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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

No 262, Tuesday, Oct 28th, 2014

November 6th is the Full Frosty Beaver Moon!! Canoe! watercolor 8x11.jpg

Keep reading below for latest Mark River Blog: Legacies of the River


This Sunday-Monday Nov 2-3rd we’ll be Exploring Lake D’Arbonne and the Union Parish area with Stephanie Herrman for Louisiana Delta Adventures. Come join us and help us create some new beautiful water trails for Northern Louisiana! Thursday Nov 6th The guys from OAR NW are rowing our way and will arrive in Helena. On Nov 6th they will be visiting the schools of Phillips County Arkansas and will be bringing virtual river-time to the school children of Eastern Arkansas. See below for more details. Also, next week, Thursday Nov 6th, Ben Weaver will bicycle into town with a banjo on his back and a stack of lps from his newest recording “I Would Rather Be a Buffalo.” We’ll load up the big canoe with good food and musical intruments and go celebrate with a roaring bonfire and some howling the rising Full Frosty Beaver Moon from a wild island in the middle of the Mississippi River! In Ben Weaver's company is author and musician Jonathan Miles.

Administrative Assistant Update: Last week we ran an announcement about a new position being created at Quapaw Canoe Company, an Administrative Assistant (with Webbed Feet and/or Mud Between their Toes). Interested parties, please respond with application, as described below. No phone calls or text messages please! Send ap by email or snail mail. This might be the perfect opening for some river-infected soul but be forewarned: it's the less glamorous side of the guiding & oufitting business... While the guides are out on the water, someone has to maintain base and keep the home fires burning by answering the phone, greeting visitors, fielding questions, talking to kids, and keeping the taxman and the creditors happy. Of course it involves a healthy dose of the outdoors... and a great group of guys and gals to be associated with... including real live river rats like Cricket and Ojay and Woody and Dinky and Junebug and Ladybug and Grasshopper and River and Brax and Popeye and DeShaunte and Lil' Mike and Dare and Driftwood and Dingo and Mel and Smooth Brother E and Lil' Jer and many other characters and beautiful mud-seasoned voyageur canoes! The Ladybug, for instance is considered the Queen of the Lower Mississippi River for her longevity and tested ability to make kids happy! Please see below for expanded details. Please share with your friends and family. Please feel free to re-run on your network. Thank you and many blessings from us Mighty Quapaws!

Upcoming Events

(This weekend and Next Week):

November 2-3

Louisiana Delta Adventures presents:

Paddle Union Parish - Lake D’Arbonne

New Water Trails for Northern Louisiana!

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 8:00 AM: Countryside Cove

TRAIL #1: Corney Creek

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 1:30 PM: Steamboat Stream

TRAIL #2: Bayou D'Arbonne

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3: 8:00 AM: Rollin’ Revelry

TRAIL #3: Ouachita River/Upper Ouachita National Refuge

Thursday November 6th

Full Frosty Beaver Moon

with poet and recording artist Ben Weaver

and author/musician Jonathan Miles

on their “I Would Rather be a Buffalo” Tour

Meet: 2pm Helena Arkansas

Return: ‘round midnight

$125 each fundraiser for the Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program

Potluck. BYOB. Dress for the weather and bring a dish to share!

OAR Northwest

Adventure: Mississippi River

If you are a teacher interested in our OAR Northwest's Adventure: Mississippi River program all you need to get started is at:

Find out more about who we are at

Check the latest at

If this is about a school visit or logistical question relating to Adventure: Mississippi River please text at 253-678-5863 or my teammate Greg Spooner at 206-795-4184 and we will try and get to you as soon as possible.

Mark River Blog:

Legacies of the River:

Our Children

Legacies of the River

As autumn falls upon the Delta, my mind wanders towards the future and what it holds. Realizing my fate is sealed and immortality is a myth, I ponder about the future of our Great River. Who will continue our stewardship? How can we pass our lives work on to the next generation?

At Quapaw Canoe Company, we are in the progress of completing an epic year on the River. We have introduced churches, corporations, colleges, and most of all, elementary schools, to the Mississippi River. From the Helena Canoe Club, featuring students from KIPP-Delta Schools and surrounding area, to Griots Arts and Spring Initiative, to Camp R.O.C.K. and the entire 100 students from the Jackson Academy 5th Grade Class, we have realized the Mississippi Rivers legacy is our children. The river has shown us the way, and it’s hard to ignore.

The one thing I’ve noticed about kids is that they are smarter than we think and they love natural things. The Mississippi River provides them with wild habitat to enjoy, and a healthy place to build relationships and memories that can never be forgotten. I’ve watched kids venture out on the islands and sandbars collecting fossils and admiring the natural world. Swimming and sinking their bodies in mud. Sitting around the campfire enjoying and appreciating the warmth from the fire. Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, engaging in conversation (which back on land are usually held through smart phones -- but not allowed here on the river!). Asking critical questions about the River, usually starting questions with the word “Why...” Many of them have been introduced to nature from their parents or grandparents, so the Mississippi River gives them another medium to relate to and protect for generations to come. More than anything, their experiences erase the false fear-myths that unfortunately get passed down through the generations about our great River. Their experience of the true river creates new cultures of understanding and compliance needed to protect our country’s most valuable resource.

The sun peaks over the tree line across the River. I hear the voices of the students as they roll out of their tents one by one. The conversation around the fire are the sounds heard through the night. Coyotes and owls courted throughout the night. Beavers splashed the water with tails marking their territory. Deer, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, and turtle tracks litter the sandbar. They realize that we are not alone and all living things need this great River. Let’s make the Mississippi River a part of our families lives and speak truly to children about the importance of its heath for generations to come. When it comes to legacies, we are all legacies of the River. Let’s make it a point to save the River, that way we all live forever!

Mark River

Mark River Peoples is a guide and teacher with Quapaw Canoe Company and is also the 1 Mississippi Southern Region Intern representing the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. Please go to for the Mark River Blog with photos, maps, videos, and other depictions of the Big River!

November 2-3

Louisiana Delta Adventures presents:

Paddling Lake D’Arbonne

New Water Trails for Northern Louisiana!

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 8:00 AM: Countryside Cove

TRAIL #1: Corney Creek

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 1:30 PM: Steamboat Stream

TRAIL #2: Bayou D'Arbonne

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3: 8:00 AM: Rollin’ Revelry

TRAIL #3: Ouachita River/Upper Ouachita National Refuge

(From Organizer Stephanie Herrman)

Join us for any of the three water trail tours we will be taking November 2-3 with John Ruskey. John, a Mississippi River paddling guide/outfitter, will be touring the trails to take photos and identify unique landscapes for a brochure being funded by Louisiana Delta Adventures for Union Parish. This will be the first of it's kind for our parish and we are excited to show him what we have to offer the paddling community. Come join us and give your insight to the development of these three trails. Bring a sack lunch and plenty of water as we will be stopping to picnic on the water both days. Check weather forecasts and prepare for rain or shine. We are paddling, regardless of weather, unless storms are severe.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 8:00 AM: Countryside Cove

TRAIL #1: Corney Creek (8:00-12:00) Bernice, Louisiana

Meet at La Hwy 550 Bridge Launch: 32.8565/92.573.9

Travel upstream 1.5 miles and back down. This creek is narrow and one-lane traffic in places, but full of fairytale cypress knees and the greenest green algae.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2: 1:30 PM: Steamboat Stream

TRAIL #2: Bayou D'Arbonne/D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge (1:30-5:00) Rocky Branch, Louisiana

Meet at Holland's Bluff Launch: 32.6318/92.2136

We will paddle downstream toward the Refuge and then back upstream before dusk. Bring a GPS if you have one. The refuge has some a'MAZE"ing coves and turns!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3: 8:00 AM: Rollin Revelry

TRAIL #3: Ouachita River/Upper Ouachita National Refuge (8:00-1:30) Marion, Louisiana

Meet at 8:00 at Finch Recreation Area Launch: 32.8661/92.08 We will paddle upstream to the Nature Conservancy Mollicy Unit (a migratory bird habitat) and back downstream at the launch point soon after mid-day.

MORE... For more detailed directions, read on...

TRAIL #1: Hwy 550 is just a few miles south of Bernice on Hwy 2, going East. Follow 550 until you cross the bridge over Corney Creek. Then take the first road to left. This is the launch site.

TRAIL #2: The Hollands Bluff launch is near the Ouachita Parish line in West Monroe. From Farmerville, take Hwy 2 East toward Sterlington. Take a right at Crossroads (about 10 miles out of town) onto Hwy 143 toward West Monroe. Go through Rocky Branch, then about a mile out look for signs to the right. The street address is: 11372 Hwy 143, Farmerville, LA 71241

TRAIL #3 The Finch Recreation Area is accessible two ways. From Farmerville, take Hwy 33 to Marion, Louisiana. Once there, take left turn and follow market signs to Finch Recreation Area. From the Sterlington side of Hwy 2, turn right at Haile, Louisiana and from there follow signs. It's a long drive, but the roads are marked with signs. Finch Lake Campground is a different place, don't follow those--just the Finch Recreation Area signs.


October 15, 2014

For Immediate Release:

Help Wanted: Administrative Assistant (with muddy and/or webbed feet!)

Description: Quapaw Canoe Company (QCC) seeks a part-time administrative assistant for its Clarksdale, Mississippi, location. Tasks include answering phone, keeping office, public presentation, booking river trips, accounting, help with expedition logistics, and other tasks typical to a river-guiding company. This position is a combination of secretary, interpreter and travel agent.

Requirements: Must be friendly and people-oriented. Must be good with kids as well as adults. Must have good communication skills, and be able to speak comfortably with individuals as well as groups. Must be a capable writer and typist. Must be computer savvy (both Microsoft and Apple systems). Knowledge of Quickbooks a plus. Ability with Social Media a plus. Must be willing to tackle challenges and learn new skills. We will train as needed. Must be a good team member, but also must able to work independently. Must be passionate about the outdoors and the American wilderness ethic. Must be physically capable of outdoor tasks (such as canoeing and kayaking) and moving heavy equipment in preparation and/or cleanup of expeditions. Must have own personal vehicle and current driver’s license. Must be honest, earnest and hard-working. We are all worker bees in this company; the river is the queen.

Other Helpful Skills (but not requirements): Experience in nature tourism. Wilderness First Aid, or other medical training. Creative writing. Youth Outdoor Programming and Leadership. Natural Sciences. Adobe software. Grant-writing.

About Us: Quapaw Canoe Company is a mission-driven small business based in Clarksdale, Miss, with river outposts in Helena, Ark and Natchez, Miss. We are dedicated to exploring and sharing the beauty and wildness of the Lower Mississippi River and its muddy tributaries in human powered vessels. We are dedicated to passing on the love of the river to the next generation.

Details: Accepting applications through Thanksgiving 2014. Start Date: Feb 1, 2015 (flexible). Pay commensurate with experience, skills and work history, but will initiate with 2-week trial run at $10/hr. Will help relocate if needed. No benefits at present. Part-time position might grow into full-time with the right person. Will compensate any job-related mileage according to state formula.

To Apply: Please send 1) current resume, 2) an essay describing your interest, and 3) personal letter to: John Ruskey, Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614, or by email to Feel free to write at length. Feel free to send any other supporting materials to help us understand who you are and where your passion for the river comes from.

Tasks: Quapaw Canoe Company is a small, mission-driven, dynamic business with many types of service including guiding & outfitting, outdoor education, and canoe construction. Applicant must be willing to tackle challenges and learn new skills. We will train as needed. All QCC employees share in all aspects of the work to be done.

Tasks for the administrative position include:

Office Tasks:

- Meeting and greeting of visitors and clients.

- Arranging educational workshops and presentations.

- Maintaining calendar and keeping schedule of events up to date.

- Taking notes at meetings. Preparing minutes, memos, reports, and other organizational tasks.

- Internet tasks such as online research and upkeep of social media

- Accounting details such as maintenance of records, spreadsheets, input of data, billings, payments, taxes and etc.

- Light cleaning around office and canoe/kayak outfitting base

- Taking payments for expeditions

- Managing the signing of waivers for expeditions

- Answering phone calls and emails and booking trips for expeditions.

- Food purchases for expeditions

- Editing & Publishing of the Lower Mississippi River Dispatch, our (sometimes) weekly newlsetter that you are now reading

- Other responsibilities as the need arises

Additional tasks for the administrative position might include:

Program Tasks:

- Possibly some photography, videography and other forms of documentation

- Possibly working with youth in after-school programs and outdoor training

Guiding & Outfitting Tasks:

- Cleaning of canoes & kayaks. Cleaning tents and sleeping bags and other camping equipment in between expeditions.

- Moving canoes, tents, water bottles, and other equipment in preparation for guided expeditions. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.

- Shuttling, driving, and other transportation needs

- rentals of canoes and kayaks and stand up paddleboards (for the Sunflower River)

- Some outfitting and rentals of canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and related gear for the Mississippi River

- Possibly some canoe & kayak maintenance as needed, also paddles, pfds and tents

- Possibly some guiding in canoes or kayaks. Must be physically fit. Must be able to engage in continuous aerobic exercise for several hours at a time.

- Possibly some cooking on expeditions

Note: And possibly other responsibilities as the need arises. All duties are undertaken in the overall QCC mission of bringing good attention to the Lower Mississippi River. Employee responsibilities often overlap.

Thursday November 6th

Full Frosty Beaver Moon

with poet and recording artist Ben Weaver

and author/musician Jonathan Miles

on their “I Would Rather be a Buffalo” Tour

Meet: 2pm Helena Arkansas

Return: ‘round midnight

$125 each fundraiser for the Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program

Potluck. BYOB. Dress for the weather and bring a dish to share. Hot cocoa or hot soups (or chili) will taste good in the chilly night sky.

Full Frosty Beaver Moon on the Mississippi River with poet and recording artist Ben Weaver, and author Jonathan Miles, enroute down the length of the river on his "I would Rather be a Buffalo" Bike tour.

From Ben Weaver: "On Oct 20th my dear friend and author Jonathan Miles and I will head out on our bicycles for New Orleans. Maybe we will hit some snow. Maybe not. Either way the birds will be with us, perhaps a little in front, or a little behind, depending. It’s a flyway. The Mississippi. I am thankful to be sharing it.

"We will perform at farms, help clean up some bike paths raising awareness for bikes in rural communities, help kids restore a prairie, meet up with John Ruskey the for a frosty full moon in Clarksdale at Quapaw Canoe Company, and many more unknowns that will reveal themselves along the way."

The only way to get to truly know the river is to get on the river (for long-distance paddling):

Upcoming Rivergator Expeditions You can join!

Nov 15-25

St. Louis to Caruthersville

307 miles on the Mississippi River from the Missouri River Confluence, past the Ohio River Confluence, all the way down the Missouri Bootheel to Caruthersville.

Celebrating the Middle/Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Dec 6-16

Vicksburg to Baton Rouge

207 miles on the Mississippi River from Vicksburg, down the Loess Bluffs past Natchez, St. Francisville and ending in Baton Rouge.

Celebrating the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail


March 2015: Atchafalaya River Expedition

From Three Rivers WMA to the Gulf of Mexico

via Simmesport, Krotz Springs, Flat Lake and Morgan City with side trips down mysterious side channels and bayous, and fantastic birding, amphibians, and exploration along the way!

April 2015: Rivergator Expedition:

Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico

including Plaquemines, New Orleans and Venice (bring your haz mat suits and respirator)

October/November 2015:

Rivergator Completion Celebration Expedition:

St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico

1180 miles on the Middle and Lower Mississippi River! Start: Missouri River Confluence. End: salty waters of the Carribean.! Canoe! watercolor 8x11.jpg

Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

brought to you courtesy of the:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation

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