Current River Country claims a top spot on a variety of lists. It boasts of a clear stream, diversified wildlife, lush forests and ample fishing and hunting opportunities. All contribute to its popularity as a prime tourist destination. Those of us who live in the midst of this natural attraction might tend to take it for granted. There are two, though, who have a grand respect and appreciation for this gem after undertaking a canoe trip from the river’s source.
Both grew up in areas bordering the muddy Mississippi – one romping along its banks, fishing and searching for treasure in the Bootheel; the other making dams and floating leaf boats in rain run-off headed for city sewers and ultimately that same river in a different world upstream. One could probably still survive for weeks as an Irish Wilderness Tarzan. The other – an urban mix of Barbie and Nancy Drew – is definitely not a Tarzan’s Jane. Roughing it to her is having only one book for the duration.
Zoom in years later as the lens focuses on the two working for an outfitter serving crowds of tourists seeking relief from heat and stress along the banks of the lower Current. On days off they mastered canoeing on the Current and Eleven Point Rivers with nary a spill and camped on a whim in wilderness areas with no scary encounters to mar the adventures.
Locals and tourists alike fantacize about floating the Current from its source at Montauk to Doniphan. The fantasies vary distinctly according to gender. Males view it as bonding time with the guys only, free to drink, joke, laugh, fart and fish without seeing one raised eyebrow for five whole days, a rowdy romp breaking all the rules with hearty fish feasts nightly. Females view it as bonding time, too, with a strictly select crew, a romantic retreat under the stars, complete with gourmet dinners in the glow of the campfire, fish-less meals, by the way. It seems even the little ones get away if there is a female to feed.
Tarzan, confident in his own canoeing skills as well as those of his counterpart, mentioned that the slow tourist time just before the start of school would have been a super time to undertake such a trip, but,alas, posted work schedules didn’t show matching days off. Not a problem for Nancy Drew. Five minutes later she announced schedules had been duly altered, and the trip was on.
(Next week-Preparation and launching)