Rivergator #017: We're Off the Water
We're off the water.
A tree collapsed on my tent - I was not in it - and a tree came down on Lena's tent - she was sleeping inside. We had two more near-miss tree falls by John and River's tents, and a rising river, nearing flood stage in New Orleans (and the Mississippi is at flood stage up the river).
Everyone is safe, but we made the decision to finish our expedition early, in order that we may return home together, out of harm's way. There are 127 miles left on the journey to Mile Zero, 10 miles to paddle to the Gulf of Mexico, and 12 miles to return - upstream, against the current - if we are able to finish some time, later this fall.
Here's what's been going on :
I've made a dedicated site for the project. I hope it serves to see the people involved, our travels, and content from the expedition. The working title for the documentary is currently Villageurs.
The title, Villageurs, honors the voyageur canoe and its associated history, as well as the community and benevolence of the folks along the river - the "village" we met and built along the way.
Tracking the journey
I carried the deLorme inReach Explorer (a satellite communicator) for people to track us in real-time. Many did! Some met us with fresh-caught catfish, milk and donuts, or a smile and a wave from a boat ramp. I will begin sharing the maps and associated data (paddling time, speed, distance).
Expedition writer Boyce Upholt is in the beginning stages of penning a nonfiction about the Mississippi River Valley. In the meantime, he wrote a weekly "dispatch" from the river. I had the good fortune to accompany his words with a handful of photographs.
There are countless friends, family members, and strangers I humbly thank for your support of this journey. It's not over, yet. Without your words of encouragement, support for the crowdfunding campaign, and even a last-minute trip down to the River, I wouldn't be as proud of the work, nor as happy as I am about the entire experience. I've been away from home for nearly two months, and am eager to return to Maine with a revitalized sense of self, values, and mission for this never-ending story.