National Geographic : 1948 Apr
Bar Light at Mile 796.9-halfway mark of our trip. The crew cheered, albeit a bit weakly, for in all four minds was the thought that half of our voyage was done. As the days and the miles dropped behind, we took time out occa sionally for relaxation and sight-seeing ashore, pausing at Memphis, Helena, and Green ville.* We spent an after noon tramping over the battlefield at Vicks burg, and visited the U. S. Waterways Ex periment Station, of the U. S. Army Engineers, near by. Here are made the models of the Mississippi used in the study of flood control.t At Baton Rouge we received mail from home and went through the Louisiana State Capitol. Near Mile 675 we moored for the night in OK Bend, near the fishing camp of a soft spoken Englishman named Avery Thoma son. At Evan Hall Landing, Mile 178.5, we stopped near Carl Arnt's extensive fishing establishment. One had heard of us on the radio, the other had Rex E. Hieronymus It's Dick's Turn to Cook; He Plucks a Fowl Appetites never flagged aboard Meanco. She had many of the comforts of a kitchen, including an icebox. Motor exhaust gases heated the galley stove. Campfire and gasoline stove did the work ashore. Here the raft appears off Donaldsonville, Louisiana. read about us in the Donaldsonville, Louisiana, weekly; both came over to our mooring for a visit and pressed us to stay with them for a few days. Gifts of Chicken "Fresh off the Hoof" Though their habitations were modest, they were fine, hospitable gentlemen who made us gifts of catfish and chickens, "fresh off the hoof," and wished us well. Mr. Thomason showed us several duck bill cats he had caught. This is the American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), not a catfish at all. The beak end of this odd-looking creature, a wide spoon bill about one-half as long as the main body, looks like one of Nature's mistakes. "The mandible resembles that of the Aus tralian platypus," Mr. Thomason explained, by way of apology no doubt. + "It's the strangest-looking thing I've ever seen in my life," I said. * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, "Highlights of the Volunteer State," by Leonard C. Roy, May, 1939; "Arkansas Rolls Up Its Sleeves," by Frederick Simpich, September, 1946; and "Ma chines Come to Mississippi," by J. R . Hildebrand, September, 1937. tSee, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, by Frederick Simpich, "Great Mississippi Flood of 1927," September, 1927; and "Men Against the Rivers," June, 1937. $ See "Australia's Patchwork Creature, the Platy pus," by Charles H. Holmes, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, August, 1939.