Adventurer Sets Off On Pontoon Trip Down Arkansas River To NOLA

Friday, August 3rd 2012, 8:20 pm
By: Craig Day

An adventurer was on his way along the Arkansas River Friday, and he plans to eventually end up in the Big Easy.

Lots of people dream of doing things out of the norm—wish this or want that. But too often they never go for it.

Don Gower is not one of those people.

"I'm just a bit of an adventurer," Gower said.

His latest adventure is taking him down the Arkansas River from Oklahoma's Port of Catoosa and then down the Mississippi, on his old pontoon boat.

"The motor cost more than the bloody boat," Gower said.

His journey will eventually end in New Orleans.

"I decided I would just go down the creek and just float down the creek to New Orleans. Listen to some music, have a look around, and mainly to see if I can get some good seafood too," Gower said.

Gower said he has always loved adventure. He was a field hockey star, he guided safaris in Australia, and he even raced camels.

Now at 71, he's behind the controls of his boat called the "Kick Back."

"The river is going down that way anyway," Gower said. "If I run out of petrol, eventually I'll get there, anyway. Getting back could be a problem. I'm going to have to get Michael Phelps to tow me."

Two of Gowers' children and all of his grand kids live in the U.S., so he now spends most of his time in America instead of Australia.

And, for now, he'll be spending a lot of time on the water.

"Craig, I'm just cruising along at ten miles per hour, and I'm in no hurry," Gower said.

Gower said he will sleep on the boat. He's stocked with supplies. He'll catch a few fish along the way, and also capture what he believes will be a wonderful adventure.

"It's a long way. I know it's a long way, but I don't know how far. I know it's going to take a while, but I don't know how long, and I don't really bloody care," Gower said.

For the record, it's 445 miles to the Mississippi, and several hundred more to New Orleans.

But, for Gower, it's a journey not measured in distance, but in memories.

"Someone's got an adventurous streak somewhere, and it's just got to get out," Gower said. "And once they do get that out, it's surprising what they can do."

After he gets his fill of seafood in New Orleans, Gower said he'll make his first trip to Sturgis on his Harley this fall.