1000 Miles to Rivers Edge




We began this trek in Asheville, NC – and soon found that all this modern technology is not a bit of good without power…….. before traveling I had prepared everything on the truck except the lighter socket (for power), so while traveling our computer, telephones, and someone’s “Tom-Tom” died –  but not a big deal, we just couldn’t communicate while traveling (and even though it was pretty neat gadget – I’d never used a “tom-tom’ before).

So we had to make conversation and they had to trust I knew where we were going – and without the technology we still made it riverside – La Crosse, Wi (La Cresent, Minn).  This was originally a hasty post as we found a electrical receptical, waited for our rooms to get into after 16+ hours driving, and began preparing the ‘bird.



It was a busy day after traveling  so many hours, but we remained pretty much non stop until 6pm –  ‘Freebird’ slowly came together.  Jason Worley and Brian Lawrence (fellow firefighter’s) were invaluable with their assistance – their quality work would prove solid against the elements over time and the next 1700 miles of the river.

When I did put it in the water my excitement was tempered with possible motor trouble (unknown at the time it was a developing self-oiler issue), as things seemed to straighten out (the buzzer went off) all seemed fine, weight then became our concerning factor. I made a final ‘culling’ of items that I wanted and needed to take.

It was a really long day and we were tired, so we put the computer down and got ready to check out the town – at the same time we had tractor’s surrounding us at the hotel, neat.


even one old ford 8N with a flat-head ford V8 in it……..


The folks in Wisconsin were as nice and friendly as they were serious about their tractors –  as strangers it was all a refreshing sense of kindness, and on the weather side of it all the nights were cool – a sign of good things to come…



It was a long but very important day where to the largest degree planning and preparation paid-off, and left a little time for fun……..


What are you going to do with that chicken Jason?

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike S.
    May 28, 2009 @ 13:49:20

    Glad to hear you made it, despite the loss of power. Make sure you get some cheese curds while you’re in WI.

  2. Tom Haynie
    May 28, 2009 @ 17:30:33

    Worn out at this time, very long day….. like usual little things pop up and sent a scare into things (motor was acting up but in the end cleared up).

    We’ll get back tomorrow

  3. Melissa
    May 28, 2009 @ 18:12:00

    Glad you are safe.

    love ya

  4. Mike S.
    May 28, 2009 @ 21:03:13

    Hope your first night on the river is restful and uneventful.

  5. Jessica "Haynie" Carr
    May 29, 2009 @ 12:48:36

    and why wouldn’t you have a rubber chicken….

  6. Indiana Keetha
    May 29, 2009 @ 19:37:06

    OF COURSE the folks there are real nice – – – it’s WISCONSIN!!!

    OF COURSE the nights there are cool – – – IT’S WISCONSIN!!!

    Yep – – – I’m a native Wisconsinite in case you wondered!


  7. popeye's mom
    May 30, 2009 @ 07:18:03

    Chicken has the best set of legs of the crew,that’s why it’s at the top of the heap!It should get it through all the locks!

  8. Mike S.
    Jun 01, 2009 @ 20:51:04

    Still can’t seem to be able to leave comments on more recent posts, so keep checking this post.

    Sounds like a tough night, followed by a real interesting day. I’m having fun just checking in every day. You are doing a nice play by play – places you are seeing, people you are meeting. I bet people are enjoying meeting you, too.

    I was wondering if that board on the bow was a splash guard. How’d the bird hold up in the thunderstorm?

    I’m getting anxious to get out of Cincinnati. Looks like you’d better batten down again tonight. Be safe.

  9. Indiana Keetha
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 11:42:35

    Ditto what we’re all saying about leaving comments on your newer posts.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying watching your progress down the river. Thanks for the pictures of your sleeping cabin with one sleeper still in there!!!!

    So interesting.

    I’ll be back – – –

  10. Joe Newell
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 10:55:44

    Hey Tom and Carl,
    You all seem to be making good timing on the river. I’m really enjoying the pics Tom. I think you was right when you told me this was a once in a life time adventure! Looks to be alot of fun! Everything is going good here in Asheville. You all be careful out there!

  11. Indiana Keetha
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 12:04:00

    I’m checking in with every one of your posts – – – have been telling your old HS chum about them, but today he FINALLY got himself up off the couch and came and looked over my shoulder when he HEARD your voice on the video you posted.

    I would never have dreamed up such a trip, but watching it vicariously through you have given me the “bite” to try it – – – – –

    Maybe in another life!!! Oh I kid – – –

  12. Indiana Keetha
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 12:36:25

    I gave your trip blog a little “plug” over on my blog – – – –

    Not promising anyone will come here to check it out since there’s no lace or tablescapes here – – – but one can only try!!!

    Here’s a direct link to my blog post if you want to see what I said about you, oh and I STOLE one picture from here to put on my post.


  13. Tom Haynie
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 18:52:38

    Thanks Keetha, forgive the lack of response and,comments – I have found the river something to be absorbed in, and I want to respond to comment, but found I had to make a choice – the river won right now….. Thankyou and all the folks for their interest it means alot – having an awesome time here too

  14. Tom Haynie
    Jun 08, 2009 @ 10:33:31

    Cairo is coming quick, we may be there waaay early, what are our options Mike? Will call, and yes email once everyother day. Not as much time on a computer as I thought, but thats ok.

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