoy? Or will we lose them? Go to www.wildmiles.org to find out.

Lower Mississippi Mississippi River Foundation has been formed to serve as the not-for-profit parent organization overseeing charitable activities fostered by Quapaw Canoe Company such as the Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program, and the Friends of the Sunflower River. But also to augment our collaborations with others such as the Save Buck Island Campaign, the 1Mississippi Project and the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail. This new foundation will allow us to better provide public service concerning access, education and outdoor recreation on the Lower Mississippi River.

The Lower Mississippi Water Trail is slated to go live as a website at the beginning of June, it will detail all the ins and outs of channels, back channels, islands, wetlands and secret hideaway places for paddlers to explore and enjoy the beauty & power of the BIG RIVER -- starting with the very wild piece of river between Buck Island and Choctaw Island -- at all water levels: low water, medium water and high water.

Quapaw Canoe Company

Calendar of Events Spring 2012

Note: you are welcome to create your own custom guided expedition on the Lower Mississippi River. Go to Quapaw calendar at www.island63.com and pick out any open dates. We can also provide rentals and/or any logistics to help you out with your own adventure. Our mission is access & education.

Ongoing:

Mississippi River Cleanup

Mighty Quapaw Cleanup of the Lower Mississippi River -- the landings, harbors, and islands “trashed” by the Great Flood of 2011, lifting water borne garbage of the nation higher than its ever gone before (at least in the last 70 years)

Jan 20:

Crystal Ball

Support the great work of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. www.cfnm.org Quapaw Canoe Company has been named “Business of the Year” Help send a Mighty Quapaw to the Ball with a donation to the CFNM. Write john@island63.com for more info.

February is Sunflower River Month!

Friends of the Sunflower River. General Annual Membership Meeting at Quapaw Canoe Company on Saturday Feb 18, 3-5pm, bonfire to follow on the banks of the Sunflower. All month we’ll be producing events in celebration, education and advocacy concerning the Sunflower River & its tributaries. Stay tuned. Will update as events are confirmed. This Year: Explorations of the strange and important Sunflower River tributary: The Hushpuckena. (Deferred from 2011).

February 4:

Winterville Mounds

Surfing the Great Flood of 2011. Winterville Mounds 1-2pm: 300 mile long Canoe Adventure from Memphis to Vicksburg riding the crest of the Great Flood of 2011 from May 16th - May 19th with guide John Ruskey, writer W. Hodding Carter & photographer Christopher LaMarca. Documenting the islands, the bridges, the hunting camps, the landings, and what remained of the landscape of the Lower Mississippi Valley in the highest water ever recorded in Vicksburg & Natchez, and the biggest volume water ever recorded on the Lower Miss.

March 15-31

St. Louis Circumnavigation

Part III: Which Direction will they go this year? Only the students of St. Anne's of Normandy hold the answer to this question! Last year it was Counterclockwise. In 2010 it was Clockwise. Regardless, this will be another complete Circumnavigation of greater St. Louis with Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures. Done in service of the students of St. Ann’s of Normandy and the rivers of Mid-America! Involving the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, the Meramec River, the Bourbese River, 6 dozen bridges, 4 dozen communities, and national landmarks like the Great Arch, the confluence at Columbia Bottoms, and challenging obstacles like the Chain of Rocks Waterfall and approximately 100 miles of upstream paddling!!! Done in service of the students of St. Ann’s of Normandy and the rivers of Mid-America!

April 14

Naturefest at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Get to know the birds, fish, dinosaurs, snakes, spiders, and other creature-crawlies from the Natural History of the Mid-South. The Mighty Quapaws provide guided paddling trips on the Pearl River, the forgotten urban river that flows un-noticed and largely unappreciated through downtown Jackson. Annual Festival at Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, a great day for kids & families. Go to www.museum.mdwfp.com for more information.

April 14

Juke Joint Festival

Live blues music. Watercolor workshops & live carving demonstration. Canoeing and kayaking on the Sunflower River. Introducing Stand Up Paddleboards to the Sunflower! Workshops and Rentals. Guided Adventures on the Mississippi River.