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LMRD 559, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Wild Mystery of the Lower Miss
(All photos in this edition from river trip last week with Colorado Springs School - photos by John Ruskey, Quapaw Canoe Company)

Mississippi River Summer Camp June 11-15, 2018
March 31st deadline:
High School Students: Last chance to send
in your applications (for initial round)! Click here for Summer Camp Application! Keep reading below for more info.

Shout-out to Rebekah Pickard, Harry Freeman and John & LaNae Abnet: thanks to your generosity, we have completed the match for our $5K Summer Camp grant from Community Foundation of NW Mississippi. Depending on news from other grant sources, we might need to continue fundraising. More details forthcoming.

Paddling over the road, Helena Riverpark @ 47.5HG

Paddling past Victoria Bend Camp -- river cresting 4 feet above flood stage

River Conditions March 27th: after cresting last week at 47.5 on the Helena Gage (40 Memphis, 43 Arkansas City, 55 Greenville), the plug has been pulled out and the river has dropped precipitously, over 20 feet in one week... this is a radically fast drop, and is creating some weird conditions in particular places. Helena will bottom out around 26 tomorrow before starting to climb again. This means that all of the backwater places will be vigorously pouring back into the main channel through the various passes, runouts and narrow places connecting them, such as the Tunica Runout, or the mouth of Mellwood Lake, or the mouth of DeSoto Lake, or Lake Whittington. Paddlers will find these normally slackwater places to be roaring out to the river with possible whitewater ferocity, as the lake water is sucked back into the fastly falling river. Two Missouri friends Bryan and David recently circumnavigated Big Island and found water to be rushing out the mouth of the White River into the Mississippi at Scrubgrass Bend with great speed and turbulence.

Quapaw Canoe Company
20th Anniversary 1998-2018

Opening the Wild Mystery of the Lower Miss
...for the Betterment of All Creatures!

16 students and 2 teachers from the The Colorado Springs School got close to nature last week during a 6-day adventure on the biggest river in North America high water March, 2018, 133 miles down the Muddy Waters Wilderness from Helena, AR, to Greenville, MS with a side trip into the Arkansas River behind Big Island.

Cottonwoods, willows, swamp privets and sycamores leafing out, yellow rocket on the forest floor, big flocks of American pelican migrating north, the first least terns of the year arriving from South America. Lots of logs and debris riding down the main channel of big river in the crest of the flood. Log rolling anybody?

Touch & Feel: HS students got close to a tree frog, a reed-winged blackbird's egg (fell out of a nest), a leech, a poor mouse that got caught under our canoes at camp, and many frogs and toads.
On the last day we witnessed a bad eagle chasing a Canada goose for breakfast -- a time of learning and connection for all!

Mississippi River Summer Camp
June 11-15, 2018
Helena to Arkansas City

-- March 31st deadline --

High School Students:
Send in your applications!

Click here for Summer Camp Application!

Delta Students are Invited to Join the Crew for a Five Day Voyage on the Mississippi River

A new camp offers a unique summer experience for high school students

This summer, high school students in Arkansas and Mississippi will have a chance to join a new kind of summer camp. In the Mississippi River Summer Leadership Camp (June 11th-15th) students become part of the crew as they navigate 100 miles of the Mississippi River in voyager style canoes.

The camp was planned by the Lower Mississippi River Foundation, a non-profit that connects youth to the Mississippi, in partnership with Quapaw Canoe Company, a guiding and outfitting service on the river. Students will work with experienced Quapaw guides to navigate their canoes approximately 20 miles each day along the river. Each day they will take on more responsibility for their boat and their crew.

The trip will leave from Helena, Arkansas and end five days later in Arkansas City. Each night students will camp on remote beaches and islands on the river. Each day they will practice canoe handling and navigational skills as they work together to reach the end of the journey.

Twenty students will be selected to join the trip. The Lower Mississippi River Foundation wants most of those students to come from the Delta where students live nearest the Mississippi River but often don’t have the means to access it. Through the help of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and private donations, they have raised money to provide scholarships to any student from Phillips or Coahoma Counties who wants to attend the trip.

John Ruskey, the owner of Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale, has led several trips like this one on the Mississippi with groups from all over the country. Students from the Delta are often not able to come on these trips either because the cost is too high or because they do not know about them. In July of 2017, LMRF committed to working with Quapaw to provide a trip specifically for students in the Delta. LMRF is recruiting students from local schools and youth organizations and offering scholarships for all students from the Delta.

This is the first time LMRF has offered this camp. They intend to use it as a learning experience. They intend to offer multiple camps in 2019 and beyond using what they learn from this first trip in 2018.

Applications for the trip will be accepted through March 31st. Accepted students will be informed by April 15th.

March 31st deadline:
Click here for Summer Camp Application


Shannon McMulkin- Lower Mississippi River Foundation


John Ruskey- Quapaw Canoe Company


Click here for Summer Camp Application

Quapaw Canoe Company
Juke Joint Festival April 12th-14th


Sunflower River Camping

Canoe-Carving Demonstration & Workshop

LMRF — Paddling on the Sunflower River

1Mississippi -- Can the River Count on You?


Coahoma County High School:

Student Art Sale & Fundraiser for Art Dept.

All events will meet & take place street level 3rd & Sunflower in downtown Clarksdale all day 9 - 4pm every day Thursday April 12 – Saturday April 14, 2018.

For more information contact Quapaw Canoe Company or 662-627-4070, 662-902-7841, Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885, Lena Von Machui 662-313-6220, Shannon McMulkin 870-753-8954, or Jennifer Ruskey (208) 521-0476.

Sunflower River Camping

Wednesday - Sunday, April 12-15th, 2018

In partnership with the Clarksdale Police Dept

Quapaw Canoe Company is offering bathroom and shower access to persons camping along banks of Sunflower River in the City Park around our facility and in other places downtown. Bathroom and shower access is $25/tent/night for 2 people, $10 each additional person/night. Proceeds generated will be donated to our partners the Clarksdale Police Dept. Bring your own tent and sleeping bags. Don’t park on asphalt drive which the police use for access. Camping is in grassy areas of City Park to north of ramp, and any flat grassy places down along the river. Please don’t block gravel road access to Canoe Company. No open fires, but camp stoves, hibachis or small personal-sized BBQ okay. No smoking (city ordinance in public places). For more information contact: Lena Von Machui 662-313-6220, Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885. Quapaw Canoe Company 662-627-4070 or

Canoe-Carving Demonstration & Workshop

Quapaw Canoe Company

9 am to 4 pm Wednesday - Saturday

Partner: Mississippi Arts Commission, Spring Initiative and GRIOT Arts

Location: Quapaw Canoe Company, 289 Sunflower (Third Street & Sunflower, opposite GRIOT Arts). Contact: 662-627-4070 or 902-7841. Catfish Dugout Canoe carving from 3-ton cottonwood log. Partnership with Spring Initiative and GRIOT ARTS youth programs. This project supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission. All ages welcome. We provide instruction, tools and safety equipment. Children under 18 must be accompanied by parents or guardian. Contact: Quapaw Canoe Company 662-627-4070 or

Paddling on the Sunflower River

Quapaw Canoe Company

Fundraiser for the Lower Mississippi River Foundation

9 am to 4 pm Thursday - Saturday (Pick your time and stay out as long as you want)

Canoe or kayak or SUP. Paddle the beautiful (and muddy!) Sunflower River through downtown Clarksdale with the “back-door view” of Red’s Lounge, The Riverside Hotel. Possible run through a Delta Wilderness with a take-out at Hopson Plantation. Meet Location: Quapaw Canoe Company, 289 Sunflower Third Street & Sunflower, opposite GRIOT Arts). Contact: Shannon McMulkin 870-753-8954 or 662-627-4070. $25/person includes paddles, life jackets and all necessary gear. Fundraiser for the Lower Mississippi River Foundation.

1Mississippi -- Can the River Count on You?

Quapaw Canoe Company

9 am to 4 pm Thursday - Saturday

In partnership with 1Mississippi - MRN - Mississippi River Network

Ongoing Exhibit and Southern campaign headquarters for the 1Mississippi River Citizen Program. Come on over and learn about how you can help protect and better the waters of America, our drinking water, swimming water & lifeblood of the nation. Become a River Citizen and join us in making the Mississippi River sparkle like the beautiful “Queen of Rivers” that she is. Contact: Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885 or email


Coahoma County High School:

Student Art Sale & Fundraiser for Art Dept.

Quapaw Canoe Company

9 am to 4 pm Saturday

In partnership with Coahoma County High School

Students from Coahoma County Junior and Senior High School will have original paintings for sale that have local scenes and blues related images and artists. The art pieces are really quite good quality with matting on the watercolors and decorated canvas frames for the acrylic paintings. The students will receive 50% of the sales and the rest will go to purchase art supplies for all of the classes. Students will be on hand for questioning about color choices, image selection and their use of the art principles in creating beautiful art. Thank-you for supporting our youth and the arts!!!

Contact: John Ruskey, Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614, 662-902-7841,