Day 17, 18 to/in Memphis, Tennessee

Previous Day

Miles Covered:  lm 795 to lm 736  (69 river miles)

Closest towns or landmark (chart): Gold Dust Bar to Memphis Yacht Club

Original Post date: June 15

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Sunday morning, we awake to “Rain world” – and its all really ok; I could think of worse places to spend a morning.  I just ease around in the berth and listen to the rain hit the roof, nice. 

The only damper to it is that Memphis is about 60 miles away and with that a planned 24-hour layover at the Marina.


Soon the coffee pot and Marine weather channel both are in full swing; we were tied to the west bank  (Arkansas side) with 4 to 6 inches of rain and more weather moving towards us – lightning at the moment was not a factor.

I did my one with the river thing before Carl and I considered our options – soon we tucked in the front tarp (leaving a small flap as a little rain shelter) and settled back.  Later, when the rain subsided (sprinkles with lighter skies ahead) we moved out.

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As we entered the current the skies cleared even more; we still had the front tarp halfway extended and while knocking some of the water off – we lost another object to the sea, our hand-truck.  It didn’t float as I had expected so was placed on our growing “lost to the sea” list…

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Then ‘sun world” returned and it became another perfect day to what was just the opposite for the start.

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The shorelines now were very steep clay eroded bluffs, along with this change there were a few more tows in passing – its all still very interesting and enjoyable.

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Through the day we talked, walked the boat, sat on the roof, moved things around, read, climbed out-back to switch out fuel lines/tanks – and then talked about what we saw once again.

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It was nice to see Memphis on the horizon; a tow passed leaving some really tall “woop-de-doo” type of waves for us to roll across, which brought Carl down from the roof – from there I think Carl was looking forward to the solid ground ahead.

As we eased along the shoreline there was a long park area where folks were enjoying the day, some even taking the time to wave to us – making us feel a little special.  Soon we turned into the channel for the Memphis Yacht Club – Mud Island Marina. 

At the marina our ‘dock-side’ tap water was out due to recent flooding, didn’t change our plans to stay a couple nights and check out the ‘blues’ of Beale Street.  Carl left the option open to ‘punch-out’ and with the arrival of his wife his plans soon solidified. – He had construction on his mind at home plus he has met his 700 mile goal of the Upper Mississippi.  He actually completed half of the expected trip to New Orleans with few large towns below us – I could tell that he really didn’t want to leave the river.

Carl bought Freebird the following year and made two unsuccessful attempts (drought/flood periods) at completing the river.

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In the Marina we found a guy that was rowing (Dan Cook, riversofrecovery.org) down the Mississippi, actually started up in the Yukon to raise awareness for the Veterans of our country, by chance I had seen a piece on NBC news a while back where he also took a group of vet’s out to experience fly-fishing, its neat what he is doing and we sat and talked on the dock until late, I expect to see him on the river again further down, check out his web-site.

Buzz Holmstrom


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Well a down day in Memphis, I’m ready for it – but I already miss being on the river too…….

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Noted ‘tows’ for the day;

The Jay Luke

The Randy Eckstein

The Judith Ellen

The CW Rushing

The Susie Cooney

The Thomas E Erickson


Next Day, Day 19 – Memphis, o miles


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