Phatwater on the Natchez gage on the second of September, five weeks from the XIIIth annual race, is 21.94
The launch site for the Halph-The-Phat, one mile above the town of Waterproof, Louisiana, is presently exposed with a sand beach, just as it was a year ago. Waterproof, Louisiana, lies alongside US Highway 65, 32 miles from the Natchez Grande Hotel. The Natchez Grande Hotel is on Canal Street, in, as one would expect, the city of Natchez.
The path to the water at the launch site for the Halph-The-Phat is somewhat treacherous, weedy, and presents a minor difficulty for those maneuvering through and descending it to the Mississippi. You are advised against any attempt to descend this trail without appropriate footwear. If you cut off your foot in the process of descending this pathway the nearest medical care facility for having it reattached is in Ferriday, Louisiana; however, bear in mind this is an LSU home game weekend. Be sure to bring a sewing kit and have an updated tetanus vaccine if you plan to go barefooted. And be sure to team up with a partner or partners when moving your boat over the exposed rock and old rail ties which lie in the path leading from the parking lot to the beach. You will see what I mean when you get there.
To get to the Halph-The-Phat launch, go north of the town of Waterproof, on US 65, one mile, and turn right at the flashing light at Goldman. There is a John Deere dealership at the flashing light. Drive straight to the levee (east), onto the levee, then turn left and go north about a tenth of a mile, then follow the road to the Grain Elevators, which are the predominant landmark. The elevators are on the river bank. Drive across the agricultural scales leading toward the grain elevators and follow the gravel/sand road south, to the right, away from the grain elevators, until you see the graveled parking lot. The lot is at present a lush, vegetative representation of what one can expect to encounter in a part of the world where the annual rainfall exceeds 70″s. Prior to the Phatwater XIII, someone, probably I, will return to the lushly appointed gravel parking lot with a jug of Roundup herbicide and a powered weed trimming device, and set about altering its appearance, at least temporarily. When YOU arrive, leave the snakes alone and they’ll do likewise. Be mindful of yellowjackets and horseflies, and other flies which were in existence before horses evolved on this planet, or were summarily transplanted to this continent by Spanish Conquistadors who were in the area as recently as 1541, looking for, though finding no gold, save what was spent from their beleaguered kidneys, by way of their Catholic urethras.
This year all Phatwater paddlers and Halph-The-Phat Paddlers will be awarded a completion catfish, as was the practice last year, to indicate their participation and completion of this time honored rite of passage. Trophies for first place finishers in all Phatwater classes will be awarded. Subordinate trophies for 2nd and 3rd place finishers will also be awarded. Cash prizes continue to be debated though may not be forthcoming. This will depend entirely on race turnout.
I have taken abuse from all quarters on my attitude toward the awarding of trophies for the Phatwater but not for the Halph-The-Phat. I have withstood this criticism as well and remain fixed in my determination to do things as I see fit. As I’ve said, everyone who completes the Phatwater will be recognized; however, the race began as the 42+ mile Phatwater, and not the Phatwater and the Halph-The-Phat, and though I have intention of overlooking the bold effort and sacrifices paid by each participant in both races, the Phatwater, as always, is still available to anyone who wishes to enlist at a more competitive level. Please feel free to enter this competition at any time with my warmest regards. If you feel my motives are out of step with the modern world, please also feel free to write your congressman/woman/transgenderan.
All For Now—KB