Annie’s Journey Continues

From left: Paul Orr, Ellis Johnson, John Ruskey, Mark Peoples, Chris Staudinger, Braxton Barden, Michael Orr
Paul and Michael Orr of LEAN/LMRK made the trip upriver last week to drop off Annie to John Ruskey and the Mighty Quawpaws.

Paul and Michael Orr of LEAN/LMRK made the trip upriver last week to drop off Annie to John Ruskey and the Mighty Quawpaws. Quapaw Canoe Company offers wilderness expeditions on the Lower Mississippi River, its Back Waters, Bayous, Oxbows, and Flood Plain between the levees. In over 10 years of operation Quapaw Canoe Company has demonstrated the viability of safe canoeing on the Lower Mississippi River with countless expeditions involving churches, schools, boy scouts, girl scouts, families, couples and individuals. Quapaw has successfully guided over 10,000 people on the river. The Mighty Quapaws is an after-school apprenticeship program run by Quapaw Canoe Company for Clarksdale youth, teaching skills including swimming, canoe making, paddle construction, and river guiding.

photo: Kyle Douglas Jeffery

Annie will be on loan for 2014 and help John and the Mighty Quawpaws connect even more people to the Mighty Mississippi River. If you’d like to book a trip in Annie under the capable hands of the Mighty Quawpaws please contact John at can be arranged by the day or the week. Float trips are available on any section between Cairo (Illinois) and the outlet of the river into the Gulf of Mexico.10% of all trips booked in Annie will be donated to LEAN/LMRK.

The Story of Annie, the York boat: 

J. Brett Rogers Steers Annie The Old Man River Project's 32' York Boat In 2009, filmmaker, adventurer and friend of LEAN/LMRK, Brett Rogers set out to travel the length of the Mississippi River and make a documentary. He and close friend Kyle “Cliff” Quinn built a 32′ wooden York Boat in the style of the early Canadian fur trappers. Darlene and Jeff Anderson made the construction of the boat possible with a donation in honor of Annie, a young girl who lost a courageous battle with cancer. 


After completion of Annie the York boat at Wolfe Island in Ontario, Annie traveled south to begin her journey down the Mississippi River. Brett and Cliff led a team of 5 adventurers for a 110 day, 2400 mile journey through the heart of North America in Annie the York Boat. 

The entire journey has been captured in a 10 chapter video series online here.

LEAN / LMRK was proud to play a supporting role in Brett and Annie’s Old Man River expedition. Upon completion of the epic journey, Annie was donated to LEAN’s Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper(LMRK) program to continue to inspire and connect people to our precious waterways and fragile environment.

While in residence in Louisiana, Annie shared her story and made appearances at the local Madisonville Wooden Boat Show. She also continues to safely bring people out on the water and help reconnect them with the incredible natural environment we have here in Louisiana. 

See LMRK’s Flickr gallery of Annie here.

See Brett’s gallery of pictures from the Old man River Project here.

John Ruskey, Mississippi River guide and owner of Quawpaw Canoe Co. also played a valuable role in Brett’s Old Man River expedition. Annie’s journey will continue as she has traveled back up the Mississippi River to be a valuable asset for the Mighty Quawpaws in Clarksdale, MS during 2014. During her time in the wild portions of the Lower Mississippi River she will be able to continue connecting everyone within her gunwales to the beauty and adventure that is the Mighty Mississippi River.

Photo: Kyle Douglas Jeffery

Learn more about filmmaker/explorer Brett Rogers and his continued adventures here.

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