Wednesday, February 2, 2011

John Ruskey and Quapaw Canoe Company of Clarksdale to be featured in Canoe and Kayak March issue

November morning on Buck Island; Ruskey soaking in the sun.
 P: Rob Zaleski 
Canoe & Kayak managing editor Dave Shively and art director Robert Zaleski paddled over 100 miles down the Mississippi River’s wildest lower-river reaches with Quapaw Canoe Company owner-guide John Ruskey in his handcrafted 30-foot voyager-style canoe. In the March 2011 issue of C&K, on newsstands now, the pair goes deep into Ruskey’s big-water world of desolate bends and uninhabited mid-river islands, illustrating the on-river experience and detailing the conservation battle to preserve the crucial public-use pockets along this apparent, yet overlooked expedition destination.

In late October, the American Land Conservancy and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service penned an agreement to permanently conserve the 880 timbered acres on Buck Island, solidifying the long-awaited, crucial first step in its permanent protection. Buck Island lies a short paddle north of Helena, Arkansas, and provides the crucial launching point into the fledgling Lower Mississippi River Water Trail—the route highlighted and paddled in the story, which runs to Choctaw Island, an 8,000-acre island near Arkansas City, Ark.

Check out interviews below with Kevin Smith and Tim Richardson, two keys conservation players speaking about the Lower Mississippi River restoration stakes from the water, as well as a few more, unseen shots from Zaleski of sunrise on the big river, capturing the same scene Mark Twain described over a century ago in Life on the Mississippi: “… when the sun gets well up, and distributes a pink flush here and a powder of gold yonder and a purple haze where it will yield the best effect, you grant that you have seen something that is worth remembering.”

And below you'll find more video from Canoe and Kayak on Mississippi's John Ruskey.

Be sure and pick up a copy of the March issue of Canoe and Kayak for the entire story and go to the website to view more pictures HERE.

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