Sunday turned out to be just as beautiful as Saturday....like Marquis Songer said, "Pinch me if it gets any better than this!" We were all delirious with expectations of this day. I'll follow my cruising itinerary that Nick Jokay gave me and help you follow the day's grand events.


TIME: 10 a.m. Sunday. Be ready to hover at 10 a.m.

Location: Fairbanks Park

Well, as usual, there are a few of us that are always early--like 9:00 a.m. and hovering already??!! Verdon Weber was the very first hovercraft down the ramp Sunday...
  Followed by ME!!!
And then Dennis Alm hit the water flying......  
Carl Gorsuch and Janet are unloading the Gorsuch special, while... Dennis' prop looks like it has actually stopped in time......
Mike McCullough experiences the ramp for his very first time and flies out onto the Wabash... with lots of grace!
  Carl and Janet are next.....doesn't he do a beautiful job on his crafts?? This is #3 of 4 crafts built by Carl.
  Mike McCullough flying back in with that stopped prop syndrome!
Stephanie Lynch hands out the schedule to everyone.....while Andy Pittman changes fingers on his skirt.

Activities: 10:00 Drivers meeting. Make sure we all know where we're going and what landmarks to look for.

Nick had that right. We ALL needed to know where we were headed and we all needed to stay together. The Wabash is a fast flowing river and we didn't need any breakdowns without a buddy along to help out!

And finally the driver's meeting begins. Nick Jokay, Marquis Songer and Chris Fitzgerald put together a good cruise for us.
Yellow goggles belong to John Lynch.  
  Chris gives us an understanding of the creek and state forest area where we eventually will head.
10:15 Leave downstream for the penitentiary. (6 miles, boat ramp on the left, east bank)
Well, that's the spot......but we couldn't stay. The guards didn't want anyone on the property. So Louis Bondurant heads out in his Air Commander.....nice picture, Louis!
Charles Dixon, SCAT 12
Louis sports his StarCruiser tee shirt just for Gary Lutke to eyeball!!
  Marquis Songer and Googolplex talk with Charles Dixon.
Verdon Weber in Mike McCullough's StarCruiser going for a speed run!
11:30 Hover upstream to Clinton (22 miles, boat ramp on the left, west bank, just past and within sight of two bridges) or hover back to Fairbanks park (6 miles) and retrailer and drive to Clinton. If needed, fuel can be brought to Clinton.

It was your choice. It's noon now and we have to get going to keep our agenda moving. Many of us just hovered on up to Clinton, carrying ample gasoline for the whole trip back, too.



SCATS revving up......  

12:15 Lunch at Dairy Queen near boat ramp.

1:00 Hover upstream to Sugar Creek (14 miles, major stream on right, east, bank. About 2 miles past row of pumps in river from Newport army base.)

YAH RIGHT! Are you really sure you want to do this? Goog does a beautiful trek up the Sugar Creek in his Questrek!
These shots do not in any way represent how bad the creek started out..... Marquis will attest to the fact that I just shut my eyes and didn't worry!
We made it safely, as every one who went along did also.  
To make it even more difficult kayaks and canoes were parked along the way fishing...... In our way!

Continue 7 miles up Sugar Creek to second covered bridge.

Stop on gravel bank at bridge. There is likely to be hundreds of canoers on Sugar Creek. They all get out at this covered bridge. We are just lookin for trouble if we hover upstream of this point. If you get there first and encounter lots of canoests after the first covered bridge, then please go back and wait at the first covered bridge. We'll take some photos, skip some stones.........

  Goog and the Hover Lady!

Well, my camera couldn't quite get the rocks skipping across the creek, but they really did, all the way to the other side. John and Stephanie are excellent rock skippers. But Goog showed them both up--GOOD JOB!

The itinerary finished with "......and head for home!"

We all paused for a group picture.....and nicknamed ourselves THE SURVIVORS!

It was a good feeling....we had made it up here without upsetting any canoes and no damage on any craft. We had skipped stones and chatted and had lots of fun on a warm Sunday afternoon. Let's go back to Clinton for cones!

Verdon and I headed out together and got aways in front of everyone, just cruising along, often turning to watch to see if the group was still with us. Then all of a sudden, no one was behind us. We turned around and searched backwards.

Mike Lynch's fuel pump and possibly another engine problem had shut him down. Dennis Alm and Goog were helping push him to a boat landing somewhere along the way. Verdon and Goog took the tow rope and hooked Mike's SCAT to our StarCruiser and we towed him about a mile to Montezuma Public Access area.

There we waited while Dennis Alm ran Mike back to Clinton for a spare fuel pump and accessories.


Eventually everyone got home safely, but it was still a beautiful lazy Sunday. Up until the breakdown, Mike Lynch had a great time, too! Time for some repairs and on to the next hoverin--CHEROKEE in Tennessee! Our GPS showed 97.4 miles and we were still on the same tank of gas (6 gal) with some to spare!

We stayed overnite and visited with Chris Fitzgerald at the Neoteric factory on Monday and then wandered our way back down the Mississippi along 84 in Illinois to drop a couple engines off from Terry Chapman to Bob Windt at Universal Hovercrafts.

There was a comment made on the Hoverlovers group about what Bob's river access looks like right now. My camera had one shot left in it, as the battery was almost dead. This is a shot of his ramp with the sail boat blocking the ramp.

Needless to say, there's a lot of water to get rid of before hovering begins again on the Mississippi.

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