There is a barge stopped on the inside of a bend. The river picks up speed as it is funneled into the narrow stretch of the turn. Is it stopped? Maybe it’s moving. I beach on the same side as the barge and get out to try and get a better look. It’s definitely stopped. Back in the boat the current is so strong it’s hard to hold by the beach. I put on my PFD (personal flotation device) and cinch it tight. Screw it I’m going. Its fast and very choppy. As I enter the bend I move out to go around the parked barge. Another barge is coming up river I couldn’t see before and is now passing the parked one. Shit! I try to slow down against the current but I’m moving quick. I have no choice but to go. I go between the parked barge and the one headed up river staying right next to the parked one. I see its engines are running. Please don’t move for two more minutes. I wave my hat up at the bridge in hopes that they see me. The barge moving up river leaves a huge wake compounding the already churning water. I bounce around but keep my oars in the water. I think this is the fastest I have ever gone in ‘Little Joy’. Passing the towboat in the back, with its engines running, two deckhands stop what they are doing and give me a look of surprise and amusement. Two hundred yards past the boat I manage to stop on the small beach. I laugh and wave back up to the deckhands and they wave back. That was fun.

Helena Arkansas Its only 7 in the morning when I pass and not that easily accessible so I just move on.
‘American Beauty’ passed me a few days ago going down river

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