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Review: Driftin Ol Miss by Wali-G

Updated on March 21, 2020

Film: "Driftin Ol Miss"...Christopher Kibellus edit

Style: Documentary

Run Time: 70 mnutes

Date: 2009


--> Mike Walgrave (aka Wali-G)-- philosopher/filmmaker/farmer/adventurer

--> Pheng Moua -- first mate

--> Eric Field -- Intern - Cooler Control

Mike Walgrave
Mike Walgrave

Mike Walgrave (aka Wali-G)

Mike Walgrave, known as Wali-G, decided to seek out adventure by taking a quest down the Mississippi with fellow companions Pheng Moua and Eric Field aboard a shackboat called the Don Quixote. The raft known as the Don Quixote was a gift given to Wali G by John Napier because John didn't know what to do with it. The raft is actually a shack on top of a 16x20ft raft which contains two rows of 50 gallon barrels to keep it afloat. On September 9, 2009 this rag tag gathering of friends attempted to beat the onset of winter by drifting down the Ole Mississippi - without an engine. After not making much progress the crew soon realized they would need a motor, more money and a lot of help along the way to be successful on the journey.

Having just ended a 15 months deployment with the 173rd Infantry, Wali G decides he is ready for an adventure. After his experiences in the armed forces he was looking to find peace and adventure by taking John Napier's boat to New Orleans. Mike believes in peace through a grassroots war on terror using networks, media and free speech to leverage a global voice. The crew represented drifters and and felt they represented "riverrats for peace". Wali-G, a former philosophy student at UW-La Crosse and a recent graduate in Agricultural Economics from UW-River Falls believed in finding commonalities in man and "the quest" is one of those commonalities as well as one of the inspirations for making this trip.

Pheng Moua
Pheng Moua

Pheng (pronounced "pang") Moua

Pheng Moua is from a first generation family from Loas who was living in La Crosse and was a friend of Mike's. He promised to travel on the Don Quixote to at least St. Louis and he provides much of the comic relief on the film. Pheng makes the realization after 30 minutes of rowing that you don't move very fast drifting on the Mississippi noting they only moved about 500 feet and exclaiming "We're not even moving dude!" In Buffalo Iowa, Pheng finds the hospitality of a local bar to be the best ever but wakes the next morning to a "pheng-over" where he discovers he might have had a bit too much to drink. He also has a few superstitious moments when the trip encounters mighty winds, breakdowns and inhospitable weather like continuous rain and thick fog. At one point he blames a "spectral force" for a windstorm that creates havoc on the raft.

Eric Field
Eric Field

Eric Field

Eric Field, Intern and the "Cooler Control" deckhand had no intention of drifting down the Mississippi when Wali-G approached him. He had just recently returned home to La Crosse after leaving a dead end job and was looking forward to visiting with family and friends. But after a series of musical coincidences listing off the major trip elements like the Mississippi River and Don Quixote, Eric takes it as a sign he should join the trio. Eric challenges himself to a variety of stunts during the odyssey down the river - including drinking tea leaves, a gallon of water in 90 minutes and facing the 6 pound burrito. He's also the resident mathematician who calculates it will take over $1800 in gas to get to New Orleans once they get an engine outside of Bellevue Iowa.

Recommendation - Watch This Movie!

The video, available <<link needed>> or at is the first Mississippi River adventure filmed entirely with an iPhone. Mike had intended to film the trip using an HD camcorder which unfortunately fell into the Mississippi on the third day of the trip. It is an entertaining film featuring grassroots musicians (see list below) encountered along the journey. There are many stop overs at famous historical cities and the crew is helped by the advice and kindness of local people and fellow citizens for peace. A few other "drifters" join the float along the way as well. It is a light-hearted chronicle of the sights, people and sounds you would find on a trip down the Mississippi as well as a look into the heart and soul of three people who just wanted to make a global statement of peace while having an adventure of a lifetime.

Join Wali-G and his crew as they avoid the obstacles of rogue logs, relentless boredom, bird droppings, bouys. lock and dams, barges, industrial waste and ocean liners while enjoying the incredible music and cast of characters littering the mighty Mississippi river and its banks. I highly recommend you take 70 minutes out of your day to watch this film and take in what it has to offer. You'll feel better about mankind and learn something about the Mississippi and its river cities along the way

La Crosse - French Island - Trip Start (use left click with your mouse to travel yourself to New Orleans!)

Featured Artists

Song/Artist/Time Sequence In Driftin Ol Miss (original movie - many of these times are now inaccurate)

Song: Cadet Rouselle Artist: Dennis Straughmatt 2:30

Song: The Frog and the Scorpion Artist: Wooke Foot 3:37

Song: I'm Going Fishing Artist: Vince Johnson and the Plantation Allstars 4:54

Song: Mississippi Mud Artist: Dan Wiethop 6:57

Song: Out of the Jar Artist: Wookie Foot 8:50

Song: Fessin’ Up Artist: Craig Schuster 11:06

Song: Banjo and Washboard (live) Artist: Pan and Phoenix 13:44

Song: Joy and Pain Artist: Mayhem String Band 14:30

Song: Good Night Irene Artist: Seth Libbey and the Liberals 15:19

Song: Make a Fool Artist: Pan and Phoenix 17:19

Song: Porterhouse Breakdown Artists: Mayhem String Band 17:53

Song: LeBeau Mardi Gras Artist: Dennis Straughmatt 19:34

Song: Icarus Artist: Michael Perry and the Longbeds 25:44

Song: Bring It With You When You Come Artist: Mayhem String Band 28:01

Song: I Hope I Get to Heaven Artist: Doug E. Rees 29:41

Song: Dem Deers Artist: Dan Wiethop 32:42

Song: Fluffhead Artist: Powerwagon 34:43

Song: Ode to Veterans Artist: Wali-G 37:39

Song: J’s Groove Artist: Vince Johnson and the Plantation All-Stars 40:17

Song: Out Of Here Artist: Craig Schuster 45:25

Song: Black Locust Artist: Fame 46:05

Song: Nickels and Dimes Artist: Mayhem String Band 50:26

Song: Le Bambocheur Artist: Dennis Stroughmatt 51:55

Song: Mary Don’t You Weep Artist: Seth Libbey and the Liberals 53:42

Song: Bobble Head Jesus Artist: Seth Libbey and the Liberals 55:35

Song: No Banjo Pickers in Heaven Artist: Dan Wiethop 58:55

Song: Distance Means Nothing Artist: Man Plus Building 1:00:40

Song: This is the Last Time We Will Ever See This Artist: Man Plus Building 1:01:19

Song: Talk to the Plants Artist: Doug E. Rees 1:03:44

Song: Long Time Coming Artist: Mayhem String Band 1:015:15

Song: This is Not a Test Artist: Wookie Foot 1:06:25

New Orleans - Trip Destination


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I'd do it.


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