Close Window
LMRD 717, April 8, 2019
Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
~Voice of the Lower Mississippi River~

In this issue:

1) Horn Island Artist's Retreat

See below for details. Led by John Ruskey. Guest Artist: Robin Whitfield. Partnership: Walter Anderson Museum. We still have one or two seats in the big canoe for the Horn Island Artist's Retreat, starting Earth Day April 22nd for 6 days, return to shore Sat April 27th. To & from Ocean Springs, MS.

2) Juke Joint Festival 2019 ~ This Week in Clarksdale ~

* Quapaw Canoe Company Stage * Sunflower River Camping* *Canoe Carving Workshop * 1 Mississippi Booth * Canoe Rentals * LaNae Abnet Booksigning * Pass the Paddle * Community Paddle Sunflower River *

3) Kamikaze Canoe

Y'all, sorry for delay in finishing the Kamikaze Canoe story…. Many of you have been asking about it…. We obviously made it out alive…. (This is not a ghost writer...) I do promise to make a day to finish the story by the end of the month.

Note: It takes me days to write something like that... and, like you, I have to make a living! (Guiding, Outfitting, Artwork, Canoe-Building)... All of our overnight trips have been swept over by flooding river — along with any dry sand on the islands... Until this week, that is... River is now below flood stage, and islands are reappearing with sparkling springtime brilliance... We are back in operation with a full cache of springtime trips.

Mon, Apr 22 | Horn Island
Horn Island Expedition | Artist’s Retreat in Voyageur Canoe

Artist-adventurer and guide John Ruskey and WAMA partner on a six day expedition to the wild and remote barrier island that Walter Anderson considered Eden.

Time & Location

Apr 22, 7:00 AM – Apr 27, 4:00 PM
Horn Island, Horn Island, Mississippi, USA
About The Event

Monday, April 22 - Saturday, April 27
(One day paddling out, four days on island, one day paddling back)

| Open seats! To register, contact John Ruskey at |

In celebration of Earth Day, artist-adventurer and guide John Ruskey and the Walter Anderson Museum of Art partner on a six day expedition to the wild and remote Mississippi Barrier Island, Horn Island. Explorers paddle out together in a twenty-nine foot voyageur-style canoe, a vessel historically designed for use by French fur traders on the open waters of the Great Lakes.

Horn Island is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and was delicately and articulately celebrated by the legendary naturalist-artist Walter Anderson in watercolors, prints, pottery, wood sculpture, and journaling.

The group will meet and park vehicles at Ocean Springs Harbor on Monday; paddle out to the island for four days of primitive camping, art making, and reflection; and return on Saturday. (One day paddling out, four days on island, one day paddling back; Final schedule weather dependent). John Ruskey, a celebrated guide, veteran outdoorsman, and founder of Quapaw Canoe Company, serves as the lead guide on the expedition.

Contact: John Ruskey at to reserve your seat in the big canoe, or for more information. Includes guiding, outfitting (big canoe, paddles, life jackets and all necessary water safety gear), meals, dry bags, tents and sleeping bags, kitchenware, camp setup, all food prep, cooking and cleaning. No previous experience necessary, but must be comfortable with waves and extended sustained long distance paddling, and must be in good health and shape.

“The wind and sea began to rise… Then, at a certain point, I began to experience uncertainty… I was in conflict with a demon… He was perfectly willing that I should reach the island but it must be with the uttermost expenditure of strength and endurance.”

– Walter Anderson

"In order to realize the beauty of man we must realize his connection to nature." -Walter Inglis Anderson

In Partnership with the Walter Anderson Museum of Art

WAMA MISSION: "to empower lifelong curiosity and connection to the natural world through the art of Walter Anderson and kindred artists."


Juke Joint Festival 2019

Associated Activities

at the Quapaw Canoe Company:

Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13

*Sunflower River Camping

*Sunflower River Canoe Rentals

*Canoe-Carving Demonstration & Workshop

*1Mississippi -- Can the River Count on You?

Saturday, April 13th

*Quapaw Canoe Company Stage

*LaNae Abnet Booksigning: Paddling Edna

Sunday, April 14th

*Paddling on the Sunflower River

All events will meet & take place street level 3rd & Sunflower in downtown Clarksdale all day 9 - 4pm every day Thursday April 11 – Saturday April 13, 2018. Community Paddle on the Sunflower River only Sunday, April 14th.

For more information contact Quapaw Canoe Company or 662-902-7841, Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885, Lena Von Machui 662-313-6220, or Tanner Aljets (618) 520-9749.

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 reservations contact: Lena Von Machui 662-313-6220; Camp Host: Tanner Aljets (618) 520-9749; Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885.

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

LaNae Abnet Booksigning: Paddling Edna

Quapaw Canoe Company

10 am to 4 pm Saturday

Paddling Edna follows the daily journal of LaNae Abnet as she and her husband kayaked the 1600 miles from the source of the Wabash River to the Gulf of Mexico. She shares with readers not only the events of each day, but also the ponderings, observations, philosophies, fears, and exhilarations experienced throughout their journey. Rare is the tale of self-sustenance that revolves around a couple experiencing life together on an outdoor adventure, particularly an outdoor adventure that required the raising, preparation, and caching of their own foods. The two had to learn how to live and survive closely with nature and each other, and as a result, they grew as individuals and as a couple. Most of us have dreams that we know we’ll never be quite brave enough to jump off the bank and achieve. What will others think? How much will this adventure cost? What will I have to give up? How much time will I have to sacrifice? Are there dangers? LaNae had those same fears and struggled with how to achieve her dream. Then she discovered the answer: Just do it! Experience LaNae and John Abnet’s journey right alongside the couple—and you just might be inspired enough to jump off your own bank and into a world of excitement. Paperback: 481 pages, 2019, Palmetto Publishing Group.

(Sunday Only!) Community Paddle on the Sunflower River

Quapaw Canoe Company

1pm to 5 pm Sunday

In partnership with the Lower Mississippi River Foundation

Join us for a half day canoe trip on the Sunflower River. No experience or equipment necessary! All paddle together in our Big Canoes on the 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 $5 for youth under 18, $25 adults includes paddles, life jackets and all necessary gear.

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


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch "Voice of the Lower Mississippi River" is published by the Quapaw Canoe Company. Photos and writing by John Ruskey, Mark River and others. Please write for re-publishing. Feel free to share with friends or family, but also credit appropriately. Go to www.island63.comand click on "Quapaw Dispatch" for viewing back issues of the LMRD.


Unsubscribe: If you feel you have received this newsletter in error, or no longer wish to receive, please go to bottom of page and hit "Click to Unsubscribe"


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Quapaw Canoe Company


Our Projects:

Rivergator: 1Million words describing the Lower Mississippi River, overseen by the LMRF:

Wild Miles: 71% of the Lower Miss is wild according to river rats. Will it stay that way?

Our Friends:

Lower Mississippi River Foundation is dedicated to promoting stewardship of the Lower and Middle Mississippi River through deep engagement.

Big Muddy Adventures: adventures on the Missouri, Mississippi, Meramec and Illinois -- covering the Grand Central Station of America's rivers from home base St. Louis.

Our Range: