Voyageur_Background

VILLAGEURS

Preserving the Lower Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo. to the Gulf of Mexico

Paddling in a 29' voyageur canoe - handcrafted from Louisiana cypress - documenting 1150+ miles of America's longest water trail: The Mississippi River. Why? To create greater access to the River's wild landscape, diversify the people paddling, and preserve the health and wilderness of one of our country's greatest assets. To do this, we are producing as much content as possible, most notably a feature-length documentary film.

WHAT IS VILLAGEURS?

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

WHY WE DO IT

PADDLING 1154 MILES FOR NEARLY TWO MONTHS IS NO EASY FEAT

THE VOYAGEURS

MEET THE CREW 

GPS MAPPING

FOLLOW THE TRIP IN REAL-TIME

Project Details

The expedition is underway and will occasionally afford the opportunity to share content moment-by-moment. Our end goal is to produce a feature length documentary, bring the story of the Rivergator and paddling the Mississippi River to broader audiences.  Here is an example of the various types of content and imagery from the river thus far. More documentary content to come. [Work in Progress, but follow along on Facebook and Instagram.]

Important Links:

RIVERGATOR360º

River Lore

Why We Paddle

The trip celebrates the completion of the Rivergator: A Paddler's Guide to the Lower Mississippi River. The Rivergator is a compendium of maps, photo, video, and detailed information to increase access to the river's ecology and recreational capacity.

From our launch into the Missouri River on March 20, through the end of our journey on May 10, 2017, we are a large roster of people celebrating the completion of a six year long public service project. The Rivergator is a free, online, paddlers guide to the Lower Mississippi River. It describes the River, the camp sites, and general safety and practice best suited for paddling in a recreational craft. Our craft happens to be a handmade, 29' voyager-style canoe.

The voyageur culture came to be in the 1600's, wherein fur trappers and French Canadian pioneers traveled on waterways throughout North America. I represent an small constituent on this expedition, paddling the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo., to the Gulf of Mexico. The mission is simply this: create the filmic companion to the Rivergator; to breathe life into the life work of John Ruskey; and produce a documentary about the wilderness within. -CAB

Meet the Voyageurs

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JOHN "DRIFTWOOD" RUSKEY, Expedition Leader

Founder of the Quapaw Canoe Company and the Rivergator.

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BOYCE UPHOLT, Expedition Writer

Penning a nonfiction book about the Mississippi River Valley. Current project work can be found at betweenthelevees.com

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JANET MORELAND, St. Louis Support Guide

First woman and first American to paddle the entire Missouri-Mississippi River complex, solo, from source to sea. Aided from St. Louis to New Madrid, Mo.

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MARK "RIVER" PEOPLES, Expedition Guide

St. Louis born, youth leader, and Quapaw Canoe Company Guide

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CHRIS "MAGIQUE" BATTAGLIA, Expedition Filmmaker

Inspired by Thoreau, exploring film, video, photography, and oral tradition on the Mighty Mississippi.

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"BIG MUDDY" MIKE CLARK, St. Louis Support Guide

Guide and founder of St. Louis-based Big Muddy Adventures. St. Louis to New Madrid, Mo.

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LENA VON MACHUI, Expedition First Mate

Quapaw Canoe Company first mate and secretary!

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ANDY McLEAN, Expedition Adventurer

From New Zealand, living in London. Explorer and adventurer on the expedition.

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Adam Elliott, Quapaw Natchez Support Guide

Guide and owner of Quapaw Natchez Canoe Company, based out of Natchez, Miss. Guided from Greenville to Natchez.

GPS Satellite Communicator

River Journal

Recently Seen IN THE PRESS...

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RIVERGATOR WEEK 1: INTO THE WALLED-IN WILD

 

Documenting the paddling opportunities of the Lower Mississippi River

April 03, 2017

Written by Boyce Upholt

Photography by Chris Battaglia

 

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RIVERGATOR WEEK 4: WE ARE THE WILD ONES

The crew enjoys solitude in the remote "Muddy Waters Wilderness" on the lower Mississippi River Water Trail.

April 29, 2017

Written by Boyce Upholt

Photography by Chris Battaglia

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RIVERGATOR WEEK 2: PASSAGE

 

Dispatch from week two of the Rivergator Expedition on the Mississippi River.

April 07, 2017

Written by Boyce Upholt

Photography by Chris Battaglia

RIVERGATOR DISPATCH #5: OUR STORM-CAMP HOMES

 

The crew reaches Louisiana & the "Chemical Corridor" on the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail.

May 05, 2017

Written by Boyce Upholt

Photography by Chris Battaglia

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RIVERGATOR WEEK 3: WHOSE RIVER?

 

FIGHTING GUSTY WINDS, THE RIVERGATOR CREW CONTINUES THEIR EXPLORATION OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI'S WILD SIDE.

April 14, 2017

Written by Boyce Upholt

Photography by Chris Battaglia

Sponsors:

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