I believe its usually done in the reverse flow.
Most head South on the Rivers; Miss, Ohio and through Kentucky Lake to the Tenn-Tom waterway. You than enter the Gulf at Mobile Bay.
The reason is that going against the currents on the Miss especially in the spring is not very fesible for long distances. I might be wrong and there is a memeber here that is located on the Miss that can corect me, but its very difficult to make miles when going against strong currents on the river.
No, you're absolutely correct. The loop makes a counter-clockwise circle. Most folks are in the north in the summer, travel the Mississippi in the fall, winter in the Gulf and Florida and make the northward journey in the spring time. All seems pretty logical to me.
I lived in DC for 8 years right on the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. I used to canoe out there all summer long, took my kids out there when they were little. Never sailed it, but we watched boats and ships come through all the time.
I always thought back then how I'd like to travel down the Mississippi.
When I was a child a cousin and I built a raft. We worked for a few weeks on the thing in the spring time and dragged it to a creek one summer day. Threw our little bags full of food and water "aboard" and climbed on, poled off the "shore" and "set sail".
We found ourselves a bit later (couple of hours) in a river mouth which, basically SUCKED us out of the creek while we were trying to turn around. We had no paddles but I'd made a rudder so we were able to steer it and not hit anything.
Problem was, we couldn't stop.
We went down that river almost into Tennessee.
I've always wanted to do the "Huck Finn" thing ever since, but... on the real Mississippi and perhaps with a bit better luck, experience and good crew. hehehe.