The Louisiana Goat Boat Woman - Miss Hazel Brown of Pilottown, Louisiana is about to attempt the unattainable. Miss Brown (Miss is short for Mississippi) has been preparing to navigate all 2,320 miles of the Mississippi River in a simple wooden boat, with only one paddle, and she will be taking her goats along with her for company. Her hometown friends and neighbors have started calling her the “Goat Boat Woman”. At 88 years young, Miss(issippi) Brown worked as a high school guidance counselor for 50 years where she guided students down the river of life. Her avocation has always been studying maps, as both of her parents were professional cartographers. When asked how she decided to do this, she said: “T’was always our plan to do this ever since I was younger, but we seem to’ve procrastinated it a bit now, haven’t we? Well, better late than never, as they always say!”
Hazel’s journey will take her and her caprine friends along or through 10 different states and 128 towns. “As a long-time map lover, I know the route very well.” The Goat Boat will begins its trip at the river’s source which is Lake Itasca, Minnesota, where the elevation is 1,475 feet above the Gulf of Mexico.
As an amateur cartographer, Hazel knows the first town they will pass by in each of the 10 states: 1. Bemidji, Minnesota 2. Prescott, Wisconsin 3. Lansing, Iowa 4. Galena, Illinois 5. Hannibal, Missouri 6. Wickliffe, Kentucky 7. Tiptonville, Tennessee 8. Osceloa, Arkansas 9. Tunica, Mississippi 10. Waterproof, Louisiana Their big adventure will hopefully culminate with a big celebration at the mouth of the Mississippi, which is her hometown of Pilottown, Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish at elevation zero. When asked about dams, Hazel said there’s no need to swear. (Apparently, her three sons will coordinate the portaging of Hazel’s Goat Boat around any dangerous dam-type situations.)
When asked what they will eat, Hazel is hoping that local riverside church groups that she has contacted will bring her small cardboard boxes with some “surprises” in them. For the goats, she says they pretty much eat anything, including broad-leafed plants, any parts of trees, and of course, they love cardboard boxes.