Hovercraft to Re-blaze the Lewis and Clark Trail--Phase two.
On Tuesday August 31st, leaving from The Gavins Dam on the Missouri River at Yankton SD, two intrepid modern day hovercraft-mounted explorers, will start off on leg two of the adventure they began last May to commemorate the great Lewis and Clark expedition. This leg of the journey will follow the Missouri up stream for nearly 800 miles, through South Dakota, North Dakota, and into Montana. They hope to make the distance in as little as 5 days.
The team is headed by Bob Windt of Cordova IL, and the crew member is Mike Kiester of Duncan OK. They will be flying the hovercraft designed and built by Captain Windt. Both hardy adventurers are trying to recreate as much as possible the dauntless expedition carried out two hundred years ago, but in much quicker time, and hopefully with fewer unknowns.
The first leg of the Lewis and Clark hovercraft adventure started where the original expedition began, near St. Louis, at the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi, on May 14th. Three hovercraft teams traveled all the way to The Gavins Dam in South Dakota, 950 miles in 5 days, and were greeted along the way by hundreds of fans, local residents, and well-wishers.
Updates of the team's progress will be posted daily on the webpage hovercraft.com, and they welcome members of the public to come out to meet them along the way.
To arrange en route interviews, contact:
Imagine if you can, starting a trip up the Missouri River from St. Louis
with a 22 oar pirogue, two small boats, and a crew of about 45 adventurers with provisions
for a week or two trying to make it to the headwater of this magnificent river. Sounds great,
doesn’t it? Plenty of fresh air, catching your own fish for dinner, camping around a campfire
at night, and then on your way up river early the next morning. An ideal vacation trip to be
remembered for years.
However, what if you and your partner were the first two men to attempt such a trip, and
instead of two weeks it took three years. Also, it wasn’t 2004 but 200 years earlier in 1804!
That is exactly what we plan this year, a trip by the Universal Hovercraft team in the
UH-18SPW Hoverwing in ground effect craft, to commemorate the Lewis and Clark expedition.
What Lewis and Clark accomplished as trailblazers and explorers for almost three years, and
meeting unknown adventures in every mile, we plan to do with a hovercraft. We plan to do what
no one else has done, a complete round trip to the headwaters in North Dakota and back to
St. Louis in about 8 days. We hope our adventures are great, but we realize it won’t be quite
the same as those two pioneers, and we want to celebrate and remind all of us that our country
was founded and discovered by very brave men.
Universal Hovercraft, led by team captains Bob Windt, Mike Kiester and Billy Zang will lead a
crew with the three UH 18SPW Hoverwings up the Missouri river from St. Louis to the headwaters
in North Dakota and back again starting May 22nd of this year. The endurance run will be to
commemorate the Lewis and Clark expedition’s 200th anniversary. It will be the first time a
ground effect craft has attempted the journey.
Zang says, “We hope to honor the memory of the two great explorers and bring attention to how
difficult it must have been for them. We plan to fly our Hoverwing as close as possible to their
original route and make stops in historic sites. We all owe a great deal to men like Lewis and Clark.”