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LMRD 736, Monday, August 12, 2019
The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
"Voice of the Mississippi River"

In this issue:

1) Some seats open for the
Magic on the Big Muddy Expedition with Dave & Emma Cornthwaite

3) May the River be With You podcast Episode #2
Now Available on Stitcher

3) Rhythm & Flow Exhibition at Northwest Mississippi

Community College, Sept 3rd - 30th; Reception Sept 6th

4) Incredible Opportunity Now Open:

Business Partner for the Quapaw Canoe Company

Dave & Emma Cornthwaite
Magic on the Big Muddy

Dave & Emma Cornthwaite will be leading 2 weeks of adventurous soul-searching trips on the Lower Mississippi River in September -- with the illustrious Quapaw Canoe Company. There are some open seats on the 2nd trip... Go to Dave's website to read more!

From Dave:

In September 2019 I’ll be leading a week-long group adventure down the Lower Mississippi, starting in Memphis, TN. I’ve led several trips down this stretch of river alongside my good friend John Ruskey, the founder of the Quapaw Canoe Company.

I find it hard to recall a journey more memorable and formative than my source to sea descent of the Mississippi River in 2011. Since then I’ve been a regular visitor to the lower half of the river, thanks to a community of friendly paddlers, endless wild campsites on river banks and sandbars and those wide open skies we all dream of when we find ourselves spending way too much time in a city.

The trip also puts funding into the Quawpaw Canoe Company, which enables young people from the Clarksdale region to learn their skills as a river guide, ensuring a good vocation and continuing to protect the local environment.

Each time the adventure changes, as the water rises and falls. But I can guarantee an adventure of a lifetime, one that may be short but will stay with you forever.

This is a chance to escape and reassess life’s goals, but also to dip your feet in a pot full of potential. Learn how to canoe and paddleboard (no prior experience necessary), find yourself comfortable in a misunderstood environment and soak up the starry nights around a driftwood campfire.

All this and so much more, sandwiched between time in Memphis and Clarksdale, two towns which have played a huge part in the birth of the Blues, Rock n’Roll and the Civil Rights Movement.

For more info go to:


Beginning in Memphis, Tennessee, we spend one night together in the city and the next day set off from the famous Mud Island. We’ll spend five nights on the river, wild camping at night, enjoying wonderful food and enriching, challenging conversations. Then to Clarksdale, the home of the Blues, for live music, a slow southern pace of life and a final supper to wrap up a memorable week.


Wide open, remote spaces and water, water everywhere. There’s no better scenario for escaping life as we know it, cooking up a brand new life plan or simply building up your confidence and a set of outdoorsy skills to make your next adventure so much more achievable.


This isn’t all about changing the world and making a difference. Stopping off at epic places, wild camping on remote sandbars, swimming, paddleboarding, eagle and pelican watching and letting our hair down is all part of the package. Pack light, soak up the sun and recharge in between the deep bits by taking a wander around islands or along wide open sand bars at sunset. Or just jump in and have a swim as the river flows on by.


Remote locations plus a geographical journey provides the ideal scenario for learning. We don't require any previous skills ahead of a trip, but you will leave us well qualified to move forwards, whatever you plan on doing next. From paddling 30ft canoes and 14ft paddleboards, to making fires and slinging hammocks; welcome to the world’s best classroom!


The Mighty Mississippi flows 99 miles out of Memphis down to Clarksdale in giant meandering loops into the verdant and fantastically fertile Mississippi Delta, the former cotton kingdom that gave birth to the Delta Blues.

The river leaves the city behind, carving elegant S-curves through deep woods as it meanders through Commerce Bend, Mhoon Bend and Walnut Bend, and then wanders down through a floodplain fifteen miles wide to the mouth of the St. Francis River, one of several tributaries that adds to the feeling of wildness.

Hundreds of thousands of acres of protected bottomland hardwood forest rest alongside the Mississippi in an incredible labyrinth of islands, forests, bayous, blue holes and back channels. Its the largest roadless area in the mid-south and where the road ends, the trail begins for paddlers. Giant islands in the river adds to the experience and we will enjoy wild open places, deep forests, hidden back channels, rich wildlife, and spectacular camping throughout.

For more info go to:

May the River Be With You Podcast
Featuring Hosts Mark River
& Charles Coleman

Episode #2 May the River be with You
Education Episode Now Available on Stitcher:

In this episode, we speak to educators Shannon McMulkin and Scott Shirey about why the Mississippi River is no longer an official part of the curriculum for the children who live near it and what we can do to change it. Also featuring Mark River's Reflections and River Time with John Ruskey.

Go to:

Rhythm & Flow Exhibition
Northwest Mississippi
Community College
Sept 3rd - 30th, Reception Sept 6th

Partnership Now Available:

Looking for Partner:
Quapaw Canoe Company
Clarksdale, Mississippi

Intro: This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone who both loves the water and has dreamed of running or partnering in their own business.

Purchase or partnership using well-established and successful system of operations. Great opportunity to take it & run, but also for coaching, mentoring, logistical support, and camaraderie of the Quapaw Canoe network of river rats on the biggest and baddest river in North America!

Description: Quapaw Canoe Company is now offering a partnership opportunity for someone with a strong passion for rivers, outdoor recreation, and is ready to dive into a challenging but rewarding business based in Clarksdale, Miss, (with outposts in Vicksburg and Helena, Arkansas). Visionary thriving business with incredible range: the Mighty Mississippi River from St. Louis to Gulf of Mexico; 1200 miles of free-flowing river. 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 staff share in all aspects of the work to be done. For more information about QCC, please visit

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 be honest, earnest and hard-working. We are all worker bees in this company; the river is the queen.

To Apply: Please send 1) current resume, 2) an essay describing your interest, 3) Three letters of reference, and 4) 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. Please contact above for more information. Serious inquiries only.

"May the River be With You"
Podcast with Mark River
and Charles Coleman

Jump on board the big muddy with your guide Mark "River" Peoples and feel the powerful, storied currents of the Mighty Mississippi River pull at your feet and open your imagination. "May The River Be With You" focuses on how the largest river in North America influences and impacts our culture, from arts and education to ecology and commerce. In each episode, we discuss how the river affects us all in unexpected ways while also featuring music, poetry, tales and myths inspired by the river itself.

"May the River be With You"
Now available on

Podcast Description

May the River be With You is a Clarksdale, MS, podcast focusing on the Mississippi River through stories about culture, art, music, recreation, tourism, and economy. The Mississippi River provides millions of people with drinking water, and sustains thousands of species in its wetlands, floodplains, and bottomland hardwood forests. The podcast increases river awareness through story-telling, education, engagement, advocacy, and policy.

Podcast presented by the Quapaw Canoe Company with support from 1Mississippi, the Coahoma Collective and the Mississippi River Network.

Co-hosted by Mark River Peoples and Charles Coleman. Produced by Coop Cooper. Artwork, music, and narratives by Johnnie “Driftwood” Ruskey.


Podcast made possible by 1Mississippi:


The Mississippi River Network


And the Coahoma Collective

Mark River is Chief Guide and Youth Leader for the Quapaw Canoe Company. He is also the Southern Coordinator of 1 Mississippi's River Citizen Program.



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 and click on "Quapaw Dispatch" for viewing back issues of the LMRD.


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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.


1Mississippi River Citizen Program: River Citizens are people who want to clean up and protect America’s greatest River. Whether in armchairs or wading boots, River Citizens protect the River by speaking up on its behalf and caring for it in simple ways that make a big difference. Together, we can protect the River for future generations. Take the first step today and sign up for free as a River Citizen at 1Mississippi, can the River count on you?"


The Walter Anderson Museum of Art inspires discovery, imagination, and community-building on the Gulf Coast and beyond through programs, exhibitions, and outreach; and embodies Walter Anderson’s vision for societies in harmony with their environments. "Our mission is to empower lifelong curiosity and connection to the natural world through the art of Walter Anderson and kindred artists."


LEAN: the Louisiana Environmental Action Network: Before LEAN was founded in 1986, polluters ran roughshod over Louisiana’s unique environment and way of life. Since then LEAN has fought to safeguard not just Louisiana’s scenic beauty, wildlife and culture but more importantly those underserved citizens that don’t have a voice. Help LEAN serve the needs of Louisiana's communities.


The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people every year. Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace.


Coahoma Collective catalyzes arts-driven, community-inclusive revitalization in downtown Clarksdale


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.