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~~Lower Mississippi River Dispatch~~
~~~LMRD 770, Mar 11, 2019~~~
~Voice of the Lower Mississippi River~
~~~~~~~Secret Channels~~~~~~~


Secret channels leading to the most beautiful places...


...and the most beautiful campsites!

Are you ready to get away from it all? See below for details on several upcoming adventures you can join:


1) This Saturday: Community Canoe Trip on Mississippi River (Mar 14, from Helena, AR)

With Dale Sanders, life-long adventurer extraordinaire! Oldest man to paddle the Mississippi River! No previous experience necessary, but must be ready to paddle. Saturday, Mar 14th, 2020 in partnership with the Lower Mississippi River Foundation. $50 adults, $10 kids. Meet at 12noon at 107 Perry St, Helena, AR, for a fun afternoon on the Mighty Mississippi River in big canoes! (Stay in touch: this will be cancelled if the weather is not favorable).

2) Horn Island Artist's Retreat (Mar 23-28)


On the wildest of Mississippi's Barrier Islands. See below for details. Led by artists Robin Whitfield and John Ruskey. In partnership with the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. To & from Ocean Springs, MS, starting Mon Mar 23 for 6 days, return to shore Sat Mar 28. (see below for full details)

3) Muddy Waters Wilderness #1 (Mar 24-27)

This is our favorite -- and wildest -- stretch of river along the Lower Miss, and it's full of big islands, wildlife, culture, history, giant beaches, secret back channels, and the big river meandering through it all. Open seating: write john@island63.com to reserve your seat, or for more details! (3 nights/4 days). Click here for photos and description. Or here: http://www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm

4) Paddle to the Gulf: New Orleans to South Pass (Mar 31-Apr 3)

With guerilla photographer Constanze Flamme. For hearty, outdoor adventure, survivalist-types. Meet in Algiers, Tues, Mar 31. Four-day expedition to Mile Zero, down the South Pass, and then paddle back upstream to Venice on April 3rd. Big Waves, questionable campsites, and 28 mile return trip against the current. For strong paddlers only!

5) Muddy Waters Wilderness #2 (April 24-27)

This is our favorite -- and wildest -- stretch of river along the Lower Miss, and it's full of big islands, wildlife, culture, history, giant beaches, secret back channels, and the big river meandering through it all. Open seating: write john@island63.com to reserve your seat, or for more details! (3 nights/4 days). Click here for photos and description. Or here: http://www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm


6) Horn Island Naturalist's Retreat (April 7 - 10)

For female naturalists and nature enthusiasts. Women only. To & from Ocean Springs, MS, starting Tues April 7 for 4 days, return to shore Fri April 10. Open to professional scientists, biologists, amateur naturalists, and nature enthusiasts of the female persuasion!

7) Juke Joint Festival 2020 ~ April 15-19 in Clarksdale, Miss ~ Paddling Events ~

* Quapaw Canoe Company Stage * Sunflower River Camping* *Canoe Carving Workshop * 1 Mississippi Booth * Canoe Rentals * LMRF Booth *

8) Muddy Waters Wilderness #3 (May 5-8)

This is our favorite -- and wildest -- stretch of river along the Lower Miss, and it's full of big islands, wildlife, culture, history, giant beaches, secret back channels, and the big river meandering through it all. Open seating: write john@island63.com to reserve your seat, or for more details! (3 nights/4 days). Click here for photos and description. Or here: http://www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm

*Note #1: book your own trip*

If none of the above dates fit your schedule, book your own custom-made adventure! Go to www.island63.com for more information. Call or write john@island63.com or 662-902-7841.

**Note #2: in regards to Covid-19**

1) Being the on the river is probably one of the safest places you could be in regards to viruses, and disease in general. Fresh air, remote locations, healthy eating, good sleeps, exercise, and UV rays all severely lessen the dangers. For one thing you have less exposure to possible infection. The other is that your immune system is strengthened by outdoor activity and wilderness type camping.


2) Regardless of the above, we at Quapaw Canoe are strengthening our hygiene routine. I am writing canoe and campsite protocol into our guide manual which includes a combination of frequent hand washing, soap, bleach, and alcohol (not all at once, but separately!). We will share our new protocol with you, our clientele, on every trip.

3) Maybe Drive instead of Flying? We don’t recommend flying in this time of heightened virus contagion danger. Airports and airplanes seem to be particularly risky. So do hotels. As an alternate to flying, why not drive? And if needed, camp along the way? With handsoap, water, and a bottle of alcohol, you can easily safeguard your own vehicle, and control your amount of public connections. Anyone close enough to drive might want to consider a road trip! Camp along the way. Campgrounds are safer than hotels. The more primitive, the safer. Strange, huh? You can camp behind the canoe company when you arrive in Clarksdale. Stay close to home but still enjoy a great adventure on North America’s biggest, boldest, baddest, and most beautiful river!




Two Weeks Away. We have room for one or two more!

Mar 23 - Mar 28 | Horn Island

Horn Island Expedition | Artist’s Retreat in Voyageur Canoe



Robin Whitfield, John Ruskey, and Walter Anderson Museum of Art all partner together for a six day expedition to the wild and remote barrier island that Walter Anderson considered Eden.


Time & Location

Monday, Mar 23 - Saturday, Mar 28
(One day paddling out, four days on island, one day paddling back)

| Open seats! To register, contact John Ruskey at john@island63.com. |

In celebration of the Spring, artist-adventurers and guides John Ruskey, Robin Whitfield, 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. Nature artist and conservation champion Robin Whitfield is first mate and guest artist.

Contact: John Ruskey at john@island63.com 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."

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More about our trips:

On behalf of the Mighty
Quapaws, we look forward to a river adventure with you and your family! For us, there is nothing we like better than serving you, and sharing the secret beauty of our Queen, the Lower Mississippi River. Here is some basic info about trips:

Pick Out Dates:

We are a custom outfit, so simply tell me which days you would like to go out on, and we’ll organize it for you. Consult our online calendar http://www.island63.com/calendar.cfm?startdate=03/01/2020 Scroll through the months. Pick out dates, and email (or call) me back. We are a team of a dozen or so guides and support staff. Even if a date is taken, we still might be able to create a custom-guided trip for you.

Meet Place:

Meet place for trips is Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS. Park your vehicle. Pack your gear in our waterproof dry bags, board our shuttle. And head off to an adventure on the biggest river in North America!

Camping:

The camping is spectacular on the Mississippi River — it’s like having an entire ocean beach to yourself! Full of wildlife, and the wonders of nature. The stars are almost as good as western skies. You can find 5-star camping on land, but on the river it’s million-star camping! It is primitive camping, so no bathrooms or showers. But, you can swim in the Mississippi, and there is plenty of privacy when you need it. We carry everything with us for all of our trips, and go completely self-contained with all canoe and survival gear, food, water, camp and kitchen equipment, and personal items.

Route:

We’ll probably take you on our favorite stretch of river, which is the Muddy Waters Wilderness (3-5 days). This is the wildest stretch of river along the Lower Miss, full of big islands, wildlife, culture, history, back channels, and the big river meandering through it all. http://www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm

Pricing:

For 6 or more people it’s $145 each per person/per day, all inclusive: guiding, outfitting, shuttle and meals. So if you do an overnight it’s $290 each. If 2 nights then it’s $435. Bring your own tent and sleeping bags + pads, or we can provide, add $35 each.

See Pricing Page http://www.island63.com/pricing.cfm for more details.

FAQs:

Also, our FAQs page will answer a lot of questions:

http://www.island63.com/faq.cfm

Maybe Drive instead of Flying?

We don’t recommend flying in this time of heightened virus contagion danger. Airports and airplanes seem to be particularly risky. As an alternate to flying, why not drive? You can easily safeguard your own vehicle, and control your amount of public connections. So anyone close enough to drive might want to consider a road trip! Stay close to home but still enjoying a great adventure on North America’s biggest, boldest, baddest, and most beautiful river!

Sincerely yours in service of the river.

-John

John Ruskey

Quapaw Canoe Company

291 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

662-902-7841

john@island63.com


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Juke Joint Festival 2020

Associated Activities

at the Quapaw Canoe Company:

Wednesday-Saturday, April 15-19, 2020

*Sunflower River Camping

*Sunflower River Canoe Rentals

*Canoe-Carving Demonstration & Workshop

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

Saturday, April 18th

*Quapaw Canoe Company Stage

Sunday, April 19th

*Paddling on the Sunflower River

All events will meet & take place street level 3rd & Sunflower in downtown Clarksdale all day 9 - 4pm every day Wednesday April 15 – Saturday April 18, 2020. Community Paddle on the Sunflower River only Sunday, April 19th.

For more information contact Quapaw Canoe Company or info@island63.com 662-902-7841, Mark “River” Peoples 662-902-1885, or Tanner Aljets (618) 520-9749.

Sunflower River Camping

Wednesday - Sunday, April 15 - 19th, 2020

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 john@island63.com.

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 markriver@island63.com.





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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 info@island63.com 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.

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