RIVERGATOR #021: WEEK 4 PADDLERS

Many paddlers joined the Rivergator in week four - so many that I wasn't able to capture all of them. Here are a few images of the folks who began with us in Helena, Ark, and made it through to Natchez, MS. This was not a calendar week but more like a week and two weekends. But who is counting?

Valencia Metcalf was born and raised in Clarksdale. She has been apart of the Mighty Quapaw Apprentice program, Griot Youth Arts program, and can stern-paddle a 30' canoe better than most. She has been known to break paddles every once in a while.

Valencia Metcalf was born and raised in Clarksdale. She has been apart of the Mighty Quapaw Apprentice program, Griot Youth Arts program, and can stern-paddle a 30' canoe better than most. She has been known to break paddles every once in a while.

Rachel Bouer lives and works in Clarksdale, teaching youth with Spring Initiative, after a stint with Teach for America. Chief Quapaw Guide Mark River is biased, but thinks Rachel is the best girlfriend in the world. 

Rachel Bouer lives and works in Clarksdale, teaching youth with Spring Initiative, after a stint with Teach for America. Chief Quapaw Guide Mark River is biased, but thinks Rachel is the best girlfriend in the world. 

Matt Sutton

Matt Sutton

Jane Sutton

Jane Sutton

Zak Sutton

Zak Sutton

Rory Doyle is a Maine native who currently lives in the Mississippi Delta. He is working as Delta State University’s photographer/ newswriter, and came aboard the Rivergator to document Boyce on the journey.

Rory Doyle is a Maine native who currently lives in the Mississippi Delta. He is working as Delta State University’s photographer/ newswriter, and came aboard the Rivergator to document Boyce on the journey.

Taylor Mitchell is the Publisher at Clarksdale's newspaper, the Press Register. On for one night, Mitchell got to see the River firsthand.

Taylor Mitchell is the Publisher at Clarksdale's newspaper, the Press Register. On for one night, Mitchell got to see the River firsthand.

Katie Steinour is a Clarksdale resident and friend of the Quapaws for a long time. She had such a great time that she almost did not want to go home.

Katie Steinour is a Clarksdale resident and friend of the Quapaws for a long time. She had such a great time that she almost did not want to go home.

Julia Olmstead and Paul Helgeson came from Minnesota, and paddled two nights from Helena to Rosedale. Great duo!

Julia Olmstead and Paul Helgeson came from Minnesota, and paddled two nights from Helena to Rosedale. Great duo!

Amanda Porter came from Portland, Maine, very last minute, and paddled some of the most beautiful rich part of the Lower Mississippi. She is from South Carolina originally, has never paddled on the Mississippi, and although I am biased, is the best girlfriend in the world.

Amanda Porter came from Portland, Maine, very last minute, and paddled some of the most beautiful rich part of the Lower Mississippi. She is from South Carolina originally, has never paddled on the Mississippi, and although I am biased, is the best girlfriend in the world.

Michel Varisco is a multifaceted American artist, engaged deeply with the relationship between man and nature. She is currently working on public art in New Orleans, where she resides, and here she is pictured on Choctaw Island, just above Arkansas City, Arkansas.

Michel Varisco is a multifaceted American artist, engaged deeply with the relationship between man and nature. She is currently working on public art in New Orleans, where she resides, and here she is pictured on Choctaw Island, just above Arkansas City, Arkansas.

Erik Schultz and Linn Kincannon paddled for a night from Greenville, departing at the Bunge grain terminal, pictured here. Erik and Linn are co-founders of Thriive, came from Sun Valley, Idaho, and went on to enjoy the Juke Joint Festival after their overnight on the river.

Erik Schultz and Linn Kincannon paddled for a night from Greenville, departing at the Bunge grain terminal, pictured here. Erik and Linn are co-founders of Thriive, came from Sun Valley, Idaho, and went on to enjoy the Juke Joint Festival after their overnight on the river.

Mike Beck, Biologist and Chemist, is a seasoned paddler, joining us between Greenville and Vicksburg. Baton Rouge native, Beck lives nearly on the Mississippi River.

Mike Beck, Biologist and Chemist, is a seasoned paddler, joining us between Greenville and Vicksburg. Baton Rouge native, Beck lives nearly on the Mississippi River.

Honorary paddler Paul Hartfield is a Biologist for US Fish and Wildlife. He was on my first journey back in 2013, and here joins us on a bar near his home. In his little center-console fishing boat, Hartfield motors to us, drops lines, catches catfish, camps with us, shares stories, and departs the next day.

Honorary paddler Paul Hartfield is a Biologist for US Fish and Wildlife. He was on my first journey back in 2013, and here joins us on a bar near his home. In his little center-console fishing boat, Hartfield motors to us, drops lines, catches catfish, camps with us, shares stories, and departs the next day.

Adam Elliott, owner/operator of Quapaw Natchez Outpost. Adam led us for the better part of the week between Greenville and Natchez, Miss.

Adam Elliott, owner/operator of Quapaw Natchez Outpost. Adam led us for the better part of the week between Greenville and Natchez, Miss.