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LMRD 787 - Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
"Voice of the Lower Mississippi River"
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 -- Montezuma Islands Adventure

We've been guiding couples, families and small groups on a safe daytrip to an archipelago of islands on the Mississippi River. Lots of couples. The pandemic is pulling us apart in ways but recombining us in others. New relationships are being formed on the Montezuma Island Adventure, new friendships, new loves. We have seen them all. We even had a couple get engaged this last week!

If you want to get outside, and get on the river, we have figured out how to do it safely, even amongst the challenges of the virus: one person, one family, one group at a time, no mixing & matching, and do your own food and shuttling. Cheaper that way also! See below for more info, or call trip coordinator Allie Grant 662-627-4070, guides John Ruskey 662-902-7841, or Mark River 662-902-1885, and we'll make it happen! (In Vicksburg-Natchez area call Capt. Layne Logue 601-529-7354 for other safe daytrip options).

~~~All photos from trips of last month~~~

Montezuma Daytrip: This summer we have been offering a beautiful daytrip by canoe involving a tour of a small archipelago of Mississippi River Islands with big beaches, swim holes, birds, turtles, and other wildlife. This daytrip can be done safely, following below protocol. We are offering a morning trip, meeting at 9am at our base in downtown Clarksdale. Or an afternoon trip, meet at 2pm. Early riser? Meet at 5am and experience an unforgettable sunrise over the water, and the best wildlife viewing. Lately we've been seeing terns, bald eagles, indigo buntings, viceroys biutterflies, hackberry butterflies, and lots of others. The dragonflies have hatched big time. The swimming is the best in the mid-south, if you know where to go. And we do!

Montezuma Island Adventure

Meet at 9am (or 2pm or 5am), Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS. For paddlers coming from Helena, if you prefer, you can meet at Montezuma Landing an hour later. Return to land after 4-6 hours. Round-trip paddle. Pack your own lunch, snacks and water. We’ll have watermelon to share, and big jug to refill water bottles. Don’t forget sun protection. Be prepared for sun and possible rain. No previous experience necessary, all paddle together in our big canoes with guides. But must be willing to paddle — sometimes hard paddling necessary. Charge depends on number going. 1 person $215, 2 peeps $165, 3 — $130, 4 — $110, 5 — $95, 6 or more — $85. Payment due at trip start by cash or check. If by credit card, let me know and I will send Paypal Billing (at 3% PP bank fee).


Meet: 9am (or 2pm, or 5am)

Quapaw Canoe Company

291 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Shuttle to river

Start: 10am Montezuma Landing

Lunch: Montezuma Island

End: 3-5pm Montezuma Landing (could be later if you want to stay out longer)


Hot, humid, typical summer-like weather! Slight chance of rain during week. Cool down with a splash of river water, wading or swimming. Blue holes, inlets and calm pools are found throughout day.


Charge depends on number going. 1 person $215, 2 peeps $165, 3 — $130, 4 — $110, 5 — $95, 6 or more — $85. Covers guide, canoe, paddles, life jackets and all safety & emergency gear. Payment due at trip start by cash or check. If by credit card, let me know and I will send Paypal Billing (at 3% PP bank fee).

Pack in Daypack or Drybag:

Each person should pack:

-waterbottles (at least 2 per person)

-snacks (or we’ll provide)

-lunch (or we’ll provide)

-sun protection

-bug protection


-cell phone


-bird book



Pack any electronics in dry bag, dry box, or zip lock bags

Water Bottle Refill:

We’ll pack a 5-gal jug of water to refill your personal water bottles.

Natural Refreshments:

We often carry a watermelon and/or fresh squeezed lemonade to share.


Dress for weather. Sun protective clothing this time of year! Wear shoes that can get muddy and wet.

Call trip coordinator Allie Grant 662-627-4070 if you’d prefer to talk! Or guides John Ruskey 662-902-7841, or Mark River 662-902-1885. Sincerely yours in service of the big river, the Mighty Quapaws

What else can you do on the Montezuma Island Daytrip?

discover remnants of giants passed (sweetgum rootball)...

touch a newborn wonder of light & color...

wander over freshly laid mud speckled with a rainbow of willow leaves...

discover alien life forms (new born cicada)...

listen to the syncopation in the woods...

and the patterns of time and life...

collect and classify plant diversity (ASU botany project)

bury your dog (or friend) in the sand...

enjoy the tranquility of cool shady peace and no one else to be seen or heard...

get momentarily lost on long walk...

discover cracks of time and mud...

islands of life on platforms of trash...

the rhythms of nature cause inspirations to the imagination...

take your beloved for a walk, and make a proposal...

explore a willow woods...

enjoy the river at dusk as the dragonflies bounce through the air...

Quapaw Canoe Company Pandemic Protocol:

We are using virus-era protocol for safety: 1) clients are doing their own shuttling and 2) providing their own food. We are only doing custom guided trips for individuals, friends, or families. No large groups or mixing & matching of groups. We are setting up hand washing station at landings and all stop places on trip. No hugs or handshakes. Practice safe CDC protocol with hand sanitation, use face masks in enclosed indoor places, and etc, and etc. If you are virus positive, or have been in recent contact with someone, stay home!

Quapaw Virus Protocol

The canoe and the river present special challenges and advantages:

1) no hugs or handshakes. We’re doing Japanese style bow, or tip your hat, or other no touch methods of greet and goodbyes. Don’t be insulted when we don’t hug…. We still love you!

2) Wash your hands frequently: We will make hand washing and hand sanitizer available to any visitors to our Clarksdale home base location. If you visit, go directly to one of our bathrooms and wash your hands! Use paper towels to dry, and then throw away.

3) Island Hand Wash: We will set up hand washing station with soap wherever we stop on river

4) Everyone should carry personal hand soap and/or hand sanitizer on canoe to use as needed.

5) If you have to sneeze, or cough, it’s easy in the canoe — use a disposable hand kerchief or paper towel, and sneeze towards water, away from center of canoe! Be aware of which way the wind is blowing!

6) you can always wash your hands in the river seated in the canoe. Use your personal hand soap and/or hand sanitizer. Biodegradable soaps are always a good choice for nature-friendly cleanliness (such as Dr. Bronner’s or other).

7) in public places, it’s also good to avoid touching common surfaces as much as possible -- for us that’s the paddles, life jackets and sides of the canoe. At any stops, keep your paddle and life jacket at your designated seat, or on shore. We will sanitize gunnels and seats in between trips, and at all stops during trips.

Note: As far as I can tell, vigorous hand washing with soap for 20 minutes is more effective than hand sanitizer. On the sandbars add sand for extra grit!

Info on traveling within the US:

General recommendations on prevention:

If you have any questions, or etc, see below for my contact. Feel free to write or call back!


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?"


We Can't Breathe

We at Quapaw Canoe Company are shocked, hurt and angered by the murder of George Floyd, and systemic violence towards our Black brothers & sisters, and subsequent injustices suffered by non-violent protestors, by ethical police trying to do their job, and by the many innocent people across our great nation. This is not what we are about. The right to breathe is the most basic of human needs. The right to clean water would have to be second. Everything we do at QCC is about a good, healthy life for all. We can’t breathe in this kind of atmosphere.

If you would like to read more about our internal rationale, please go to end of newsletter for a description of our core values and how they apply to this difficult time in our nation’s history.


Balance, Diversity, Democracy

Quapaw Canoe Company core values are balance, diversity, and democracy, which all derive from our experience paddling big canoes on the big waters of North America. Balance is exemplified by the passage of our canoes. Everything we do is about keeping even keel. To do otherwise is dangerous to our health and well-being. Pandemic and police brutality are symptoms of the imbalance we seek to counteract in our services and work as canoe builders, guides & outfitters. Other imbalances include species loss, global warming, and loss of wild places. Diversity for us includes all peoples and all creatures great and small. We have always created equal access for all. Our staff reflects our regional demographics, around 60% Black and 40% White. Since 1998 we have made it our mission to make sure all communities found along the Lower Mississippi River enjoy equal access to the wonders of the big river, and the life changing experience of the wilderness. Our adventures practice the best qualities of Democracy. Everyone in the big canoe sets aside their differences and paddles together for the good of the whole. We believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Inherent in life is the right to breathe clean air, the right to drink clean water, the right to eat good food, and the right to live in healthy shelter, in healthy communities.