River bank livin’ at mile 846.

Moving down river I have the fortune of choosing a new campsite nearly every night. There was the site with the campers up in Sciotoville, Ohio that looked out across a sweeping bend in the river. The mud pile in West Virginia where I was attacked by a dog in the snow storm. Or that night it rained in Ohio. The flooding fire hall in Uniontown, KY where I slept on a table. The Red Rose Inn in Elizabeth, Illinois. The city park in Wickliffe, KY. Or my last camp in the Bluegrass across from the New Madrid Power Station—which started making some serious noise just as I settled into my sleeping bag. I guess lights and TV’s kick on about 7 this time of year.

Last night’s site, though, was special. It was up on a sand dune behind one of the Lower Mississippi’s innumerable dikes. I set camp amongst coyote and heron tracks. Rustled up enough chucks of driftwood to keep my hands warm as the sun set over Missouri. It’s color lingering long into the evening as a crescent moon followed it west.

It was my last night alone on the river. This week was the last were ducks, eagles, and jumping carp are my only constant companions. Today in Caruthersville, MS one of my good friends, photographer, and fellow teacher from Maine will be joining up for the dearation of the trip south.  Wish us luck and warm weather.


About banksofthebasin

Brett grew up in South Jersey, moved to the coast of Maine to study human ecology, and then spent a year traveling on rivers around the world—from the frozen arctic to the mangroves of south Asia. Before setting out on Banks of the Basin he baked bread in Pittsburgh and kayaked the beautiful rivers of central Appalachia.
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