“Paddle to the Amazon” Adventurer Dana Starkell

PLUS Wild Bill Briscoe catches a big-ass blue catfish! [VIDEOS]

Wild Bill Briscoe shows his huge blue catfish to Dana Starkell and his group traveling the Mississippi River.

Wild Bill Briscoe shows his huge blue catfish to Dana Starkell and his group traveling the Mississippi River.

Delta Bohemian Tours was on its regular Regional Identity Tour a couple days ago, including an almost mandatory stop at the Mississippi River near historic Friars Point, MS, when we encountered, as we often do, sojourners “green-miling” down the Mother of all Waters, also known as Old Man River. “Paddle to the Amazon” adventurer Dana Starkell was leading a crew of cool folks heading from Iowa to the Gulf of Mexico.

Chilly Billy hollered at his Friars-Point-living Vato, Mr. Lil John McKee, and a character in his own right, to see if he and his girlfriend would be willing to go kick it with the adventurers that evening and supply them with beer, etc. And we were off…

A big chunk of the charm in visiting the “Most Southern Place on Earth” includes serendipitous encounters with folks from all over the world who drive, fly, cycle, walk, canoe, kayak, and standup paddleboard into and then out of our lives in a wisp of time, always coming back though…because the Mississippi Delta and its folks are some of the most interesting and felicitous characters one can find anywhere on the Big Orb!

This group was cool as all get out! They had one shower in 18 days and were obviously tired, but refreshed, because that is what river time does for ya! They were heading down the MS River from Iowa and one of the cats, Dana Starkell, had already taken a two-year, 12,000-mile canoe trip from Winnipeg, Canada to the Amazon.

The evening, the cold beer, and the conversation were invigorating, once bug spray was applied after dark!

VIDEO ONE: Dana describing his Canada to the Amazon journey he took with his father.

VIDEO TWO: A big-ass blue catfish caught by Rena Lara, MS native Wild Bill Briscoe and a impromptu workshop on how to catch ‘em!


FROM THE AMAZON SITE: “It was crazy. It was unthinkable. It was the adventure of a lifetime.

When Don and Dana Starkell left Winnipeg in a tiny three-seater canoe, they had no idea of the dangers that lay ahead. Two years and 12,180 miles later, father and son had each paddled nearly twenty million strokes, slept on beaches, in jungles and fields, dined on tapir, shark, and heaps of roasted ants.

They encountered piranhas, wild pigs, and hungry alligators. They were arrested, shot at, taken for spies and drug smugglers, and set upon by pirates. They had lived through terrifying hurricanes, food poisoning, and near starvation. And at the same time they had set a record for a thrilling, unforgettable voyage of discovery and old-fashioned adventure.

‘Courageous . . . Exciting and always immediate.’ — The New York Times Book Review”

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