Me canoeing

Bogue Chitto Canoe Trip

Me hiking

Trip Dates: January 19-23, 2003

This was one of the most memorable canoe trips I have ever been on but not for any of usual reasons.  

We canoed the Bogue Chitto River from near the town of McComb, Mississippi to near Bogalusa, Louisiana, a distance of about 74 miles.  The trip was organized by our good friend Mark McClain.  Mark maintains a very popular web site devoted to canoe camping.  You'll find a link to his site on my links page.

On the first day of the trip, Mark's canoe, which was a couple of hundred feet ahead of ours, suddenly turned toward the left bank and landed on a gravel bar.  Since it was not time for a break, my partner, Beth and I just figured that one of them needed to take an unscheduled leak.  But within a couple of seconds I saw why Mark had pulled out.  There was a dead body draped over a log in the middle of the river.  Mark's partner, Diana, called the authorities on her cell phone and we waited for them to arrive.  Fortunately, we had just passed a bridge and there was a road running near the right bank of the river to fairly near the body.  We paddled on down just around the next bend and pulled out to camp on a gravel bar.  We walked back upstream to chat with the law enforcement officers and watch the body recovery operations.  Back in Dallas after the trip, we learned the body was that of a man who had been murdered and dumped in the river about a month before, at the bridge we had just passed.  The murderer had been apprehended.

The rest of the canoe trip was relatively uneventful.  The river has lots of great gravel bars for camping.  It will also keep you on your toes due to a lot of snags and downed trees in the relatively fast-moving river.  The only downside to this river is the almost constant sound from machinery at the numerous sand and gravel pits along much of its length.

Click here to see pictures from the trip.  Don't worry, I left out the pictures of the dead guy.