Plan Novel Trip to World’s Fair

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 20, 1904

Plan Novel Trip to World’s Fair

Fort Dodge Young men Go to the Exposition by the Water Route.

Make Trip in a Houseboat

Float Down Des Moines to Mississippi, Down Stream to St. Louis.

A trip to the St. Louis exposition is planned by several Fort Dodge young men living on the west side, that for novelty at least, will hardly be surpassed. The plan is to build a flat boat and float down the Des Moines river to the Mississippi, thence down the father of waters to St. Louis. The boys do not care to have their names mentioned, as yet, as their plans are not fully completed. As far as is now known there is nothing that will discourage them in their undertaking and they anticipate a jolly trip.

The “voyagers” will build their boat of sufficient size to contain bedding, tents and supplies and will be fully equipped to camp if they wish to, or anchor their boat to the bank of the stream and seek shelter at night in the towns along the river, or if no town is at hand, in a farm house which will never be far distant from a stopping place.

The party will be a merry one. It is the young men’s intention to be prepared to fish and hunt when they please, while reading and other recreation will while away the hours, and the ever changing scenery, perhaps with an occasional ducking, will tend to overcome the monotony of the trip.

It is expected that the trip will take about three weeks, counting the stops. They will probably wait  until the weather is settled before starting. They expect the saving on car fare to pay their expenses, and on arriving in St. Louis, will probably sell or abandon their boat and come back by rail.

The current of the Des Moines at the present stage of water, travels at an average rate of at least six miles an hour. It would possible to travel at this rate, at least seventy or seventy-five miles from early daylight to late at night and at this rate, althought (sic) there are many bends in the river. It would not take many days to reach the Mississippi, when a sail might be used to good advantage with a north wind. It is the present intention of the prospective voyagers, however, to take plenty of time for the trip, and make it as pleasant an outing as possible.

(Editor’s note: If I should find later mention of this proposed trip, if it really did take place, I will update on this post.)


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