Wind from the approaching storm front was forcing my boat sideways. Felt like the starboard side was lifting…
We departed Cat Island at 0900. The film production crew from Adventureitusproductions.com had been busy shooting scenes from our "Creative" campsite, which turned out to be a pleasant nights stay. The Paddle for Prevention team, Corey Smock and Lance Loney, who had joined us for the evening paddled us again.
After a brief lunch stop in Tunica, Mississippi, we paddled past several beautiful sandy beaches where camping would be perfect. I mention this, for until today, I could count on one hand the number of sand beaches we have seen since St Louis, MO.
Approached West Helena and took a flood stage shortcut. Had to paddle over several wicked wing dikes at the beginning of this three mile passage. Those tracking me on SPOT can see my route. Upon entering the chute, could see an approaching storm brewing down river. By the time Jonathan Brown and I had paddled two thirds through, the storm arrived. Richard had paddled on ahead, and the boys from Adventureitus Productions were miles behind.
I have become accustomed to up river wind conditions and knew how to avoid being swamped. Backed the craft into the dense bushes under midsize shoreline trees, giving the best storm protection possible under these conditions. Tried paddling. It was less than a mile to Helena. Just couldn't make any promises. The Mississippi is huge at flood levels. So wide that paddling in storm winds could spell disaster. Fortunately the wind subsided, and was able to paddle the remaining mile into Quapaw at Helena without incident. We were blessed by yet another fine day on the Mighty Mississippi.
It was such an honor to be at John Ruskey’sQuapaw Canoe Company in West Helena, Arkansas. I now have visited both of the Quapaw locations and can say the on-river programs that John offers are a sight to behold. Programs are suited for all skill levels, including the first time paddler. I will soon be honored to paddle with the legendary John Ruskey for the first time.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.