81 miles (actually 71)

Eighty one miles to the official end of the Mississippi River. In Mark Twain’s time I would be in the Gulf of Mexico. However, now, the river is artificially maintained with a 45 foot deep shipping channel by levees and jetties far out into the gulf. I can go all the way to the end but I would have nowhere to go after that. So I plan to stop at the last town in Louisiana, Venice, at mile marker 10. If I can do 45 miles today that would leave me 26 miles tomorrow to finish.

When I woke with the alarm it was very dark outside the tent. Darker than usual. Then a flash of light. I heard the rushing sound as a pouring rain came across the river towards my me.

I wait out the rain and don’t get on the river until eight am. The rain stopped but the wind did not and it kept up steady slowing me and wearing me out. By late afternoon I reached a pier about half a mile long with conveyor belts unloading something that look like ground up coal. Two tow boats are pushing barges up to it to unload. I will have to go around it.

Out away from the shore the waves were the biggest of the trip. Big enough to have Little Joy go up and crash back down. The wind howled. I had to get back to shore but the wind pushed me back and the waves hit me on the side. I struggled until I finally got past and beached on a small swampy landing. I was just behind a tied up tow boat and someone came out of it and asked if I was Okay. I guess I was.

I could probably camp there but I only did 30 miles so I pushed on close to shore but only got 3 more miles. Most of the bank on both sides are levees of basketball sized rocks. There is very few places to stop. I found a semi protected swampy spot in a group of trees. This will have to do.

I set up on dry land about 10 feet from the waters edge. I can’t be more than 1 foot above water level. I should be okay as long as the water doesn’t rise or big ships hit me with their wake.

I awoke shortly after I fell asleep to crashing waves near the tent. I notice the water level is up. A Tide? Yep, the tide was coming up. A ship coming past compounded it with big waves. I sleep with one eye open now.

I wake again to crashing waves. This time a cruise ship. That’s new. I get out in bare feet and drag the tent maybe five feet right against the trees. I can’t go any further.

Awake throughout the night I finally get up and start packing at 4:00 am.

Wee Hee!
My swampy, froggy, Poison Ivy campsite

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