Somewhere 5 Miles North of Rosedale, Mississippi
October 11, 2019

Dear Family & Friends:

Each day brings a new challenge, some challenges much greater than others. Determination and resourcefulness are necessary.

I am currently 150 miles south of Memphis. The trip from Memphis was pretty uneventful. Here are the two most exciting things that happened.

A large Asian Carp jumped out of the water above the level of my canoe and crashed into the side of the canoe. That woke me up! If this fish had hit me, it would have probably knocked me out.

As I rounded a bend, I saw a towboat parked perpendicular to the shore with its barges on the shoreline and the towboat in the channel. I thought that’s a weird way to park. So, I decided to paddle around it. When I was less than 150 feet from the back of the towboat, I realized it was backing up and we were on a collision course. I shifted into high gear and avoided disaster, but I was shaking for several minutes after this occurred. Rookie mistake and another lesson learned.

I bought a five gallon collapsable water container in Memphis and filled it in the hotel. At my first stop, it was half empty. At my second stop, it was empty. Now, I have a water issue. You cannot drink or filter Mississippi River water. I checked for cities on my maps where I could purchase water and there were none. But, I spotted a casino not far from the River with no River access. So, I parked my canoe, climbed up a steep overgrown bank and walked 1/2 miles to the casino. I had a nice meal and bought 12 bottled waters from vending machines. Problem solved.

Yesterday, I had two issues. A major thunderstorm was predicted for today and the charging devices I use for my electronics were low on battery power. I need the electronics to navigate. As luck would have it, there was a line of nice homes along the Mississippi side of the River and the homes were not occupied. So, I pulled into shore and set up my campsite near the River. Then, I walked to the nearest home and charged my electronic devices from outlets outside the home. Since the home was on stilts, I knew I could take shelter if the thunderstorm got nasty. Two problems solved.

Yesterday was the toughest day on the River so far. The water was rough all day and I was paddling into a stiff headwind. The current, which is usually helpful, was nonexistent. I was exhausted at the end of the day. I hope today is better.

I have just under 600 miles to New Orleans, where I plan to take a couple of zero days. Hopefully, some of my family will meet me there. From New Orleans, it is about 100 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. So, I’m on a glide path to end this trip in about 30 days.


American Duchess docked in Memphis

The American Duchess passing my campsite


Guides taking high school students on a Mississippi River field trip. Same canoe maker as my canoe-Clipper

Campsite on a giant desert sandbar

Shelter from the storm and power outlets