As many of you know, last May we were planning to float down the Ouachita River in our solar-outfitted house boat. We threw a big party at Low Key Arts here in Hot Springs on May 1st, and planned to take off the following day. One problem. It started raining. And it rained and rained, and the river was in flood a good part of May. We ended up floating around Lake Ouachita, which was also extremely high, and taking the last few segments we could in the canoe. We drove down to play the gigs we had booked along the river, and just hung out. And watched the rain.

Zac, looking forward to the future of solar energy. Installing the panels on the boat, courtesy of Bob Nagy.

The boat. And the panels.

Shea leads the MayPole celebration at our MayDay Party at Low Key Arts.


Our canoe, full of refreshments for the partygoers.

The greeting table at the MayDay Party, with maps and info galore

Man Against Fire (now Sonic Retard) played the MayDay party.

The Solar Troller on display at the party. As you can see, this was a beautiful spring sunny day, which lead us to further doubt the fact that the Ouachita River was currently in flood.....

The kids, enjoying the mellow sounds of Man Against Fire.

Just south of Hot Springs........

Meanwhile, down in Camden, which was to be our starting point, we couldn't even FIND the boat launch.

A day trip down to Camden was very insightful as to the reality of going down the river right then.


No, Camden is not supposed to look this way.

The Solar Troller wouldn't even clear this bridge! Yikes!!!

Bleak. Totally bleak.

Yes. This is the kind of road you are not supposed to drive over. This blocked us from even being able to check the bridge that was possibly sketchy. I'm guessing the bridge wouldn't have been safe. Hmmmm?

We resigned ourselves to a few canoe rides while we waited for the river to go down. This day we went from Remmel Dam to Malvern in about an hour. That is fast canoe time.

In Malvern, with time to kill.

We ended up driving down to Monroe, Louisiana to play our gig at Enoch's.

Cheryl Slavant, the Ouachita Riverkeeper, came and spoke while we were at Enoch's, which rocked the crowd for the environment. Yeah!

A week later we played a gig in Columbia, Louisiana. It was the Riverboat Festival, where there were no riverboats, because the river was too high!!

And would you believe, our gig got rained out! Rained OUT!!!

Here we are, near the Spillway at Lake Ouachita. We just had to do something with that boat, so we vowed to not get off Lake Ouachta until the river went down. Big words, that we would later eat.


That week on the lake we hosted a few dinners, we had a great time (minus the storms that seemed to happen at night which was so creepy) and we learned the limitations of the boat. And the excellence of the solar concept.

Father/son fishing in the daytime

Bed jumping at night. This is the happy time before the rain started!

Zephyr could pick up a few driving shifts while we drank coffee.

The boat trying to blend in at the Ouachita State Park Marina.

It is hard to imagine they didn't kick us out, with our ferrel kids running around and our redneck houseboat.

Looking forward to the future

See? You really CAN take it with you!

We also canoed from Malvern to Arkadelphia in a day. This time we took the kids, and it was so pretty out.

Lunch Break near a cowfield.

Our grand arrival in Arkadelphia! A glorious day of sitting in the canoe! Our butts were sore, and we ready to get out.

This is some weird old river thing in Monroe, Louisiana.

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Spring Canoe Trip

September Ouachita River Trip

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