We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. -Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Mississippi River—the Great River—has lent its undulating waters to boyhood dreams, once again. These dreams were churned up one afternoon by haphazard conversations over an unsold river raft. Dave’s innocent quip, “Why don’t you float it down the Mississippi?” was the answer that would change the lives of three young men: Matt, Dave and Justin.
America’s River drains almost 2,400 square miles in over thirty states in the US. Considering this is more than 200 million gallons of water discharged from the Basin in to the Gulf per minute, it is easy to understand how our actions upstream affect the health of the Mississippi River Delta. This is where the adventurers began to put together the pieces…the purpose.
With the current situation afflicting the Gulf, Matt, Dave and Justin began to justify the dream. The idea to raise money for the Lower Mississippi Riverkeepers, (LMRK), was started with a search for organizations that support the river delta. They stumbled upon the organization through a documentary about the Mississippi River. After more thorough research, and a call to Michael at LMRK headquarters in Louisiana, a decision was made. The enthusiasm in Michael’s voice punched the ticket. “We are takin’ the trip.”
Barring any physical ailments or misfortunes with equipment, the trip is planned to take thirty days, from Dubuque to New Orleans. Another twenty days have been allotted for weather and unforeseen occurrences. With a dream, a purpose and a river, the adventure was dubbed, “The Mighty Missislick,” paying homage to the oil disaster off the coast of Louisiana.
The moon in the river, mother, is a red, red moon tonight. I am going away on the wild, wild moon, the moon so red on the river
A man with a wild dream on his tongue, a flying wild dream in his head and his heart,
A man is here with a runaway drum in his ribs, and shots of the sun in the runners of his blood.
I am going away on the red, wild runaway moon. The moon on the river, mother, is red tonight.
The mist on the river is white and the moon on the mist is white. I remember, mother, I remember he came when the moon was red, with
a runaway drum in his ribs. I remember, mother, the shots of the sun in the runners of his blood,
the flying wild dream on his tongue. Tonight I remember, tonight with the mist on the river white and the
moon on the mist white.
Something is gone—is it him that’s gone or is it the red, wild runaway moon that’s gone?
– River Moon, Carl Sandburg