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Nice Rental Sound photos – Global Sound

Some cool Rental Sound images:

Provisional Head of Navigation of Wolf River, near Canaan, Mississippi
Rental Sound
Image by Greenway Guide
photo by Ray Skinner

This is in the upper part of the Holly Springs National Forest in Benton County, Mississippi. The river flows north from there into West Tennessee’s Fayette County and into Memphis, where it spills into the Mississippi.

Here is my account of this canoe trip, published in Oxford Town and the the Wolf River Conservancy’s newsletter in the summer of 1998.

A River Creeps Through It

by Gary Bridgman

OT editor’s note: On May 1, 1998, Ole Miss graduate student, William "Fitz" FitzGerald, became the first person in recorded history to travel the entire length of the Wolf River. Wolf River Conservancy board member and Oxford, MS, resident, Gary Bridgman, became the second person to do this…about three seconds later (he was in the back of the canoe), as the two completed the "Wolf River Survey." Gary and Fitz hiked and paddled from Baker’s Pond to the foot of Union Avenue to help raise awareness about the river as a whole. Sponsors included the Wolf River Conservancy, Outdoors Inc., Ghost River Canoe Rentals, and BellSouth Mobility. What follows is Gary’s rather unscientific, non-chronological account of the trip.

There’s a distinction between being drunk on a river and being drunk with a river. One does not need alcohol or drugs to have mind altering (or life changing) experiences in a canoe. Fast moving streams like the Nantahala and the Ocoee are what I call "adrenaline rivers," while the Wolf is an "endorphin river." It offers canoeists a priceless glimpse of what all other rivers’ headwaters in this region looked like before the Corps of Engineers channelized them.

William Faulkner described such swampy, untamed rivers as "the thick, slow, black, unsunned streams almost without current, which once each year ceased to flow at all and then reversed, spreading, drowning the rich land and subsiding again, leaving it still richer." They are intoxicating, to say the least.

The Wolf River is teeming with wildlife and wetland vegetation, but my favorite part about our recent "expedition" was not its biodiversity, but its psychodiversity: all the interesting people I met in the process — interesting people like the two cops who almost busted us for vagrancy.

"Good Cop/Bad Cop"
Memphis, May 1, 8 miles from the Mississippi River: "Hey! Get up! MPD!" shouts a Memphis police officer.

William FitzGerald ("Fitz") and I are stumbling out of the tent into the glare of their Mag-Lites, my left leg is still tangled in my sleeping bag.

"What are you doing here?" the other officer calmly asks.

It’s 3 a.m. We are camped illegally in a city park located on the Wolf, having built an equally illegal campfire. I’ve explained that we aren’t vagrants and that there is a canoe hidden in the tall grass over there and that we’re paddling the entire length of this river on behalf of the Wolf River Conservancy.

Now the policemen are more relaxed. They’re even giving me pointers on how to delay being raped or murdered in case some of the local toughs come by. (It didn’t look like a rough neighborhood from the river.)

We had been at it for six days by the time the police woke us up in Kennedy Park: hiking and paddling (and wading) some 90 miles by that point. Just a few more miles to go to reach the Mississippi River . . . .

"Thirteen Weeks Earlier"

Moscow, Tenn., January 24: The whole thing started when my friend Chris Stahl, who runs a canoe rental service on the Wolf River, asked me how he could attract more people to the river. "Canoe the whole thing in one lick, man," I said, not very helpfully.

Chris was asking me for ideas about popular day trips for families and church groups, not about some kind of pilgrimage out of the heart of darkness into the middle of industrial North Memphis. There were remote sections of that river no one had navigated in decades — too shallow, too narrow, too overgrown, too full of fallen trees. We could count on crawling out of the canoe to lift it over logs several hundred times in the process.

Chris liked my thinking anyhow, but business commitments and common sense kept him on the shore for most of the trip. So I enlisted Fitz to make the trip with me instead. From January onward, one or both of us spent nearly every weekend scouting different sections of the river and meeting peculiar people.

Walnut, Miss., February 8: "You can put this in the Bible if you want to, but I like snakes more than I like most people," said one man we met while scouting a swamp. "You can trust a cottonmouth; all you have to do is know how his mind works." He viewed our "People’s Republic of Oxford" Lafayette County license tags with suspicion, wondering if we were more "dope smoking a__holes" trespassing on his land, but we’ve since developed an interesting friendship.

"Gary, so far I think you’re a decent person, but if you ever cross me, I can give away one of my motorcycles to someone in Memphis who’ll do anything to you that I ask!" Great. I gave up being a Republican for this?

"The Trip Begins"

Baker’s Pond, Holly Springs National Forest, April 25, 98 miles from the Mississippi River: We had to hike around and wade through 18 miles of swampy bottomland this first day of the actual trip. (Our canoes were waiting for us downstream).

When we scrambled up to the first dirt road that crossed the Wolf, a nice lady in curlers skidded her old pickup truck to a halt beside us. "Are y’all the canoe people?" she asked with a disbelieving smile. We were now 30 seconds into our 15 minutes of fame.

Canaan, Mississippi, April 26, 80 miles from the Mississippi River: This was the hardest day of canoeing in my short life. Fitz and I were joined by Ray Skinner (pictured above) and Bill Lawrence, who is something of a Yoda or Ben Kenobe figure in the uppermost Wolf and an invaluable guide to us for this section. We pulled our gear-heavy canoe out of the shallow water and over fallen trees almost every 150 feet of river channel. We only made five miles that day. It rained its butt off that night, which was good. Come Hell or high water, I’ll take the latter.

"More Cops, Three Mayors, and a Waitress"

LaGrange, Tenn., April 27, 60 miles from the Mississippi River: I was driven up to town from the river bottom by a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy at the end of a long, but very productive day — triple the mileage of the day before. The deputy had been dispatched at the request of Mayor John Huffman of nearby Piperton, Tennessee.

John, who is also the president of the Wolf River Conservancy, was having a lot of fun keeping track of us via walkie-talkies. Here’s an excerpt from and e-mail he copied to dozens of people two hours later: "Who would like to bet that this was the only time in young Bridgman’s life that he was happy to find out that the Law was looking for him? With the lightning and heavy rain present in Fayette County, they are no doubt thinking about how it might of been if they had not made it to LaGrange and been forced to camp along the river."

Actually — at that very moment — I was thinking about pouring another glass of cabernet while that massive thunderstorm was making the lights flicker. Fitz and I were holed up in a bed & breakfast two miles upland, owned by a Conservancy member. I refilled the glass of LaGrange’s mayor, Lucy Cogbill, who stopped by to check on us and enjoy a dry view of the passing monsoon from the back porch.

But I was also thinking about how the mayor of Rossville, Tennessee (25 miles downstream) didn’t give a crap about our expedition because he was having to supervise the partial evacuation of his town due to flash flooding.

My friend Naomi visited briefly, then drove west back into Memphis along the length of the river’s floodplain. "Driving out of LaGrange," Naomi wrote in her own mass e-mail report, "the radio was reporting: flood advisories for Collierville; tornadoes in northern Mississippi; and flash flooding, evacuations, and possible road closure at Rossville. This should make for a speedy and exhilarating ride for Gary and Fitz tomorrow."

Rossville, Tenn., April 28, 45 miles from the Mississippi River: Exhilarating. Right. More like "intimidating," as we constantly ducked under tree limbs that were coming at us at twice their normal speed. I took the only unplanned swim of the trip after being swept out of the canoe by one of those passing limbs.

Fitz is a very even-tempered First Lieutenant in the National Guard, but he sounded more like a drill sergeant as he coached me up onto a half-submerged tree. "Get up on that tree, Bridgman! Let’s get some adrenaline flowing!" he shouted. I obeyed both commands. Fitz carefully maneuvered the canoe underneath my unsteady perch, enabling me to flop down into the boat like a stunned raccoon.

That night, near Rossville, we stayed in a hotel after stuffing ourselves at the Wolf River Cafe. Our waitress, Dorene, was the first of many people to give us the once-over, trying to figure out why we were wearing two-way radios and carrying cell phones while our shabby personal appearance suggested that we lived in an abandoned station wagon.

Earlier that morning, Fitz and I floated through the most amazing stretch of the river, known popularly as the Ghost River section.

Keith Kirkland once described it this way: "About halfway through the trip, small braids of river begin to split off the main channel, disappearing into a dense, standing-water Cypress-Tupelo Gum swamp just before the river abruptly hits a dead end. Only one among the dozens of narrow, twisting corridors splitting off to the left of your canoe will lead you through the full mile of swamp. The rest dissolve into a forest of impassable knees and floating islands of Itea and Buttonbush. The river seems to be everywhere, but nowhere – like a disorienting funhouse hall of mirrors."

April 28 was my 35th float through the Ghost River section and in our haste we paddled it in near-record time, but it’s never, ever a "routine" trip for me. I see something new and wonderful every time!

Germantown, Tenn., April 29, 15 miles from the Mississippi: The next mayor on our itinerary was Germantown’s Sharon Goldsworthy, who fed us her prized beef stew and corn muffins while hearing about our progress.

The next cop on our itinerary was at Germantown Centre, the city’s sprawling performing arts and recreation complex.

"Hello, Mayor!" he said in a cheerful-yet-bewildered tone as Sharon walked us through the health club on the way to the showers. It was fun watching his eyes dart back and forth between his commander-in-chief and the two muddy hoboes trailing her.

"The Voyage Home"

Memphis, May 1, 0.5 miles from the Mississippi: The journey began where the Wolf River is three feet wide, in a county that hasn’t a single traffic light. On this last day, in the shadow of the Pyramid, it was nearly 300 yards wide.

I was glad to see that Wood Ducks and Great Blue Heron were thriving on the river all the way downtown.

As we passed under the Hernando DeSoto Bridge (which also spans the Mississippi) and then the monorail bridge leading to Mud Island, within sight of the mouth of the river, we heard a terrible racket: screaming school children.

"Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Gary and Fitz! Yeahhhhh!" they chanted, having been tipped off about us earlier.

This "endorphin river" was becoming more of a hallucinogenic river. Speaking of which . . .

The night after my first float through the Ghost River section, in 1992, I had a weird dream. No plot to it really, just an image of the water slowly flowing in the darkness, beneath the canopy of trees and dense shrub and rotten logs, while I lay safe in my Midtown Memphis home.

I remember feeling strangely guilty that I wasn’t still out there with the current, but also relieved to no longer be in that stygian gloom. I’ve since come to love that gloom, and all the surrounding light that defines it. And as Fitz and I neared the Mississippi River, I knew that I had finally accompanied that current all the way to its home.

Gary Bridgman is a WRC board member whose devotion to the Wolf River’s protection is only equalled by his penchant for getting gloriously lost in its swamps.

Copyright 1998, Oxford Town, Wolf River Conservancy, Gary Bridgman

Control room
Rental Sound
Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg
My place during the event. One monitor to control the Mac Pro that runs Resolume Arena. Resolume was set up with 7 layers:
A. 3 data layers with the quartz composer scripts and prepared data visualizations
B. 1 colorize layer to change the hue of the layers underneath to the colors of the organization
B. 3 ambient video layers prepared with easygoing backgrounds

The data visualizations were based on:
– data the visitors provided when they registered (age, sex, education, travel distance, etc.)
– data related to the topic that was discussed during the event
– data from the province of Overijssel

Everything was controlled with a Korg Nanokontrol midicontroller.

A MacBook Air was there to keep an eye on the tweets. On the left you can see the montior with the alternate videochannel of the mainstage screen. There were to outputs to the mainstage:
1. one of the outputs of Resolume Arena
2. a laptop on stage with the presentations of the speakers

Ray Skinner at the provisional head of navigation on the Wolf River
Rental Sound
Image by Greenway Guide
photo by Gary Bridgman*

Beginning of day 2 (April 26, 1998) of our full descent of the Wolf, Raymond Skinner prepares his canoe at the head of navigation of the Wolf River. This is in the upper part of the Holly Springs National Forest in Benton County, Mississippi. The river flows north from there into West Tennessee’s Fayette County and into Memphis, where it spills into the Mississippi.

Here is my account of this canoe trip, published in Oxford Town and the the Wolf River Conservancy’s newsletter in the summer of 1998.

A River Creeps Through It

by Gary Bridgman

OT editor’s note: On May 1, 1998, Ole Miss graduate student, William "Fitz" FitzGerald, became the first person in recorded history to travel the entire length of the Wolf River. WRC board member and Oxford, MS, resident, Gary Bridgman, became the second person to do this…about three seconds later (he was in the back of the canoe), as the two completed the "Wolf River Survey." Gary and Fitz hiked and paddled from Baker’s Pond to the foot of Union Avenue to help raise awareness about the river as a whole. Sponsors included the Wolf River Conservancy, Outdoors Inc., Ghost River Canoe Rentals, and BellSouth Mobility. What follows is Gary’s rather unscientific, non-chronological account of the trip.

There’s a distinction between being drunk on a river and being drunk with a river. One does not need alcohol or drugs to have mind altering (or life changing) experiences in a canoe. Fast moving streams like the Nantahala and the Ocoee are what I call "adrenaline rivers," while the Wolf is an "endorphin river." It offers canoeists a priceless glimpse of what all other rivers’ headwaters in this region looked like before the Corps of Engineers channelized them.

William Faulkner described such swampy, untamed rivers as "the thick, slow, black, unsunned streams almost without current, which once each year ceased to flow at all and then reversed, spreading, drowning the rich land and subsiding again, leaving it still richer." They are intoxicating, to say the least.

The Wolf River is teeming with wildlife and wetland vegetation, but my favorite part about our recent "expedition" was not its biodiversity, but its psychodiversity: all the interesting people I met in the process — interesting people like the two cops who almost busted us for vagrancy.

"Good Cop/Bad Cop"
Memphis, May 1, 8 miles from the Mississippi River: "Hey! Get up! MPD!" shouts a Memphis police officer.

William FitzGerald ("Fitz") and I are stumbling out of the tent into the glare of their Mag-Lites, my left leg is still tangled in my sleeping bag.

"What are you doing here?" the other officer calmly asks.

It’s 3 a.m. We are camped illegally in a city park located on the Wolf, having built an equally illegal campfire. I’ve explained that we aren’t vagrants and that there is a canoe hidden in the tall grass over there and that we’re paddling the entire length of this river on behalf of the Wolf River Conservancy.

Now the policemen are more relaxed. They’re even giving me pointers on how to delay being raped or murdered in case some of the local toughs come by. (It didn’t look like a rough neighborhood from the river.)

We had been at it for six days by the time the police woke us up in Kennedy Park: hiking and paddling (and wading) some 90 miles by that point. Just a few more miles to go to reach the Mississippi River . . . .

"Thirteen Weeks Earlier"

Moscow, Tenn., January 24: The whole thing started when my friend Chris Stahl, who runs a canoe rental service on the Wolf River, asked me how he could attract more people to the river. "Canoe the whole thing in one lick, man," I said, not very helpfully.

Chris was asking me for ideas about popular day trips for families and church groups, not about some kind of pilgrimage out of the heart of darkness into the middle of industrial North Memphis. There were remote sections of that river no one had navigated in decades — too shallow, too narrow, too overgrown, too full of fallen trees. We could count on crawling out of the canoe to lift it over logs several hundred times in the process.

Chris liked my thinking anyhow, but business commitments and common sense kept him on the shore for most of the trip. So I enlisted Fitz to make the trip with me instead. From January onward, one or both of us spent nearly every weekend scouting different sections of the river and meeting peculiar people.

Walnut, Miss., February 8: "You can put this in the Bible if you want to, but I like snakes more than I like most people," said one man we met while scouting a swamp. "You can trust a cottonmouth; all you have to do is know how his mind works." He viewed our "People’s Republic of Oxford" Lafayette County license tags with suspicion, wondering if we were more "dope smoking a__holes" trespassing on his land, but we’ve since developed an interesting friendship.

"Gary, so far I think you’re a decent person, but if you ever cross me, I can give away one of my motorcycles to someone in Memphis who’ll do anything to you that I ask!" Great. I gave up being a Republican for this?

"The Trip Begins"

Baker’s Pond, Holly Springs National Forest, April 25, 98 miles from the Mississippi River: We had to hike around and wade through 18 miles of swampy bottomland this first day of the actual trip. (Our canoes were waiting for us downstream).

When we scrambled up to the first dirt road that crossed the Wolf, a nice lady in curlers skidded her old pickup truck to a halt beside us. "Are y’all the canoe people?" she asked with a disbelieving smile. We were now 30 seconds into our 15 minutes of fame.

Canaan, Mississippi, April 26, 80 miles from the Mississippi River: This was the hardest day of canoeing in my short life. Fitz and I were joined by Ray Skinner (pictured above) and Bill Lawrence, who is something of a Yoda or Ben Kenobe figure in the uppermost Wolf and an invaluable guide to us for this section. We pulled our gear-heavy canoe out of the shallow water and over fallen trees almost every 150 feet of river channel. We only made five miles that day. It rained its butt off that night, which was good. Come Hell or high water, I’ll take the latter.

"More Cops, Three Mayors, and a Waitress"

LaGrange, Tenn., April 27, 60 miles from the Mississippi River: I was driven up to town from the river bottom by a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy at the end of a long, but very productive day — triple the mileage of the day before. The deputy had been dispatched at the request of Mayor John Huffman of nearby Piperton, Tennessee.

John, who is also the president of the Wolf River Conservancy, was having a lot of fun keeping track of us via walkie-talkies. Here’s an excerpt from and e-mail he copied to dozens of people two hours later: "Who would like to bet that this was the only time in young Bridgman’s life that he was happy to find out that the Law was looking for him? With the lightning and heavy rain present in Fayette County, they are no doubt thinking about how it might of been if they had not made it to LaGrange and been forced to camp along the river."

Actually — at that very moment — I was thinking about pouring another glass of cabernet while that massive thunderstorm was making the lights flicker. Fitz and I were holed up in a bed & breakfast two miles upland, owned by a Conservancy member. I refilled the glass of LaGrange’s mayor, Lucy Cogbill, who stopped by to check on us and enjoy a dry view of the passing monsoon from the back porch.

But I was also thinking about how the mayor of Rossville, Tennessee (25 miles downstream) didn’t give a crap about our expedition because he was having to supervise the partial evacuation of his town due to flash flooding.

My friend Naomi visited briefly, then drove west back into Memphis along the length of the river’s floodplain. "Driving out of LaGrange," Naomi wrote in her own mass e-mail report, "the radio was reporting: flood advisories for Collierville; tornadoes in northern Mississippi; and flash flooding, evacuations, and possible road closure at Rossville. This should make for a speedy and exhilarating ride for Gary and Fitz tomorrow."

Rossville, Tenn., April 28, 45 miles from the Mississippi River: Exhilarating. Right. More like "intimidating," as we constantly ducked under tree limbs that were coming at us at twice their normal speed. I took the only unplanned swim of the trip after being swept out of the canoe by one of those passing limbs.

Fitz is a very even-tempered First Lieutenant in the National Guard, but he sounded more like a drill sergeant as he coached me up onto a half-submerged tree. "Get up on that tree, Bridgman! Let’s get some adrenaline flowing!" he shouted. I obeyed both commands. Fitz carefully maneuvered the canoe underneath my unsteady perch, enabling me to flop down into the boat like a stunned raccoon.

That night, near Rossville, we stayed in a hotel after stuffing ourselves at the Wolf River Cafe. Our waitress, Dorene, was the first of many people to give us the once-over, trying to figure out why we were wearing two-way radios and carrying cell phones while our shabby personal appearance suggested that we lived in an abandoned station wagon.

Earlier that morning, Fitz and I floated through the most amazing stretch of the river, known popularly as the Ghost River section.

Keith Kirkland once described it this way: "About halfway through the trip, small braids of river begin to split off the main channel, disappearing into a dense, standing-water Cypress-Tupelo Gum swamp just before the river abruptly hits a dead end. Only one among the dozens of narrow, twisting corridors splitting off to the left of your canoe will lead you through the full mile of swamp. The rest dissolve into a forest of impassable knees and floating islands of Itea and Buttonbush. The river seems to be everywhere, but nowhere – like a disorienting funhouse hall of mirrors."

April 28 was my 35th float through the Ghost River section and in our haste we paddled it in near-record time, but it’s never, ever a "routine" trip for me. I see something new and wonderful every time!

Germantown, Tenn., April 29, 15 miles from the Mississippi: The next mayor on our itinerary was Germantown’s Sharon Goldsworthy, who fed us her prized beef stew and corn muffins while hearing about our progress.

The next cop on our itinerary was at Germantown Centre, the city’s sprawling performing arts and recreation complex.

"Hello, Mayor!" he said in a cheerful-yet-bewildered tone as Sharon walked us through the health club on the way to the showers. It was fun watching his eyes dart back and forth between his commander-in-chief and the two muddy hoboes trailing her.

"The Voyage Home"

Memphis, May 1, 0.5 miles from the Mississippi: The journey began where the Wolf River is three feet wide, in a county that hasn’t a single traffic light. On this last day, in the shadow of the Pyramid, it was nearly 300 yards wide.

I was glad to see that Wood Ducks and Great Blue Heron were thriving on the river all the way downtown.

As we passed under the Hernando DeSoto Bridge (which also spans the Mississippi) and then the monorail bridge leading to Mud Island, within sight of the mouth of the river, we heard a terrible racket: screaming school children.

"Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Gary and Fitz! Yeahhhhh!" they chanted, having been tipped off about us earlier.

This "endorphin river" was becoming more of a hallucinogenic river. Speaking of which . . .

The night after my first float through the Ghost River section, in 1992, I had a weird dream. No plot to it really, just an image of the water slowly flowing in the darkness, beneath the canopy of trees and dense shrub and rotten logs, while I lay safe in my Midtown Memphis home.

I remember feeling strangely guilty that I wasn’t still out there with the current, but also relieved to no longer be in that stygian gloom. I’ve since come to love that gloom, and all the surrounding light that defines it. And as Fitz and I neared the Mississippi River, I knew that I had finally accompanied that current all the way to its home.

Gary Bridgman is a WRC board member whose devotion to the Wolf River’s protection is only equalled by his penchant for getting gloriously lost in its swamps.

text copyright 1998, Oxford Town, Wolf River Conservancy, Gary Bridgman

* the photographer, Gary Bridgman, has granted the use of this image for the purpose of promoting water or greenspace conservation under a Creative Commons license whereby the photographer must be credited by name.