Low Water on the Mighty Mississippi

Sunday, I had a guest in town from the mountains of New Mexico.  He’s a river guide, boat builder, musician, author and artist by the name of Renny Russell. He was with us last month when we rowed the Grand Canyon for 19 days.  He heard so much about Louisiana on the trip, a visit was necessary, and he wanted to see the Mississippi River.  He was flabbergasted that Old Man River has an average of 600,000 cubic feet per second of water as compared to only 8,000 cfs on the Colorado, with its raging rapids.
Renny Russell and Susan Roland stroll the beach.

With six others and two boats we ventured out to an island in the Mississippi below Angola.  When we arrived 1,000 white pelicans were resting on a massive sand bar on the upstream tip of the island. 
CC on a huge sandbar.

They flew eventually and circled high above showing the black feathers on their wings contrasting all the white.  
Part of the flock of a thousand pelicans circle overhead.

We walked the beach and ventured into the willow cottonwood forest on the higher ground.  These islands as most on the lower Mississippi are covered with water during the spring, making it a changing a diverse habitat for many species of wildlife.  
Sycamore and Black Willows grow along the higher ground.

We headed home to an amazing sunset and enjoyed showing a desert dwellers the wonders of a wet Louisiana, for more water passed us, I am guessing than New Mexico has in the whole state.


Lava Falls

Oh what a grand time, on a river, in a canyon with the same name. In 1994 I put my name in for a private river trip on the mighty Colorado, a river with 80 named rapids. It also contains a number of big riffles and powerful eddies in the 226 mile stretch from Lee's ferry to Diamond Creek. I finally did it last month with family and friends.  As you can see in this video of my dory flipping in the biggest rapid in the grand canyon, it was quite an adventure.

I will blog more about this trip after I get back from speaking on the oil spill at a conference in Costa Rica. It was quite a shock going from 19 peaceful nights under the stars in the Canyon to going through thousands of ugly photos of the oil spill.