The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail


Rivergator Credits

 

About the author: John Ruskey has been taking notes, photographs and documenting the river since his first raft trip down the Mississippi in 1982.  The Rivergator is the culmination of 30 years of exploration.  John has paddled the Mississippi on anything that floats including a log.  To verify all information John and his Mighty Quapaws have been making exploratory expeditions during Rivergator creation 2012-2015.  Says John, “We’ll let the river speak for herself.  But we’ll also spice up the journey with stories and vignettes from those many adventurers who have paddled the river and are willing to share first-hand experience and information.”

 

All writing is reviewed by a panel of paddlers, naturalists and other river experts.  Listed here by section:

 

Caruthersville to Memphis Section:

 

Dr. Ken Jones, big river pilot and Dyersburg biologist; Jim Stark, Dyersburg kayaker; Diana Threadgill, director of the Mississippi River Corridor-Tennessee; Keith Kirkland, big river canoeist, trailblazer and Wolf River Conservancy outdoors programs director; Bruce Van Wyngarden, big river pilot and founding editor of the Memphis Flyer;  Joe Royer, pioneering Memphis kayaker and founder of Outdoors Inc;  Dale Sanders, big river kayaker and adventurer extraordinaire;  Terry Eastin, Director of the Mississippi River Trail;  Colton Cockrum, river canoeist and founder of the Memphis River Warriors;  Bayard Morgan, canoeist and river advocate;  John Gary, big river pilot and all-around river-rat; Mike Beck, big river kayaker; Mark River Peoples, big river guide, and Chris “Wolfie” Staudinger, big river guide, Braxton Barden, avid paddler and mariner. 

 

Memphis to Helena Section:

 

Bruce Van Wyngarden, big river pilot and founding editor of The Memphis Flyer;  Joe Royer, pioneering Memphis kayaker and founder of Outdoors Inc.;  Dale Sanders, big river kayaker and adventurer extraordinaire;  Beth Wiedower, Arkansas Rural Delta Heritage Initiative, Terry Eastin, Director of the Mississippi River Trail;  Colton Cockrum, river canoeist and founder of the Memphis River Warriors;  Bayard Morgan, canoeist and river advocate;  Bubba Battle, canoe builder and paddler; Rick Howe, structural engineer, river rat; Julia Malinowski, Helena Tourism Director; Kevin Smith, historian and big river paddler; Bill Branch, curator Delta Cultural Center; Peggy Linton, Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi; Larry Jerrett Canoeist, river advocate; Kevin Pierson, National Audubon Society Lower Mississippi Program; Ernest Herndon, canoeist, author of Canoeing Mississippi and also Canoeing Louisiana, Paul Hartfield, biologist, pilot, big river expert; Mark River Peoples, big river guide, Chris “Wolfie” Staudinger, big river guide, and Braxton Barden, big river guide and mariner.

 

Greenville to Vicksburg Section:

 

Layne Logue, Kayaker; Russell Reynolds, kayaker; John Keen, photographer, kayaker; Meg Cooper, Director Lower Delta Partnership; Tommy Shropshire, outdoorsman, kayak-fisherman; Dora Ann Hatch, Agritourism Coordinator, LSU AgCenter; David Dupree, kayaker, Barry Boyette, kayaker, Dan Fordice, river air-rat; Wayne Pratt, kayaker, Bluz Cruz organizer; Tim McCarley, big river pilot; Angeline Rodgers, Director, Lower Mississippi River Commission; Bruce Reid, ornithologist, Lower Mississippi River Commission; Kevin Pierson, National Audubon Society Lower Mississippi Program; Ernest Herndon, canoeist, author of Canoeing Mississippi also Canoeing Louisiana, Paul Hartfield, biologist, pilot, big river expert; Ray Acock, big river naturalist; Mark River Peoples, big river guide, Chris “Wolfie” Staudinger, big river guide, and Braxton Barden, big river guide.

 

Sources:

 

Rivergator sources include the National Weather Service “Lower Mississippi River Gauge and Week Forecast,” the US Army Corps 2007 Flood Control and Navigation Maps: Mississippi River, Google Maps Satellite View, Marion Braggs’ Historic Names and Places on the Lower Mississippi River, Teresa Tidwell’s Caruthersville, Missouri: 150 YearsHistoric-Memphis.com, The Wolf River Conservancy, The Mississippi River Corridor-Tennessee, The Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Wikipedia, Quapaw Canoe Company, Wild Miles, Lower Delta Partnership, Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, Greenville CVB, Vicksburg CVB, City of Vicksburg, LSU Agritourism, Explore North Louisiana, Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, John James Audubon Birds of America, Parkman’sLaSalle, DeSoto’s Narrative, Stan Finger Finger on the Weather, See “Sources” for complete listing and suggestions for further reading.