Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mississippi, Solo

I know.  You're thinking, "These may be nice books, but I want to know what paddling you're doing."  We've been hibernating through the NW Oklahoma drought and bake.  It was 106 degrees again today, and there's more on tap for tomorrow.  With any luck, maybe we can even avoid being in Oklahoma next summer.  But the heat dome is still overhead, eventhough it is supposed to break up soon, and we'll be heading for the water.  I have a couple projects on tap right now to get ready, and I'll write on those soon.  In the meanwhile, join me in living vicariously.

  Credit: Jacket photo from Eddy Harris

Mississippi Solo: A River Quest,was written by Eddy L. Harris (250 pp., 1988, Nick Lyons Books). Starting at Lake Itasca, the True Head of the Mississippi, Mr. Harris began with little canoeing experience and little confidence in his ability to finish what he had started. A few times he even pulled out and called it quits, until he convinced himself each time that quitting wasn’t an option he could live with. If the adventure was to leave him with priceless memories that would live in him the rest of his life, he didn’t want the overriding memory to be that he had wimped out.
He grew up in St. Louis and had spent a lifetime watching the river, but was to find he had never known the river. He was not only to learn its moods, challenges, and hazards, but over time would begin to feel at one with the river, and through it actually find himself. Except for the night his camp was invaded by a couple rednecks waving shotguns, he found people surprisingly helpful and friendly. Many identified with his quest and envied his determination to keep pushing for 2,300 miles. This is a very readable book.

No comments:

Post a Comment