Briefly Noted: ‘On The Big Rivers’

On the Big Rivers: From Three Forks, Montana to New Orleans Louisiana by  Richard E. Messer, with Jerry D. Sanders, Genoa House (Feb 21, 2015), 190 pp., photographs.

bigriversRivers are the veins of the Earth. I’ve seen the Missouri and the Mississippi from my car and from the air. But to travel them: that would be the experience to savor and write about as author William Least Heat-Moon wrote about his trip across the U.S. by boat in River Horse in 1999. Now, here’s a canoe trip to savor.

From the Publisher

“Canoeing from the source of the Missouri River high in the mountains of the Continental Divide down the rapids and over the dams of the upper Missouri to its confluence with the Mississippi and on down its broad waters to New Orleans, 3,800 miles, two young men undertake a voyage of adventure that every young person talks about, but few take. Travel with them in a time before cell phones and GPS as they are initiated into the age old perils of nature and explore the historic river towns along their route.

“Experience through vivid, first person story telling, the physical and emotional challenges they meet and overcome in their encounters on this pioneering journey down the two greatest rivers of America. This exciting narrative provides not only a pristine view of the beauties of these rivers as they were fifty years ago, but also dramatizes the damage we have done in contaminating, straightening, and commercializing our once bounteous water resources. Share this dream of inspiring adventure and experience the pioneering spirit that still lives in every young heart.”

You may also like: ‘On the Big Rivers’ traces voyage of discovery in the Bowling Green State University News, tells how a trip taken in 1962 has now become a book.

Messer is also the author of Dark Healing, a collection of poems published in 2013.


KIndle cover 200x300Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the upcoming novella “Conjure Woman’s Cat” set in the Florida Panhandle in the 1950s days of the KKK and Jim Crow.