The Mississippi by Raft
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When the first sawmills were established, they were usually small water powered facilities located near the source of timber, which might be converted to grist mills after farming became established when the forests had been cleared. Later, larger circular sawmills were developed in the lower reaches of a river, with the logs floated down to them by log drivers.
Such rafts would contain thousands of logs. For the comfort of the raftsmen — which could number up to — logs were also used to build cabins and galleys. Control of the raft was done by oars and later on by tugboats. Raft construction differs depending on the watercourse.
Rocky and windy rivers saw rafts of simple, yet sometimes smart, construction. For example, the front parts of the logs were joined together by wooden bars, while the rear parts were loosely roped together. The resulting slack allowed for easy adaptation for narrow and windy waterbeds.
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Wide and quiet rivers, like the Mississippi River, allowed huge rafts to travel in caravans and even be chained into strings. Cookery on J. The raftsmen cooked, ate and slept on these rafts as they floated down the river. From an interior point on the Columbia River, Oregon. Pine logs in rafts feet long and 52 feet wide are towed miles via the Pacific Ocean to San Diego, California where they are transformed into lumber. The vast scale of logging. Floating logs down a river worked well for the most desirable pine timber, because it floated well. Log driving became increasingly unnecessary with the development of railroads and the use of trucks on logging roads.
However, the practice survived in some remote locations where such infrastructure did not exist.
The Mississippi by Raft by Richard Ankony
Most log driving in the United States and Canada ended with changes in environmental legislation in the s. Awaiting clearance to enter a lock is where a motor is most important; wind and current will draw you toward, into and potentially over the dam creating a nuisance and ruining your whole doggone trip. An added effort with maintaining the required depth is through the power within the water itself.
Wing-dam formations can be a hazard to boaters when obscured by the waters level or when the markers have been displaced by higher water the Coast Guard works diligently to maintain them. It is said that a drop of water takes 90 days to travel from Minneapolis to the Gulf of Mexico. It is unfortunate that in being surrounded by water one cannot depend on it for healthy sustenance. Be prepared to fry some catfish when presented by the locals — still one of my favorite meals from the trip.
Wet, soap, wash, rinse — it felt much better and the world was a little clearer. Just where do bears go? USCG requires an audible horn, a fire extinguisher, type III personal flotation devices vests for each person on board; and a throw able type cushion or ring. You may be advised that there is NO fuel available for hundreds of miles lower Miss , but if you have done your homework knowing where the towns are and are willing to walk — fuel will not be your issue. Finding a place to tie dock below New Madrid was more of the challenge — but we always had fuel and we never ran out or even close.
At idle-speed just to keep the bow headed downstream we could easily span miles in the current while getting 6 to 10 miles-per-gallon with the little hp motor. At the helm was our river chart US Corps of Engineers and in the direction of travel. More about Towboats and their size. This may have alot more to do with your schedule than any particular reason. In researching I found several folks making the trip during the fall months — I suppose for the cooler weather and maybe fewer insects.
We decided to go in the spring, the end of May until — which provided higher water from the spring rains. Spring also provided favorable winds at our back and warming weather as we traveled Southward — light coats in the beginning and sweltering hot below Memphis ….
May, June, and July happened to be my picks there are also more events and festivals along the river during the summer, esp July. There are many things to consider; spring flooding could delay you on the way they close the locks with high water. Not having the experience or electronics of the towboat pilots — stopping at night was the best plan.
We ran late into the evening twice and found that tying-off after dark created more issues. Choosing a good place early will insure a better nights rest. Be prepared to hear trains through the night, especially on the Upper Mississippi. The closer to a city you are the more the trains sound-off for crossings. Solar lights mounted on our roof and reflectors added nautical visibility.
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On the lower Mississippi Mosquito netting was awesome and it worked well. Even though we were prepared the insects on our adventure were not unbearable nor did they create unbearable conditions. Will I need a fishing license? What are the rules for drinking alcohol? New Orleans, Day In closing; We were told to expect very dangerous and isolated conditions with the emphasis to discourage our adventure.
Have a river chart; use it and give the tow-boat pilots and their vessels a wide berth; you will be rewarded ten-fold. Thomas Gray Tom Haynie.
Are you in the water or still trying to get to your launch site? Nice chicken. Gray says he hopes the racks are comfortable. David May 31, Great comments on the river experience. Thanks for the inspiration to explore.
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Have a great time. Rock on my friend! Gray May 31, Argg… May the winds be swift and fairr and Poseidon be merciful to thee… Keep thy blade sharp and rum safe. Congrats on the beginning, and welcome to the life… at least you have no bosses out there! Herman Jun 01, Sitting here at work reading your trip log. Sounds like fun so far.
The mighty log rafts of the old new world – tough work – tough men
Have you been in the water yet? Is it cold or warm, clean or dirty? How goes the daily progress. Are you making your expected milage a day?
Sounds like you have met some fun people so far. That will be the best part of the trip. Have fun and have one for me today.