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Exploring Arkansas January 2007

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B 17, Winding Stairs Trail, Lake Maumelle Regatta
The B 17 "Flying Fortress" was one of the most famous planes ever built. The legacy it left behind is unmatched in aviation history. We'll take you flying in one and talk to some of the men who flew the plane during World War II. The "Winding Stairs" area along the Little Missouri River Trail is the most popular trail in the Ouachitas-and we'll show you why. This episode concludes with the U.S. Championship of Champions Regatta on Lake Maumelle.

TRANSCRIPT

CHUCK DOVISH:  THE B-17 FLYING FOR TRACE. IT LEFT A LEGACY UNMATCHED IN AVIATION HISTORY, ALONG WITH THE B-24 LIBERATOR, THEY WERE WORLD WAR II'S MOST FAMOUS PLANES. ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING B-17s IN FLYING CONDITION MADE A STOP HERE AT NORTH LITTLE ROCK'S AIRPORT. THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS WEEK'S SHOW. 

> THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU TO THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST TO THE WINDING STAIRS TRAIL SECTION. AND THEN WE'LL WRAP IT ALL UP WITH THE REGATTA ON LAKE MAUMELLE. 

BUT FOR NOW, WE'LL TAKE YOU BACK IN TIME TO THE GREATEST GENERATION AS THE B-17 TAKES TO THE SKIES ONCE GREATEST GENERATION AS THE B-17 TAKES TO THE SKIES ONCE AGAIN. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  THE B-17 FLYING FORTRACE WAS WITHOUT A DOUBT ONE OF GREATEST PLANES BUILT. IT SERVED IN VIRTUALLY EVERY WORLD WAR II COMBAT ZONE. IT'S BEST KNOWN FOR ITS DAYLIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING FOR GERMAN INDUSTRIAL TARGETS. PRODUCTION OF THE PLANE WAS ALMOST 13,000. TODAY ONLY ABOUT A DOZEN ARE LEFT AIR WORTHY. ONE OF THOSE FEW B-17s BASED IN OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN, TOURS THE COUNTRY BRINGING WORLD WAR II HISTORY UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. AND IN EVERY TOWN AND CITY IT FLIES INTO, THE MEN WHO FLEW THE PLANE DURING THE WAR EVENTUALLY GATHER TO LOOK, TO REMINISCE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO TELL THEIR REMINISCE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO TELL THEIR STORY. 

OF COURSE, YOU HAD BATTLE DAMAGE, YOU KNOW, BUT YOU NEVER HAD ANYTHING SERIOUS UNTIL WE GOT THE BHVL 17s, AND THAT WAS ON SEPTEMBER 13th, 1944, WE FLEW A MISSION TO GERMANY. WE GOT SHOT UP BAD. WE LOST TWO ENGINES OVER THE TARGET. AS WE TRIED TO STAY WITH THE GROUP AS MUCH AS WE COULD BECAUSE THERE WERE FIGHTERS IN THE AREA. AND TRYING TO STAY WITHIN, THEN WE OVERHEATED THE OTHER TWO ENGINES. NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER TWO ENGINE ON THE LEFT WING WERE STILL OPERATING BECAUSE THEY STARTED CUTTING OUT. AND WE HAD JUST CUT IN, CUT OUT, CUT IN, CUT OUT. WE COULDN'T GET THEM COOLED DOWN. BUT WE TOOK A DEBATE WHETHER TO ABANDONED, BAIL OUT OR STAY WITH THE PLANE. SO WE STAYED WITH IT, AND SET A COURSE FOR BRUSSELS. BRUSSELS WAS LIBERATED IN 10 DAYS. AND THAT WAS DOWN IN THE TARGET FIELD. WE WERE GOING TO LAND ON A STRIP, AND THEY LOWERED THE GEAR, BUT WHEN THEY GOT TO THE AIRFIELD THE FIGHTERS WERE TAKING OFF AND THE C-47s, AND WE COULDN'T LAND. THEY TOLD TO US GO AROUND, AND WE COULDN'T GO AROUND, AND WE WERE LOSING ALTITUDE SO, WE HAD TO SET IT DOWN IN THE CORNFIELDS WITH THE WHEELS DOWN. BUT EVERYBODY GOT OUT IN GOOD SHAPE. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  IT WAS A TOUGH, OLD PLANE THEN. 

A TOUGH PLANE. WE HAD THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PLANE WAS JUST DEMOLISH ED. THE RADIO OPERATOR GOT HIT, BUT HE HAD HIS FLIGHT SUIT ON. HE WAS DOWN ON HIS KNEES THROWING OUT WHAT THEY CALL CHAFF. THAT WAS LONG STRIPS OF FALL THAT YOU PUT OUT IN THE AIR TO, YOU KNOW, GIVE THE RADAR ON THE GROUND A FALSE READING. AND HE WAS THROWING THAT CHAFF OUT, BUT HE HAD HIS FLIGHT SUIT OFF AND HE HAD IT ON THE FLOOR AND KNEELING ON IT. AND THAT SHRAPNEL COME UP THROUGH THE FLOOR THROUGH THE FLIGHT SUIT AND HIT HIM IN THE KNEE. BUT IT WAS PRETTY WELL SPENT AFTER GOING THROUGH THE FLIGHT SUIT. SO THE PLANE WAS TORE UP. IT'S A TOUGH PLANE. IT WOULD FLY -- I'VE SEEN THEM COME BACK WITH TWO ENGINES, AND WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN HOME WITH TWO ENGINES HAD THEY NOT OVERHEATED. BUT YOU HEAR ALL KINDS OF STORIES, YOU KNOW, ABOUT THEM, AND HOW THEY MANAGED TO GET BACK ACROSS THE CHANNEL, HOW THE FIGHTER PLANES WERE ESCORTED BACK WHEN THEY WERE IN TROUBLE. BUT IT WAS A WELL-DESIGNED AIRPLANE. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT NOW? 

WHEN THAT PLANE COME IN AWHILE AGO, I WALKED UP AS HE WAS GETTING READY TO LAND. AND THE THOUGHTS THAT WENT THROUGH MY MIND WAS WATCHING THEM COME BACK OFF THE MISSIONS. THEY ALWAYS WHEN THEY CIRCLE THE FIELD BEFORE THEY LAND WE ALWAYS COUNTED TO SEE IF THEY ALL GOT BACK. SOMETIME YOU WOULD THINK, WELL, WE'VE LOST THREE PLANES, AND THEY WOULD COME IN AND LAND AND IN A SHORT WHILE MAYBE 15 MINUTES HERE WOULD COME ANOTHER STRAGGLING IN WITH BATTLE DAMAGE. THEY ALWAYS COME IN IF THEY HAD AN ENGINE ON BOARD THEY ALWAYS CAME IN FIRING A RED FLARE. AND IF THEY WERE IN THE GROUP WHEN THEY COME IN, THEY HAD PRY TORT LAND FIRST. BUT WHEN A STRAGGLER COME IN LAST, THE AMBULANCE WOULD MEET THEM AS SOON AS THEY GOT THE PLANE STOPPED. BUT WE ALWAYS LOOKED WHEN THEY WOULD COME IN TO SEE IF ANYBODY FIRED A RED FLARE. THAT WAS SOME OF YOUR SQUADRON. YOU PRETTY WELL KNEW EVERYBODY IN YOUR SQUADRON, BUT AS A GROUP IN WHOLE YOU DIDN'T KNOW EVERYBODY. YOU KNEW SOME, BUT YOU EVERYBODY. YOU KNEW SOME, BUT YOU HOBNOBBED WITH YOUR SQUADRON. 

THE B-17, I FLEW QUITE A FEW HOURS IN IT. IT'S A GOOD, OLE AIRPLANE. I WAS A RADIO OPERATOR IN THERE, AND, I MEAN, IT WOULD GET YOU BACK. SOME OF THOSE FELLAS THAT FLEW IN IT DURING WORLD WAR II. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  I GET THEY DIDN'T CALL IT THE FLYING FORTRACE FOR NOTHING. (LAUGHTER)  

NO. THE B-29 WAS THE SUPER FORTRACE. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY STILL HAVE THEM FLYING AROUND OR NOT. PROBABLY ONE OF THESE PLACES HAS ONE. BUT THE B-17 IS A GOOD, OLD AIRPLANE. LOTS OF TIMES WE WOULD BE OUT HERE, AND ONE OF THE ENGINES WOULD GO OUT. SO THEY WOULD BRING US BACK ON THREE PRETTY GOOD. WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD COME BACK ON TWO IF THEY HAD TO. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  TOM DAVIS WAS A GUNNER IN THE BALL TOURETTE UNDERNEATH THE B-17. 

MY PART OF THE WAR WAS THE FINISH, AND THE LIFT-OFF WAS DEFEATED THEN. WE SAW A FEW AIRCRAFT, AND OUR MOSTLY CONCERN WAS IN-AIRCRAFT FIRE, AND WE LOST A FEW PLANES. BUT NOTHING LIKE THEY DID IN THE FIRST PART OF THE WAR. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  WELL, WAS IT -- I UNDERSTAND SOMETIMES YOU WOULD BE IN THERE FOR LIKE HOURS ON END, SEVEN OR EIGHT HOURS? 

YEAH. OUR LONGEST MISSIONS WERE ABOUT 10 HOURS LONG. OF COURSE, WE DIDN'T HAVE TO STAY IN THE BALL TURRET MISSION THERE. WE WOULD TAKE OFF AND RENDEZVOUS TIME THEY COULD BE UP IN THE PLANE. BUT AS SOON AS YOU CROSSED THE CHANNEL AND GET INTO ENEMY TERRITORY, YOU ARE IN POSITION THEN FOR WHATEVER COMES. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  I GUESS LIKE ANYTHING ELSE IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S PRETTY MUCH CRAMPED. BUT I GUESS YOU GOT USED TO SITTING IN THERE. 

OH, YEAH. A YOUNG MAN COULD SIT FOR HOURS LIKE THAT. HE WAS IN A FETUS POSITION WITH YOUR HANDS UP AND YOUR KNEES UP IN YOUR CHEST, AND YOUR CONTROLS YOU COULD TURN ALL THE WAY AROUND, DOWN, AND YOUR CONTROLS YOU COULD TURN ALL THE WAY AROUND, DOWN, AND UP. 

I WAS IN BOTH A B-29 AND B-17 FLIGHT ENGINEER, AND I FLEW THE B-17s THAT WERE RADIO-CONTROLLED AND THAT FLEW THROUGH THE ATOMIC TEST BACK IN THE LATE '40s. SOME OF THAT WAS PRETTY INTERESTING FLYING, PARTICULARLY IF YOU WERE ON THE DRAWING. YOU GOT INTO QUITE A FEW INTERESTING SITUATIONS, AND FORTUNATELY GOT OUT OF ALL OF INTERESTING SITUATIONS, AND FORTUNATELY GOT OUT OF ALL OF THEM. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  ONE OF THE CURRENT PILOTS OF THIS B-17 IS A FORMER COMMERCIAL AIRLINE PILOT WHO SAYS THAT HE WOULDN'T TAKE ANYTHING TO GIVE PILOT WHO SAYS THAT HE WOULDN'T TAKE ANYTHING TO GIVE UP THE OPPORTUNITY. 

FLYING B-17s IS A SPECIAL PRIVILEGE. IT'S A REAL UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE GET THE CHANCE TO DO ANYMORE, AND IT'S A REAL HONOR TO SHARE IT WITH THE PUBLIC. THIS AIRPLANE MEANS SO MUCH TO SO MANY PEOPLE FOR SO MANY DIFFERENT REASONS. IT'S AN ICON OF OUR HISTORY. PEOPLE HAVE FAMILY TIES TO IT THAT THEY HAD RELATIVES THAT WERE EITHER LOST IN THE WAR OR SERVED IN THE WAR. AND THEN, OF COURSE, THE VETERANS THAT ARE STILL ALIVE THAT COME OUT AND LITERALLY GET TEARS IN THEIR EYES WHEN THEY SEE THE AIRPLANE. IT'S A REAL SPECIAL -- IT'S A SPECIAL DEAL TO BE PART OF THE CREW OF THE AIRPLANE. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  I IMAGINE THAT IT PRETTY MUCH -- YOU'VE BEEN PILOTING IT NOW FOR FOUR YEARS THAT IT LIVES UP TO ITS NAME OF BEING A FLYING FORTRACE, AND IT'S TOUGH. 

IT'S TAUGHT ME A LOT. AND CONTINUES TO TEACH ALL OF US. IT'S ONE OF THOSE AIRPLANES THAT WHEN YOU ARE REALLY GOOD AT IT AND DIALLED IN, IT CAN MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD. BUT IT CAN HUMBLE YOU REAL QUICK. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  I IMAGINE LIKE YOU SAID GOING THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND DISPLAYING IT, IT'S KIND OF BEEN A SECOND EDUCATION FOR YOU AS FAR AS THE VETERANS THAT YOU MEET. 

YOU KNOW, THAT'S A VERY GOOD POINT. AND IT REALLY IS THAT. IT'S THE PEOPLE THAT YOU MEET THAT MAKE IT THAT SPECIAL PART OF YOUR LIFE. FLYING AN AIRPLANE IS WONDERFUL, AND IT'S A REAL CHALLENGE, AND EVERYDAY IS DIFFERENT. BUT THE PEOPLE THAT YOU MEET, YOU JUST NEVER FORGET THEIR STORIES. YOU CONTINUE TO GROW AND LEARN ABOUT ALL OF THESE AMAZING THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE THAT SOMEHOW THEY'RE ALL LINKED TOGETHER AND TIED TOGETHER THROUGH THIS THEY'RE ALL LINKED TOGETHER AND TIED TOGETHER THROUGH THIS PIECE OF HISTORY. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  STILL YET ONE MORE STORY FROM RAY WALL WHO OPERATED ONE OF THE SIDE OR WAIST GUNS. 

I HAD TWO UP THERE, AND THEN TWO ON THE TOP, AND THEN THE TWO ON THE BALL, AND THEN THE TWO WAIST AND TWO TAILS. THAT'S WHAT WE HAD. AND WE COULD -- REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY THAT THING FLEW IN, THAT'S THE WAY THAT -- IT ALL DEPENDED ON HOW MANY WERE FIRING, SEE? SO WE HAD A BALL. IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE WE WERE HAVING A BALL AT THE TIME, BUT -- BECAUSE WE WERE WORRIED ABOUT THEM SHOOTING ONE OF THOSE, OH, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY -- SOME KIND OF A CANNON THAT THE GERMANS HAD. WE WERE AFRAID THAT WE WOULD GET TANGLED UP AND GET SHOT WITH ONE OF THEM. BUT WE NEVER GOT THAT MANY. WE HAD A FEW, AND WE USUALLY -- IF WE GOT CLOSE ENOUGH AND WE HIT HIM, WELL, HEY, YOU HAD SIX OR EIGHT GUNS ON THEM AT ONE TIME, AND TRACERS EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE TO TELL YOU WHICH WAY YOUR SHELLS WERE GOING. WHEN YOU PUT THE TRACER IN THERE, IT WOULD TELL YOU IF YOU FIRE IN FRONT OF HIM WITH A TRACER, AND THEN HE WOULD TRY TO DUMP DOWN UNDER, SEE? AND SO WE COULDN'T HIT HIM WITH THE MACHINE GUNS, BUT WE GOT HIM ANYWAY. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  YOU GOT HIM ANYWAY. (LAUGHTER) ANYWAY. (LAUGHTER)  

YEP. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  YEAH, THEY GOT HIM ANYWAY. THIS GREATEST GENERATION, THEY GOT HIM ANYWAY FOR OUR THIS GREATEST GENERATION, THEY GOT HIM ANYWAY FOR OUR FREEDOM. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  IN THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST NEAR THE ALBERT PIKE RECREATION AREA IN WEST ARKANSAS IS A LITTLE MISSOURI TRAIL WITH A POPULAR SECTION BEING THE WINDING STAIRS TRAIL. NOW THIS TRAIL FOLLOWS THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER, OF COURSE, AND IT'S WELL-KNOWN FOR ITS SCENIC BEAUTY, POPULAR SWIMMING HOLES, AND FISHING OPPORTUNITIES. IT'S ALSO A POPULAR PLACE TO EXPLORE JUST ABOUT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. SO FOLLOW US ALONG AS WE DO THE YEAR. SO FOLLOW US ALONG AS WE DO THE HIKING FOR YOU. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  HIKING ALONG WITH US IS TOM LEDBETTER FROM THE CADDO RANGER DISTRICT IN GLENWOOD. THERE ARE SEVERAL WATER CROSSINGS ALONG THIS FOUR-MILE TRAIL, THE FIRST ONE BEING AT BLAYLOCK CREEK. (WATER RUSHING) THE WINDING STAIRS SECTION IS PROBABLY THE MOST POPULAR TRAIL IN THE OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST OFFERING SEVERAL SPECTACULAR OVERLOOKS OF THE FOREST OFFERING SEVERAL SPECTACULAR OVERLOOKS OF THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER. 

YES, IT IS. THE WINDING STAIRS SECTION OF THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER AND THE LITTLE MISSOURI TRAIL IS DEFINITELY THE MOST POPULAR SECTION OF THE TRAIL. THIS TRAIL IS BUILT IN THE LATE '80s, EARLY '90s, BY THE STUDENT CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION. IT'S COMPRISED OF A GROUP OF 6-8 HIGH SCHOOL KIDS AND LEADERS. THEY WOULD COME IN AND WORK FOUR TO FIVE WEEKS. IT TOOK A PERIOD OF SEVERAL YEARS TO COMPLETE THE TRAIL. WE ALSO HAD DIFFERENT VOLUNTEER GROUPS WORK ON IT. WE HAD FOLKS THAT WERE FOR-SERVICE EMPLOYEES THAT ALSO WORKED, OR YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS. THEY DID QUITE A BIT OF TRAIL CONSERVATION CORPS. THEY DID QUITE A BIT OF TRAIL BUILDING ON THIS TRAIL. ♪ 

CHUCK DOVISH:  ALONG WITH THE HIKING THERE ARE MANY OTHER OPPORTUNITIES THIS TRAIL OFFERS ALONG THE LITTLE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES THIS TRAIL OFFERS ALONG THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER. 

WE HAVE A LOT OF OUTDOOR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES HERE. YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING FROM DAY HIKE TO BACKPACK. THIS LITTLE MISSOURI TRAIL IS PART OF THE EAGLE ROCK LOOP WHICH IS THE LONGEST LOOP TRAIL IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS. IT'S 26.8 MILES. A LOT OF FOLKS ENJOY FISHING AND SWIMMING IN THIS AREA. WE HAVE FOLKS THAT CAMP IN OUR DEVELOPED REC SITES AND DAY TRIP DOWN HERE, AND DO JUST A VARIETY OF RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. DURING HIGH-WATER TIMES THERE ARE A LOT OF CANOE ENTHUSIASTS AND KAYAKERS WILL RUN THIS SECTION OF THE RIVER. IT'S QUITE A CHALLENGE WHEN THE WATER IS UP. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  WHAT KIND OF FISH ARE HERE? SMALLMOUTH? 

MAINLY SMALLMOUTH, LONG-EARED SUN FISH. WE HAVE SOME SPOTTED BASS AND SOME LARGE MOUTH. BUT PREDOMINANTLY THE SMALLMOUTH IS WHAT MOST ANGLERS SEE. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  WITH ALL OF THE LARGE NOVACULITE ROCK OUTCROPS, CASCADING WATERFALLS, STATELY HARDWOODS, OLD GROWTH PINE STANDS, THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER IS ALSO A DESIGNATED WILD AND SCENIC LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER IS ALSO A DESIGNATED WILD AND SCENIC RIVER. 

THE SECTION THAT WE'RE STANDING ON HERE IS A WILD SECTION. THE ENTIRE RIVER IS DESIGNATED AS WILD AND SCENIC. THE SCENIC SECTION IS FROM ITS ORIGIN DOWN TO THE ALBERT PIKE RECREATION AREA. AND THEN SOUTH OF THAT IS DESIGNATED WILD UNTIL THE FOREST BOUNDARY. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  AND I GUESS BEHIND US ONE OF THE MORE POPULAR SWIMMING HOLES. 

MOST DEFINITELY. WE HAVE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO SWIM UP AND DOWN THE RIVER, BUT THIS IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MORE USED AREAS. MOST FOLKS COME TO THIS WINDING STAIRS SPOT TO SWIM. THIS IS ONE OF THE LARGER WINDING STAIRS SPOT TO SWIM. THIS IS ONE OF THE LARGER SWIMMING HOLES. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  ANOTHER POPULAR REASON FOR COMING TO THE WINDING STAIRS SECTION ALONG THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER IS FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY. 

MOST DEFINITELY. WE HAVE A LOT OF FOLKS, SHUTTER BUGS THAT COME OUT AND ENJOY THIS AREA. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY SEGMENTS TAPED DOWN HERE TO HIGHLIGHT THE BEAUTY OF THE NATURAL STATE. WE'VE HAD FOLKS FROM THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM COME OUT, AND WE HAVE OUR AVID CAMERA FOLKS THAT COME OUT LOCALLY FROM ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES JUST TO TAKE FOE PHOTOS OF THIS AREA. I WOULD SAY PROBABLY THE MOST ACTIVE TIME AND THE PRETTIEST TIME IS IN THE FALL. THAT'S WHEN MOST FOLKS SHOW UP TO TAKE PICTURES. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE NOVACULITE HERE. 

IT'S A UNIQUE AREA, CHUCK. THIS NOVACULITE OUTCROPPINGS THAT WE HAVE AROUND US ARE BEAUTIFUL. THEY'RE NOT FOUND IN MANY SECTIONS OF THE STATE. THIS SERVED AS THE NOVACULITE QUARRY FOR THE NATIVE AMERICANS. THAT'S WHERE THEY GOT THEIR BLANKS TO BUILD SPEAR POINTS, ARROWHEADS, MANY OF THEIR TOOLS. IT WAS A VERY RICH AREA FOR TOOLS. IT WAS A VERY RICH AREA FOR THEM TO COME AND MINE. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  SO COME AND EXPERIENCE PARADISE IN THE OUACHITAS AT THE WINDING STAIRS AREA ALONG THE LITTLE OUACHITAS AT THE WINDING STAIRS AREA ALONG THE LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF THE AMERICAS CUP, AND THEN THERE IS THE U.S. SAILING CHAMPIONSHIP OF CHAMPIONS HERE ON LAKE MAUMELLE WEST OF LITTLE ROCK. COME ALONG WITH US ON THE HIGH SEAS, OR, SHALL I SAY, HEIGHT COME ALONG WITH US ON THE HIGH SEAS, OR, SHALL I SAY, HEIGHT LAKES. 

EVERYONE HERE, 20 COMPETITORS HAVE EACH ONE A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN THEIR RESPECTIVE TYPE OF BOAT. AND ONCE A YEAR THEY ALL COME TOGETHER IN A LIKE BOAT, THIS YEAR IT'S A LIFE WIRE, AND TO SEE WHO IS THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS. SO THE PERSON WHO WINS THIS IS REGARDED AS THE BEST SMALL-BOAT SAILOR IN THE COUNTRY. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  AND THE BOATS DON'T ACTUALLY BELONG TO THE SAILORS. 

THE BOATS BELONG TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT IN THE FLEET. AND ONLY FIVE OF THEM CAME FROM HERE, AND THE OTHER 15 CAME FROM ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY. THEY TOED THEM IN, TOOK A WEEK OFF WORK, AND THEY'RE HERE VOLUNTEERING. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  TELL US HOW THIS TYPE OF A BOAT HANDLES. QUEST IS THE GENTLEMAN'S NAME? 

IT'S COME A LONG WAY SINCE MR. LUND QUIST DESIGNED IT IN '49. IT'S A FLAT BOAT AND PLANES EASILY. AND IN THIS PLANE TODAY IT WILL FLY. OF COURSE, 25 MILE AS HOUR IN A SAILBOAT THAT CLOSE TO THE WATER IS FLYING. IT FEELS LIKE 100 MILE AS HOUR IN A MOTOR BOAT. THEY HANDLE THIS WIND FAIRLY WELL. THEY GO PRETTY WELL ON LIGHT WELL. THEY GO PRETTY WELL ON LIGHT WIND. 

I STARTED SAILING THESE BOATS I GUESS AT AGE 3 WITH MY PARENTS. AND I GOT INTO IT AND STARTED TRAVELLING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY DOING THAT STUFF WHEN HE WAS 7. I GOT OUT OF THAT AT 13 AND I STARTED RACING LASERS, AND I DID THE WHOLE COLLEGE STUFF AT THE COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON. AND WE WON THE NATIONALS THIS PAST YEAR. THAT'S HOW WE ENDED UP HERE THIS WEEKEND. AND IT'S BEEN A LOT OF FUN TO COME OUT AND RACE AGAINST ALL OF THESE PEOPLE FROM ALL OF THE DIFFERENT PLACES. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE. I HADN'T REALLY SAILED WITH THIS MUCH OF A STACKED COMPETITION BEFORE IN 20 BOATS. IT'S BEEN A LOT OF FUN. I AM LOOKING FORWARD HOPEFULLY MAYBE GETTING BACK IN AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD HOPEFULLY MAYBE GETTING BACK IN AND DOING IT AGAIN SOME TIME. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  SAIL SOMETHING A SPORT THAT'S QUITE OFTEN HANDED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION. 

MY DAD AND MY GRANDDAD WERE ALWAYS BIG SAILORS. WHEN I WAS 5, MY DAD BUILT MY FIRST BOOK OUT OF WOOD. I WAS 6 AND STARTED RACING IT. I RACED UNTIL I WAS 11. AND THEN I MOVED INTO LASERS. THAT'S WHAT I DID THROUGH MOST OF MY JUNIOR YEARS. I WENT TO COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON, SAILED WITH THE TEAM FOR THIS YEAR. I TOOK THIS YEAR OFF BECAUSE I HAVE TO TRY TO GRADUATE. I CAN'T TRAVEL ON THE WEEKEND ANYMORE. AND WE WERE RACE AGAINST EACH OTHER SINCE I WAS 10 YEARS OLD, AND I HAVE BEEN RACING WITH THEM SINCE THEN. WE STARTED DOING THE NATIONALS, AND WE FINALLY WON IT IN CHARLESTON THIS PAST SUMMER. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  SO WHAT IS THE THRILL-SECING SPIRIT ABOUT THIS, AND YOUR ADVENTURE AND SATISFACTION? 

THIS KIND OF STUFF, I LOVE IT WHEN IT BLOWS HARD. YOU GET SCARED, IT GETS THE ADRENALIN GOING, THAT'S WHY I LAKE SAILING. ADRENALIN GOING, THAT'S WHY I LAKE SAILING. BIG BREEZE, BIG WAVES. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  YOUR FATHER IS THE ONE THAT HAS TAUGHT EVERYTHING THAT YOU KNOW. 

YEAH. HE GOT ME STARTED IN IT. HE THREW ME IN A BOAT ALONE. I HIT A WAVE, CAPSIZED. HE DIDN'T THINK THAT I COULD COME OUT, HE THOUGHT I COULD. MY MOTHER CAME OUT OF THE CABIN AND SAID NO, HE CAN'T, AND THEY RESCUED ME. THAT'S HOW I GOT STARTED. I HAVE BEEN RACING ALL MY LIFE. IT'S A GREAT FAMILY SPORT. I HAVE MY FATHER HERE SUPPORTING US, AND I AM SAILING WITH MY 27-YEAR-OLD SON. SO IT'S A GREAT WAY TO DO THINGS AS A FAMILY. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  AND WHAT IS THE THRILL AND SATISFACTION THAT YOU GET OUT OF SOMETHING LIKE THAT, OF BATTLING WITH THE WIND OUT THERE LIKE TODAY? 

WELL, I THINK THAT THAT'S THE THING. YOU KNOW, SAIL SOMETHING A SPORT THAT YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY. AND IT'S NEVER THE SAME AND ALL THOSE CONDITIONS CAN BE SIMILAR. BUT IN THESE WINDS WE'RE FROM NEBRASKA, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF HIGH WINDS AND SO I AM USED TO THESE CONDITIONS. AND SO WE FINISHED SIXTH OVERALL IN THE RACE, BUT IN THE FIRST PART WE WERE IN SECOND PLACE. SO WE WERE EXCITED. WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO SO WE WERE EXCITED. WE WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS TYPE OF WIND. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  BUT WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IS SAIL 

CHUCK DOVISH:  BUT WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IS SAIL TOPSY-TURVY. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  NOW, WHEN YOU CAPSIZE, OR EVEN LIKE ONE OF THE BOATS YOU CALLED THEM TURTLED, WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU USE TO GO UPRIGHT AGAIN? 

MOST OF THE TIME THERE IS A BOARD THAT'S CALLED THE CENTER BOARD, AND YOU HAVE TO GET OUT ON THAT QUICKLY. AND THAT'S THE BOARD THAT HANGS OUT BELOW THE BOAT. AND THE CREW -- THE SKIPPER AND CREW GET ON THAT, AND YOU CAN JUST STAND ON IT, AND YOU WILL JUST GET THE BOAT RIGHT BACK UP AGAIN. IF THE BOAT TURTLES, YOU HAVE TO PULL THE CENTER BOARD UP BECAUSE IT MIGHT PULL UP IN THE BOAT. SO YOU HAVE TO GET UP UNDERNEATH THE BOAT, GET UP UNDERNEATH, IT PUSH IT UP, AND THE OTHER PERSON HOLDS ON TO IT, COME AROUND AND RIDE IT. IT'S A TRICK AND IT TAKES PRACTICE. MOST EVERYBODY HERE HAS HAD A LOT OF PRACTICE DOING IT. BUT YOU HOPE TO GET TO A LEVEL WHERE YOU DON'T DO THAT AS MUCH. SO THAT'S WHAT WE CALL SLOW. (LAUGHTER) SO THAT'S WHAT WE CALL SLOW. (LAUGHTER)  WHEN THAT HAPPENS. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  AND WHAT'S GOOD FOR FATHER AND SON SAILING IS ALSO GOOD FOR MOTHER AND SON. 

WELL, THE AIR'S NOT TOO BAD, BUT ONCE YOU GET IN THE WATER IT'S PRETTY COLD. 

WE'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN THE WATER SINCE WE'VE BEEN HERE. (LAUGHTER)  WE TURNED OVER YESTERDAY AND TURTLED AND GOT REALLY, REALLY COLD AND WE HAD TO COME IN. IT TOOK AS YOU HOUR TO RIGHT THE BOAT. IT WAS PRETTY MUCH OF AN EXPERIENCE FOR HIM. COLD WATER, BEING IN COLD WATER THAT HE HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE. IT'S WARM WATER IN MISSISSIPPI AND TEXAS. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  BUT YOU DID GREAT TODAY. 

WE DID OKAY. WE SURVIVED TODAY. HE WAS PRETTY SCARED. WE WERE FLYING. I DON'T THINK THAT EITHER ONE OF US SAILED -- RACED IN WINDS THAT STRONG. BUT THESE ARE CHAMPIONS. MACK IS A CHAMPION, AND HE IS THE REASON THAT WE'RE HERE. I SAID YOU CAN'T QUIT. YOU HAVE TO SAIL THIS RACE. SO HE DID. I MEAN, HE IS PRETTY PROUD TO SO HE DID. I MEAN, HE IS PRETTY PROUD TO FINISH, UPRIGHT. 

CHUCK DOVISH:  SO IF YOU THINK SAILING MIGHT BE IN YOUR BLOOD, CHECK OUT THE GRAND MAUMELLE SAILING CLUB AND TAKE TO THE HIGH LAKES YOURSELF. OR CHECK OUT THE MOST POPULAR TRAIL IN THE OUACHITAS, THE WINDING STAIRS SECTION ALONG THE LITTLE MISSOURI TRAIL. AND IF THE B-17 EVER MAKE AS STOP ANYWHERE WHERE YOU LIVE, BY ALL MEANS TAKE A FLIGHT INTO THE PAGES OF HISTORY BOOKS. AND FOR MORE INFO ON THESE AND OTHER DESTINATIONS, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AETN.ORG/EXPLORINGARKANSAS. WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON "EXPLORING ARKANSAS." ♪

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