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Quapaw Canoe Company - Huck and Jim River Seminar

Search for the Healthy City

On the Mighty Mississippi

October 2-7, 2014

    …all the trouble begins back in town!

Huck Finn

Join us for a magical journey into the world of Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn. This study tour will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, Clarksdale, Mississippi, and on the great waters of the mighty Mississippi. We’ll spend two nights at the Clark House in Clarksdale before heading out to paddle the Mississippi River in large voyageur canoes with the Quapaw Canoe Company and camp on the banks of the river for two nights, As we descend Mississippi’s Muddy Water Wilderness we’ll have seminar discussions on Mark Twain’s greatest work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and seek to discover what a good town is really like. Anyone interested in finding a way to a healthier community is welcome.  St. John’s College alums Jim Bailey and John Ruskey will serve as trip organizers. A detailed agenda with reading assignments will be emailed to participants in advance of travel.


Preliminary Itinerary:

Thurs. October 2 – Memphis.  Tour Memphis on your own if you want.

  • 4 – 8 pm –Meet at the Bailey house (1458 Vinton Ave.) for welcome reception, beer, and BBQ.
  • 8 pm –Bus takes us to Clarksdale • 10 pm –Arrive at The Clark House  (www.clarkhouse.info)

Fri. October 3 –Clarksdale.  Morning activities including teaching about the river and paddling lessons.  See sights in Clarksdale.  Lunch, free time, seminar 3:30 - 5:30 pm, cocktails, dinner. 

Sat. October 4 and Sun. October 5 – On the Mississippi.  Canoe the Muddy Waters Wilderness section (www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm) with Quapaw Canoe Company. Paddle in morning.  Lunch on the river.  Set up camp and have seminar with the Mighty Quapaws 3:30 - 5:30 pm, dinner. Read Huck Finn by the campfire and sing songs of the Huck Finn era.

Mon. October 6 –Clarksdale.  Return to the Clark House and Seminar 3:30 - 5:30 pm. Closing dinner party at Bluesberry Cafe.

Tues. October 7 –Departures.  A bus will leave Clarksdale, MS at 9 AM for arrival at take you Memphis International Airport by 10:30 AM and will proceed to Amtrak Memphis Central Station for connections to Chicago or New Orleans, or downtown Memphis as needed.  Book your flight departing Memphis no earlier than 11:30 AM in order to allow adequate time.



1.  Call The Clark House to reserve your room. (Thu-Fri., Oct. 2-3 & Mon., Oct. 6)

Lodging for two nights before and one night after our river adventure is available at The Clark

House, a historic bed and breakfast in the heart of Clarksdale (www.clarkhouse.info). We’ve booked the whole house. To reserve and pay for a room, contact the Innkeeper, Billy Howell, at The Clark House directly by phone at 662-621-1632, or by email at host@clarkhouse.info.Tell him you are with the Search for the Healthy City On the Mississippi trip to receive a 10% discount on regular room rates for the 3 nights of the study tour. Space at the Clark House is limited; rooms will be made available on a first come, first serve basis.  If we run out of space at The Clark House or you would prefer to stay elsewhere, we will help you locate other lodging nearby.

2.  Contact John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company to reserve and pay for your canoe spot(s), 

Our three day, two night, float down the Mississippi will be organized and led by John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company.  Your fee of $375 per person includes transportation in Clarksdale, MS to and from the river, canoes, paddles, life preservers, all meals on the river, and coffee in the morning.  A tent and/or sleeping bags can be rented for a small additional fee, or you can bring your own.  Contact John Ruskey at

291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614; 662- 627-4070 or 662-902-7841; email: john@island63.com. A sample itinerary for the Muddy

Waters Wilderness Area is available at www.island63.com/expeditions-muddy_waters.cfm.


3.  Fill out the attached form and mail it, along with a check for $150, to Jim Bailey at The Healthy City


Your $150 will cover transportation by bus round trip from Memphis to Clarksdale, MS and three dinners (Thurs, Fri, and Monday nights). 


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