Muscoda WI - August 17, 18 and 19 - 2001

One last hurrah to the summer hovering season was hosted by the Webers at Muscoda, WI, on the grand Wisconsin River -- and truthfully, we never had a better one! Even a helicopter flew in to tape us! Conjecture was that they were from a PBS station; someone else said they were giving rides downstream and it could have been a passenger doing the video. Whatever happened, it was fun watching them dip close to the hovers. At one point, one of the drivers of a Weber StarCruiser heard an unusual whop-whop-whop behind him. Thinking he was having some type of trouble with his prop, he looked back only to see the helicopter perched precariously above his duct. Said he could have reached out and touched him!

LIST OF DRIVERS AND HOVERCRAFTS!

A list of hovercrafters attending this event are: Glenn, Peter and Laurie Gungel, Forreston IL (UH6); Don & Jean Searls, Piedmont MO (Weber StarCruiser); Gary and Pat Bowden, McGregor IA (Weber StarCruiser); Bob Steinhauer, Muscoda, WI (Weber StarCruiser); David LaCombe, St. Paul MN (LHD-12F (light hovercraft design, 12 ft, foam); Shane Wilkey, Cordova IL (UH13); Bob Windt, Cordova IL, (UH18SP); Mike Lynch (SCAT12) & son, John (SCAT), and daughter Stephanie, Lombard IL; Terry Lobdell (AirCommander); Dave and Connie Adams, Millington IL (AirCommander); Linda Weber, Cuba City, WI (Weber StarCruiser); Verdon Weber, Cuba City, WI (Weber StarCruiser); Vernon Weber, Cuba City, WI (Weber StarCruiser); Danny Zicarelli, Bethel, ME (RC Hovercraft); Dennis Bobb, Avoca, WI (Weber StarCruiser); Dennis and Carol Alm, New Brighton, MN (Weber StarCruiser); Ray & Terri Matthews, Freeport, IL (Weber StarCruiser); Carl and Janet Gorsuch, Cincinnati, OH (UH16); Doug Pendleton, Sauk Village, IL (SCAT); Bill Zang, McHenry, IL (UH18SPW); Marquis Songer, McHenry, IL (UH13PR); John Windt, Elgin, IL (UH19P); Mike Jacobson, Rochester, IL (UH13P); Michael Courtney, Jack Leonard, and Maggie, Mount Vernon, IA (Weber StarCruiser); Steve and Nancy Leffin, Naperville IL (Weber StarCruiser); Charlie Feller, McGregor, IA (Weber StarCruiser); Eric Szatkowski, Posen, MI (UH10F2); Glenn, Brenda and Brent Shick, OakRidge PA (G&B Express); Vince Vobeck, Wausua, WI, (UH10F); Jeremy, Woodstock, IL (UH13); Dennis Sornson, Madison, WI (SEV); Kevin Roesch, Potosi, WI (Weber AirRider); Brian Roesch, Potosi, WI (UH10F); an owner of a Hovertrek who never signed in, and Ben Tilson family, Rochester, MN (Weber StarCruiser).

AUGUST 16 and 17

As we always did in the past, we drove to Muscoda in the late afternoon of the 17th and enjoyed the pleasantness of the Victora Park Campground on the edge of the Wisconsin River. If you ever wish to get away for an inexpensive but beautiful camping weekend, consider Muscoda, WI. With only $10 for a campsite with electricity, bathrooms, showers, picnic tables and fire pits, one can't go wrong! And this particular weekend would fill this campground, even as large as it is. I tested my camcorders and disk camera and found that all 3 were going to give me grief, and all I could do was put up with the disk camera. The camcorders were both down, but fortunately I still had the old fashioned camera to use as well. Along with a few others who offered to help me by taking pictures, we filmed this weekend for posterity.

 

Morning on the 18th broke with the most beautiful fog show one can imagine. As the sun arose higher, the fog burned off, but before it could we got some good shots.

 

Gary (Doc) and Pat Bowden were fortunate to take some time from their hectic schedules to attend this hoverin with their newly purchased StarCruiser. (A Recent Letter from them: Hi Webers,   Thank you for three days of enjoyment! Pat and I had a wonderful time hovering, visiting with people and just relaxing. It was all made possible as a result of your hard work putting it all together. Hovercrafting has been pushed to a higher level thanks to people like you.   Having a hovercraft that performs as well as the Starcruiser makes hovering alot more fun! I believe this is the best hovercraft on the market today.   Doc")

 
 
  In all the years we have hosted a hoverin, I always amaze (look forward to!) at the number of crafts Bob Windt can bring to a hover-in, and most of all, the methods he can transport them in! With a few strong shoulders, Shane Wilkey's craft is lifted down from the top of the van.
  Bob Steinhauer and his Eagle 1 live right along the shore of the Wisconsin River and have the most beautiful outlook over the river every day of their lives. Bob was so gracious and helped me with so much this past weekend, I really am indebted.
Carl and Janet Gorsuch hail from Cincinnati, OH, and miss very few hover-ins, if they can help it. Carl started his "16" in June of 2000 and took a few months off for health reasons, but the resulting hovercraft is a beaut! Cruising along at 50 mph he still had lots of throttle to spare, and really doesn't know how fast it can go yet!  
  Our morning crowd gathered waiting for Steve Meyer from Central Power to arrive. You will naturally see more StarCruiser hovercrafts in all my shots, as that is what we build. The StarCruiser is the work horse of the river--cruising at speeds in excess of 50 mph occasionally -- but is the ultimate in relaxed cruising for everyone. Therefore, if you come to one of our hover-ins, be prepared to hover and enjoy the scenery!
Dennis and Carol Alm's StarCruiser gets the 'once over' early this a.m.  
  This photo is none too poignant. Too many drownings happen when the lack of supervision or the failure of wearing PFDs comes into the picture. As this picture states, this river is treacherous in spots. Only a few weeks prior to our hover-in, an 8 year old boy drowned just a few hundred feet downstream from this picture.

CPD arrives!

Central Power Distributors afford the small manufacturer a wonderful opportunity to purchase the best 4 stroke engines on the market. And on this date, their representative, Steve Meyer, offered his services to answer as many questions as he could as he visited the hover-in for his yearly testing of the StarCruisers! (He just needed an excuse to come and drive!)

 
 

Lots of questions came out......and the answers were given. What's happening to the SAM (that little box on the side of the Kohler)? What's the new liquid cooled Kohler weigh.....and on and on. After answering a few questions on the Tecumsehs as well, Steve was ready to get wet!

 
     
 

Thank you Steve for taking the time to visit with us!

 

Yepper, that's Steve in Carl Gorsuch's craft.....he just couldn't get enough of hovers!

Vernon Weber Stretches the SC23 for a run!  

THE FIRST CRUISE OF THE WEEKEND - 94 miles strong!

 
 
     
 

On this particular afternoon, we put on quite a few miles as most of us just wanted to flat out hover.....no playing around! The river was smooth and we were headed for the Prairie du Sac Dam, an ice cream cone in Sauk City and a grand tour of over 95 miles! 11 of us started out together, and later on the return home we were joined with a couple 10Fs and others!

 
   
  Vernon Weber arrives at the sandbar in his Weber StarCruiser. This craft has mostly been Vernon and Verdon's test craft....having at one time even used 'water brakes' on it. With over 325 hours, the craft is going strong and can pretty much keep up to and occasionally bypass the StarCruisers with the 25 hp Kohler, as it only has a 23 hp Briggs pushing and an 8 hp Briggs lifting!
  Dennis Bobb arrives in his StarCruiser......
  Carl Gorsuch pulls in with his 16....
  and steps out!
  Ben Tilson and one of the kids......
  Bob Steinhauer pulls up with the Eagle!
  Don and Jean Searls arrive........his Weber has recently received all of the options available (with the exception of the anti-ice kit which isn't needed in MO!), and he's proud to say he has it as good as the 2002 model!
  With no one around Piedmont MO to hover with, Don and Jean can always find an excuse to come to Wisconsin, they tell me. They love hovering....
  Vernon Weber brought along the 2002 Weber StarCruiser to the hover-in for 2 days. A beautiful machine fitted with a more extensive windshield, it affords the driver and the passenger even more protection from the elements than in past production models.
  I love this photo.....Mike and Brandon (son) Jacobson! Mike and I seem to have a contest on the river every year as to who is the fastest.....I didn't even try this time! This craft is so slick, it moves like a phantom! Great job, Mike!

Along the way, we picked up Dennis Sornson, Madison, WI, and he flew along with us.....and then kind of disappeared! His SEV can be seen a lot on the Wisconsin River as he explores many areas of it on his days off from work.

 
This would not be the last I would see him......thankfully!

Yepper.....that's me! Hung up on one of those 'downriver' sides of the sandbars. I had been talking with Dennis and shooting pictures of his craft and decided I needed to catch up with the others.....(and who was it that said I am always in the lead and going to fast to keep up with???) Well, anyway, I took off and decided not to go straight off the sandbar deck as it didn't look too threatening from on top, but as I got closer, I changed my mind and my craft drifted a bit too far too fast as I set it down.......and alas, with no cushion, what's a girl to do???

Dennis Sornson came along--AGAIN!--and pushed me over the edge! Wow, and thanks guy!

 
 

First breakdown of the weekend! Eric Szatkowski's 10F tooked a dive off the edge of a sandbar and had disastrous results. StarCruiser owners helped Eric back at the landing with parts to get going again. A special thank you to Dennis Bobb, Avoca, WI, for flying home and picking up some styrofoam for Eric!

More to come for you on Page Two!