Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Who Dat?"

Who Dat?
Not far from Jackson Square is a riverwalk along the Mississippi River. On this river walk there are stairs that lead right to the river’s edge, so close that one could dangle their toes in the river. At 6:45 p.m. Carol and I sat on these stairs looking upstream for the better part on an hour. Finally, in the distance we picked up the movement of a small boat silhouetted against the New Orleans’ skyline. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots. Over the next ½ hour I would snap more frequent shots and Carol and I would occasionally point or make a comment about the canoe which was inching its way closer. The other people around us started to take notice. 20 – 15 people in our adjacent vicinity started to slowly ask us questions. Each answer brought more questions, and the questions started to pick up in frequency as the little boat neared the stairs. “Who dat?, Where did they come from?, Where is Minnesota, isn’t that north somewhere?, Where do they sleep?, How they gonna paddle back? Didn’t I hear something about these guys on CNN?” By the time Aaron and Jake made it to the stairs the crowd grew to 30 or more. Some people had no clue what was going on “Is it legal to put a canoe on this river?” Some people were starting to grasp the enormity of the effort as Carol and I continued to answer questions “How many days has it taken them?” Some people simply sat there with tears in their eyes “I can’t believe they did this – my mom died of breast cancer last summer”. We helped unload the boat but the questions just increased. One overly inquisitive 5 year old latched on to Jake and fired question after question. Jake patiently answered every single question as he handed me gear from the boat. “Did you eat any alligators?, My uncle has a boat, do you know my uncle?, How many times did you tip over?, I got a fishing pole for my birthday, do you want to see it sometime?” After our entertaining of the crowd was over we got the guys a good meal, a shower and a good night’s rest.

Aaron and Jake paddled 52 miles to marker 94.

Leaving in 15 minutes to take Aaron and Jake to International House of Pancakes and then back in the river by 6:00a.m. for the final two days.

Posted by Aaron’s dad


  1. Wow! that brought tears to my eyes. I am a proud uncle!

  2. And I am a proud Great Aunt and friend. I have been so worried about them during this last part of their trip. And Brian your blog has been so good, you aree an excellent writer.

  3. The crowd's reaction to the boys' trip is very touching. Where are the Kleenex?

    I'm so proud of you, boys!

  4. I have really enjoyed following your trip through this blog. What you have done is great! I too have been planning a trip for next year. I would love to chat more about your gear...

    contact me if you want at

    Great Job guys!

  5. I sense that I'm not the only person who would say that to be proud of indeed.. And, as harsh as this may sound, there are people who will deserve simply because they lack basic assistance that if some of us move more urgently, these lives would have been saved.

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