Delta Bohemian: Heart of the Mississippi Delta – Rivergator – River Connects Us All

The River Connects Us All - watercolor painting by John Ruskey

“The River Connects Us All” – watercolor painting by John Ruskey. Limited Edition Prints available.

Guest Bohemian
John “Driftwood Johnnie” Ruskey

(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Brought to you courtesy of the: Lower Mississippi River Foundation

Now Available: fine art glicées depicting the elegant creative meanders and wildly fertile landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River.  These glicées are super high quality reproductions printed with brilliant permanent inks on buffered museum-grade watercolor paper.

Visit and enjoy the great writing and insider photos from the smoky landscapes and electric jukes of the Mississippi Delta — and then go visit their GIFT SHOP for fine arts prints either online or at 233 Delta Avenue in Clarksdale!

What is the Delta Bohemian®?  The Delta Bohemian® website is an eclectic mixture of writings, photos, videos, music, and art put together by the free spirits Madge & Billy Howell, the cotton queen and the delta buddha-rat, the magical & the mystical, the angel & the sage, the beauty & the beast.  Go visit Madge & Billy at the Delta Bohemian and tell them we sent you.  Sign up for their mailing list.  Become a Delta Bohemian®.  Only at the

233 Delta Avenue
Clarksdale, Mississippi

Hours of Operation
Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm
Sunday by appointment. 662-624-8794

Heart of the Mississippi Delta - watercolor painting by John Anton Ruskey

Heart of the Mississippi Delta” – watercolor painting by John Anton Ruskey.

“Heart of the Mississippi Delta” – 100 Limited Editions (16×20)

“Heart of the Mississippi Delta” – 10 Limited Editions (20×32)


The River Connects Us All - watercolor painting by John Ruskey

“The River Connects Us All” – watercolor painting by John Ruskey. Limited Edition Prints available.

“The River Connects Us All” – 200 Limited Editions (23×20)

June 5-10

Caruthersville to Memphis



Contact: [email protected]

River Gator Painting by John Ruskey

River Gator Painting by John Ruskey. Fine art reproduction prints and posters available on

“Rivergator” – 15 Limited Editions (28×24)



Lower Mississippi River

Water Trail

What is The Rivergator?

The Rivergator describes the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail for kayakers, canoeists, stand up paddleboarders and anyone else in a self-propelled vessel.  The Rivergator is a website full of stories, maps, photos and accurate information concerning the BIG RIVER, the Lower Mississippi, the biggest volume river in North America.

What is Lower Mississippi River Water Trail?

The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail is the longest free-flowing water trail in the continental United States, almost 1200 miles from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico (including the Middle Miss from the Missouri River confluence).  There are thousands of islands, backchannels, side channels and oxbow lakes to explore.  The trail connects cities, states, public lands, festivals and all of the people and businesses found along the Lower Miss.  All this and more is found on the The Rivergator!

Who is The Rivergator written for?

The Rivergator is written specifically for paddlers who want to explore the wilds of the Lower Mississippi River.  Canoeists, kayakers and stand up paddle boarders will all find it to be the definitive guide to the BIG RIVER.

Who is The Rivergator written by?

The Rivergator is written by John Ruskey with consultation from a team of regional river experts including Ernest Herndon, Big Muddy Mike Clark, Paul Hartfield, Ken Jones, Joe Royer, Dale Sanders, Tim McCarley, Adam Eliot, Mike Beck and Paul Orr and others.  This team varies with the section of river being described.  John has been paddling the Mississippi River since 1982 and has been exploring and documenting the river for several decades.

Why is The Rivergator important?

The Lower Mississippi River is possibly the most spectacular and yet also the most unrecognized wild river in North America.  It should be one of the classic paddler destinations alongside the Boundary Waters, the Okeefenokee, or the Alagash.  Big volume water, towboats and industry have scared paddlers away.  Until now there was no good written description of how to navigate the powerful waters. Enter The Rivergator!

When will The Rivergator be completed?

The Rivergator is still under construction.  Go to for a preview.  We are on a 3-year timeline to be completed in 2015.  This year we will add 3 new 100-mile sections to cover the BIG RIVER including the greater Memphis region, the Chickasaw Bluffs, and the entire length of the Mississippi Delta, everything from Caruthersville, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi.  In 2014 we will add the Middle Mississippi from St. Louis down to Cairo, and then continue the Lower Miss connecting back down to Memphis.  In 2015 the entire Lower Miss will be completed with the addition of the river from Vicksburg to the Gulf of Mexico, including Natchez, St. Francisville,  Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Venice.

How do I get involved with The Rivergator?

Any knowledgeable river rats are welcome to join in! The more eyes the better.  Write me [email protected] and I will include you in the circle of reviewers.

Furthermore, any interested paddlers can participate in the creation of The Rivergator by joining in on one or more of three exploratory trips coming up in the next two months:

May 23-27
Memphis to Helena

June 5-10
Caruthersville to Memphis

June 19-23
Greenville to Vicksburg

In November 2013 we will be celebrating the creation of the water trail by paddling these same sections of river.   Contact [email protected] for more info.  Go to for an idea of what we’re creating along the Lower Mississippi River, and join us in making it come to life!

John Ruskey is founder of Quapaw Canoe Company. Go on an adventure with John and his Mighty Quapaws; you will thank us for this! The DELTA BOHEMIAN® is grateful for John’s contributions as a Guest Bohemian writer. MM

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