Canoers Stop In Memphis On Their Way To The Gulf Of Mexico
(Memphis) “Old Man River” is about 13-feet below normal in Memphis, and it could fall another two and half feet by late next month.
Companies shipping goods on the Mississippi have lightened cargo loads, so barges won’t be grounded.
The low water is perfect though for one group using the river as their means of exploring.
Four friends, two canoes, one goal,
“We have set out to canoe the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.”
Sixty two days and fifteen hundred miles from where they started, one woman and three men paddle into the Mud Island Marina for a rest.
April Couch says the canoe trip is a life changing experience, “The Mississippi is the river by which all other rivers can be judged. So if I need to know anything about any other rivers, I need to do this one.”
These adventurers are seeing the river up-close and personal as it continues its drop.
Danger from sandbars, seen and unseen, or sharing the channel with huge towboats and barges are things they seem to take in stride.
Caleb Couch says “Ole Man River” has treated them kindly, “Other than a few sharp curves where you can get in a bind, it hadn’t been too bad. So, we been kind of lucky.”
Because their 17 foot canoes don’t have lights, the four must get off the river at night.
They sleep on sandbars that have popped up as the water went down.
Gregory Schley says the sandy islands are where the river gives up some interesting artifacts, “I found a few neat pieces of glass, old soda bottles, some pretty cool pieces of driftwood, got a few nice shells I picked up. Little trinkets like that, here and there.”
But certainly they haven’t found anything like the huge anchor uncovered recently by Memphian Eric Nielsen.
The rusted iron anchor and chain, possibly dating to the mid 1800s was found sticking out of the mud in Wolf River Harbor.
The travelers are more concerned with having plenty of energy food and water for the next 750 miles of their journey.
The stop in Memphis gave Caleb couch a chance to update the journal he’s keeping for family and friends, “Every time you tell somebody what you’re doing they look at you like you’re crazy. So if I’m going to be called crazy, I might as well give them a reason to, you know.”
The group says they are going to take a break for a few days in Memphis, eat some barbecue and listen to some music on Beale Street.