After several months of planning and improvising a craft from an old pontoon the reality was that we were actually riding the current of the mighty Mississippi River.
For a week in May and the full month of June we lived aboard our raft-like craft (below) ‘Freebird.’ It was a simplistic voyage covering 1700 + miles of The Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans; our trusty kayak ‘traveller‘ in tow.
The links to our daily log is the right column of this page –
The scenery and activity surrounding the Mississippi River was an interesting change from the ‘normal’ setting of the Carolina’s. The 32 days onboard were spent walking the deck, observing, and standing rather than sitting while simply ‘absorbing’ the features as we drifted by – a ‘throw-back’ of early American adventure. It helped to read-up on the river before the trip.
Beyond the perpetual motion beneath us, ‘towboats’ were the most predominant feature and # 1) topic of conversation along the river. Other conversation points with the folks that we met along the river seemed to be unanimous at # 2) their personal desire to ‘go down the river,’ and # 3) catching and eating catfish from the river.
We took alot of pictures and learned firsthand the remarkable nature of those folks along her banks. I can attest to the fact that the Mississippi is indeed an “interstate of waterways” – truly the ‘backbone’ within our country in moving bulk commerce on a massive scale – in a safe manner.
From this tiny vantage point, the unexpected bonus was in surpassing New Orleans and weathering a couple of days along the Gulf’s Intercoastal Waterway. I loved it, New Orleans to Biloxi, was an added horizon. I did not want to get off of the water nor the trip to end – but in the end the little ‘raft’ (Freebird) was no match for the ‘rolling swells’ of the Gulf.
Of course with any adventure such as this it takes the support/words and effort of friends, family, and folks along the way to make it ‘full-circle,’ thank you – you folks know who you are.
In working back through the notes I will elaborate a little more where I couldn’t while on the river. On the lower Mississippi cell towers were few and reception was spotty – plus there was just too much for me to take-in. I really wanted to look around, it was time away from this computer… and it was time well spent.
For the most part the camera held our notes, as for the video’s – be reminded that my broadcast voice sucks (plus with some of those drink concoctions it really didn’t matter) what I did do was to push the button; and make a note; we did it!
Within the effort we could’ve been living a hundred years ago, on the river and floatin downstream – for those 32 days of June – that was all in the world that mattered…
The boat made it home and once back in the Carolina’s I really hated to pluck the bird’s feathers – but it had to be done. Check the ‘Ghost of Freebird’ link over there to your right. The simple practicality of the vessel worked well.
The complete trip was an outstanding ride on one of mother nature’s continental tear ducts; hopefully this blog and the notes within may provide some perspective for those with a similar interest. Check out the questions section of for more detailed answers surrounding the logistic’s of such a ride – a post for each day
blogsurfer.us . river cruise
Water clarity- 4 upper, 2 lower
Natural Quality – 5 (Upper Mississippi)
Difficulty – moderate, you will become advanced with time
Best thing about the water – it’s temperature
(this is a commercial waterway)
“Traveller’s” updated adventures