Miles Covered: 117 river miles, 2 days; Lmr 364 to lmr 334, to 247 Alsen, La.
Closest towns or landmark (chart): Vidalia, La to Baton Rouge (Profit Island)
Original Post date: June 23
Maybe it’s just meant that I spend my summer on the river. After a restless night in the hotel bed I could relate to Carl’s story of tossing and turning after leaving the ‘bird’ in Memphis. Yesterday I thought the trek could end under a bridge across from Natchez; today – I am on the river once again!
The day has had such a ‘really good’ feeling to it. Sure, I could have “pulled out” and found nothing but positives with completing 14 out of 17 hundred miles on the Mississippi, I’ve experienced alot – but to go further could only add to the value that fueled this venture.
On this date the breeze felt a little cooler (than 96), the mist was a little sweeter and the muddy Mississippi could just as well been spring water. To be back out on the Mississippi’s mighty current – the only place that I really wanted to spend this summer – was really ‘the best’ feeling of the entire trek..
I suppose it is possible too that emotions are entwined into the things that happen to us. I’ve witnessed how many lives are touched by this river – so why should I not expect that emotions to be part of this journey also.
One (of many) of my contemplation’s of the day were of the recent emotions – now simply ‘river’ emotions ‘under-the-bridge.’ Could a member of crew (Patrick) have contributed to those emotions?
From his ‘cool-whip’ bucket at the helm Patrick’s soul teased us by sharing his ‘river-emotions’ in a very real way – for me it just made sense. The soul that we carried in our vessel made two attempts to reach New Orleans by canoe, wholehearted efforts of a lifetime fueled by a competitive desire. Falling short, this man went home ‘wet’ and defeated – twice. I could only imagine the lingering weight of those emotions entangled within the sweet memories of riding the river’s current…
The highs as well as disappointments of such a quest one could carry for a lifetime – yes, I think Patrick reached out of his Cool-Whip bucket and reminded us that indeed, he was present….
For me; it all remains so compelling – everything about being on this river and riding her mighty current, plus –
I’ve got ‘the best seat in the house!
The number of tows in this area has increased. I tied to a buoy just to ‘unplug’ from the action and catch-up with some writing – as I stopped there were three tows in sight but when I lifted my head after 40 minutes there were seven working tows in the area. Once again I slipped into the flow of the armada and moved on downriver.
‘Cess-pocket’ because I have no better name for it – just a decadent swirl of trash and debris moving along in the water – not many and – for the entire trip I’ve only noticed one deer carcass, and that was just up the river from this point. There is the occasional flowered lily or hyacinth floating on the river too, a southern thing – it does help to color those tan and muddy Mississippi waters..
The towboats strike me as a positive while adding to the ‘flavor’ of the setting – another contemplated point because their enormous propellers agitate the water (much like a waste-water treatment plant), which I’m thinking is a good thing. In the end it all ends up in the Mississippi Delta and Gulf of Mexico as nutrients…..
The late start only made for a thirty mile day, another day of just ‘feeling the motor out’ while savoring the wonderful perspective of living on this river – I LOVE the experience! and spent most all the time on my feet rather than sitting. Word of the day, ‘happy!’
This day on the river was really appreciated, such a good feel to it all..
Locating a shady place in a bend of the river somewhere between the 334 – 5 mile marker (dead-mans bend) – I tied down out of the sweltering sun for the night.
another unusual thing about this date was that I hadn’t actively sought mile-markers or day-marks, for some reason it simply didn’t matter as much; heck, I didn’t really care – I just kept the ‘bird in the channel and enjoyed the shoreline, river, stuff in the water, and being among the towboats……….
Walking the shore was a fine ending to this day. The feeling of joy of being ‘bac on the river was absolutely a ‘winners feeling’……….. Day 26, thirty miles that felt really, really good.
Day 27 lmr 336-247 – Onward to Baton Rouge
More hot, flat, wide, and slow.
Somewhere below Greenville, Ms the lower river has become all of these things, few homes or life-forms along the level shoreline, less and less to look at.
For the better part of the day I follow a tow, he also running idle speed or less – our rates were pretty much matched. I drifted for a while – its tempting to nap with the heat but I don’t. Having the ‘bird’ at idle keeps the boat downstream (drifting it slowly spins toward the shore).
Again, a long dull stretch (hence the hot, flat, wide, and slow), about the only thing to break it up was the Old River Control Structure and another CG Buoy tender outta nowhere, the Greenbriar 75501.
The Old River Structure from what I recall reading was build in the early 1900’s as a method to prevent the main channel of the river from changing its course and eventually bypassing New Orleans, the Mississippi River ‘meanders’ – just part of its character – we humans try to fix things, part of our character too (more info on the Control Structure) – Morganza spillway.
At this rate New Orleans could come by Saturday – fifty miles a day should be easy – this leaves a little time for any stop along the way. Baton Rouge and Donaldsonville are the only known fuel points (meaning a walk with the hand-truck). A stop could mean a good meal also – not that I’m starving. Ice is the luxury, but I have turkey, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, rice with different additives for flavor, fish when its available and an assortment of beverages – mostly without ice (Minnesota “Shoo-tahs”). There are so many other things to observe, see, and think about – that ‘food’ is really not something that I dwell on.
I’m about ten miles out of Baton Rouge and the laziness of earlier is being replaced by some bridge construction and industry – I expect more as I enter Baton Rouge tomorrow. I haven’t seen any ‘gators yet – but I’m thinking this is ‘Tiger country’ (LSU).
after making about 75 miles today, I search for an island to ‘fall-behind’ before the hustle of industrial Baton Rouge – I’m ready to find some shade, get comfortable, and put my “feet up” (its been a hard lazy day) ….
after checking out one island unsuccessfully I locate another (Profit Island) and duck in behind her – about the 247mm near a CG buoy stockpile.
Taking advantage of an overhead tree limb I secure two separate anchor points with rope and settle back. Standing on the front of the boat, I douse myself with several containers of water to fend the thick heat off – then settle back into the shade……
lets see, what am I going to wear tomorrow? 🙂
and I slept really, really well despite the heat….
Noted ‘towboats’ for the day (s);
The John Pasteline
The Joy Anne Keller
The Kay A Eckstein
The Gail C
The Carol P
The Limestone Lady
The Stephine J Starbine
The Chas Peters
The Blake Denton