Couples take RV barge trip down river

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 12, 2000

NATCHEZ – The experience has been described as somewhere between floating down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn and taking a cruise aboard the Love Boat. And if you happened to see the river barges loaded with motor homes and RVs docked under the bluffs Wednesday and Thursday, you’d understand why.

&uot;It’s a good way to go,&uot; Russell Clegg said. &uot;You’ve got your (own) pillow with you.&uot;

This was the first &uot;cruising campground&uot; excursion for Clegg and his wife, Ramona. The retired couple from Osh Kosh, Wis., has been camping since 1961.

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&uot;We’ve lived near the Mississippi River all our lives, and we thought it would be a great way to see it,&uot; Clegg said.

Natchez was just one stop on the 17-day cruise that began in Guntersville, Ala., and will end in New Orleans.

Aboard the double barge carrying 26 RVs are 52 passengers and three staff members, including husband-and-wife directors Don and Jan Retif.

&uot;I always tell the people I don’t do ice carvings at midnight; I’ll be in bed,&uot; Jan said, laughing.

But what the floating campground lacks in luxuries, it makes up in friendliness.

&uot;I guarantee you there is more socializing on this barge than you’ll see on the Delta Queen,&uot; said Relief Captain Tim Griesheimer.

Maybe that’s why some couples — known as &uot;alumni&uot; — return year after year to try one of the six different barge cruises offered through RV River Charters and Creative World Rallies and Caravans.

&uot;We just stay on vacation all the time,&uot; Captain Kaylor Jones said.