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Author Topic:   Down the Mississippi
JB posted 06-13-2001 03:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for JB   Send Email to JB  
In a year or two I would like to take my 15' GLS down the full length of the Mississippi. Cananyone point me to some reading matter on others who've tried, the river itself, any pertinent information, etc....
RFK posted 06-15-2001 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Yes there is such a book. Sorry, I terrible on titles. A guy took a small boat down the river. He had great stories. Subject search should get it for you.

I've picked up those inexpensive fishing maps of the river. They are available for each section of the upper river. They are very good.

You should have great stories to share when you get on the lower river! Have seen it, but not boated on it.

I am assuming you already know about wing dams and back sloughs. I am one of those, who as a young man, learned the hard way. Cut across a wing dam and hit it. Crank shafts are pretty expensive!

Dick K.

Landlocked posted 06-25-2001 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
You can get a complete set of river navigation maps from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I think they are about $10 a section book now. They are available from map stores as well but will cost more.

A great book to read though not specifically about the Mississippi is "River Horse" by William Least Heat-Moon. The guy managed to take a small boat all the way across America by timing his trip to take advantage of snow melt in some of the western tribs.

He's a bit flowery in his verbage and tends to spend a little too much time waxing poetic - but - it's definately worth reading. I'm about half way through so I'm not too sure how he is going to handle the continental divide...


dgp posted 06-26-2001 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
For free maps of the Mississippi courtesy of the Corps of Engineers, try this link
kingfish posted 06-26-2001 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I really enjoyed "River Horse" too,(and I enjoyed "Blue Highways" some years back), but I did find the generic "Pilotus" references tiring. Small complaint, though considering how much I liked about the rest of the book. I won't give the ending away but he does make it and it was well worth the price of admission.


Landlocked posted 06-27-2001 12:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

Just picked up another book today you both may be interested in - started it after work and have almost read the whole thing tonight.

Old Man River and Me; Mark Knudsen & Shawn Plank; Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville; 1998

Mark builds a small John boat and travels from Minneapolis to the Zero Mile Marker on the Mississippi going through two outboards and some good stories along the way... Check it out. Also, if you read closely, you'll find at least one reference to a Boston Whaler in there. One also appears in the background of one of the photos.

The author gives contact info for anyone who might be planning a similar voyage.

Good reading


jimh posted 06-27-2001 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I've read all three titles mentioned (River Horse, Blue Highways, Old Man River and Me).

River Horse is quite a read. It makes you want to get in the boat and go on a long trip! The vocabulary is impressive, too. I had to have a dictionary handy to keep pace with author Heat-Moon. When you have to look up the third word in the book ("LOTIC"), it is a hint of what is to come.

The trip down the Mississippi mentions the difficulty in getting fuel along the river as one of the problems.


jimh posted 06-27-2001 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the charts of the river from the Corps of Engineers:

Are the depths in these charts shown as water depths or as submerged land elevations?

We got some Corps of Engineers charts for Kentucky Lake and the hydrology was shown in terms of the elevation of the submerged land.

I guess this stems from the origin of the lake as a flooding behind a dam, but it was quite confusing for us to be sailing on the lake, and deducing the charted depth by subtracting the bottom contour height elevation from the current lake level ("summer pool elevation").

There were other charts available from private publishers that had converted all the data to normal depth contours referenced to the "summer pool" height of the water.

Here is a sample of those charts:

And the narrative of the trip:


jimh posted 06-27-2001 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Did you look up "LOTIC" yet?



Landlocked posted 06-27-2001 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Lotic - the opposite of Lentic..... As far as the the depths on corps charts, I think they refer to "normal Pool" I'll do some checking and get back to you.


dgp posted 06-27-2001 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Jim, as you encountered, the numbers represent submerged land and you deduct these from the normal elevation pool.
gunnelgrabber posted 06-29-2001 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
JB et al,..have you looked up or talked to anyone(is there anyone in our group?)who is a veteran of the 'GREAT LOOP'.the miss.river makes the west leg of it. i'm interested in the n.y.-canal-great lakes-chicago-and down the miss. part. the south part is where i live. it's on the internet as great loop and it's over organized (commercialized?),but very interesting nonetheless. KINGFISH: it seems we read the same books and listen to the same music .weird ......lm
kingfish posted 06-30-2001 12:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Forgot about this thread and haven't looked at it for a couple of days -

I'll look up "Old Man River And Me" - seems like I heard something about it on NPR, not sure...

Thinking about "River Horse" again as I reviewed these posts - was reminded what a kick I got out of reading William Least Heat-Moon describe eating the same sandwich as I had at the same riverside cafe on the Ohio River at Cincinnati when I was cruising that area two summers ago.

Gunnelgrabber - I'll bet we grew up being exposed to a lot of the same influences - (as were others, but it takes a certain amount of panache and savoir-faire to retain the valuable things like you and I have).


gunnelgrabber posted 06-30-2001 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
kingfish, i surely hope you're right on that...however some of my family and friends put me in the dinosaur era; hope you're not treated with that sort of callous lack of respect regarding your well rounded ,eclectic tastes in the arts and nautical(and other) sciences.i appreciate your thinking...and apologize to anybody else for being personal,non bw, and off point....lm

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